The nature of software is that you will have to upgrade or implement at some point. Dynamics AX is no different from any other software system out there. With Microsoft working hard on Lifecycle Services (LCS) site, doing an upgrade analysis has gotten a lot easier. Below is a diagram illustrating the process to produce your analysis report (Excel file).
Below are steps on how to use LCS to produce the upgrade analysis file.
1. Go to LCS site (https://lcs.dynamics.com)
2. Create a new project and click on the Upgrade analysis
3. Enter the project name and select the AX version. Currently in the list there are 2009 SP1 and AX4SP2.
Before you click on the Create button. Make sure to click on the Download link to download the Rapid Data Collector tool.
4. Now that you have created your project, go and install the Rapid Data Collector (do not run against your production – take a copy).
5. Install the Rapid Data Collector and it should be a simple executable that you can run.
6. Once you run it you will get the dialog below. Enter the database server and database name. Accept the agreement and click Collect Data.
This will produce a zip file with the collected stats. Such as table data, usage data, security data. This may take 20minutes for a small one to hours for a large layer.
6. Now back on LCS follow the wizard from step 3 and upload the *.aod file and the Rapid data collection zip file.
7. Click on the Analyse button on the bottom right hand. You can leave it and come back whenever to see it complete.
You should see an excel file that you can download.
8. The excel file will have details on what objects have been modified.
Stats on affected objects, stats on data usage etc.
You can use this as the basis of your upgrade estimate. Estimates are always part science and part experience.