Microsoft Splits MBF Features, Team

About half of the team will return to their roots in Microsoft Business Solutions, the group responsible for accounting, ERP and CRM applications. The rest will remain with the company&'s Platform and Tools unit where they have been for two years, a Microsoft executive said recently.

Originally promised as a .Net-based framework upon which Microsoft and third parties could build business applications, MBF at one point was tied to the Longhorn delivery schedule, and then was parcelled out.

Word of MBF&'s demise came as no surprise to one longtime Microsoft partner. “They talked about this a long time, then stopped talking about it, and nothing happened either time,” he said. “This has been a goat rodeo from the get go.”

The company had already said that some of MBF&'s promised features will ship with Visual Studio 2005 and with the Language Integrated Query Project, or LINQ. Other functions will flow into the next generation of Visual Studio, code-named Orca. And still others will be part of the workflow underpinnings of the Office 12 wave, said Satya Nadella, corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions. MBS is now part of the larger Microsoft Business Applications unit, along with Office.

Sponsored post

“Some bits, specifically the entity modeling pieces called Whitehorse, were heavily influenced by MBF and are going into Visual Studio 2005,” Nadella said in mid-October. Microsoft formally announced that toolset November 7.

Other pieces of MBF will surface in the next wave of MBS products, especially on the client side, Nadella said. In June, the Redmond, Wash., company said it has rebranded its applications with the Dynamics name, and will upgrade each with new features that align with its previously announced Project Green road map.

“One of the big things for the Dynamics releases is roles-based clients and MBF plays a role there,” Nadella said. He added that the rollout time frame for Dynamics GP (Great Plains), Dynamics NAV (Navision), Dynamics AX (Axapta) and Dynamics SL (Solomon) remains unaffected by this organizational shift.

He characterized the redeployment of capabilities and personnel as the natural ebb and flow of software development.