Microsoft Readies New Release Of Dynamics AX Applications


The new application set, known as "AX 6" while under development, is slated to be generally available in this year's third quarter and replace the Dynamics AX 2009 release that's currently available in the market.

Microsoft generally starts talking about new releases of its Dynamics software about six months before their general release as a way of providing technical details to ISVs and partners who develop add-on software for the applications and build solutions around them. The vendor plans to release a formal Community Technical Preview of the software in February.

"ISVs are a fundamental part of our go-to-market strategy for Dynamics AX," said Crispin Read, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics ERP, in a phone interview.

Dynamics AX is the ERP suite Microsoft targets toward mid-size and big companies, particularly in manufacturing, retailing and services industries. The other ERP suites: Dynamics SL, NAV and GP, are generally geared toward smaller customers.

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The new release has what Read described as a "model-driven layered architecture" that he said would "speed development by reducing the amount of coding ISVs need to do when building solutions." The new architecture also makes application maintenance easier and improves the software's upgradability, according to Microsoft.

The new version of Dynamics AX also has a number of pre-built capabilities for five industries and 38 countries, making it easier for ISVs to tailor their solutions for vertical markets. Some of those new features come from technology Microsoft obtained through several technology acquisitions it made in September 2009: process manufacturing software from Fullscope Inc., professional services software from Computer Generated Solutions, and retail software from LS Retail EHF and To-Increase A/S.

The new Dynamics AX release also will be interoperable with the latest versions of Microsoft software that make up the Microsoft Application Platform, including SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010, as well as other Microsoft products such as Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010.

"Many of the ISVs we are working with have their own end-to-end vertical solutions, often built on aging legacy platforms," said Doug Kennedy, vice president of Microsoft Dynamics partners, in a statement. "The combination of the next-generation architecture of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft's partner programs creates a long-term, sustainable business opportunity for these ISVs. We are already seeing strong momentum for the solution with ISVs."