Dynamics GP 2010 Beta Released
Microsoft released a beta test version of Dynamics GP 2010 late last week.
The solution, formerly code-named "GP 11," is the latest version of the company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for accounting operations. Microsoft provided few details about the beta, except that Dynamics GP's product nomenclature has shifted to align with other Microsoft-branded 2010 software. Instead of a sequential numbering scheme, product iterations are tracked by the year of release.
Most of the information about the beta release comes from a podcast by Microsoft most valuable professional (MVP) Mark Polino, a certified public accountant and certified business management solutions professional for Dynamics GP. Polino said in the podcast that Dynamics GP 2010 will "look a lot like GP 10." Microsoft will add more of a focus on Web services and integration in Dynamics 2010, he added.
The product will have a "close connection with Office 2010," Polino said. Microsoft has previously announced that it plans to launch Office 2010 as a product in June. Forms in Dynamics GP 2010 will be based on Microsoft Word, but users will still have to get the data out of Dynamics GP's Report Writer function. According to an informal poll conducted by Polino, Report Writer is the one feature in Dynamics GP that most users wish Microsoft would fix first.
Polino's description echoes much of what Microsoft announced last year.
"Based on what Microsoft said at Convergence 2009, the next version will help tie Dynamics GP more tightly into other Microsoft products like Word (for creating documents like quotes and invoices), SQL Server Reporting Services (for analytics reports) and SharePoint (for access to GP data by users who don't have the client)," said Rob Helm, director of research at Directions on Microsoft, in an e-mail.
Microsoft plans to "open up Dynamics GP data to executives and other users who don't routinely use the application now" to boost the product's growth, Helm said. So far, the customer base for Dynamics GP has grown "much more slowly than Dynamics AX or NAV," he added.
Microsoft issued "GP 2010 teaser articles" on upcoming features, including security, lookup enhancements and the Microsoft Dynamics Online Connect portal. However, much of these improvements seem basic, like using the right mouse button to click in a text field and see the available commands.
A story by MSDynamicsWorld.com (subscription required) reported an underwhelming response by partners to the new features in Dynamics GP 2010.
Polino confirmed that there will be a direct migration path from Dynamics GP 9. However, users of GP 9 might consider skipping an upgrade to GP 10 and moving directly to Dynamics GP 2010, he added.
Microsoft is planning a "coming out party" for Dynamics GP 2010 in late April at its Convergence show in Atlanta, followed by an early May product launch, according to Polino. He added that Microsoft will release more details in the next few months.
Microsoft is offering two webinars in February providing more details for its partners, as announced in this Microsoft blog.
Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.