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Microsoft Ships Dynamics GP Finance Package

Microsoft is shipping Dynamics GP 9.0, an update to its Great Plains accounting package and the first of its rebranded business solutions to appear under the Microsoft Dynamics logo.

In early September, Microsoft unveiled plans to rebrand its Microsoft Business Solutions product lines for mid-sized businesses as Microsoft Dynamics. The name change is also intended to represent a focus on integrating the company’s somewhat disparate line of business products.

At the time, Microsoft said it would release Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) and Microsoft Dynamics CRM (formerly Microsoft CRM) this year. The company also announced that it intends releases in 2006 of existing Business Solutions-branded products as Microsoft Dynamics AX (formerly the Axapta business management suite), Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision mid-range accounting tools) and Microsoft Dynamics SL (formerly Solomon accounting tools).

The unifying feature of the new line of Microsoft Dynamics products is that they are centered on a role-based user model, similar to ones that have been adopted by other major players, including IBM, as they work to extend their reach into mid-sized businesses. Microsoft says that its Dynamics brand, formerly codenamed “Project Green,” establishes a foundation of 50 core roles based on specific job functions.

“This role-based business software is closely integrated with Microsoft Office, Office SharePoint Portal Server, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services . . . [and is] based around the typical jobs that people in mid-size businesses perform,” the company statement said.

According to Microsoft, Dynamics GP features an Office-like user interface that uses role-based user templates to provide access to information relevant to each user’s work responsibilities. The update also includes increased integration (over previous versions) with Microsoft Office, and Visual Studio as well as with the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 using a new XML-based processing engine. Additionally, the product’s business portal, which is built on Office SharePoint Services, will now support both intranets and extranets, including enhanced security features.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Standard Edition starts at $3,500; Microsoft Dynamics GP Professional Edition starts at $7,500.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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