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Microsoft Targets Retailers With Dynamics POS 2009

Microsoft unveiled a point-of-sales solution for midmarket retailers on Monday as part of its Dynamics product line.

Microsoft Dynamics POS 2009 is a standalone, premises-based offering that rides atop SQL Server Express. The software has out-of-the-box functionality that can be customized by Microsoft's partners using a software development kit (SDK).

"[Dynamics POS 2009] is flexible enough to address specific vertical markets and it is designed to reduce training, and provides a great user experience as well as enhanced customer services," said Michael Griffiths, group product manager at Microsoft, in a telephone interview.

The out-of-the-box features include a smart search capability, security-enhanced payment processing based on Payment Card Industry standards, real-time inventory management and reporting, and the SDK.

Griffiths said that partners can use the SDK to develop add-ons and integrate with Dynamics CRM and Dynamics ERP, as well as some third-party ERP solutions.

"This is not a rigid application," Griffiths said. "If you want to extend its capabilities, you can. In fact, it is built with migration in mind so that businesses that are growing won't have to go out and buy all new software when they're ready to expand. It is version resilient and we will keep customers up-to-date with complete product road maps for the future."

The new application represents a complete rewrite of Microsoft's previous on-premise POS offerings -- Dynamics POS 2.0 and Retail Management System, according to Rob Helm, vice president of research at Directions on Microsoft.

"Dynamics POS 2009 sharpens Microsoft's focus on retail store management," noted Helms in an e-mail. "And, it is a showcase for the .NET Framework by enabling partners to add their own capabilities to the product."

Available through the Microsoft channel partner network, Dynamics POS 2009 requires no special subscriptions. Licenses are sold per "POS register," and include a mandatory one-year Business Needs Enhancement Plan along with the standard Microsoft training and support programs, according to Griffiths.

"This is a standalone product that provides great integration with Microsoft offerings such as Office and Visual Studio," Griffiths said. "It includes built-in features that store and track customer data, and it can be enhanced to include mobility and multichannel functionality."

Microsoft Dynamics POS 2009 is currently available in English-only versions in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to Microsoft's announcement.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media.

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