UPDATE: Microsoft To Roll Out Dynamics GP 2010 R2 Next Year
Microsoft today provided details about features and the anticipated release date of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2.
The R2 edition of Microsoft's enterprise resource planning solution is scheduled for general availability sometime in the first half of 2011. This incremental product release will have three main feature improvements, the company announced. Microsoft claims that these improvements have already saved Dynamics GP 2010 customers money by improving business processes and reducing the need for customizations.
Microsoft plans to improve the user interface for accessing "role-specific information" in Dynamics GP 2010 R2. The work-flow approval process will be enhanced as well. Finally, there will be improved informational flow to "fact boxes" and "action shortcuts," which provide information about people during instant messaging chat sessions.
This latter improvement appears to be associated with Lync, Microsoft's unified communications product that was highlighted at a Microsoft-sponsored launch event on Wednesday. According to a Microsoft blog post, users of Dynamics GP 2010 R2 will be able to create "sales orders, purchase orders or sales invoices directly from Microsoft Lync."
Microsoft had other news about its mainline Dynamics GP 2010 product. That product was released in May in the following markets: "Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, the Middle East, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States," according to a released statement. Microsoft said today that it plans to expand those markets to the "French Canadian and Latin American Spanish versions later this month."
In other Dynamics news, Microsoft let it be known via a blog post that Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 will be available on Dec. 15.
Rob Helm, managing vice president of the Directions on Microsoft consultancy, explained that Microsoft's R2 releases, especially for Dynamics products, are designed not to be particularly revolutionary.
"Some Dynamics ERP teams seem to be adopting a release strategy that alternates between minor (R2) releases and major ones, with major releases at least two years apart," Helm stated in an e-mail. "The pattern is new for Dynamics, so it's hard to say how it will play out. Microsoft's R2 releases aren't usually designed to take over the world -- they just deliver useful improvements without changing core code or breaking compatibility for existing installations. Given how conservative ERP customers are, that's a good thing."
Helm added that Dynamics NAV 2009 R2, when shipped, will provide "small technical improvements for hosting partners" as well as some user interface improvements. The R2 will provide connections to Microsoft's payment card service and integrate with Dynamics CRM 4.0.
Big changes on the Dynamics NAV front will come when Microsoft releases the next generation of that product, which goes by the code name "NAV 7," Helm explained.
"Microsoft has been talking about the next major release of Dynamics NAV, which is code-named NAV 7 and which might appear in late 2011 or early 2012," Helm stated by e-mail. "All of the major business processes that Dynamics NAV covers are to get improvements in NAV 7. It's also supposed to be a major technical change that among other things drops the product's native database technology in favor of SQL Server (which was an option before), and eliminates the development tools for the product's old 'classic' client, although that client seems slated to survive until NAV 8. In short, NAV 7 is not a minor release by any measure."
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.