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Microsoft Announces Global Release of Dynamics AX 2012

Microsoft released its Dynamics AX 2012 product today, putting the enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution up for sale in 25 countries

The current product supports 23 languages. More country support will be rolled out "in the coming months," according to a Dynamics community blog post. Microsoft envisions an eventual roll out of Dynamics AX 2012 to 36 countries all told, according to an April Microsoft white paper (PDF).

Some product details about the new ERP solution were described in January at the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical conference. Microsoft touted a model-driven layered architecture in Dynamics AX 2012 to enable greater customization by developers and partners while writing less code. Microsoft also promoted the interoperability capabilities of Dynamics AX 2012 with other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010.

The product can be deployed on premises today, but Microsoft eventually plans cloud-based versions of all of its ERP systems. At the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that Dynamics NAV will go into the cloud early next year, with the rest of Microsoft's ERP solutions to follow. (Dynamics ERP solutions include AX, NAV, GP and SL.) Microsoft is also highlighting interoperability with its Dynamics CRM products, both on-premises and online, via a new connector that was announced in February.

Out of the box, Dynamics AX 2012 supports up to 40 roles in an organization. In addition, security can be assigned by IT pros based on those roles, according to Microsoft's white paper. The system supports business intelligence capabilities through interoperability with Excel and PowerPivot. In addition, it works with SQL Server Reporting Services to deliver "over 800 out-of-the-box reports," according to the white paper.

Microsoft is also claiming that Dynamics AX 2010 can be easily set up using Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Services. This questionnaire-like setup system, announced at the Worldwide Partner Conference, is designed to make life easier for partners setting up systems for clients. A Microsoft blog claims that the setup time was reduced from four to five days to less than 15 minutes. RapidStart Services run via Microsoft's cloud-based Windows Azure platform.

The city of Redmond, Wash. piloted an early launch of Dynamics AX 2012 in July. Microsoft also announced a few other deployments by its Technology Adoption Program early adopters, including Hydra-Power Systems and Ferranti Computer Systems.

Microsoft is planning a "global launch event" for Dynamics AX 2012 on September 8. This showcase event will feature talks by CEO Steve Ballmer and Kirill Tatarinov, president of the Microsoft Business Solutions Division.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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