Microsoft releases Dynamics AX 2009, which integrates its ERP suite under a seamless interface.
After years of promises, Microsoft has finally released a new version of its
Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning suite that integrates what were
diverse application components into a seamless package.
Dynamics AX 2009, a suite of accounting, financial, customer relationship
and supply chain management applications, was released June 2. The package is
designed to enable small to midsize companies to build single, integrated views
of financial and supply chain data from branch offices around the world.
It's a significant advance from the previous version, AX 4.0, released in
mid-2006, which was still an amalgamation of separate ERP products acquired
over the previous five years, including Great Plains Software, Navision,
Solomon Software and Axapta, and its own Microsoft CRM.
"They have done a really good job of integrating the Microsoft
technologies," said Ray Wang, principal analyst with Forrester Research. "I
think this is probably the first release there they have really put together
everything they have had internally and put it to use," he said. "In the
previous releases you could tell that there were parts [from] different
companies that were acquired" over the years.
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Back in 2003, Microsoft announced "Project Green," a massive programming
effort to integrate these diverse components into a single code base. However,
that project faltered and it took until this year to produce an integrated ERP
suite running under a seamless interface.
With the new version Microsoft has "actually done a good job of optimizing
with SQL Server," Wang said. SQL Server transaction response times have
improved two or three times over or earlier versions, he said.
The role-based user experience presents a user interface application
functionality that is optimized for more than 70 business "personas," such as
"April the accounting clerk or Vince the shipping or operations manager," Wang
said. This makes it easier for information workers to get right to work with
the application components that are optimized for their business role.