Microsoft Business Solutions unit and its partners are testing new Web-service add-ons to Microsofts ERP and CRM applications by making code available under various Microsofts Shared Source licenses.
Microsoft quietly has been posting these add-ons to workspaces on its GotDotNet source-code hosting site since last fall. Like the MSN business unit, MSB (Microsoft Business Solutions) is testing out potential new products and code samples by sharing them via "Sandbox" test sites, company officials said.
The most recent Sandbox project, which MBS unveiled officially on February 20, is a family of "Snap Dynamics" tools that are designed to bridge Microsoft Office 2003 with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 and Dynamics/AX (formerly Axapta) ERP products. Microsoft is making the Snap code for these first Snap tools available under the Shared Source Permissive license. And more Shared Source Snap tools are in the pipeline, officials said.
The Permissive License, known as Ms-PL, is considered the least restrictive of Microsofts Shared Source licenses, allowing individuals to "view, modify and redistribute the source code for either commercial or non-commercial purposes," according to the company.
"MBS has been leading the charge internally in using these licenses," said David Dennis, group manager of Microsofts Dynamics/SL product line.
But there are other MBS projects incubating in the GotDotNet Sandboxes, too.
In December 2005, Microsoft posted to GotDotNet a mashup of Dynamics 3.0 and MapPoint, its online mapping service. Such a mashup could allow customers to customize the Dynamics CRM contact form to show a MapPoint map displaying a contacts address.