Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 Unveiled

Microsoft is prepping Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011, its latest ERP solution for SMBs, for release in next year's second quarter.

Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011, the company's ERP solution for small and midsize businesses will be available in the United States and other territories in the second quarter of 2011. Microsoft is also planning a Spanish version to be released at an undisclosed later date.

Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011's dashboards and tools provide insight into projects, inventory, and supply-chain management across the depth and breadth of a particular company. New features include the ability to Quick Send documents and root through databases via Quick Query's 50 pre-designed search options. The platform supports integration with Microsoft Project Server 2010, SharePoint 2010, Office 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM through Web Services.

"Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 will drive significant value for midsize, project-driven businesses with its ease of use and ability to extend connections across the entire business ecosystem," Crispin Read, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics ERP Product Management Group, said in an Oct. 5 statement. Microsoft is marketing the platform toward government, construction, professional services and industries centered on distribution.

Microsoft Dynamics' ERP and CRM products have rolled out in a handful of new versions throughout 2010. In April, Microsoft unveiled Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010, an ERP platform that includes business intelligence tools, functionality for streamlining approval scenarios for daily workflow, and interoperability with Microsoft Office Unified Communications and other software.

Microsoft has also been building out its end-to-end platforms for business processes, likely in response to similar product releases from Oracle and other rivals. Also in April, Microsoft released a version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM customized for nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations, with tools such as donation and pledge management, basic membership management, basic volunteer tracking, support for online payment solutions and campaign management.

The company has also taken pains to position the online version of its CRM as an alternative to cloud-based offerings from the likes of In a reflection of its need to appeal to cash-strapped businesses, Microsoft has been offering add-ons and services to its online CRM at no additional cost, as well as a variety of CRM Accelerators designed to help businesses pull information from social networks and Web interaction channels.

Meanwhile, Oracle has engaged in a rapid cycle of releases and add-ons throughout 2010, hinting at a strategic desire to expand its middleware stack.