Microsoft names next-gen Dynamics AX ERP solution

'Dynamics AX 2012' to be released in the third quarter of 2011

Microsoft has announced the formal product name of its next-generation Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning solution.

"Dynamics AX 2012" is the new name for the product, which just last week was known only by its "6" code name. The announcement came as part of the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference, which kicked off in full force yesterday. The event continues this week at Microsoft's campus at Redmond, Wash.

The name change has nothing to do with product availability. Microsoft still expects to release Dynamics AX 2012 in the third quarter of 2011.

For this release, Microsoft has been promoting better support for developers and partners through an improved integration with other Microsoft software, as well as a model-driven layered architecture that offers better controls and less coding.

Microsoft made those changes in Dynamics AX 2012 to address company needs, according to Guy Weismantel, a director of ERP marketing at Microsoft.

"Companies today do not have the time or interest to send dozens of employees to multi-week trainings; they do not have the resources in their IT departments to maintain a multitude of outdated, unsupported applications and continue to patch them together," Weismantel wrote in a Microsoft blog announcing the name change.

In addition to making things simpler for developers via modeling, Microsoft has a tighter integration between Dynamics AX 2012 and other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010. This integration reduces the need to use middleware with Dynamics AX 2012, according to Kees Hertogh, a director at Microsoft Business Solutions, who provided an interview to Dynamics developer Brandon George in this blog post.

The integration is particularly notable with Office 2010, according to Hertogh. He said that Microsoft has been "blurring the lines" between the user interfaces of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and Microsoft Office 2010. Hertogh also said in the interview that SSRS, or SQL Server Reporting Services, will work "more natively" with the new Dynamics AX release.

In other Dynamics news, Microsoft announced market expansion plans for Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail R2. The news was delivered at last week's National Retail Federation conference. Dynamics AX for Retail R2 was released in August, but Microsoft now predicts product availability in more than 50 countries by Feb. 1 of this year.

Microsoft also launched Dynamics CRM 2011 Online this week.

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