Microsoft reengineering Dynamics

In an attempt to further ease deployments for third-party developers, Microsoft is reengineering its Microsoft Dynamics ERP (enterprise resource planning) software.

The new version, now code-named Microsoft Dynamics AX 6, should reduce the need for customized code, and will be more tightly integrated with a range of other Microsoft software, such as SQL Server and Microsoft Office, according to the company.

The upshot will be that ISVs (independent software vendors) that build customized solutions on Dynamics should be able to get their systems running much more quickly, company officials hope. Already about 100 ISVs are testing the software, through a number of early-adopter programs.

"Many of the ISVs we are working with have their own end-to-end vertical solutions, often built on aging legacy platforms. The combination of the next-generation architecture of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft's partner programs creates a long-term sustainable business opportunity for these ISVs," said Doug Kennedy, vice president of Microsoft Dynamics Partners, in a statement.

A technical preview of the software should be available in February, with the full release expected between July and September. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 is the current production-ready version of the software.

For this release, Microsoft has reorganized the software into what it calls a layered model-driven architecture, one that should be more easily understandable to outside developers.

It is also configuring Dynamics so it can easily be hooked into the latest versions of other commonly used Microsoft software packages, including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010.

The software package will also be customized to meet the needs of a number of different industries and countries.

Microsoft has marketed its Microsoft Dynamics as a simpler alternative to large-scale ERP systems from companies such as Oracle and SAP, one that can be easily integrated with Microsoft software already in use as the customer site, such as Office. The company has relied heavily on third-party ISVs to offer custom-built solutions based on Dynamics.

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