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Microsoft Business Solutions Get Incremental Enhancements

Microsoft’s Business Solutions group this week made a flurry of small but substantial announcements regarding upgrades and additions to the company’s Dynamics branded line of CRM and ERP applications.

The statements came at the company’s Convergence 2006 conference for Microsoft Dynamics customers in Dallas – the tenth annual such meeting the company has held.

Microsoft announced that it has come out with a version of its Dynamics CRM 3.0 for hosting services companies. Dynamics 3.0 Professional Edition for Service Providers provides hosting capabilities and new application connectors, the company said in statements online. CRM 3.0 originally shipped in December.

The prepackaged connectors and templates are aimed at delivering real-time connections to Microsoft Dynamics ERP products as well as to third-party CRM and ERP applications, such as Siebel, SAP and Oracle. The connectors will be delivered over the next year beginning immediately with an updated connector for Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Microsoft officials also previewed Dynamics AX 4.0, which is due out later this year. Dynamics AX provides multi-language, multicurrency enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools for building composite applications that make use of business logic and data from multiple systems as well as provide collaboration capabilities within and across companies, according to Microsoft statements.

Version 4.0 will feature extensive support for SharePoint Services, deliver Microsoft’s Application Integration Framework and pre-defined Web services, and provide a high level of integration with SQL Server, the company said.

Microsoft also announced it is shipping Dynamics GP 9.0 Extensions, a set of enhancements to its Dynamics GP 9 ERP solution. The update adds audit trails and electronic signatures, which can help provide compliance with FDA regulations as well as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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