Microsoft Targets Retailers with Dynamics POS 2009

Features of partner-delivered, next-generation point-of-sale solution include smart search and security-enhanced payment processing.

Microsoft unveiled a point-of-sale (POS) solution for midmarket retailers last month as part of its Dynamics product line.

Microsoft Dynamics POS 2009 is a standalone, premises-based offering that rides atop SQL Server Express. The software has out-of-the-box functionality that can be customized by Microsoft's partners using a software development kit (SDK).

"[Dynamics POS 2009] is flexible enough to address specific vertical markets, and it's designed to reduce training. [It] provides a great user experience as well as enhanced customer services," says Michael Griffiths, group product manager at Microsoft.

The out-of-the-box features include a smart-search capability; security-enhanced payment processing based on Payment Card Industry standards; real-time inventory management and reporting; and the SDK.

Griffiths says that partners can use the SDK to develop add-ons and integrate with Dynamics CRM and Dynamics ERP, as well as some third-party enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.

"This isn't a rigid application," Griffiths explains. "If you want to extend its capabilities, you can. In fact, it's built with migration in mind so that businesses that are growing won't have to go out and buy all-new software when they're ready to expand. It's version-resilient, and we'll keep customers up-to-date with complete product roadmaps for the future."

According to Rob Helm, vice president of research at Directions on Microsoft, the new application represents a complete rewrite of Microsoft's previous on-premises POS offerings-Dynamics POS 2.0 and Retail Management System.

"Dynamics POS 2009 sharpens Microsoft's focus on retail store management," notes Helm. "And, it showcases the .NET Framework by enabling partners to add their own capabilities to the product."

Available through Microsoft partners, Dynamics POS 2009 licenses are sold per "POS register" and include a mandatory, one-year Business Needs Enhancement Plan, along with the standard Microsoft training and support programs, says Griffiths. "It includes built-in features that store and track customer data, and it can be enhanced to include mobility and multi-channel functionality," Griffiths adds.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media.