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Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 Coming 2Q

Microsoft plans to release its Dynamics SL 2011 enterprise resource planning solution in the second quarter of next year, the company announced on Tuesday.

This solution -- one of four in the Microsoft Dynamics product line -- is marketed toward midsize organizations. It's designed to support project accounting, order management and inventory control functions. According to Microsoft's announcement, it might be used by "construction, professional services, government contracting, architecture and engineering fields."

When released, Dynamics SL 2011 will be available in English in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and the Caribbean. Microsoft is also working on a Spanish version.

Microsoft offered some reasons for customers to move to Dynamics SL 2011, touting its ease-of-use capabilities via its Microsoft Office-like user interface. The product will feature a customizable role-tailored user experience that shows what's important to each specific user. Role-specific dashboards also can be created. Information can be searched using "50 predesigned search options," which Microsoft describes as its "quick query" capability.

The search-history capability in the product works much like that function seen in a Web browser. Users can click to see past screens they've visited and then jump to them, as shown in a user interface demo here. Print-screen images can be made and shared with others. Data can be exported to Excel for analysis using that program. Microsoft added a multiple login capability that allows users to work with different entities or companies and then compare the data between them more easily, according to the demo.

As expected, Dynamics SL 2011 will integrate with Microsoft's various "2010"-branded software products through Web services. For instance, Dynamics SL 2010 will integrate with Microsoft Project Server 2010, helping organizations to synchronize their "project and accounting information," according to Microsoft's announcement.

There's also a SharePoint 2010 integration. Dynamics SL 2011 includes an icon that lets users automatically create and populate a Web site with invoices and reports. Users can create a central repository for shared reports, rather than having to distribute them to other users via e-mail, according to Microsoft's video.

Microsoft offers a video testimonial from beta tester Scott Kopald, a controller at Ventura, Calif.-based Metson Marine Services Inc. Kopald praised the multicompany login capability of the beta. He said that installing the software upgrade took less than four minutes.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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