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Microsoft Releases Dynamics AX 2012 Globally

Microsoft made its Dynamics AX 2012 product generally available in 25 countries on Monday.

Currently, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution supports 23 languages, but more country support will be rolled out "in the coming months," according to a Dynamics community blog post. In a whitepaper released in April (PDF), Microsoft stated its plan to eventually roll out Dynamics AX 2012 to a total 36 countries.

Microsoft outlined some of the product's details at the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical conference in January, where the company touted Dynamics AX 2012's model-driven layered architecture to enable greater customization by developers and partners while writing less code. Microsoft also promoted the interoperability capabilities of Dynamics AX 2012 with other Microsoft products, such as Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010.

The product can be deployed on premises starting Monday, but Microsoft eventually plans cloud-based versions of all of its ERP systems. At the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in July, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that Dynamics NAV will go into the cloud early next year, with the rest of Microsoft's ERP solutions to follow. (Dynamics ERP solutions include AX, NAV, GP and SL.) Microsoft is also highlighting interoperability with its Dynamics CRM products, both on-premises and online, via a new connector that was released in February.

Out of the box, Dynamics AX 2012 supports up to 40 roles in an organization. In addition, security can be assigned by IT pros based on those roles, according to Microsoft's whitepaper. The system supports business intelligence capabilities through interoperability with Excel and PowerPivot. In addition, it works with SQL Server Reporting Services to deliver "over 800 out-of-the-box reports," according to the whitepaper.

Microsoft is also claiming that Dynamics AX 2010 can be easily set up using Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Services. This questionnaire-like setup system, announced at WPC, is designed to make life easier for partners setting up systems for clients. A Microsoft blog claims that the setup time was reduced from four to five days to under 15 minutes. RapidStart Services run via Microsoft's cloud-based Windows Azure platform.

The city of Redmond, Wash. piloted an early launch of Dynamics AX 2012 in July. Microsoft also announced a few other deployments by its Technology Adoption Program early adopters, including Hydra-Power Systems and Ferranti Computer Systems.

Microsoft is planning a "global launch event" for Dynamics AX 2012 on Sept. 8. This showcase event will feature talks by CEO Steve Ballmer and Kirill Tatarinov, president of the Microsoft Business Solutions Division.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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