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Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Set for December Release

Release 2 of Microsoft's Dynamics AX 2012 enterprise resource planning (ERP) product will become generally available on Dec. 1.

Microsoft made the announcement on Tuesday during its Dynamics AX Technical Conference taking place this week in Bellevue, Wash.

Dynamics AX 2012 is the current version of Microsoft's ERP solution designed for manufacturing, retail, public sector, distribution and services organizations. The forthcoming R2 release is aimed at fulfilling Microsoft's vision "for how organizations can use technology to be more agile and innovative through people who drive impact with the information, connections, and tools they need to make a difference every day," according to a blog post on Tuesday by Christian Pedersen, general manager of Microsoft's Dynamics Product Marketing Group.

Microsoft designed Dynamics AX 2012 R2 with the goal, in part, of enabling organizations to manage their global operations via a single deployment, Pedersen noted. Single-instance deployment helps trim deployment costs while providing organizations that have offices in multiple countries a shared infrastructure through which they can centralize operations. With R2, Microsoft is adding support for 11 more localizations -- China, Japan, India, Brazil, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia -- bringing the total to 36.

In addition, R2 will feature a "data partitioning" capability that lets organizations select which information can and cannot be shared between which business units, while still using the same shared infrastructure.

"Data partitioning helps IT leaders realize IT operational efficiencies because the installation and system data are still being shared," explained this earlier post on the Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX blog. "And, data partitioning makes it possible to divide application data into partitions of organizations. You will be able to share application data and processes between organizations within a partition but not across partitions."

R2 will also feature improvements to Dynamics AX 2012's business intelligence capabilities, including new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and integration with Power View, a data visualization technology that Microsoft introduced in SQL Server 2012.

The forthcoming release will also include enhancements to employee management.

"Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 includes a range of talent management improvements for your organization with more control and visibility in managing open positions and competency capabilities to ensure the right match between candidates and skills," according to Pedersen. "Improvements in compensation and benefits allow you to create a more streamlined on-boarding experience for new hires. Customers in the US can also now bring payroll processing in house where your data is fully under your control."

This Tuesday post on the Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX blog provides more details about new features coming in R2, including industry-specific improvements.

Absent from Microsoft's announcement is any mention of when a cloud-based version of Dynamics AX will become available. Microsoft last year announced that it plans to eventually deploy Windows Azure-based versions of all four of its ERP products, starting with Dynamics NAV 2013. However, that product became generally available early this month without a hosted counterpart. Microsoft has said that Windows Azure component will arrive early next year.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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