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Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Reaches General Availability

The R3 version of Microsoft's Dynamics AX 2012 enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution was released on Thursday.

Dynamics AX 2012 R3 is currently available in 36 countries, according to Microsoft's announcement. It can be accessed via the Microsoft CustomerSource and PartnerSource portals. Organizations can also test the solution in a demo environment via the new Dynamics Lifecycle Services component.

Unlike the R2 version, Dynamics AX 2012 R3 is available as a Microsoft Azure-hosted solution sold through Microsoft partners, as well as an on-premises solution. Two other Microsoft ERP products, Dynamics GP 2013 and Dynamics NAV 2013, are already available with the option to be deployed as cloud-hosted solutions. So far, Microsoft has not indicated whether it will provide this option with Dynamics SL, its fourth ERP product.

Other changes include a new framework for creating and deploying "modern" apps. First announced at this year's Convergence conference, Microsoft describes the app framework as being aimed at helping organizations "connect their custom-built modern apps from outside the organization's firewall with Microsoft Dynamics AX. The framework uses the cloud [Microsoft Azure] for communication between the mobile devices and Dynamics AX."

This Microsoft .PDF details other new features in Dynamics AX 2012 R3.

Additionally, Microsoft said it is adding two years to the mainstream support period for those who upgrade to or purchase Dynamics AX 2012 R3. Mainstream support is now scheduled to end on Oct. 11, 2018. The extended support is intended to "provide all customers with the standard product support lifecycle transition timeline," according to Microsoft. "This extended support timeline gives customers more flexibility to choose the best timing for their business to upgrade to the next major release."

Microsoft in February announced that Dynamics AX 2012 R3 will have a changed pricing model. The solution is still available via the server plus CAL licensing plan. However, the Enterprise CAL tier will be priced lower, while the Functional CAL tier will be priced slightly higher since it now includes more capabilities, according to Microsoft. Likewise, the Server license will cost more due to its expanded capabilities.

About the Author

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