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Microsoft's Generation AX For ERP

Microsoft has announced significant architectural advancements to the next version of its Microsoft Dynamics AX Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool. Code-named "Microsoft Dynamics AX 6," the enhancements have been brought forward to try and enable independent software vendors (ISVs) with the power to get products to market faster with lower product life-cycle investments.

New to the table in Microsoft Dynamics AX 6 is a model-driven layered architecture that the company says will accelerate software development through less coding than building from scratch. In addition to new developer maintenance and upgradability options, there is pre-built interoperability with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 — and other Microsoft technologies such as Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010

Essentially, this is a unified ERP solution with pre-built capabilities for five industries and 38 countries. Microsoft is using this announcement to try and show developers that it can help reduce the time they spend on technical integration and compatibility issues, while at the same time, increase the breadth of developer resources available.

"Microsoft Dynamics AX 6 brings functionality, advanced architecture, and the full power of the Microsoft stack to the business application developer," said Hal Howard, corporate vice president, Microsoft Dynamics ERP research and development. "As we introduce these new innovations, we maintain our focus on simplicity by streamlining application deployment, maintenance and upgradability."

"Many of the ISVs we are working with have their own end-to-end vertical solutions, often built on aging legacy platforms. The combination of the next-generation architecture of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft's partner programs creates a long-term sustainable business opportunity for these ISVs," said Doug Kennedy, vice president, Microsoft Dynamics Partners. "We are already seeing strong momentum for the solution with ISVs."

A Community Technical Preview of Microsoft Dynamics AX 6 is planned for February, and general availability is planned for the third quarter of 2011.

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