Microsoft previews Dynamics AX 4.0 ERP

Microsoft previews Dynamics AX 4.0 ERP

Version 4.0 of Microsoft’s enterprise resource planning suite promises to make management and analysis easier

Microsoft previewed version 4.0 of its Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, at its annual Convergence customer event in Dallas this week. The product features several new tools to make management easier.

Dynamics AX 4.0, due in June, integrates with SQL Server so users can perform business intelligence (BI) analysis of any data within the application; and SharePoint-based portal technology, which supports roles-based user interfaces.

In line with Microsoft’s Dynamics Wave 1 roadmap the user interface is designed to have the look and feel of Office, to boost usability and productivity, while its web services architecture enables developers to quickly and easily customise the application, according to Dynamics AX general manager, Mark Jensen.

“There’s a good out-of-the-box set of functionality and business users also have the ability to get the [application] exactly as they want it,” said Jensen. “In my opinion AX 4.0 is the most adaptable, customisable and configurable solution for business management software.”

Wizard tools enable a quick set-up; and an upgrade management function will allow firms to easily upgrade to the next version without losing their configuration changes, Jensen added.

Nigel Montgomery of analyst firm AMR said that although the offering had impressive features. “It has been blown out of all proportion by the market, so I don’t think it will be the panacea everyone expects.”

Also at Convergence, Microsoft announced extensions to its Dynamics GP 9 ERP product, designed to enable easier compliance with regulations such as the US Sarbanes-Oxley regulations.

An audit-trail function allows users to track and report on changes to data within Dynamics GP or third-party software, while electronic signatures enable firms to tighten authentication with a dual-signature authorisation feature, according to Microsoft.