TECH ED - Dynamics NAV first MS business app on Vista

Microsoft talked up some of the upcoming features in new versions of its business applications including running on its Vista operating system.

Microsoft's Dynamics NAV 5.0 will be the first of the vendor's ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications to run on its upcoming Windows Vista operating system come 2007, Microsoft executives said Monday.

The software giant is midway through bringing out new versions of its major business applications. These releases mark the first wave in a two-phase road map that will result in a single code base for all four of Microsoft's ERP offerings -- Dynamics NAV, AX, GP and SL -- and its customer relationship management product, Dynamics CRM, starting in 2008.

Soon after Dynamics NAV 5.0 appears early in 2007, Microsoft expects to come out with Dynamics GP 10 ERP software, according to James Utzschneider, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics marketing. He and colleague Darren Laybourn, general manager, Microsoft Dynamics tools, spoke Monday at the vendor's Tech Ed user conference in Boston.

Microsoft is hoping to boost usage of its ERP and CRM (customer relationship management) applications by making the software easier to use and integrating it more closely with its other products, notably its Office desktop application suite, its SQL Server database and its SharePoint Web portal as well as its Windows operating systems.

The company is gradually moving out proprietary pieces of its applications and replacing them with common Microsoft functionality.

For example, Dynamics AX 5.0 due out next year, will rely on the vendor's Visual Studio development tools not the current MorphX tools. The upcoming release will also enable developers to use Microsoft's Visual C++ or Visual Basic programming languages, although Microsoft has no plans to discontinue support for the current X++ offering used at present in Dynamics AX.

Microsoft expects to deliver a first take on Dynamics AX 5.0 to ISVs (independent software vendors) in October, according to the executives.

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