Microsoft's next Dynamics ERP suite is live on Azure

The update includes features intended to make ERP easier to use for developers and everyday folks

Microsoft has released the next version of its Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning software, giving companies a path to running more of their businesses in the cloud.

The update, made available in Microsoft's cloud on Tuesday (including from Microsoft's Australian Azure data centres), has a new design intended to make the software easier to use, so people can get more work done. It’s all run through a browser-based portal, so people can access it wherever they are, and on any sort of device, whether that’s a desktop PC, a smartphone, or something in between. The on-premises version of the suite will be released at a later date.

Dynamics AX also connects with Microsoft’s Power BI to do data visualization, which means users can get an easy, at-a-glance look at key business metrics, and implement custom visualizations for understanding data.

Users also get additional help with complex tasks through a Task Guides feature that gives them step-by-step instructions for doing anything inside Dynamics AX. Users can also create their own guides using a Task Recorder, and share them with others.

Task Guides is also useful for troubleshooting problems with Dynamics. Users can record an instance where they ran into trouble and then share that with someone who can help them. That engineer can then look at telemetry from a customer’s Dynamics instance and see if a particular request caused a problem with the stack powering

Customers also get help implementing best practices. This release builds in a Lifecycle Services feature that allows companies to test changes to their Dynamics instance without rolling them out in production.

Businesses can spin up an instance to try out an integration and test what they have planned before rolling it out to employees, while only paying for the compute resources that they use. They’ll also get a dashboard that shows them the health of their Dynamics instance, and if their configurations are out of sync with what Microsoft recommends.

The feature is already available for Dynamics AX 2012, but it's required for use of the new Dynamics AX.

“Lifecycle Services represents a shift in how companies manage the lifecycle of an ERP system in a way that’s never really been done before,” Enterprise Application Consulting analyst Josh Greenbaum said. “The ability to test in the cloud and use the cloud’s natural elasticity and functionality to take the test, flip a switch and make it the actual production environment, that truly is magic.”

The software is delivered entirely though Microsoft Azure, and the company has spent a massive amount of time re-architecting Dynamics AX to run inside Azure.

There are currently 10 companies using the cloud-based version of Dynamics AX in production, with Microsoft boasting that 50 other customers will bring their deployments online in the coming months. They’ll be supported by an ecosystem of more than 50 integrations developed by third-party software vendors that are designed to help tailor Dynamics AX for different businesses.

Looking ahead, Microsoft will also have a version of the new Dynamics AX that can be run on-premises, like its predecessors. That’s on hold until the company releases its Azure Stack private cloud administration software, which will allow businesses to turn servers they own into an instance of Microsoft Azure that can be used by applications in the same way that they access the Azure public cloud.

Dynamics AX joins Microsoft's other cloud-based business products, including Power BI, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online, which are all aimed at letting businesses get away from running on-premises applications and focus on using Microsoft's cloud.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?