Microsoft plans to ship the latest update of its Dynamics SL enterprise resource planning (ERP) application in the second quarter of next year, the company said Tuesday.
The upgraded version — dubbed Dynamics SL 2011 — will feature improved role-based dashboards and more of a Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Office look and feel, as well as more than 50 predesigned queries, and integration with the latest Microsoft server products.
"Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 [is] our ERP solution designed for mid-sized project-driven organizations," Gerice Anderson, senior product marketing manager, said in a post to the Microsoft Dynamics ERP "The Edge" Blog.
"Microsoft Dynamics SL is particularly well-suited for the construction, professional services, government contracting, and architecture and engineering fields," she added.
Dynamics SL 2011 is currently being tested by approximately 35 companies who are participants in Microsoft's Technology Adoption Program (TAP), a Microsoft spokesperson told InternetNews.com.
When it's released, it will initially be available only in English, for markets in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean, as well as Puerto Rico. A Spanish-language version for Latin American countries will be available at a later date.
In order to increase connectivity with other recently-updated Microsoft products, Dynamics SL 2011 will add integration with Microsoft Project Server 2010, SharePoint 2010, Office 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM through Web Services, according to a company statement.
The dashboards are part of Microsoft's "RoleTailored" initiative, a user-experience design approach that creates various defined user and administrative roles — and based on the look and feel of Office and Windows.
RoleTailored was introduced in 2007. The first version of Dynamics SL to begin the evolution was 7.0, the most recent version, which shipped in June 2007.
"This helps reduce the time required for people to learn how to use it and allows them to focus on the information that matters most to them," the statement said.
Also among the features added in Dynamics SL 2011, besides the Quick Query predefined search options capability, is the ability to send documents to customers and vendors from within the application.
Microsoft originally acquired the package that eventually became Dynamics SL in 2001. When it bought out Great Plains Software that year, one of the products that it got in the bargain was an accounting system called Solomon.
In 2005, chairman Bill Gates introduced a rebranding scheme for all of the Microsoft ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) tools, renaming them all with the Dynamics moniker. What started out as Solomon became Dynamics SL — soon to be Dynamics SL 2011.