Microsoft today offered a preview of new features planned for the next release of its Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning (ERP) package, including new technologies meant to simplify and speed development of third-party applications on the platform.
The new version, which is codenamed Dynamics AX "6," is being built on the most recent release — Dynamics AX 2009 — according to a Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) statement.
Developers are slated to be able to try out the new features coming in AX 6 beginning in February when Microsoft plans to ship a community technical preview (CTP) — a preview release that usually precedes beta test. Final shipment of AX 6 is planned for the third quarter.
While the company has not yet released the official name for AX 6, it may be instructive that before its release, its predecessor, AX 2009, had been codenamed AX "5."
AX 2009shipped in June 2008, and added Role Center dashboards, a Compliance Center, and multi-site capabilities, along with Office 2007's "ribbon" user interface.
Among the features that Microsoft's engineers are prepping for AX 6 is a new model-driven, layered architecture.
"[The] architecture accelerates software development, requiring less coding than building from scratch and easing maintenance and upgradability," the company's statement said.
AX 6 will also feature technologies to enable the Microsoft ERP system to interoperate with other Microsoft enterprise products — what the company refers to as the Microsoft Application Platform. The platform constitutes interoperability code to take advantage of the company's servers, such as SQL Server 2008 Release 2 (R2), Visual Studio 2010, and SharePoint 2010, as well as Office 2010.
"[We'll also have] a unified ERP solution with pre-built capabilities for five industries and 38 countries," the statement said.
Microsoft made the disclosure just a week before its sold out Dynamics AX Technical Conference 2011on the company's Redmond, Wash. campus.