As tablets and other mobile devices begin to take the place of the traditional office desktop, employees are increasingly using mobile devices to access data, offer sales quotes, check inventory and financial data and more. So it’s no surprise that enhancements to improve cloud access and mobility will be heavily featured in Microsoft’s upcoming Dynamics AX 7 release.
Also known as Dynamics AX 2015 and Rainier, this is already a much anticipated release.
Dynamics AX is Microsoft’s most robust enterprise resource planning software. With simple integration tools and high levels of flexibility, AX is a popular platform among developers, VARs and ISVs for extending greater industry functionality and customizing processes inside AX. In Dynamics AX 7, there will be further enhancements that started in Dynamics AX 2012 R3 to make AX more customizable in the cloud with smoother integration.
Delivery through the Cloud
Microsoft has announced that Dynamics AX 7 is going to be a cloud-first application. This follows a trend that we have seen amongst other Microsoft flagship products. The latest update take full advantage of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, Windows Server and the Microsoft Cloud OS. In fact, Microsoft has said that AX 7 2015 will initially launch on Azure only and won’t appear for on premise deployments until 6 months later.
Moving Dynamics onto Azure and into the cloud provides a wider range of benefits. It will be easier to integrate the system with other cloud-based Microsoft products like Office 365. It also makes it easier to use Dynamics globally across multiple devices. Cloud deployment can also make Dynamics more accessible to businesses without an extensive information technology infrastructure.
A Focus on Mobile Access
It is also expected that Dynamics AX 7 is going to be available across a wide range of mobile devices, making it operational on nearly any modern smartphone or tablet. This becomes increasingly necessary as the business world becomes hooked on cloud and wants all operations and business data to be available at any time and from any location. Having access to real-time data from Dynamics through a mobile device will provide employees and business owners with better information to make informed decisions on the go, without having to get back to an office or a main workstation.
Best-in-Class Lifecycle Services Management
Expect to see best-in-class lifecycle services management with Dynamics AX 7. It is predicted that Microsoft is going to maintain and expand on the Lifecycle Services that are already in place. This type of management is available to anyone using the latest upgrade of Dynamics whether it is deployed on local systems or across the cloud. Best-in-class lifecycle services management means improving the reliability and quality of the Dynamics implementation used by any given business. It will also make rolling out new custom features less of a hassle. SaaS plaza is a member of the Microsoft LCS TAP program for AX7 and is providing technical input to match our AX on Azure services with Microsoft LCS for the new AX version.
New Web-Based Client
Another change coming is that Dynamics AX 7 is will be accessible through a web-based client instead of a Windows desktop client. This means any shared in user will be able to access the Dynamics database through a basic web browser instead of needing to install customized applications on every system and device. Thus Web-based clients allow anyone in any location to access the different Dynamics modules. Having common web-based clients can improve productivity and facilitate business-wide collaboration on projects online regardless of location.
Streamlined HTML5 User Experience
The user experience in Dynamics AX 7 is based on the same framework used in Windows 8, and being improved upon in Windows 10. This interface uses the hypertext markup language version 5 (HTML5) as a base. The HTML5 interface is designed to be lightweight and intuitive. It is context sensitive and the AX redesign is a dramatic departure from the normally bland windows and menus that have been found in previous versions of Dynamics AX. The new environment brings Dynamics in line with many other current Microsoft products. It will also make it easier to use Dynamics on mobile devices without a mouse or keyboard.
Incremental Updates Instead Of Versioned Releases
Following the pattern that has been adopted by many other cloud-first software developers, Microsoft will end version-based releases of Dynamics similar to what was done with Office 365. Replacing the strict versioning system will be an approach based on the deployment platform. Each Dynamics platform will receive updates whenever necessary instead of re-releasing the entire software suite. This will make it easier to stay current since compatibility problems will no longer be an issue with incremental upgrades.
Another feature that is likely coming to Dynamics AX 7 is a more flexible licensing scheme based on subscriptions. The traditional Microsoft licensing model was sometimes cumbersome especially for businesses that had seasonal fluctuations in volume. Buying extra licenses that might never be used is impractical. The new model is more flexible allowing businesses to buy subscriptions to use Dynamics as needed and then cancel them later. Check out the current Microsoft Dynamics Subscription Licensing.