Microsoft Dynamics Technical Conference, 2016 / Day 1 Session 2
My next report from the technical conference.
Our second session on opening day, Tuesday February 23, 2016 was another general session. This one by another crowd favorite Sri Srinivasan, General Manager, Dynamics AX Platform R&D.
Today, Sri was all about the cloud. Sri talked about how the new Microsoft Dynamics AX maximizes the cloud. This wasn’t just a major release, it was a major release! 🙂 He recapped our journey from when Microsoft purchased the software, till now, and the additions/focuses of the versions:
2002 – Axapta 3.0
2006 – Dynamics AX 4.0. Platform built on delivering scale and reliability
2008 – Dynamics AX 2009. Platform scale and expanded industry footprint
2011 – Dynamics AX 2012. Built for industry, differentiated application lifecycle management through lifecycle services
2016 – Dynamics AX. Powered by Azure Cloud.
He explained how AX is now a complete solution (immersive experience, web based client, global industries, and azure cloud enabled) and has change management (integration platform, application lifecycle exp., developer experience, continuous update). In fact, the update will be like none before, and can truly be all but continuous. This is a big improvement over scheduling updates months in advance. Gone are the days of having a binder on how to perform a task in AX.
He demonstrated lifecycle services, and how the asset library enables us to deploy not just code but also data from it.
He demonstrated import, showing how we have a “recent” area where we can quick click to our more recent forms. We saw how movable help followed the cursor. We can filter a form, then add it to our workspace. We can even pin it to the dashboard.
Dynamics AX’s differentiated capabilities are:
- Change management (user training)
- Data governance
- Complete solution
Sri then gave us many more details on how the cloud is going to work. It seems MS has shifted from a time-based payment to a user based subscription. A relief for those of us who went crazy to shut down the machines at night! We can have automatic provisioning, all sorts of Azure software, we can scale, we have application lifecycle management, servicing is easier, MS manages our cloud, and we have an enhanced upgrade/update. All thanks to the cloud.
How does the AX cloud differentiate?
- Simple user based subscription
- Customer’s choice
- Deployment choice
- Packaged solution
Visual Studio has tools for us to use. The client is HTML5 running on a Windows universal app, iOS, Android. The app is AX, of course, and the data is Power BI, SSRS, SQL, Blobs, DocDBs.
Sri went over the LCS solutions and the ones on the Azure marketplace, and noted that we are the only ERP with 50 solutions on ship date! Just imagine not having to install ISVs!
He then discussed our capabilities beyond this week’s RTW – what they’re planning for the future. And as far as we’ve come, it seems we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg.
There was discussion of the Dynamics AX entity store and PowerBI, and how you can create new measures on the fly. A PowerBI license will be included with AX.
Finally, Sri showed us the Dynamics AX Roadmap. I won’t publish it here, since I don’t know if OK, but I would be surprised if it’s not on twitter already. The expectation is that we will have an on-premise/private cloud this fall, along with data upgrade. UIs and UAs will also keep coming. Microsoft asks for us to reach out to them on ways to improve the product.
And that was only the second of five sessions on the first day! The punchline here, besides what I’ve already mentioned, is that MS is eager to responsive to customers’ needs.