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Integration for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations (AX7): Improvement or Disappointment?

by Glenn McPeak
CEO, Data Masons,
October 27 2016
Gears

Microsoft undertook one of the most ambitious ERP upgrade development projects in the history of ERP when they developed what is today known as Microsoft Dynamics AX 7 (the ERP component of Dynamics 365 Enterprise).

From its inception in 1999 as Damgaard Axapta, AX has been one of the most innovative ERP platforms available. It delivered the unique combination of advanced technology coupled with robust manufacturing and distribution functionality into a market served mostly by mature legacy systems - many at the end of their technology lifecycle.

After the acquisition of Navision (Damgaard had been previously merged with Navision), Microsoft invested heavily in the AX platform resulting in vast functional enhancements and significant technology and UI enhancements. These efforts increased the appeal of the Dynamics AX platform and it became one of the fastest growing on-premise ERP solutions.

AX 7 is undoubtedly the most ambitious transformation made to AX by Microsoft and arguably one of the most remarkable in the history of ERP development. Microsoft successfully replaced the entire user interface with a gorgeous HTML 5 UI without loss of the robust feature set found in AX 2012 R3. This instantly places AX among the most functional cloud-ready ERP solutions available.

While impressive, that's not all...  Microsoft also introduced a replacement to the Application Integration Framework (AIF) - the primary vehicle for integration since 2006. This new data access framework enables external access to AX data and business objects via standard OData (Open Data) protocol using RESTful web services - a vast improvement over the proprietary AIF service. The AIF only supported SOAP based web services that were brittle and cumbersome to manage. Microsoft has stated the AIF would not ...

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About Glenn McPeak

Glenn is an expert in the electronic integration of supply chain activities with 29 Years of ERP and integrated EDI experience in system analysis, product design, software development, consulting and project management. Glenn has managed and/or executed over 250 successful ERP and EDI related projects in a wide array of manufacturing and distribution oriented industries. Glenn holds a Bachelor of Science degree with highest distinction from Babson College, is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma academic honor society and holds numerous Microsoft Certifications. Visit Data Masons to learn more about our powerful EDI solution for Dynamics, Vantage Point EDI.

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