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Dynamics AX 2009 Gets Role Center, Ribbon UI

Microsoft announced this week it is shipping the latest release of its Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning (ERP) package, which adds features to let mid-sized businesses access enterprise-wide capabilities as if they were large corporations.

The update -- dubbed Dynamics AX 2009 -- supersedes AX 4, the previous version. AX 2009 adds several new functions, including multi-site capabilities, a compliance center for tracking compliance and regulatory issues, and a Role Center dashboard that lets users view "role-relevant" business intelligence.

"New multi-site capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 allow customers to manage a single, integrated view of financial and supply chain information from facilities around the world and across multiple time zones, helping organizations simplify global planning and allocation of materials and resources," according to a company statement.

Additionally, the new Compliance Center feature gives users a central console that lets them view, manage and control the processes required for a company's compliance tracking.

Meanwhile, the Role Center feature, which first debuted in Dynamics GP 10, has been added to AX in this release, a company spokesperson told InternetNews.com in an e-mail. The Role Center provides more than 30 role-centered "dashboards" that let each user view his or her prioritized task list, as well as relevant business information.

Dynamics AX 2009 also features a look and feel similar to Office 2007's "ribbon" interface – recently renamed "fluent" -- context-sensitive user interface, another feature that first debuted in Dynamics CRM 4.

The Dynamics line of products constitute the evolution of a series acquisitions that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) made over the years, including packages for ERP, customer relations management (CRM), accounting and general ledger, and retail management. Microsoft began remolding them into a cohesive product line when Chairman Bill Gates introduced the Dynamics brand in September 2005.