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Microsoft World Partner Conference 2007 | Denver Colorado US

Dsc01427_4 Monday 09 July 2007: Pre-conference day

During the Microsoft Dynamics pre-conference day at WPC2007 a number of new things re Micrsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 and 5.1 releases were announced and a number of topics were stressed.

Speakers and audience focussed on documentation.New content and tools were announced to make it easier to customize documentation. As of 5.0 release documentation is also available re localisation features and this into the core objects ( so code comments explaining the localisation).

A new Microsoft Dynamics 5.0 VPC was announced. The VPC is available for partners in the demo center of the partner launch portal of partnersource. With this VPC partners can easily demo features as:
- document approval with email notification
- office integration
- outlook integration
- online maps
- business analytics
- employee portal
- reporting services
- ...
It was recommended to use this VPC as a server, so that you can connect with VISTA images. Microsoft Dynamics NAV demo with vista images, how cool is that! Guidelines on how to connect with VISTA images can be found on whitepaper on partnersource.

Together with the new VPC, several new demo scripts for 5.0 have been released.

The session was followed with a demo illustrating the stability and possibilities of the new 5.0 VPC.
During this demo the new outlook integration was shown. Ok, I know, we all have seen that and it still is realy nice to see this great integration possibility. But what was shown now was how to build a new form in outlook and integrate with this form. In casu a form was build showing item information from NAV. This was done through EXTRA - FORMS - FORM DESIGN in outlook. Realy cool and great opportunity to make the ultimate demo.


Also shown was the Style Sheet Tool for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0. We have already blogged about this tool (see blog item in history) but again what a tool. It is now realy easy to make your own documents in word wich are executed and populated from Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0. And this without any knowledge on C/AL or XSLT ... .Also, we can now work with ML captions in word!!. This means we can make multilanguage documents in word. This is the first version of the style sheet tool and at this point it is only available for Word, not yet for Excel.

Another strong focus point during the Microsoft Dynamics NAV pre-conference day was the value of upgrade. Upgrades allow customers to maximise the efficiency of their business and upgrades avoid that partners need to support multiple versions for their clients. To overcome the resource problem that partners suffer to do upgrades, Microsoft has launched the "upgrade service center".
This is a new competency for partners who focus on upgrading Microsoft Dynamics NAV versions. These upgrade service centers do not work directly but only for Microsoft partners.

During the key note, it was stressed that  rearding "project green" or the merge of the different products within the dynamics suite no revolution but continuous evolution is the goal. Microsoft is working towards "shared technology" for all these products but each product will still have a 5 year support window for each release. This means that for example a NAV release in 2010 will be supported untill 2015, no doubt about that.

A new Microsoft Dynamics product was announced: "Microsoft Dynamics Entrepeneur Solution".
This product is build on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and addresses small businesses up to 5 concurrent users. In first phase it will be released in UK, NL, DE an ES.

Also announced is the new version of the Microsoft Dynamics screensaver. This new version will be released at EMEA Convergence 2007 in Copenhagen. It will include the opportunity to customise this screensaver with partner logo and partner specific information which can be made available to the enduser organisation.

Software as Service (SAAS) and the Service Provider License agreement (SPLA) were also communcicated to the audience. This is about hosted Micrsoft Dynamics applications. A market were up to 30% of growth is signed up. This market knows multiple drivers. In EMEA one of the drivers is BPO: business process outsourcing. To make this work a new licence agreement was created: SPLA. This is subscription based licensing. The "Microsoft SPLA Partner" must pay for what his customers use. This cost is based on a software and infrastucture cost. All info can be fond on partnersource.

Microsoft also announced the new high standard for partner developed software: "Certified for Microsoft Dynamics". ISV/partner solutions that want to have this certification need to meet with a number of criteria:
- pass software solution test
- have 10 customer references
- partner must have a service plan
- partner must be gold certified

And finaly we saw a live demo on Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.1 !!!
As we all know: 3-tier solution with new roll-based interface and standard out of the box webservices and SQL reporting services reports.Some features that were shown:
- fasttabs
- customise action menus
- customise navigation pane
- freeze pane
- choose factboxes
- pages
- lots of sharepoint capabilities !!! add NAV webparts to standard sharepoint (no employee portal requiered)
- Webservices used with visual studio: all standard pages and codeunits can be exposed as webservice

Last but not least, a new mobile development framework for Microsoft Dynamics was announced. This is also available as of Microsoft Dynamics 5.1 version. It allows to develop mobile applications connected to Microsoft Dynamics.

As a general conclusion we can say that it was a busy day with lots of information and one big conclusion: Microsoft is investing big time in Microsoft Dynamics NAV! How cool is that ?

From your MCT reporter in Denver
Vincent Bellefroid 


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