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Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012: Powerful Yet Simple ERP

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 was launched on August 1st, 2011, which followed the release of the Cumulative Update 1 on August 4.

Dynamic AX 2012 is a “Microsoft’s ERP solution designed for enterprises with 200 to 7,500 users that empowers people to anticipate and embrace change. It helps employees be more productive and increases the value of data by providing all people in the organization with access to critical business information and processes. The single, global solution promotes rapid adoption because it’s simple to learn and use, and provides the agility needed to expand business opportunities, modify processes, and differentiate your business.”

“A major theme in the development of AX 2012 was simplicity. For the user experience team, this meant focusing on the people who use the product. We worked hard to understand how they use it and how we can make it as easy as possible for them to navigate, to find relevant data, and to complete tasks quickly and effectively. We call this approach RoleTailored Design: an approach that focuses on the person doing the work, so that we can get rid of the noise-what you don’t need-and make it easier for you to do what you need to do. This resulted in some major enhancements to the user interface and the user experience, making Dynamics AX 2012 what we think is the most familiar, easy-to-use business application yet to hit the market,” stated Luke Shave, Sr. Industry Marketing Manager.

“When designing features for AX2012 we relied on our research to understand what tasks a user performs most frequently, and then optimized the experience to allow the user to easily complete those tasks. The tasks the users perform less frequently are still supported but may require a few additional steps. Our goal was to get the less frequently used functionality out of the way, so it doesn’t interfere with the frequent day to day work,” Shave added.

Here’re some of the cool features of the new user interface:

  • Fact Boxes present information in the context of the task. For example, for someone processing a sales order, when they type a customer name, we filter the list of customers and then use Fact Boxes to display contact information, open orders, quotes, and recent activity for the selected customer. The display is optimized to give you the most relevant information in the moment that you need it; if you want additional information, you can easily click in to that.

  • Activity Ribbons – like the Ribbon at the top of the Office 2010 screen, organize commands based on the types of activities you need to accomplish, for example, making a sale or processing invoices. This ensures that we present commands and functionality in the context of a particular task and that you benefit from consistency with other Microsoft desktop applications.

  • Streamlined interface: In AX 2012, the typical user only sees the commands that relate to their role or their security permissions. So, for example, a warehouse worker who’s doing “pick and pack” processes may see only a single tab, whereas an accounts receivable clerk might have access to customer information and credit history.
  • Fast Tabs are another way we’ve reduced information overload. By organizing the information into regions in AX 2012, users can expand or collapse sections as needed. With the tabs collapsed, the solution presents a very concise summary of the information needed at a glance. And then, if you want to, you can expand specific areas and scroll through the more detailed information. Fast Tabs also support hyperlinks so that you can quickly access related forms,” explains Shave.

Watch this short video with Senior UX Lead, Kevin Honeyman:

You can download Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 here, and Cumulative Update 1 here.

[Via: Microsoft Dynamics ERP “The Edge” Blog]

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