I apologize beforehand to those of you following my blog that it's been a while since I have posted updates here. We have been rather busy with releasing the next version of our partner tools as well as completing new features for the next version on Dynamics AX.

That being said, I thought now is a good time to cover some of the things we have been working on as well as what the team I'm responsible for is charged with.

If you're a Dynamics AX partner implementing Dynamics AX you should know that we have released a new version of the SureStep Rapid Configuration Tool as well as the Task Recorder for Dynamics AX. You can get the new version as a download from PartnerSource.  These tools go hand in hand with the newly released Microsoft Dynamics SureStep methodology. We have spent a good chunk of time making it Dynamics AX product specific with content and tools support. The goal with all of this is of course to help you implement Dynamics AX in a more efficient manner.

Business Modeling 

Another tool you may want to take a look at is the "Sure Step Business Modeler". This tool can be used to browse/create/edit a representation of a company organizational structure as well as role descriptions and repository of process diagrams in the form of bitmaps. It comes pre-populated with the "Customer Model" data we use at Microsoft when we are modeling our target customers and users. 

Sure Step Business Modeler

We are currently working on how we want to take process modeling further. We realize most partners today are using Microsoft Visio in one form or another - but also that they could use some help organizing the content in those Visio files - and ensure that best practices and more reuse occurs from one implementation to the next. Feel free to comment on what YOU think is needed in this area - and whether the Business Modeler tool is helpful in your daily work.

Developer Tools

Another area my team has in mind is the MorphX environment with all its tools for developers. There is no doubt that what we do here has a significant impact on the partner productivity - since most partners spend a fair bit of time using the MorphX environment to customize the application.

We are looking at how we want to take the MorphX environment further - and especially in relation to Microsoft Visual Studio. With the next version of Microsoft Dynamics AX, a new repoting tool will be released based on Visual Studio. In short - you will be able to use all the power of Visual Studio to write production-grade reports against Dynamics AX.

In my view the MorphX environment is second-to-none when it comes to developing business application. The blend between a strong model driven repository and a unique set of runtime capabilities means that you can be highly productive as an application developer. The mix between well-known features like the layer architecture, the runtime layout of forms and reports and the tree-like approach to designnng makes it super useful when you are fast forwarding on prototypes. It's even been seen that customization was done during a pre-sales pitch...However, it's also a known fact that many developers lives for the strong set of capabilities found in Visual Studio and .net. . What do you feel would be the optimal mix?. What would your dream development environment look like? Let me know with a comment to my blog.