The Dynamics AX Technical Conference 2011 started this morning with a key-note session hosted by Hal Howard, Microsoft Corporate Vice President. In his key-note Hal reveal the official name of the next version of AX: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

The overall theme in the key-note was "The general shift in ERP". Crispin Read, General Manager, joined Hal on stage explaining how we are doing things differently in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

The key-note was action packed with over 45 minutes of product demos. Hal invited several team members on stage to demonstrate new capabilities in Dynamics AX 2012.

The very first demo was conducted by Lachlan Cash, Senior Product Manager (and the driving force behind this Conference). Lachlan demonstrated the model driven development in Microsoft Visual Studio and MorphX. He showed how changes in one environment immediately are available in the other - because they are both driven from the same SQL based repository. He continued by showing how the new concept of Models allows having business logic from multiple source in the same layer - or simply modularizing your code, as the tool sets natively support models directly in the IDEs.

The next presenter on stage was Kyle Young, Principal Program Manager Lead. Kyle showed some of the many new application abstractions available in Dynamics AX 2012. Using the Enterprise Portal, where forms are driven from the same form definition as in the rich client, he showed the powerful application features built on top of Organizational Models, Workflow, Date Effectiveness, Categorization, Dimensions, Policies and Work On Behalf. 

Tom Patton, Senior Program Manager, showed the new User Experience in the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 client, and how it seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office Excel, allowing you to query data from AX, and join it with arbitrary other data sources, pivot, edit and format the data in Excel, before posting it back into AX, and finally using SQL Server Reporting Services to generate an interactive (and very appealing) report of the data from within AX.

The demos were followed by an ISV Panel consisting of Bob Hadingham, Platform Director LexisNexis, Jeff Green, CTO Tyler and Cornelius Bosch, CEO ToIncrease. They each in turn explained what Dynamics AX 2012 means for their businesses.

Let me wrap up this post by quoting one of my favorite performing artists: "It's the end of the world as we know it - and I feel fine", Michael Stipe - R.E.M.