The Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference 2012 started this morning with a keynote session from Christian Pedersen and Hal Howard.

Among the many announcements was the General Availability date for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2: December 1st 20212.

Hal's talk also covered some pretty cool features in R2:

  • Global support in one instance - all the localized features are now part of the foundation SYS layer, allowing you to use a single instance globally.
  • Data Partitions - allowing you to have data separation within the same instance
  • BI enhancements. Milinda Vitharana joined Hal on stage and showcased how data from various sources can be mashed up to provide great KPIs and data visualization. Well deserved spontaneous applause when Milinda showed a Bing map annotated with customer locations, their amounts due, sliced by their credit rating.
  • Retail enhancements. Balaji Balasubramanian showed the capabilities of the retail shopping experience offered by Dynamics AX 2012 R2 on Microsoft SharePoint 2012. I'm not sure what impressed me the most: The fact that the data was provided and managed by AX or that the framework offered an equally great experience on a phone as on a larger form factor device. A lot less effort is now required to deliver a much richer shopping experience for customers.

And there was some cool give aways too: A free copy of the eBook version of Inside Dynamics AX 2012 - and a lucky man from Germany won a ride in a Formula 1 Lotus car.