For our almost 200 Dynamics SL clients here in Minnesota and surrounding states, Dynamics SL 2011 was significant. Most of our clients have upgraded with few issues due to the stability and testing that was done to this product prior to its release.
In the end the item that people have liked by far has been the availability of the Quick Query functionality that was added. This tool has been tremendous in terms of raw data dumps that people have wanted for years. Getting data out is no longer a problem due to the fact that this “module” (included with the System Manager for free) gives users access to the data using field names that users see in screens rather than difficult to use database table names with database field names-which tend to be less intuitive.
Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 further extends existing IT investments by supporting integration with Microsoft Project Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM via Web Services. Integration with Microsoft Project Server 2010 brings project management and project accounting together by adding functionality that reduces redundant data entry and provides synchronization of project and accounting information. The creation and viewing of budgeting and net profit information, from Project Server 2010, now becomes practical. In addition, interoperability with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 offers users the versatility to access data from anywhere, and adapt to specific project needs. This helps drive improved business insight and value across Dynamics SL using organizations.
R2 for Dynamics SL 2011 is scheduled to come out toward the end of this calendar year-2012. Additional web services will be available such as Project Time Entry and Project Expense Entry. This is significant, as one of the areas that Dynamics SL is often enhanced from an ISV perspective is in the area of resource scheduling. Many resource scheduling products such as Dovico and Clarizen tend to have their own time and expense entry tools.
According to Microsoft, here are additional enhancements we are looking forward to helping our clients take advantage of:
- Office 365 Support
- Hard Close by module
- Suppress batch control reports by module (This one I can remember since the Solomon III DOS days.)
- Project Flex Time support for multiple invoice comment entry
- Calculate and store actual versus provisional indirect costs
- Introduction of Business Analyzer (BA)
- Dashboard for business decision makers
- View Microsoft SQL Server Reports
- Report collaboration through Microsoft Lync
- Deploys independent of Dynamics SL
- Quick Query Enhancements
- BA Report Generation Wizard
- Report wizard used to create SSRS Reports from Quick Query
So as we have our event for our Dynamics SL clients this June at the new and nice Microsoft Technology Center in Edina, MN (suburb of Minneapolis), we look forward to these enhancements that should make a difference. Dynamics SL did quite well in our “Shootout” last month for project-centric services organizations. The multi-company capable of Dynamics SL 2011 that allows users to keep open multiple companies at the same time, was far more popular than we expected.
This screen shot shows the journal transactions screen open in one firm and the voucher entry screen open in another. The screen does not show that multiple screens could be open in each company or even multiple batches of the same screen in the same company. The Multi-Company capabilities in Dynamics SL 2011 improved the usability of an already very impressive module.
Jack Boyer, CPA(inactive), MCP | President