Microsoft reconfirmed that it will be rolling out the next version of its Dynamics CRM Online service before the end of calendar 2011.
Microsoft execs committed to the delivery date during a keynote at the Worldwide Partner Conference on July 12. They also said to expect the coming release of CRM Online to be the one that will be integrated into Office 365, the bundle of Microsoft-hosted applications.
Microsoft officials said earlier this year that the company was accelerating its CRM delivery schedule and would be delivering major and minor updates of its on-premises and cloud versions of its CRM products in the coming 12 months. They said at that time that instead of the traditional three years between major releases, Microsoft Dynamics CRM will change to a semi-annual release cycle (spring and fall). The Q4 2011 CRM Online update will be an “automatic update” to Dynamics CRM Online, officials said in May, and also committed to a “scheduled update” to Dynamics CRM Online in Q2 of calendar 2012.
Disaster recovery, federated identity, security and privacy aspects will all be part of the next CRM release, officials said. New social capabilities beyond "useless chat" will be part of the update, according to Kirill Tartarinov, the head of Microsoft's Dynamics business.
At the recent launch of Office 365, Microsoft execs reiterated that the company was on track to integrate CRM Online into the existing bundle of SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. CRM Online will become an add-on to Office 365, on their same bills and same provisioning agents. Microsoft officials demonstrated the Office 365-CRM Online integration at the partner show today.
At the partner conference on Tuesday, Microsoft also announced a beta of System Center Operations Manager 2012, which will be available to testers next week, . Operations Manager provides end-to-end application service monitoring and diagnostics for Windows and Windows Azure. (Operations Manager is the Microsoft brand for the technology that the company bought from AviCode). They also demonstrated Project Concero -- the System Center portal product that will allow users to manage public and private cloud assets. The official name for Concero is now System Center App Controller. Both of these System Center deliverables will be out by the end of calendar 2011.
As expected, Microsoft also made available to testers a third Community Technology Preview (CTP) build of SQL Server "Denali," which is the coming version of SQL Server. As expected, CTP3 delivers some of the business intelligence and high-end capabilities for Denali that were not available in earlier test builds. CTP 3 includes "SQL Server AlwaysOn and Project 'Apollo' for added mission critical confidence, Project 'Crescent' for highly visual data exploration that unlocks breakthrough insights, and SQL Server Developer Tools code named 'Juneau' for a modern development experience across server, BI, and cloud development projects," according to the company.
Microsoft also rolled out Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2008 R2 on Tuesday.
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