Keeping up with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM codenames

Keeping up with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM codenames

Summary: Microsoft looks to have new CRM releases slated for every quarter this calendar year, according to the latest roadmap.


As Microsoft's Convergence -- its annual Dynamics CRM and ERP conference -- fast approaches, it seems like a good time to update the Dynamics team's codename list and roadmap.


The Dynamics CRM engineering team is seeking input from Convergence attendees (who agree to non-disclosure agreements) on prototypes they're building in the salesforce-automation, Yammer/social media and marketing campaign automation. Microsoft bought MarketingPilot last year to beef up its marketing-automation capabilities.

The Dynamics CRM roadmap to which these future technology tweaks will be made is already largely in place. I found a few references on various sites to Microsoft's codenames for the next few versions of CRM updates coming down the pike.

(It looks as if Microsoft has been sharing its CRM roadmap with its Dynamics partners and allowing them to go public with it. When I asked officials for comment on these latest codenames and roadmaps, I was told Microsoft hasn't announced any of these officially. Official or not, it seems to me like this information is coming from Microsoft.)

"Polaris," the CRM update Microsoft released to manufacturing in December and rolled out broadly in January 2013, was the first of the coming refreshes. Up next, according to a February post on the blog of Microsoft CRM partner Tr@viata:

Gemini (due in Q2 calendar year 2013): This is the updated MarketingPilot technology, which may be officially branded as "Microsoft Dynamics Marketing." This addition is expected to include a revised UI with the "flat" Office 2013 look and feel; integratin with Dynamics CRM; new social media capabilities; updated digital-asset management and more. Microsoft officials said last year they'd be sharing publicly plans for MarketingPilot integration at Convergence 2013.

Orion (due in Q3 calendar year 2013): This update is supposedly a major one and may be released as "Dynamics CRM 2013." It will feature the flat "Office 2013" look and feel for both Online and Offline; changes to Classic Forms: Direct Exchange integration (bypassing Outlook) based on the Exchange "Agave" framework; and the on-premises version of Dynamics CRM for iPad.

According to a post from the fall of 2012 on MSDynamicsWorld, the Orion release also could be the one where the promised Windows 8 version of Dynamics CRM finally debuts.

Leo (due in Q4 calendar year 2013): Classic Forms should be fully dropped. iphone and Android support should be live

Vega (due in calendar year 2014): Should add mobile offline support and hybrid marketing application changes

As MSDynamicsWorld noted last fall, the Dynamics CRM team is moving the same way that the other Microsoft Business Division teams are, in terms of cadence. The Online version of Dynamics CRM will be getting regular (at least twice a year) updates; the on-premises Dynamics CRM product supposedly will be getting an annual update only, going forward, according to MSDynamicsWorld.

Microsoft Convergence 2013 kicks off in New Orleans on March 18.

Topics: Social Enterprise, iOS, Microsoft,, Windows 8


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Big ships don't turn quickly or easily!

    It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can keep to this update schedule for its cloud solution be it that it has failed do so so thus far, challenged to move from its product based update every 3 years to a cloud one where clients expect often 3-4 major update cycles a year!

    Following this will be whether the updates they can deliver will be robust, secure and reliable unlike their product based updates leaving users with a constant flow of patches and security updates (we all know the here we go again 23 Microsoft updates message when we power down our machines!).

    Add to this the regular occurrences of Microsoft cloud system outages from Dynamics through to Azure (another only this past week caused by an error internally with an expired certificate! Microsoft is used to having long cycle times on updates and time to roll update patches into the mix. The cloud is far less forgiving and time will tell on how Microsoft can adjust to a very different world. Big ships take time to turn!

    Ian Moyse
  • Nice names!

    I have stars in my eyes... :-)