Microsoft Project and SharePoint Integration Enhancements in Dynamics AX 2012 R2 CU7
Microsoft has recently made available the CU7 release of the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 ERP system. As a provider of Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP solutions to the professional services industry, we’ve been anxiously awaiting the CU7 release due to the addition of some significant enhancements to the Project Management & Accounting functionality in Dynamics AX. This blog is the latest in a series of articles that will explore new functionality introduced in Dynamics AX 2012 R2 CU7. In previous articles that are posted on this blog site, we reviewed the new Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), the new inter-company projects functionality, and new timesheet auditing capabilities.
Another new feature in Dynamics AX 2012 R2 CU7 is the ability to use Microsoft Project to create or update a Microsoft Dynamics AX project plan, and to integrate the WBS tasks to a SharePoint site either located on premise or in the Office 365 cloud version of these Microsoft tools.
Whereas previous versions of Dynamics AX only allowed for Microsoft Project integration when using the full Microsoft Project Server version of the software, Dynamics AX now can interface directly with the Microsoft Project client software that most Project Managers use.
This new integration offers a number of potential use-case scenarios, with two popular scenarios being:
- Use Microsoft Project to create a WBS project plan, and then publish that project plan into Dynamics AX to create the project WBS in Dynamics AX.
- Build the project hierarchy in Dynamics AX, and then use Microsoft Project to manage the scheduling and execution of the project, pushing updates back into Dynamics AX as necessary.
The screenshot below shows the first scenario above, where you’ve created the project plan and WBS in Microsoft Project, and can then publish it into Dynamics AX.
Another nice new feature, as shown in the second screenshot below, is the ability to then automatically publish the project and its task structure out to a SharePoint collaboration site. The screenshot below shows the Gantt chart view of the project from Dynamics AX and Microsoft Project in the SharePoint Gantt web part. You can also have these tasks populate the Task web part on the SharePoint site if you prefer the list view as opposed to the Gantt view.
For organizations that use Microsoft Project and SharePoint to manage their projects, these new integration scenarios should help information flow more seamlessly across Dynamics AX, Microsoft Project, and SharePoint.
About the Author
Vikram Franklin is Group Marketing Manager for SAGlobal, where his role is to guide organization wide marketing for Microsoft Dynamics products and services. Vikram has over 16 years of marketing enterprise software products and solutions and over 10 years of experience in marketing Microsoft Dynamics solutions and services.