Microsoft unveils shared-source programs to bridge Office, Dynamics apps staff

Microsoft has released Dynamics Snap, a shared-source suite of four programs that "snap into" Office 2003 and call up data from back-end applications like Dynamics AX 3.0 and Dynamics CRM 3.0.

Though these add-ins, users can access financial and customer relationship management, or CRM, data through Outlook. As a result, users can copy, paste, process and send information within the same interface, which cuts down on errors and helps reduce duplicate tasks.

The release is part of a wave of business application development at Microsoft. Internally, the company developed a custom app to work with its Siebel sales force software and recently released this project, dubbed Elixir, to the public. The ongoing Mendocino project, meanwhile, aims to bring SAP technology and Office together.

Each of the following four Dynamics Snap add-ins is available on GotDotNet.

  • Timesheet Snap-in: This links Microsoft Dynamics AX 3.0 with a user's Outlook appointments and meetings to hasten the process of submitting timesheets.
  • Vacation Management Snap-In: Also linked to Dynamics AX, this add-in lets users submit vacation requests and sends an e-mail alert to the vacation approver.
  • Business Data Lookup Snap-In for Dynamics AX: With this utility, users can use the Dynamics AX task pane to search Office 2003 documents, copy data from AX into Office docs or attach Office docs to AX records.
  • Business Data Lookup Snap-In for Dynamics CRM: This provides the same functionality detailed above for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0.

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