Project Green from Microsoft is dying. When Microsoft bought four ERP software packages, now named Microsoft Dynamics NAV, AX, SL, and GP, the company announced that their strategy was to merge all of these into a single product. Many of us groaned. Not only were the products–for the most part–strong in different markets, they were very different in construction and there were some functionality differences. Great Plains (GP), for example, uses third party software for warehouse functionality. Navision (NAV) has built in warehousing. SL (formerly known as Solomon) is strong in professional services; the other products–for the most part–aren’t. In many cases the place in the software where functions are done is different.
To put it mildly, converging the products was going to be a nightmare for programmers, and a trial for users. But now Microsoft seems to be putting the project on hold. There’s a redo of the interfaces for all the programs coming later this year, but here’s what Microsoft’s head of AX and NAV told eWeek:
“What we went out and said two years ago is that we would go out and converge the product and that was the priority No. 1 for Dynamics. We don’t see that as a priority any more,” said Mogens Munkholm Elsberg, general manager for Microsoft NAV and AX. “We think that over time we will add technology to the products that will be similar—like the SharePoint integration, like Web services, like the UI…It doesn’t make them one code base, but it does make them closer to one another.”
Sounds like an attempt to blur the distinctions between the products. But don’t let the look-alike interface fool you. These are very different products.
Project Green is Dead—for the Foreseeable Future, at Least