Microsoft has launched a collection of software that will allow users to access data from its Dynamics enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications through the Office interface.
The four Dynamics Snap programs – Timesheet Management Snap-In, Vacation Management Snap-In, and Business Data Lookup Snap-In for Dynamics CRM 3.0 and Dynamics AX 3.0 – are designed to link directly to Office 2003.
The snap-ins will allow users to enter or retrieve data using Dynamics AX 3.0 and Dynamics CRM 3.0, to submit timesheet entries or manage holiday requests from within the Office client environment, reducing data entry time and removing the need for staff to understand the more complex Dynamics applications.
The move is part of Microsoft’s attempts to promote Office 2003 and follows last month’s launch of free software giving access to Siebel customer information platforms via the Outlook e-mail program. Microsoft has also launched Mendocino, which integrates data from SAP business applications into Outlook.
The company has made the Dynamic Snap software available as a free download at GotDotNet.com and will also provide the source code to allow partners and users to build customised products or new applications.
More snap-in products will be released throughout the year, Microsoft said.