Friday, April 2, 2010

Microsoft Dynamics GP Architectural Foundations Series - Built to Leverage

This is article 4 of 7 from the series Microsoft Dynamics GP Architectural Foundations Series - featuring Microsoft's Tim Brookins.

Tim's whitepaper was originally published in 1999 and it's reproduced here with his permission.

Built to Leverage

The previous two philosophies (“Built to Last” and “Built to Grow”) have ensured a feature-rich business management system that is ever growing. Each release builds upon the previous release, adding new functionality and technology. As functionality builds, the Dynamics product becomes a true asset to the business.

Our architecture needs to recognize the incredible value of this business asset and allow the business software engine to be used not only by Dynamics, but also
throughout the enterprise. As you will see, this is not a new idea. In fact, it’s been a goal of our architecture since the very beginning.

The diagram below shows the Dynamics’ business logic (the asset) in the large central box. The box on top labeled “Dynamics” represents the basic Dynamics user
interface. Of course, the standard Dynamics user interface leverages the Dynamics business logic to accomplish the required processing.

The whole “Built to Leverage” value is centered on expanding this usage of the Dynamics business logic to other non-Dynamics sources. The boxes labeled “Solution Developer” on the top are a great place to start. Since the first release of Dynamics, our toolset has allowed other applications to leverage the Dynamics business logic. For example, Solution Developer-produced vertical application could call the Dynamics posting routines. For the first release back in 1993, those Solution Developer products had to be written in our C++-based toolset (Dexterity). While this was a great start, we had a vision to extend this same ability to leverage the business logic of Dynamics to other non-Dexterity-based applications.

The box labeled “Continuum” on the left side is an example of how we’re delivering on this vision today. Our Continuum series of products allows an application written in any COM-compliant development environment to leverage the Dynamics’ business logic.

Our “Built to Leverage” architectural value has also allowed us to gain strategic advantage in the area of the Internet. For example, our support for electronic
commerce is enabled by allowing Microsoft Site Server to leverage Dynamics’business logic by exposing those business objects via COM. As we move into the future, additional components of the Dynamics business logic will be exposed to the Internet as Microsoft Transaction Server-based COM objects.

In the next article Tim reviews "Built to Fit".

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC

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