Microsoft Corp. has unveiled Microsoft Dynamics Snap - a collection of software programs that integrate with Microsoft Office 2003 to help users handle data and business processes.Microsoft's first set of releases from the Snap collection is a group of four programs specifically geared towards users of MS Dynamics AX 3.0 (formerly known as Microsoft Business Solutions Axapta) and customers of MS Dynamics CRM 3.0.

The four snap-ins - Timesheet, Vacation Management, Business Data Look-up for AX and Business Data Look-up for CRM - help eliminate dual entry by allowing users to view or submit information using Outlook and Office documents as attachments, or as data directly copied into Dynamics AX 3.0 or CRM 3.0.

Initially, these releases are free for download on GotDotNet.com, a community site about .Net applications for software developers and information technology professionals.

"We have a long list of creative ideas that we are working against, and plan to release more snap-ins throughout the rest of the year," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "We expect to have a series of releases over the next year that will cover the range of Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM Products."

Snap is a part of Wave One, the new roadmap for Microsoft's Project Green that was first announced during the software vendor's Convergence conference last year in San Diego. Project Green has since been rebranded MS Dynamics.

Microsoft Dynamics comprises the company's next-generation business software products, with the company aiming to give all four of its enterprise resource planning software packages common platforms, like .Net technology.

Each of the five Dynamics software lines - ERP systems Dynamics AX, SL, GP and NAV, and Dynamics CRM - will have a major Wave One overhaul over the next year.

"Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 is scheduled for release this summer and expected to have deep integration with Office. However, in the meantime, we wanted to provide current users of MS Dynamics AX with the deep Office integration," said the spokesperson.

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