Microsoft Dynamics AX was originally developed as a collaboration between IBM and Damgaard as IBM Axapta. Axapta was initially released in March, 1998 in the Danish and U.S. markets. IBM returned all rights in the product to Damgaard shortly after the release of Version 1.5. before Damgaard was merged with Navision Software A/S in 2000. The combined company, initially NavisionDamgaard, later Navision A/S, was acquired by Microsoft in July 2002.
In September, 2011, Microsoft announced the release of new version AX 2012. Today, it is available and supported in 25 countries and 23 languages.
MDCC or Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen was once the primary development center for Dynamics AX. MDCC is located in Vedbæk and also houses Microsoft Dynamics NAV and several other Microsoft Dynamics family products. MDCC employs about 900 people of around 40 different nationalities.
In addition to MDCC, AX development is now performed in two additional sites in Bellevue, Washington and Fargo, North Dakota.
Development of Axapta began in 1983 at Danish company Damgaard Data A/S. The software was mainly targeted at the European market, though the North American market grew rapidly following the release of Axapta 2.1 in 2000.
Axapta 1.0 : The first version of Axapta was released in the US and in Denmark in March 1998 by Danish company Damgaard A/S. It supported both Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle database servers. Notable features were financial, trade, inventory management, logistics and production.
Axapta 1.5: The second major version of Axapta was released in Norway, Sweden, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and the European Union in November 1998.
Axapta 2.0: The third major version of Axapta was released to customers in July 1999. Notable new features were the Project Accounting module, Warehouse Management (WMS), External OLAP, Option Pack concept, ActiveX support, COM-connector and an early release of the Axapta Object Server which allowed offloading of some operations from the clients onto a separate server.
Axapta 2.1: This release stemmed from market demands from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain. It was the fourth major version of Axapta and was released in January 2000. The most notable new feature was the addition of a Web tool called the Customer Self-Service (CSS) which is the precursor to today’s Enterprise Portal. With Axapta 2.1 SP3 (Service Pack 3), the AOS (Axapta Object Server) was introduced making Axapta the first fully three-tier ERP-system in the market.
Axapta 2.5: As the fifth major release, Axapta 2.5 brought with it a complete web applications development environment, the Project module, Banking and OLAP. It was released first to Denmark, Austria and United Kingdom in December 2000.
Axapta 2.5Market Pack: This market pack was released for Axapta 2.5 in October 2001 in France and Italy. This new application layer contained the Customer Relationship Management module (CRM or Marketing Automation), Commerce Gateway and Product Builder (both Client-side and CSS-side (Web)).
Axapta 3.0: The sixth major Axapta release brought with it the Microsoft Axapta Enterprise Portal, new intercompany collaboration functionality, actualized and rebuilt user security and system configuration, expanded geographical reach (more countries), demand planning and enhanced partner productivity tools.
Dynamics AX 4.0: The seventh major Axapta release brought with it an updated look and feel. As the first version that Microsoft was involved in from the beginning it attempted to integrate better with existing Microsoft technologies. For example, the AOS became a true Windows service, a .NET business connector was provided, CLR interoperability was introduced and XML data exchanges were supported through a set of code classes (Application Integration Framework), full Unicode support was introduced and a new Service Management module.
Dynamics AX 2009: Originally named AX 4.1, later renamed to AX 5.0 (and finally AX 2009), the eighth major release of Axapta brought more improvements to the UI. It added role-based concepts to both the Enterprise Portal and Windows clients, support for timezones (UTC), a new Site inventory dimension, and Enterprise Portal development through Visual Studio projects.
Dynamics AX 2012: Known as AX 6 during development, AX 2012 was released in August 2011. It included improvements to the user interface, general application and developer enhancements, and added industry-specific solutions for Process Manufacturing, Professional Services, and Public Sector organizations. The release also included support for SharePoint 2010, Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2.
Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack: Released soon after AX 2012, the feature pack added a Retail solution in addition to the previously released industry-specific solutions.
Dynamics AX 2012 R2: Announced at the Convergence 2012 conference, AX 2012 R2 is due to ship in late 2012 and is expected to include enhanced support for Microsoft SQL Server 2012 as well as support for additional languages and markets.