The idea of the this AX-SAP connector is to set up a two-tier structure for process integration from both the headquarters of an organization (using SAP's Business Suite) and office-branch subsidiaries (using Dynamics AX). Microsoft has already announced that this connector will be available for download sometime later this year.
The Microsoft Dynamics two-tier connector is designed to incorporate key scenarios like Distributed Manufacturing, Distributed Distribution and Financial Consolidation that is shared from a central SAP installation.
The technology behind the connector is an integral part of Microsoft Dynamics AX, as well as a standalone integration component. The standard technical component includes the Application Integration Framework (AIF), which is a Microsoft Dynamics AX module based on Windows Communication Services. It basically functions as a middleware that allows systems to expose and consume web services in X++. Secondly, the BizTalk Server together with the SAP Adapter and Microsoft Dynamics AX Adapter handles communication and mapping of messages between Microsoft Dynamics AX and SAP
Microsoft describes the two-tier ERP approach as offering cost-savings to organizations.
"Organizations seeking to streamline their processes and technology should consider a two-tier ERP strategy as a cost-effective alternative to the limitations associated with forcing a single enterprise solution across their entire business," stated Crispin Read, Microsoft's general manager of Dynamics ERP, in released statement.