In our prior post we described how Microsoft Dynamics is actually a branding mechanism for four separate and distinct products, each developed by companies years ago which were later purchased by Microsoft. In our next four posts, we’ll break down each of those Dynamics products (SL, GP, AX and NAV) in the briefest of snapshots, to give you a feel for where each product fits. We’ll start, in no particular order, with the product called SL – formerly called Solomon.
[Disclosure: We are a long-time authorized reseller for one of the Dynamics lines (NAV), and you will find as many opinions about what follows as there are resellers. We’ll try to be brief, accurate and straight with you in our views and opinions.]
Dynamics SL, formerly Solomon Software, has been around since about 1980. It was built from the bones of dinosaurs. OK, we made that part up… but it’s been around awhile. In 1999 Solomon went “all in” on a largely Microsoft-only technology platform, and about a year later, Great Plains acquired the firm outright. Shortly after that, Microsoft bought both.
Solomon has always been aimed at the small to midsize business market. It is noted for being especially adept at project oriented companies, and links well to Microsoft Project. It sells a lot in service, distribution and, of course, project oriented businesses. Its suite includes all the standard accounting functionality, as well as manufacturing, field services and e-commerce functionality.
Solomon’s key development team today is quietly housed in a small HQ building in Findlay, Ohio. There, a couple dozen staffers operating under the name Plumbline Solutions stay busy helping with sales, technical support and product development to satisfy client needs.
Construction companies are, and have long been, a favorite Solomon target. The software is adept at juggling project contracting, phases, union payroll, and all the other unique peculiarities of the building trades. Its emphasis is on managing projects and phases well, thus leading to more accurate and timely information, and improved project management and execution.
Solomon is most appropriate as a business management solution in four key market sectors: construction; government contracting; professional services; and distribution.
The current version 7 utilizes Microsoft SQL technology for solid performance and reliable database integrity, speed and scaling of users. The product is written in 32-bit Visual Basic which is updated periodically, just as the back-end database has moved from Pervasive SQL to Microsoft SQL. Third party add-ins are also available, and the product is modifiable by capable programmers.
Individually, Dynamics SL fills a unique position among the Dynamics line of four ERP solutions with its specialized emphasis on project oriented users, especially in the construction and building arena. Despite its 30+ year history, it manages to retain its place in the market, augmented no doubt by Microsoft’s considerable marketing muscle.