The Dynamics AX 2012 
product journey has passed by a number of stopping points, shares sold and bought back, a merger, an acquisition, and product re-branding. The history of MS Dynamics AX is 28 years old. Here are the key milestones:


The application was initially developed in 1983 by the brothers Erik and Preben Damgaard in Copenhagen, Denmark, known as DANMAX.

IBM Investment

Then IBM invested and bought 50% shares from Damgaard Software Company during 1994 – 1996. At this time, the application came to United States.

Axapta 1.0

The first version of Axapta was released in the US and in Denmark in March 1998 by 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 (Axapta 1.5) 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 (Axapta 2.0) 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

The Axapta 2.1 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 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.

Navision and Damgaard Merger

Following the merger of the two Danish companies, Navision and Damgaard, Axapta was to be known as Navision Damgaard Axapta for versions 2.5 and 3.0

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 2.5 Market Pack

Axapta 2.5 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)).

Microsoft Acquisition

Microsoft acquired Navision Damgaard during the summer of 2002. Navision Damgaard Axapta was first renamed to Microsoft Business Solutions Axapta, then to Microsoft Dynamics AX for versions 3.0 SP6, 4.0 and 2009.

Axapta 3.0

The sixth major Axapta release (Axapta 3.0) 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 (Dynamics AX 4.0) brought with it an updated look and feel. As the first version that Microsoft built, 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 was added.

Dynamics AX 2009

Originally named AX 4.1, later renamed to AX 5.0 (and finally AX 2009), the eighth major release of AX brings with it yet more improvements to the UI. This new version adds 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

AX 6 (Dynamics AX 2012) includes additional improvements to the user interface and application enhancements focused on specific industries like Retail, Media & Entertainment, and the Public sector.

See Also