Dynamics NAV is Dead! Long live Dynamics NAV!

Directions USA published their agenda today and the agenda for NAVTechDays is getting more clear each week too.

What can we learn from these agenda’s? Its all about Extensions, Cloud and Dynamics 365 for Financials aka project “Madeira”.

Is that a bad thing? I guess you should make that call after attending these great events. Fact is that the world is changing and so is our product.

I’ve been debating Extensions at all of my classes with my attendees and the feedback is slightly different based on the audience weather it is a very vertical partner, a customer or a traditional NAV veteran.

Extensions will work in real life, but not with NAV. Extensions will work with Dynamics 365. Why? Because Dynamics 365 essentially is Navision Financials 1.1. Microsoft brought the functionality back to basic and partners can build their vertical IP in an extension. If they need Manufacturing, they need to build it themselves. If they need Service Management, they need to build it themselves. Microsoft is delivering an ERP core with a perfect financial system and a core inventory system.

So why can’t it work with NAV? Simply because NAV was always architected for being finished by partners using open source. Nothing in NAV really works good out of the box and that is by design and this is why NAV is so loved by the veterans and hated by new people.

Directions USA is highjacked by Dynamics 365. It’s no longer about NAV. Yes, Microsoft essentially ships Dynamics 365 as NAV 2017 because they happen to share the same codebase. That explains the title of this blog post. NAV lives because of this shared platform but Microsoft invests in it because of Dynamics 365, not because they believe in NAV. We simply don’t grow fast enough.

I’m not attending Directions, I’m visiting NAVUG summit instead. Call me a dinosaur but there is a huge installed base out there that still runs NAV with customizations. I’m not against the cloud but I see it as a replacement for buying servers and software licenses which I’ve always found a stupid side effect of my job. So essentially I love the cloud.

When I am at NAVUG summit I will also look at some AX7 sessions. I want to see if that can replace NAV if customers want something they can customise. Honestly I have no idea if that will work. I am just curious. Open minded I guess.

The next one or two years will be very deciding for the future of NAV. I guess a lot will depend on how Dynamics 365 is adopted and how many partners are willing to invest in moving their verticals to extensions.

I’ve helped a few partners analysing their current solutions and I have a positive feeling about Dynamics 365 but boy, will life be different.

Enjoy summer and don’t forget to register for Directions or NAVTechDays if you want to learn what I already know. I guess being an MVP has its advantages.


Oh, small ps. If you are at Directions USA, definately attend Erik Hougaards session about Functional Programming in NAV. I am with him for 100% and he has a really nice boat anchor for AL that few of you will expect.