This is a very common question these days, mainly because of the "big" 5.1 release scheduled end of this year.
Many of us have been looking forward to having a more fancy looking client for a long time, especialy sales people since other ERP products are starting to become mory flashy.
For a lot of old NAV users, a direct upgrade to the new 5.1 client can be a step that is just a little to big to take.
So why not upgrade in smaller steps. Since the "roletailored" client (that is what they call it these days) requires a SQL engine that may seem like the obvious first step. If you are running on NAV 4.0 SP1 or higher that can be a serious option. However there is a better plan.
NAV 5.0 is one of the best releases to run on SQL server. There are many C/AL, SIFT and index changes in the base product to avoid the bacis errors we see from day to day. So doing an "old fashion" upgrade to 5.0 on C/SIDE can actualy be the most obvious step to take.
The choice of directly moving to SQL server is up to you as an end user. If you think it is to big a risk, then maybe a go-live on C/SIDE can be more wise. After running OK for some months you can safely move to SQL with C/SIDE as a failover.
So now we are running on SQL with NAV 5.0. Are we ready to move to 5.1. YES. From here it is not such a big step anymore. Please keep in mind that 5.1 still has a number of formchanges in order for the transformation tool to be able to transform.
Please keep in mind while you are upgrading to 5.0 that you might want to move back to using the standard NAV forms in order to quickly migrate to the new page object. You might also want to make your own forms more gui guidelines compliant since the transformation tool is based on the gui guidelines.
Does upgrading to 5.0 has other benefits: Yes, definately. 5.0 is supported by Vista. New PC's at your office are pre-installed with this operating system. Also 5.0 has some very fancy office-xml and sharepoint features out of the box.
Good luck with making your decision.
Liberty Grove Software
Thank you for a great post. I think it's definitely a subject that people wants to read more about.