NAV 2016 was released in October 2015 and was stuffed with new functionality. It was focused on "e-Everything", about integrating NAV both with Microsoft's Azure platform and other applications, and about connecting NAV to the outside.
To allow many of the features like workflows and integration's Microsoft had also added new features in the heart of the system. Events which made it easier to change functionality or processes in NAV, without changing the standard objects.
NAV 2016 included the very first evolution of Extensions. Still limited to supporting new fields in base tables and limited changes to pages, plus new tables and pages. Extensions were a set of delta files, created by comparing changes to standard using PowerShell, and then packing it into a NAVx file. Events were the main foundation for how an Extensions could interact with the standard system. Extensions continued to evolve with new features in the following cumulative updates.
We had heard it before, now there would be a integration to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, that would actually work. And this time it actually looked like they were right. With a few clicks (a few hours, when just learning it) we could connect a running CRM Online instance with NAV 2016. Microsoft called it "working natively with CRM", but if your integration requirements were a different from the standard integration, then it still was a big project to integrate NAV with CRM. But much better than the previously attempts.
The previous Document Approval functionality was replaced with all new Workflow functionality. Again using Events the workflow engine could interact with the system without code changes.
The integration to Microsoft Power BI was not the first time NAV had integration's to external business intelligence solutions. Since version 5 we had the Business Analytics (BA) module created together with Targit. But setting it up and getting it to be useful had been difficult previously. No just as easy as with the new CRM integration. If you used a CRONUS demo company, then setting it up was not an issue. As soon as you started to use different data in NAV, it got a bit more complex.
In 2015 a build-in PDF invoice scanning functionality was and had been the standard for years for SMB ERP solutions. And although many 3rd-party document management solutions already existed for Dynamics NAV, then Microsoft now added this into the base solution. Centered around a "Incoming Document" function, Microsoft had made an integration to Lexmark's Invoice Capture Service. This allowed the user to import an PDF invoice file into the Incoming Documents and the upload it to Lexmark via a webservice. Lexmark would then capture the information from the invoice and return it to NAV. Here it could either be created as a general journal line or a purchase invoice. The Lexmark service was free as long as you only had a few documents per month, but at a fee if you had many. So if you had a lot of documents or more advanced requirements, then you would still need an 3rd-party ISV solution.
NAV also had new functionality in the finance management area. A new deferral functionality was implemented system wide. It became possible to make a posting preview, which allowed to see exactly which entries would be created, before posting a journal, order, invoice etc. It became possible to use Positive Pay.
Using the XML Mapping functionality in Word, it now became possible to use Microsoft Word instead of RDLC in Visual Studio to create reports. This would make it easier for customers to change their own layouts. It became possible to have different custom layouts for the same report, allowing for example different customers, to have different invoice layouts.
There were no longer any doubt. The RoleTailored Client, which now was called the Windows Client, was not the primary client for Microsoft. Instead the Web Client and the Universal App takes the focus. With the new Universal App you could run NAV on your smartphone, table, notebooks and desktop computers and get the slightly different experience, optimized for each platform.
With NAV 2016 Microsoft also decided to make their set of Test Automation codeunit's available for partners. This would allow partners to run over 15,000 different automated test, to check that their changes didn't break any existing functionality in NAV.
If you hosted your in Microsoft's Azure environment, then it was not possible to use Azure SQL. This was a cloud database-as-a-service, which would eliminate the need for an SQL Server and at a much lower cost. But it came at a cost. Upgrades could not be done on Azure SQL directly.
Microsoft have released a new cumulative update each month since the release in 2015.