Navision Software launches Navision version 3.0 in late in 1989. This was a big change to the previous versions, as it now allowed partners to change the core of the system. Previously it had been just enough open to allow their partners to change certain objects, like reports and tables. Now "everything" was open.
Navision 3.04 was the only release between 1991 and 1994.
Introduced was "AL" for application language. It was a complete application development language using the development language Pascal's syntax. Through the different "objects" all the code related to the actual accounting application was open to the developers. All existing tables, forms, reports, dataports and codeunits, could be changed and new objects created.
This allowed the user with an AL-key to do very advanced modifications, compared to both the previous versions (where only reports/batch reports, tables and forms could be created/changed). It was very unique in the market at that time.
Only a few years later Navision's biggest competitor at this time, the also Danish company Damgaard Data, introduced their XAL (extended application language).
In the 1980'ies and early 1990'ies Pascal was one of the most popular development language in the world on CP/M and DOS. I all Danish colleges and universities Pascal was the first language they taught you. And Denmark already had another international software success based on Pascal. Compas Pascal, later PolyPascal was the fastest and most popular Pascal compiler created by another Dane Anders Hejlsberg. He later joined Microsoft, where his first job was to create the J++ programming language and the Windows Foundation Classes. Since 2000, he has been the lead architect of the team developing the language C#. Anders is the brother of Thomas Hejlsberg, since 2003 one of the main architects on Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
The partnership between PC&C and IBM was very successful in Denmark. A success they in 1988 had discussed to extend to a number of European IBM subsidiaries. Due to existing partnerships with local accounting software vendors, IBM decided to decline the opportunity to use Navigator as an IBM logo-product outside of Denmark.
1990 is the year when Navision for the first time becomes available outside Denmark. Local distributors are started in Iceland (Fjördiner) and Germany (Navigator).
Expansion continues beyond Scandinavia and Germany. Spain and the United Kingdom follows. Here the name Navision was used for the first time.
Story about how Navision started in Germany
The expansion continues up through the 1990'ies. Initially using local independent distributors. Later co-ownership between Navision and the local distributor.
IBM continues to be the distributor in what is still the biggest market, in Denmark. Additionally a team from IBM sells a world-wide version of Navision in countries, where Navision Software didn't have a local distributor.
In the spring of 1999 Navision Software A/S enters the Copenhagen Stock Exchange. In the years before they had been buying up their local distributors.
In the early 1990'ies IBM's OS/2 was technologically superior to Microsoft Windows 3.1, and common by Navision users, as Navision already worked on OS/2. So partners and users was expecting a graphical version of Navision running OS/2. But IBM OS/2 was at least 2-3 years to early for the market. As everybody knows today Microsoft Windows won the first war of the graphical user interfaces. The second is still (in 2016) going on. Not on PC's, but on SmartPhones. This time Microsoft already lost it. Apple and Google continues to the fight.
In Navision Software produce a windows 3.1 prototype using a so-called screen scraper. Here the application is fundamentally still a character product, but working like a Windows app with mouse control. Similar to using remote desktop. The prototype was shown to a limited number of partners and customers at the CeBit trade show in Germany in the Spring of 1993.
After further work, and looking at other Screen scraper products int he market, Navision decide that they should continue to sell the existing character based for now.
Navision Software decides that the new generation of Navision with a graphical user interface will be based on the new version of Microsoft Windows. 95 which would be a 32-bit client/server platform.
We had to wait another two years.