With the release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017, you may be asking “what has changed in Microsoft Dynamics NAV over the past few years?”.
The way customers upgrade, maintain, update, customize and tailor Dynamics NAV today is drastically different, and continues to improve in NAV 2017. This paradigm shift in Dynamics NAV yields massive advantages for existing customers.
The NAV 2017 Upgrade Model
The move to a more modern upgrade model offers significant economic benefits for Dynamics NAV customers. Based on continuous improvement, with annual releases instead of major releases every few years, plus monthly cumulative updates instead of the sporadic hot fixes of yesterday, customers can upgrade more efficiently than ever before and realize significant productivity benefits from improved functionality.
Not only that, but also moving forward, the modern NAV update model will become even more technically straightforward, virtually eliminating the need to redevelop customizations.
It is now easier than ever before for Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers to stay current on the latest release of NAV. It also means that staying current has become increasingly more important.
The Benefits of NAV Cumulative Updates
Not only does updating and maintaining Microsoft Dynamics NAV help you resolve any urgent security patches or bug-fixes, but also it delivers in spades with:
- Increased online ERP system security
- Addressing known issues and bugs
- Enabling new functionality driving productivity
- Connecting data sources and workflows across suppliers and partners
- Reducing the incremental cost of upgrades to major versions.
Microsoft’s Internal Upgrade Toolkit
To the surprise and pleasure of Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers and partners, Microsoft released their own internal Dynamics NAV upgrade tools to streamline NAV updates further. These sophisticated tools have eliminated the most notorious hurdles to upgrading Dynamics NAV, including:
- No backwards compatibility
- Reliance on manual merge tools
- Inadequate support for upgrading customizations
Fortunately, NAV 2017 with Microsoft’s internal upgrade toolkit will effectively eliminated these issues and rendered them extinct moving forward.
Things to Watch for with NAV 2017
While the advancements to Microsoft Dynamics NAV are primarily all positive, there are a few things you should watch out for as well.
First, even though customizations have gotten easier to design and implement in NAV 2017 using tools like Extensions and Events, you may still need to redevelop old customizations to get them up to date and leveraging the latest toolset.
Second, add-on ISVs will need to invest significantly to modernize their solutions which can pose some challenges if you are ready to upgrade before your ISV has upgraded their solution.
Third, while Microsoft has released exciting new upgrade tools, such as Events and Extensions, they will not cover 100% of all Dynamics NAV customizations. Fortunately, in those cases, Microsoft has made object merge capabilities available in NAV 2016 that makes updating modified objects much easier than before.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV Releases, Updates & Maintenance
Ultimately, the most recent versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV have created a never-seen-before ability for customers to future-proof their system.
Gone are the days of major re-implementation upgrades every few years. Today, you must rethink the way you update and upgrade your Dynamics NAV system. This requires that you:
- Routinely maintain your NAV system
- Frequently apply Cumulative Updates (monthly)
- Annually upgrade or update NAV upon scheduled NAV version releases
This sounds easy enough to have your NAV system running at full capacity in order to smooth day-to-day operations and enable productivity enhancements for your users.
How Do You Get Started?
Luckily, we’ve written you the ultimate guide to learn How to Future Proof Microsoft Dynamics NAV.