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NAV Upgrade: To Upgrade, Re-implement, or Go Hybrid?

You’ve mapped out your reasons for pursuing a NAV upgrade, so now it’s time to get you there.

There are three possible routes to NAV 2015 – a technical upgrade, a re-implementation, or a hybrid upgrade. Knowing early on which NAV upgrade path makes the most sense will provide insight into the time, budget, and work effort that will be involved.

So, how do you know which upgrade path makes the most sense for your organization? The decision is typically influenced by such factors as:

  • Your NAV upgrade goals
  • Your current version
  • Your level of customization
  • How much your business requirements have changed

Below is a profile of each path as well as criteria for when selecting that particular path tends to make the most sense.

NAV Upgrade Paths

3 Dynamics NAV Upgrade Paths

Technical Upgrade

Think of a technical upgrade the way you might think about moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8: the software analyzes what you currently have and does the work of making the necessary changes, merging old code with new, with the end result being the newer version being deployed.

When does a technical NAV upgrade make sense?

  • You are only making one version jump to get to the latest release. An upgrade covering multiple releases (from NAV 5 to NAV 2015, for example) adds complexity since skipping a version in the upgrade process is generally not possible.
  • Existing database tables, objects and reports have not been changed significantly from standard NAV (i.e., fewer customizations).
  • From a business point of view, your requirements, capabilities, and processes have not changed significantly from when the last implementation or upgrade was performed.
  • If the existing customizations are functioning well to meet your business process and user needs.


This involves a fresh install of the latest NAV application objects and database, configured and customized to support the business’ current and anticipated needs.

When does a reimplementation make sense?

  • You are several versions behind the most recent NAV release (NAV 2015)
  • It has been more than 3 or 4 years since your last upgrade or implementation
  • Many of your existing customizations can be replaced by the new, current functionality
  • Your dimension structure needs significant revision or was never implemented
  • Your business needs have evolved and changed
  • Many ISV capabilities are no longer needed

Hybrid Upgrade

A hybrid upgrade includes a fresh implementation of the latest NAV software release, combined with a process called an object merge which takes only a desired subset of existing customizations and integrates them with new software release objects. It enables you to benefit from greater adoption of standard NAV capabilities while preserving important customizations that are still supporting key business needs.

When does a hybrid NAV upgrade make sense?

  • You are several versions behind the latest version of NAV but the system mostly meets your needs.
  • You may want to bring forward relevant business process, functionality, and data but it is not practical to perform each version hop on the way to your upgrade destination.
  • You have a large amount of customization and unique reports in the existing system that cannot be replaced by new functionality in the latest NAV release (NAV 2015).

For Additional Upgrade Help

If reading this post has helped you realize that you need to develop more clarity around your upgrade objectives, or, that you need to invest more time in analyzing your current NAV environment, we highly recommend referring to our NAV upgrade eBook for guidance. It outlines the upgrade process and highlights critical decisions that need to be made in order to ensure that you achieve the outcomes you’re looking for.

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