Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 Features Announced

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Microsoft Dynamics NAV partners and users have much to look forward to in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015

Microsoft announced that Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 will be available  later in 2014 and while it will feature many key improvements, it won’t have any dramatic changes to the overall architecture of the system. This is welcome news because sometimes you gain more benefit from something that wasn’t done rather than what was done. After several versions that introduced significant technology changes to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, partners and end users are ready for a break. Microsoft has stated that Dynamics NAV 2015 will not feature transformational technology and instead will include advanced upgrade tools, additional mobile device support, further integration with Office 365 and Power BI, and the ability to design reports within Microsoft Word.

Complex upgrades can often lead to problems as projects run into issues with budgets and the delivery schedule. A newer and faster way to process upgrades and manage data is welcome news. In one example an upgrade to NAV 2015 was completed in a weekend according to Dynamics NAV general manager Erik Tiden. It remains to be seen if all upgrades including databases with complex customizations will have this same timeframe.

Microsoft’s commitment to supporting mobility on industry-standard platforms became evident in the latest release of Dynamics CRM and is now extended to Dynamics NAV with anticipated support for IOS, Android, and Windows tablets and a common user experience across all devices. The mobility improvements go a long way to recognizing the realities of the marketplace and making Dynamics NAV more competitive. Changes to the web browser clients is an additional bonus as Microsoft continues the improvements from the original web client released in version 2013 and improved in 2013 R2. Microsoft deserves significant credit for supporting a wide variety of browser clients and not forcing everyone into the Internet Explorer camp.

Dynamics NAV 2013 added major new upgrades to the integration to Office and we are looking forward to further integration with Office 365 in Dynamics NAV 2015. Previous integrations to Microsoft Word have been of limited value with only limited applications. The 2015 will allow users to make changes easier by designing their reports within Microsoft Word and I think end users will really benefit from that flexibility. Integrating Power BI has some potential, but it remains to be seen if that is a better option than the third party tools out there.

All in all, not too many changes announced at this time, but some very welcome improvements. More details of the release will be announced at Directions 2014, the Microsoft Dynamics NAV premier event on September 14-16, 2014.

By Malcolm Roach, CEO of Open Door Technology, Microsoft Dynamics NAV partner in Calgary Alberta

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