What is Microsoft Dynamics NAV ?

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software product from Microsoft.

The product is part of the Microsoft Dynamics family, and intended to assist with finance, manufacturing, customer relationship management, supply chains, analytics and electronic commerce for small and medium-sized enterprises. Value-added resellers (VAR)s can have full access to the business logic source code, and it has a reputation as being easy to customize.

Versions

Navision versions from 3.00 onwards were:

  •     Navision Solutions 3.00: 3.00
  •     Navision Attain 3.01: 3.01
  •     Navision Attain 3.10: 3.10
  •     Navision Attain 3.60: 3.60, 3.60A
  •     Microsoft Business Solutions Navision 3.70: 3.70, 3.70A, 3.70B
  •     Microsoft Business Solutions NAV 4.00: 4.00, 4.00 SP1, 4.00 SP2, 4.00 SP3
  •     Dynamics NAV 5.00: 5.00, 5.00 SP1
  •     Dynamics NAV 2009: (aka NAV 6.00) 2009, 2009 SP1, 2009 R2 (R2 was released in 2011)
  •     Dynamics NAV 7: Projected for release in September / October 2012

Microsoft Dynamics Navision delivers integrated functionality to provide support for:

  •     Financial management
  •     Supply chain management
  •     Manufacturing
  •     Distribution
  •     Customer relationship management
  •     Sales and marketing
  •     Service management

The core of Microsoft Navision is the Client/Server Integrated Development Environment (C/SIDE). C/SIDE is the foundation for all the business management functionality of Microsoft Navision. It is made up of seven building blocks, called object types, which are used to create the application. These seven object types are shared throughout Microsoft Navision to create every application area, and give it a unified, consistent interface.

C/SIDE makes the application code open to developers so that Microsoft Navision fits to your unique way of doing business.
Your Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partner can customize the Microsoft Navision application code so that all the application areas support the particular routines, processes, and methods your employees use throughout your business.
Any level of customization is possible with Microsoft Navision. C/SIDE can be customized to support the simplest workflows of individual employees – how they organize their data and the steps they go through to complete their tasks – as well as that of a whole department.

To customize Microsoft Navision is possible to Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partner because the source code in C/SIDE is open to them. It provides just as much functionality as competitor’s products but with fewer lines of code for your Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partner to work through. So you get the tailored Microsoft Navision solution you need, when you need it. Microsoft Navision has all the tools you need to maintain it at its most robust and adaptable level.

Internal Tools: Client Monitor, Code Coverage, and Microsoft Navision Debugger
The Client Monitor is a tool that identifies performance and locking problems between the database and the client computers that your employees use. It can be used together with Code Coverage, a tool that shows what code is executed when using Microsoft Navision. The Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partner can use it to see whether the database has been locked, which prevents employees from completing tasks at the same time.

Code Coverage is used for debugging Microsoft Navision and testing the code. Together, these tools help maintain a high quality and level of concurrency, so that your employees can all work productively with a reliable database.
Microsoft Navision Debugger is a tool to help you in the process of checking, correcting, or modifying code so that Microsoft Navision can build, run smoothly, and act as you expect.

C/ODBC and C/FRONT
Both C/ODBC and C/FRONT enable you to easily use information from Microsoft Navision in familiar programs, such as Microsoft® Word® and Microsoft® Excel®.
The Open Database Connectivity driver for Microsoft Navision (C/ODBC) is an application program interface (API) that provides a way for other applications, such as the entire Microsoft® Office® Suite, to send and retrieve data to and from the Microsoft Navision database through the ODBC interface.
One example of C/ODBC functionality is sending letters to customers. Working from Microsoft Word, you can build queries that let you extract data directly from the Microsoft Navision database. For example, using data in the Customer table, you can create letters notifying customers that they have reached a bonus level where a rebate has been earned.

C/FRONT is a tool that opens up the Microsoft Navision database and allows the Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partner to develop third-party programs that can access the database. For example, if you want to build a procedure for assembling budgets with spreadsheet functionality, the Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partner can configure Microsoft Excel to control the transfer of data from the Microsoft Navision database. Figures can then be seamlessly read from Microsoft Navision, manipulated in Excel, and written back to the database.

Both C/ODBC and C/FRONT remove the time-consuming steps of importing and exporting data, so that information can flow seamlessly between applications.

The Windows-based design of Microsoft Navision makes it easy for employees to work efficiently with the solution. Every application area contains online Help so employees can navigate their way through the solution. A personalized home page for every employee with all the information they need helps them stay focused on their work and complete tasks in better time.

A unique feature of the database is SumIndexFields (SIFT). SIFT enables the database to rapidly perform numerous calculations on complex data. With SIFT, calculating sums for numeric columns in tables is extremely fast, even in tables that contain millions of records. SIFT not only instantaneously calculates totals, it allows you to break down those totals so you can see where they came from. Therefore, you can easily go in-depth with data and manipulate sums, figures, and statistics as you need to.

The Microsoft Navision Database Server supports the unity throughout Microsoft Navision, which means if you are working in one part of the application, you can easily switch to another area without exiting the system. You’ll save time, effort, and you will more easily be able to stay focused on your work.
Microsoft Navision Database Server is also easy to set up and configure. It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance or expensive hardware. You do not need a dedicated person maintaining it. Once the server is installed, you can leave it alone, let it go to work and focus on your business.

Microsoft Navision can also run on Microsoft® SQL Server®.You can integrate Microsoft Navision with applications you were using before you implemented it.OLAP allows Microsoft SQL Server to draw upon table relations within Microsoft Navision, enabling a multidimensional view of data. For example, you could analyze data collected from your e-commerce site to better gauge customers’ buying patterns. With these tools, you can make informed and precise plans for new marketing campaigns, target individuals or a group of customers, and be aware of new trends concerning your customers and products.

Microsoft Navision makes it extremely easy for your partners, customers and vendors to do business with you. It uses the Internet and XML to exchange and distribute information easily and cost-effectively. It helps you bring in new partners and customers, while reducing costs internally and helping employees to work more efficiently. The new XMLport objects in Microsoft Navision allow you to easily exchange documents with your business partners. In addition, XMLports improve the overall performance of the solution when handling XML document exchanges and they enable easier customization of data exchange with Microsoft Navision.

Commerce Portal
Commerce Portal is an Internet-based solution within Microsoft Navision. It provides a company’s customers and business partners with an online Web portal containing all the relevant information and services needed to carry out commercial transactions with each other.

XBRL
Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) for Microsoft Navision enables simple and dependable distribution of all a company’s financial information and ensures smooth and accurate data transfer. XBRL is an XML-based specification that uses accepted financial reporting standards and practices to export financial reports across all software and technologies, including the Internet.
XBRL lets you easily distribute financial information.
You can map the information directly from your Microsoft Navision General Ledger to the XBRL tags. For example, if you need to submit your figures for approval of a loan, you can simply export the required data using XBRL with its underlying XML-based tags, and the bank and the receiving system will import your information automatically.

With XBRL, presenting your financial information on the Web becomes a natural step in your financial information supply chain. It is useful for investor-dependent companies or for new companies that are trying to nurture new investor attention because it will be easy for analysts not only to view but also receive information.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV screenshot

As Summary:
C/SIDE

  • Object-oriented development environment
  • Made up of seven object types used to create the functionality of the application
  • Open application code: Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partners can customize a solution on both simple and complex levels
  • Minimal amount of code: Fewer lines of code than competitor’s products
  • Consistent interface throughout the whole application – easy to switch from one application area to another
  • Automation controller provides a way to access the functionality of external applications, such as Microsoft Excel, from within Microsoft Navision

MICROSOFT NAVISION DEVELOPER’S TOOLKIT

  • Merge and compare functionality: compare old base version of Microsoft Navision, with your customized version, and finally, with the new version of Microsoft Navision. Then you can merge versions, including all customized features, to get your upgraded version of Microsoft Navision.
  • Supports Microsoft SQL Server, making it possible to manage a full upgrade of your system, including all product versions and the results from the compare and merge functionality, in one single database.
  • Source Analyzer is used as a cross-reference tool for finding relations between objects. It can also find where a given object, field, property, and so on, is used in Microsoft Navision.
  • Pull objects directly out of Microsoft Navision. No exporting and importing required.

CLIENT MONITOR

  • Analyzes a particular task, and studies the database server calls resulting from the task as well as the code that initiates the server calls.
  • Displays all the details of the database server calls by the current client, including the time spent on each database server call.
  • Gathers and displays all the database function calls that are made by the C/AL code as well as the database server calls that are made indirectly, for example, by opening a form.

CODE COVERAGE

  • Identifies which objects have been involved in an action and which lines of code have been executed.

MICROSOFT NAVISION DEBUGGER

  • The basic concept of the debugger is the breakpoint: a mark that your Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partner can set on a code statement. When the program execution reaches the statement, the debugger will intervene and suspend the execution of the statement until it is instructed to go on.
  • Type of code identified with different colors, so your Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partner can easily see what kind of code they’re working with while debugging.

MICROSOFT NAVISION APPLICATION SERVER

  • Reuse of business logic: When you are working in another application but require information from Microsoft Navision, the application server ensures you will receive it in the same logical ways as if you were working right from a Microsoft Navision client.

In Commerce Gateway:

  • Connects the Microsoft Navision database with other components, such as Microsoft BizTalk Server.
  • Automates some key steps in the processing of sales and purchase orders.

In Commerce Portal:

  • Helps handle the communication between Microsoft Navision and the Web portal.
  • Posting orders: Instead of waiting for a posting to be completed, you can send a message to the application server to do the posting for you.
  • Automatically logs errors in an event log and continues with processing.
  • Automatically restarts on its own when you reboot Microsoft Navision.

C/ODBC

  • Works with numerous standard applications, such as the Microsoft Office suite of programs.
  • Gives read access to the C/SIDE database.
  • Gives write access to the C/SIDE database via a temporary file.

C/FRONT

  • Gives read and write access to the C/SIDE database.
  • Allows the development of sophisticated add-on programs in C++.
  • Provides two API formats: the C-API and OCX-API. The C-API format allows programs developed using the C and C++ programming languages to access C/SIDE directly, using a dynamic link library (DLL). The OCX-API format enables access to C/SIDE by any program that can act as an Automation client.

ACTIVE DIRECTORY

  • Provides a directory service for distributed networking environments.
  • Enables you to create multiple copies of a directory and place them throughout a network.
  • Keeps information on personal settings, such as how you like to set up tables, so when you work in Microsoft Navision from a different PC, your personal settings will be maintained.
  • Acts as a registry for various parts or areas of the network.

MICROSOFT NAVISION DATABASE SERVER

  • Supports high level of concurrency with the version principle. Each time a transaction is committed, a new version of the database is created. The Database Management System (DBMS) allows different applications to access and modify the database concurrently.
  • SIFT has been designed to improve performance when carrying out such activities as calculating customer balances.
  • Without SIFT, the application and its add-ons would not be usable, because SIFT instantly allows you to see totals.
  • Both SIFT and the version principle help ensure a low amount of C/AL code lines.
  • You don’t need expensive hardware to set it up.
  • You don’t need a dedicated employee to maintain it.

MICROSOFT SQL SERVER OPTION FOR MICROSOFT NAVISION

  • Integrates Microsoft Navision with a wide variety of third-party products and applications, for example, other corporate reporting systems, human resources applications, and so on.
  • OLAP capabilities allow you to draw upon table relations within Microsoft Navision enabling a multidimensional view of data.
  • Automates regular administrative process, such as back up and restore procedures.

COMMERCE GATEWAY FUNCTIONALITY

  • Send BizTalk Request for Purchase Quote
  • Receive BizTalk Request for Sales Quote
  • Send BizTalk Sales Quote
  • Receive BizTalk Purchase Quote
  • Send BizTalk Purchase Order
  • Receive BizTalk Sales Order
  • Send BizTalk Sales Order Confirmation
  • Receive BizTalk Purchase Order Confirmation
  • Send BizTalk Sales Invoice
  • Receive BizTalk Purchase Invoice
  • Send BizTalk Shipment Notification
  • Receive BizTalk Purchase Receipt
  • Send BizTalk Sales Credit Memo
  • Receive BizTalk Purchase Credit Memo
  • Export BizTalk Product Catalog
  • Import BizTalk Product Catalog
  • Setup of partner agreements

Note: Purchase quotes, purchase order confirmations, and purchase invoices are automatically compared to the related corresponding documents.

COMMERCE PORTAL
ROLE AND PERMISSION MANAGEMENT

  • Role and Permission Management is the application area in Microsoft Navision from where roles are easily set up and managed. You create roles and add permissions in a graphical user interface, and it is as simple as using Microsoft Navision.
  • Roles are flexible and can be customized to the exact requirements of any organization. All activities leverage the existing business logic in Microsoft Navision.

SALES MANAGEMENT

  • Sales Management enables the entire sales process. Your customers can set up themselves via the Web portal and can maintain their contact information, such as shipping addresses and contact persons.
  • With the advanced order-tracking feature, your customers will always know exactly where their order is in the order/sales cycle. Moreover, your customer can allocate an order to a blanket order that is set up in advance.
  • Extended reordering grants the customer convenient access to previously made orders for easy reordering.

PURCHASE MANAGEMENT

  • Purchase Management Web enables the entire purchasing process. Vendors can maintain all the information about themselves that is stored in Microsoft Navision. This includes product information such as catalogs, item numbers, and prices. Furthermore, delivery dates can be maintained so that they are always up-to-date, ensuring optimal supply chain performance.
  • Reverse auctions, which are set up and managed from within Microsoft Navision, allow vendors to bid on an order via the Web portal. This ensures that companies will always get the best possible price the market can offer.
  • Moreover, vendors can drop-ship orders to customers and therefore eliminate supply chain inefficiencies.

NOTIFICATION MANAGEMENT

  • Commerce Portal has advanced notification features throughout the application.
  • The system can be set up to send e-mail notifications when any given event occurs, for example, when a certain item becomes available, when an order is shipped, or when a reverse auction is opened.
  • The placeholder makes it possible to automatically send personalized e-mails to partners containing business data from Microsoft Navision, for example, order numbers and balances.

CONTENT MANAGEMENT

  • Commerce Portal comes with advanced Content Management functionality.
  • All Web pages are managed from within Microsoft Navision. This means that a Microsoft Navision user can do all Web page maintenance without the assistance of Internet consultants.

XBRL

  • Import unlimited numbers of taxonomies from public authorities, credit institutions, banks, and so on
  • View information attached to taxonomy
  • Map taxonomy lines to any combination of general ledger accounts, using standard Microsoft Navision filters
  • View and print out XBRL document file for appraisal before sending
  • Export XBRL-document that can be sent as an e-mail

Source: Microsoft

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Posted on March 16, 2012, in Software Development and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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