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The long awaited Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 has been released for download earlier this week, and has just been publicly announced at Convergence 2008 Copenhagen. If you have PartnerSource access, you can download Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 here.
This one is the most important release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV ever, as it brings a completely new architecture, a shiny new user interface, web-services enablement and much more.
The product is currently available in worldwide (W1) version and 13 localized releases in 9 languages.
Unlike any previous versions, this one is not focused on delivering new ERP functionality. From functional perspective it’s the same application as Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 SP1, and no new application features have been introduced.
This has been a strategic move by Microsoft to help customers migrate to new platform easily without too many costs typically incurred by upgrade projects: customers upgrading from version 5.0 SP1 will merely have to upgrade the user interface. Thanks to the data model and code equivalence of versions 5.0 SP1 and 2009, business logic and data model is something that won’t need an upgrade, making for smooth, low-cost and low-risk upgrade projects.
What’s new for the customers in the new release. Truly a lot, but I’ve picked these three as having deepest impact:
- User Interface: The RoleTailored interface is a product of several years of Microsoft’s investment into research of user interaction. RoleTailored interface hides the complexity of underlying business logic from users, exposing only those functions pertaining to user’s role. The new user interface is much more intuitive and self-explanatory. Also, users will have one-click access to most-used functionality through Role Centers, organized dashboards which give direct insight into pending to-dos and tasks requiring user’s attention. Accessing one’s daily work doesn’t require browsing through labyrinths of screens and menus—typically, only what’s needed is shown in every screen, and there are vast personalization capabilities to make it all even simpler.
- Web Services Enablement: It is now possible to expose any Microsoft Dynamics NAV functionality as a web service without any programming allow Microsoft Dynamics NAV to be seamlessly integrated into workflows extending far beyond system boundaries. Company’s internal processes, line-of-business applications, business-to-business and business-to-customer interactions can now be streamlined with significantly less investment into development and testing.
- New Architecture: A completely new, 3-tiered architecture with new Service Tier introduced, a middle component which executes the business logic. This lays the foundation for more robust, scalable and concurrent solutions. New architecture allows for much more freedom in designing network infrastructure, and there will be less scenarios where Terminal Services were the only viable option. Also, higher scalability is now much easier to achieve, which means that Microsoft Dynamics NAV will be able to sustain growth of customer’s business much longer, preserving the investment.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 is going to be a hot topic of blogs, news sites, articles and analysts’ reports, as it makes the important step towards a single Microsoft Dynamics ERP platform: this is the second Dynamics flavor, after AX earlier this year, which sports the RoleTailored user interface, the new standard for all Microsoft Dynamics ERP products. While not a goal in itself, converging products to a single solution once a uniform user interface is available across all four ERPs will be made into a possibility, or a certainty, if Microsoft chooses so.