I’m on the plane going back home after visiting one of my best friends .. which finally gives me some time to wrap up whatever has been in my head about Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”. During and after Directions, I have been so busy that it was difficult to find time to decently write about it.
What I learned is that there is quite much to look out for – and I’ll try to sum that up by summing up the facts (I’m not much of a fan of rumors..) – based on the information that I got out of it, and how I have perceived it – let that be my disclaimer ;-).
Fact 1: the market around the product we know as “Dynamics NAV” keeps being a partner model
Together with Microsoft, we, partners, have been making NAV great. Even more – it is a cashcow for Microsoft. That is just a fact. A lot of indicators point out it’s a far bigger cashcow then any other Dynamics product.
Year after year we – the partners – have been making and even exceeding the goals Microsoft has been putting out here. It’s us. Partners. We sell, we implement, we configure, we customize, we productize, we verticalize, … !
And in the future, it’s still us that needs to do it. No need to hold back, but keep doing what we have been doing.
I can speak for my own companies – we are investing a lot in bringing our shit to the latest and greatest (pardon my language – it’s a Flemish thing ;-)).
Fact 2: NAV will be available in the cloud
In Spring, there is going to be Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the cloud, based on NAV!
Of course! When you look at it technically, it makes all the sense in the world:
- NAV is the best product to target the SMB market
- NAV has a great, new, state-of-the-art extensibility model (aka Extensions) (did you know AX doesn’t have that? Or at least, if they have .. then they should start documenting it, as at this moment, there is already more to find about NAV extensions in beta, then “anything” extensions on AX?)
And – let’s be honest – if you want to target SMB – especially SB – NAV is the only product that can serve that decently. (being a NAV-guy, my view can be somewhat biased – but I’m sure I’m quite objective on this one…).
Microsoft is being wise here, and is putting NAV in the cloud – SMBs, here we come!
So, with NAV in the cloud, you can bring all your know-how, expertise and whatnot to the next level!
Fact 3: There is a roadmap beyond Spring 2018
You already know that the Microsoft Dynamics NAV team is fully agile. This is one of the reasons why putting up a roadmap for multiple years and specific points is not possible. This is also one of the reasons why for many years no, the roadmap looks like this:
Now, this is not the only roadmap. You also have this: Dynamics 365 Roadmap always at your disposal as a reference.
Fact 4: On Premise is there to stay (for now … ;-))
As long as there is business for On Premise, we will be able to do it with NAV. Microsoft’s focus is “cloud” for sure, but On Premise is there to stay. Of course, when customers are mostly moving to the cloud (some people really don’t believe that it IS happening – I don’t know – I think it’s inevitable (looking at myself and the software I’m using now comparing with a few years ago…)). In that case, in the future .. Probably it will be another story. But as long there is a market for On Premise, as long there will be NAV On Premise.
Fact 5: Dynamics 365 will have full NAV capabilities
In my view, Microsoft completely messed up in naming the first version “Dynamics 365 for Financials”, which it offered more than “just” Financials! Well – they will not make that same mistake twice (I hope..).
Rest assured – for whatever we will do in the cloud – we can do all! From Manufacturing to Jobs to Relationship Management to .. Whatever! All a SMB wants to do – it will be there! With the power of the coud!
Fact 6: One Codebase
We will have a slightly different experience in the cloud, but all will be one codebase! Basically the design is somewhat different in Dynamics 365 (let’s call it the “Dynamics 365 Experience”), and a lot is “tuned” with Application Areas (and some other properties – if I understand correctly) – but – for all we do, the codebase is the same.
Fact 7: Extensibility with Extensions
As said, NAV has an extensibility model, aka “Extensions” or “Apps”.
Do know, Extensions as we know in NAV2016 and NAV2017 is gone! No more. No more delta-shit (again – a Flemish thing – sorry .. ;-)), a LOT less PowerShell shit (..) .. but a decent, modern, VSCode-based development environment where we will be able to:
- Create apps for Dynamics 365
- Create extensions for On Premise installations
- Create extensions, based on customized databases (!!) – oh yes we will! So if you want – you can even apply this to customer development! It will make your upgrade SO much easier if you would do so. And don’t start with “but all my income from this time-consuming-upgrade-work would be gone”. That is income that shouldn’t be income. Upgrade ALL your customers instead of just one or two, and there’s your income again!
Fact 8: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 will be released on December 1st
Thanks to Directions US, and the feedback and the passion of the partners that has made it clear that this had to happen.
As said, the team of Microsoft Dynamics NAV is full agile. That’s why they could make the decision to release “what they already had” on such a short timeframe. During Directions EMEA, I made a blogpost which covered quite some topics on what’s available in the new version!
Fact 9: Extension V2 will work on Dynamics NAV 2018
How cool is that! So yes, this modern development experience in VSCode WILL work on the release we will get on December 1st! And on top of that, we WILL be able to create extensions on top of our own customizations/product/ … as well.
Fact 10: Yes, you will be able to white label your product, but you don’t have to
“Powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365” or not, it’s your choice! Even for Embed apps, you have the choice! Thing is that for Embed Apps, YOU will have to do full support of your app – obviously. If you completely change the posting routine in your app – Microsoft can’t support that.
Fact 11: Microsoft is working on the prices
Pricing is not known yet. But for sure Microsoft is working on getting that nailed down. Also here, there was a lot of feedback during both Directions – and I’m sure Microsoft is doing what it can to please us, partners.
Fact 12: There is no monetization in AppSource – but it will come
It was stated by Microsoft that there will be no monetization basedon AppSource in the next release. As far as I know, Microsoft will not be collecting your money on AppSource just yet.
But you can do your own monetization quite easily.
With Cloud Ready Software, Arend-Jan Kauffman has been doing sessions about this on how to do that – and there is already some code on github that does this in a simple way. AJ has been working on this, and even integrated payments with Stripe.
Fact 13: Microsoft Dynamics NAV consumes an insane amount of Azure stuff – and that’s a good thing.
Read this blogpost of James Crowter first. I was amazed that the rumors I heard at Microsoft actually seemed to be true.
Fact is, Microsoft Dynamics NAV generates an insane amount of metrics / logs – all on azure. The installations we do as partners, all generate Azure comsumption – together with the Dynamics 365 customers. All this should be accounted for to Dynamics NAV! If Microsoft pays that much attention to it, Microsoft should get their act together and have objective measures instead of anything else!
Fact 14: I can’t wait!
To conclude, I don’t lie when I say I can’t wait for turning my companies to the new development environment, for getting our products to the cloud, to integrate with the Dynamics 365 stack, … . I am excited, and so should you! 😉
Just for your reference, here are a few more resource which I really liked!
- Arend-Jan Kauffmann: Thoughts on Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” & NAV 2018
- Saurav Dhyani: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 – Yes It is!
- James Crowter: With Microsoft Dynamics 365 SMB plans firmed, NAV & CRM partners can plan for a bright future
- Tobias Fenster: Why I like where Dynamics NAV / 365 currently is
- Aleksandar Totovic: The future of NAV – a small wrap up