Fedex API to be Discontinued for E-Ship

In case you haven’t heard, Fedex will discontinue the use of their old API used by Lanham’s E-Ship module for Fedex Integration. The date that the old API will be discontinued will be May of 2012. While that’s still a couple of months out, it may be worthwhile to plan an upgrade of E-Ship so you can continue using the Fedex Ingration granule for Lanham without interruption when the time comes.

This is a long time coming. Fedex had already announced that they will discontinue the API a while ago. It has taken awhile for the folks at Lanham to develop the new interface to talk with Fedex.

The old Fedex API has it’s share of problems. The more notable one is that it does not support Windows 7. With new machines from Fedex shipped with Windows 7 pre-installed, I’m sure you’re IT department will be pretty happy about the update.

CORRECTION: The web service for E-Ship is NOT the NAV2009 Web services. It’s the Fedex Web Services. So this means that you can still use version 3.7A (the lowest version you have to be on) and still implement the Fedex Web Services. You WILL need to be current on the Lanham enhancement in order to use the Fedex Web Service. The version of E-Ship will need to be at least SE0.54.18.

This is yet another reason for end users to stay current on their enhancement. If you missed the “Sky’s the Limit” offer and you wish to continue shipping using Lanham’s Fedex integration, it’s time to plan for an alternative solution or get current on the enhancement by any means possible. Microsoft enhancement amnesty will end on June 30th, 2011.

You can register to see the new Fedex web services from the webinar hosted by Lanham here:
Thursday, June 23rd at 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST
Register Now!

Dynamics NAV 7 and Improvements to RDLC Reporting

Having made a big deal about how bad the current RDLC for Dynamics NAV 2009 (Navision 6.0) has lead me to numerous disucssions with Claus Lundstrøm. For those of you who doesn’t know, Claus is the main guy behind the new reporting tool in Navision. He blogs regularly at the Dynamics NAV Team Blog on reporting and how to make it better.

Not being able to write too much on our discussion because of the NDA, Claus assured me that RDLC will not go away. It was important for everyone at Microsoft to emphasize that what partners had invested with learning the RDLC in NAV 2009 (Navision 6.0) will carry over to NAV ‘7’ and beyond. The RDLC will NOT go away.

Initially hearing this, my heart sank to the floor. I could not believe how customers can be better served with the current RDLC tool. That is until Claus showed me some improvements with the new RDLC tool and additional improvements that’s been moved to high priority after our discussion. Again, not being able to disclose too much, I can only say that I’m very optimistic about the improvements that will be made in NAV 7 (Navision 7.0). If not, you bet I will have more long discussions with Claus again.

NAV 7 Classic Report to be Discontinued
As many of you know by now, in NAV 7, the classic report will be discontinued. That’s not to say you have to convert every report to RDLC right now. Classic client report will still work, it just will not work if you decide to convert the report in NAV 7. Yes, there’s a button that you push in NAV 7 to convert each report.

On the side note, even though Microsoft has said that the classic report will be discontinued in Navision 7.0, I wouldn’t be surprised if that support would be removed when NAV 7 actually hits the store shelves. I remember when Microsoft announced in version 5.0, the classic client will be discontinued, only to continue support to what we have now.

The point is, the product has to be ready before partners can safely say “ok, we’re ready to move our clients to the new environment”. The new technology has to make our lives easier, not just prettier. As to what kinds of improvements can be expected, at least on the reporting side, in NAV 7, I’m just as in the dark as you.

Jet Reports Express and ZetaDocs Express Now included in Dynamics NAV
In case you haven’t heard the announcement at Directions EMEA 2011, Jet Reports Express and ZetaDocs Express is now available for customers who are current on their enhancement plan. The draw back is that this is only applicable to customers who are on version NAV 2009 and later.

I’m pretty excite about this. Jet Report is a very good tool for generating quick reports in Excel. Perhaps, with this tool, we won’t need RDLC anymore to generate quick reports for the end users. Jet Report is also very trainable to the end users. The only drawback with Jet Reports is that for complex and reports with a lot of data, it’s very slow and consumes a lot of resource. For more complex reports, we still prefer to suffer through the RDLC.

For those of you that wanted Microsoft to purchase Pivotier, I’m sorry. With this partnership, it looks like Pivotier will always remain an add-on for Dynamics NAV.

Anyways, here’s the information direct from Microsoft:

Jet Report Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Jet Report Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a business reporting tool that gives users an easy and simple way to create high impact reports. Within a familiar Microsoft Excel environment, users will be able to access and merge Microsoft Dynamics NAV data and utilize all of the Microsoft Excel capabilities, such as Power Pivot, formatting, charting and Pivot Tables, to create powerful, insightful and well-formatted reports – quickly and easily.

Jet Report Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV will be released in Q3 CY2011.  Following a  careful review of customer and partner Business Intelligence (BI) & Reporting needs, Microsoft has worked in cooperation with Jet Reports, Inc. on the development of this solution, which enables us to enhance our BI & Reporting value proposition for customers and partners within the next few months.

Important Facts You Need to Know

  • Jet Report Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV is available as new functionality for new and existing Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers who are on an active Business Ready Enhancement Plan.
  • Customers who use Jet Report Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV are licensed under the terms of Jet Reports, Inc.  All training and support for the solution is provided by Jet Reports, Inc.
  • Jet Report Express is only available for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 or later.
  • Access to Jet Report Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV will be made available via a link from PartnerSource and CustomerSource within the next few months.

Zetadocs Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Zetadocs Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV makes it possible to store original documents associated with Microsoft Dynamics NAV records, such as emails, faxes and scanned documents, securely in one central location for quick and easy retrieval using Microsoft SharePoint Online.

With this new feature, users are able to work more efficiently. It’s possible to automatically capture electronic documents by dragging and dropping the documents inside Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The documents can then be retrieved and viewed from within the Microsoft Dynamics NAV RoleTailored Client or from Microsoft SharePoint Online giving users greater flexibility in accessing stored documents. What’s more, Zetadocs Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV provides the possibility to setup a basic document approval process using SharePoint Online.

Zetadocs Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV also makes it possible to email a report as a PDF attachment, filing a copy of the report automatically in Microsoft SharePoint Online. And, it supports simple automated email addressing for sales documents, such as invoices, using the email address stored in the customer card (if present). 

Zetadocs Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV will be released in Q4 CY2011.  We are working with Equisys plc to bring this capability to market.  This reflects our excitement about the upcoming release of Office 365 – and the opportunities that integration between NAV 2009 and Office 365 will offer customers.

Important Facts You Need to Know

  • Zetadocs Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV is available as new functionality for new and existing Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers who are on an active Business Ready Enhancement Plan.
  • A subscription to Microsoft Office 365 is required to use Zetadocs Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Microsoft Office 365 is an online service from Microsoft that combines the familiar Microsoft Office Web Apps with a set of web-enabled tools.
  • Customers who use Zetadocs Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV are licensed under the terms of Equisys plc.; therefore, all training and support for the solution is provided by Equisys, plc. 
  • Zetadocs Express is only available for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 or later.
  • More information on Zetadocs Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV will be made available via a link from PartnerSource and CustomerSource very soon.

Imagine if Your ERP is on the Cloud with Amazon Right Now

If you haven’t heard already, Amazon Web Service AKA Amazon Cloud, has been down since around 1AM on April 11th, 2011.  I wrote an article about my reservations of having the heart of my business outsourced somewhere in the post here.

Imagine if your company decided to have your solution hosted with Amazon Cloud. You’d be hurting a lot right now as a lot of orders will have to be written by hand. But assuming you’re not using Quickbooks anymore, your company must’ve grown to a significant size, and in a world that’s more connected than ever, your ERP solution is probably integrated and receiving orders electronically (EDI, E-commerce sites, etc).

I realize this cloud computing is still at its infancy and as we can see, even if a hosting company as big as Amazon can fail without warning. The lessons learned here if you decide to host your ERP or Navision or GP or AX, etc. You have to:

  • Make sure how you’re going to process the order by hand
  • Make sure you have a plan to get all those electronic orders by hand
  • Make sure you have a plan to manually ship those orders

These plans will need to be in place for the long term as you never know when the hosting company can get their server back up and running again. It may take hours, days, or even weeks. Even so, you’re risking data loss after it comes back online. Basically, even if the hosting company guarantees, you’d better not expect it’ll be guaranteed.

On the flip side, if your hardware is hosted in house, the manually processes are not as important. You can get a computer and restore a backup last night of your database faster than the hosting company can get their server back online.

Why You Should Not Turn On Expected Cost Posting for Navision

The ERP software business is a very competitive business. If the software company does not devote a lot of their resources into research and development of the product, it becomes outdates very quickly. Therefore, when choosing to purchase an asset that is the lifeblood of your organization, it’s very important to not just consider how well the product and serve your company, but also the company behind the product.

Having said that, there are also a lot of features that are developed because “the competitors have it”, not because it makes good operational sense. These features are important in sales demos and feature comparison analysis for end users looking to purchase a new system.

One of these features in Dynamics NAV, in my opinion, is the Expected Cost Posting feature in Dynamics NAV. The reason is not the feature itself, but the amount of useless data it generates. This article will exam this feature a little closer and give you some informed decision on how you should configure this for your company.

What Does the Feature Do?
According to Dynamics NAV help, this is what the feature does:

Expected costs are the estimate that you make of the cost of, for example, purchasing an item before you actually receive the invoice for the item.

You can post expected cost to both inventory and to G/L. Whenever you post a document, such as an order or a journal, as received or shipped, a value entry line will be created with the expected cost. This expected cost will affect inventory value, but it will not be posted to G/L unless you have set the program up to do that.

Basically, this feature accrues the values of the inventory that you receive (and ship) that has not been invoiced yet. Sounds great! This is in compliance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), you should match up the value of your inventory to the G/L. Having this checked, on the G/L entries are created for you automatically.

NOTE: This feature DOES NOT have ANYTHING to do with your inventory cost and how it’s valued! Do not get it confused! This feature is STRICTLY for Navision to post expected cost the G/L.

In practice, this is what the feature does. Consider the following purchase order:

I’m using the CRONUS database with item 70001 and 70002 as our example.

If you create a purchase order and post the Receipt, it creates the following transactions. This is done by Navigating on the Purchase Receipt and showing the G/L Entry table:

As you can see, the system creates 2 additional transactions per item. One goes to the Inventory Interim account specified on your Inventory Posting Setup and the other entry goes to the Invt. Accrual Acc. (Interim) account specified on your General Posting Setup. If you do not turn on the Expected Cost Posting, no G/L transactions are posted.

Now let see what transactions are created when when the purchase invoice is posted.

When invoice, it creates 2 additional transactions per item. The same entries as what we did on purchase receipt, but this entry effectively reverses out the entries in the interim accounts.

For normal transactions for items that are received, there are no G/L Entries created. When you post the invoice, the Direct Cost Applied and the Inventory are hit per item. Then 2 transactions are created for the whole invoice for Purchase and Accounts Payable.

The functionality works on the sales side as well. So if you do post sales shipment and sales invoice, the number of transactions occur the same way except using different G/L accounts.

If you do the math, with Expected Cost Posting turned ON, you’re creating 40% of additional transactions per entry when you post a purchase invoice! In addition, you’re creating additional entries when you post the purchase receipt.

The number of transactions increases significantly if you use Dimensions!

Why is it a Waste of Space?
Space is cheap, we all know that. But even if storage is cheap, I’m still a firm believer that you should only keep track of data that’s of some value.

Having Navision post these additional transaction, in my opinion provides no value and typically adds to the confusion of the company using it. Not to mention that it creates additional work for the accounting folks if all of a sudden accounts are off because someone decided it was a good idea to turn on Direct Posting for those accounts. Or if a bad implementor decided it was a good idea to turn on Expected Cost Posting without closing all the outstanding orders.

In addition, think about your back up. By creating an additional 40%+ of transactions per purchase and sales order, you’re making your database size bigger than it has to be. And we all hate dealing with large files and all the problems that it comes with.

How do I Get the Expected Cost for Accrual Purpose?
That’s easy. There’s a outstanding report in standard Navision that’s there since version 1.x called Inventory to G/L Reconcile. This report gives the figures for receipt not invoiced and shipped not invoiced. The example of the report from our example above:

All you need to do is take that amount and book your accruals accordingly. You can set this up on the Recurring Journal easily enough so you post the accrual entries, and the system will automatically reverse it out on the next period. Look at the Recurring Method in the Help file if you’re not sure what I’m talking about.

Since we highly recommend (I should say mandate) our clients to turn off direct posting to Inventory, COGS, Purchase, etc accounts, we usually ask them to create separate account for accrual purposes, just like the example in the CRONUS company.

I truly believe this is a function that was created out of necessity during the “feature wars” of the ERP software. Ultimately, the “feature war” is good for the ERP software consumers because it forces ERP software companies to invest, or be phased out. However, in practice, not all of the features should be implemented just because it sounds like a great idea.

A good Navision consultant should walk you through these key features and what impact it has. The person should have enough knowledge to know where the pitfalls are so you’re not wasting your time going through every little feature in the system.

The balance of what needs to further explanation and what doesn’t is really up to your Navision consultant. And the way that the Navision consultant should know these is through experience. If your Navision consultant is new or not that experienced, just reading from the manual, he/she will think that this is a great feature and a must, just like the end users!

Navision RDLC reporting – SetData and GetData – Why It Is REQUIRED

Ever wondered why there’s no tutorial on how to create a Sales Order report from scratch in the RDLC? The reason is because it takes a LONG TIME! Even for an experienced developer, it takes a long time. As I previously mentioned on my article, Microsoft really needs to address this in future versions.

The reason for SetData and GetData is not because of performance reason as stated in the manual 80146B. For additional information on defining SetData and GetData, please look here.

For multiple pages, the header data is dependant on whether there are lines. If you’re printing multiple form type reports like the sales order and you do not use the SetData and GetData, the header will only link to the lines displayed on the first page of the report. So this means that if your sales order is printed to the 2nd page, the header information will all disappear.

Here’s an example if you create a report without using the SetData and GetData logic:

This is the first page. As you can see, the header displays nice and pretty. I used whiteout to remove some sensitive information in Paint.

Now this is what happens when you print the 2nd page:

No, it’s not an error. You’re seeing it correct. It’s a blank page. I didn’t even have to use Paint to remove any information.

The reason why the 2nd page is blank, again, is because the link was done only on the first page on the header. If the report goes to the 2nd page, the link is essentially gone, therefore, no value is loaded and so nothing is displayed.


So when you create a report that has headers in forms (sales order, quote, etc). You need these:

Shared Offset As Integer
Shared NewPage As Object
Public Function GetGroupPageNumber(NewPage As Boolean, PageNumber As Integer) As Object
    If NewPage
        Offset = PageNumber – 1
        NewPage = False
    End If
    Return PageNumber – Offset
End Function
Public Function IsNewPage As Boolean
    NewPage = True
    Return NewPage
End Function
Shared HeaderData As Object
Public Function GetData(Num As Integer) As Object
   Return Cstr(Choose(Num, Split(Cstr(HeaderData),Chr(177))))
End Function
Public Function SetData(NewData As Object)
    If NewData <> “” Then
        HeaderData = NewData
    End If
End Function

 And you need these controls with the proper code:

We spent hours and hours trying to get our report header to print on multiple pages. Don’t make the same mistakes we did!

EDIT – Thanks to Steven for pointing this out. It turns out that this was mentioned on the 80146B manual on Chapter 3 page 35. Shows you that you shouldn’t go through the 300+ page manual quickly!

Open Suggestions to Make Navision RDLC Reporting More Efficient

Working with the new RDLC reporting for a few months now after the NAV2009 release, I thought I would like it as I work with it more. Sad to say, that hasn’t happened yet. It’s like being in a bad relationship and hoping some day that it’ll magically get better. And from the general consensus from NAV forums like and, I’m not alone.

The new RDLC reporting tool in Visual Studio makes creating new reports is a lot longer (and tougher) than if you were to create the same report in the C/side report writer. For NAV, we’re all about efficiency. This RDLC reporting tool is by no means efficient. The report writer should be simple and can be easily picked up by non-developers (i.e. end users), RDLC reporting tool is not.

When I saw the demo for the capabilities of the new reports, I must admit I was drooling. If only I had known at the time that I would have to pull all of my hair out to realize only a portion of those capabilities.

Microsoft said that NAV2009 (Navision 6.0) was going to create new opportunities for partners, I’m not sure who they’re referring to. For companies that create external reporting tools like Jet Reports or Pivotier, I have to say this RDLC reporting tool benefits them the most. They are probably laughing all the way to the bank. But for the rest of the general public, I’m not so sure what kind of opportunties they’re talking about…

So in an attempt to make this relationship better and easiers for partners and end users alike, I would like to make 2 suggestions on how Microsoft can help us improve the relationship we have with the new RDLC reporting tool. Yes, just 2 suggestions.

Suggestion #1:
If Everything Has to be in Table Format, Why Not Just Get Rid of the Layout Designer?

For this suggestion, I’m going to use report 10048 (Customer/Item Statistics). This is one of the more popular reports for customers to analyze who bought what.

Before a standard C/Side report can be converted into the RDLC format, you must first create the sections in the C/side report designer. This is what it looks like on the Section Designer:

The report printed from this is pretty straight forward:

It’s not perfect, but a novice Navision developer or the ned user can easily go in and modify the formating easily and add and remove fields very easily.

Now let’s look at the RDLC layout for this same report:

The output is almost exactly the same. If you save this report to Excel, the formatting would still be messed up. So all the features stayed the same and all of the problems came along with it. Other than the ability to save it as PDF, there’s no benefits that can be seen.

This report is not what the customer signed up for and it’s not what we’ve all see in the demos. I spent a few hours creating the proper layout so the report can take advantage of the features described in COURSE: 80146B – Report Design in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009. Here’s what I came up with:

This is the RDLC layout that I had to create in order to generate a report like that:

In order to take full advantage of the capabilities that you saw in the NAV reporting demo, you have to put everything into Table(s). For every standard NAV report, none of the formats created allows you to easily convert it into the format that is needed. Even if you used the Create Layout Suggestion feature in the report designer, it wouldn’t format it properly into what is needed.

The problem is that the reporting tool is still trying to replicate how standard C/side report works. Standard C/side report does not work well in the RDLC environment. It’s what we’ve been told. We get it. But why is the tools built within NAV saying the opposite?

If everything nice and cool in the RDLC requires Table(s) to work, why not just eliminate the RDLC layout designer completely? For list type reports (which is what we’re dealing with), we only use the layout designer to put fields we want to be displayed. We’re not making anything pretty like Sales Order, Sales Invoice, etc. If the user needs list type report to look pretty, or add some wierd format, it’s easy enough to export this report to Excel and manipulate the formatting there.

If that’s the case, why not just allow a table-like report designer and have this designer automatically create the report layouts for us? This designer should allow us to easily group records, create formulas, bold, underline, etc. Allow us to utilize the capability of charting, document mapping, etc with option like interface.

Basically, as I mentioned previously, eliminate the layout designer completely and have the computer AUTOMATE the layout process for us. Create the appropriate tables for us to allow us to take advantage of the new reporting features.

Having this will allow the end users to easily create their own reports within NAV with greater efficiency and would promote the non-IT end users to be more involved with NAV. And we know for a fact that the more involved the user becomes with how the data flows, the better they will trust in the system and the happier the users will be.

The last thing we want NAV to become is a software that only people with high technical ability knows what’s going on.

Suggestion #2:

For form type reports, blow it up!

For form type reports, such as sales order, sales invoice, purchase order, etc. We don’t need nice features like document map, expand/collapse, etc. So why are we fussing with the RDLC layout report writer?

Even when the sales order is properly formatted in the RDLC, the preview of the report will not match what’s actually printed. If you print a sales order right now, the preview will not match what is being pritned on paper.

Microsoft seems to have taken away the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) functionality in print preview. Any report writer will tell you that having a WYSIWYG preview is very important when we create a delicate form type report with nice graphics, lines, boxes, etc. How can we make quick changes to align everything perfectly if we cannot quickly view them? We have to either print them on paper or print them to PDF.

The suggestion here is simple, again, eliminate the RDLC layout designer and create a new report designer for forms that allows NON-TECHNICAL to create nice and professional forms.

I will repeat this over and over again. The best customers we have are the customers that actively tries to learn the system. Most of these users are non-technical.

I understand the desire to move to a more general report writing tool like Visual Studio, I understand the need to move into a language that are more generally accepted. However, I can easily teach someone how to create and modify reports in C/side environment to a non-IT person. I cannot say the same with RDLC reporting tool and Visual Studio.

As I mentioned in the previous article, NAV is a business software, NOT an IT software. As such, everything in NAV must be designed so a business person can easily utilize its full potential. The ease of use should not stop at the front end, it should extend to the back end as well. Including development.

Dynamics NAV Server granule – Where did it go?

I got quite a pleasent surprise today while I was placing an order with Microsoft for a new Dynamics NAV (Navision) customer. While I was clicking through the granules, I was looking for the dreaded granule 9100 – Dynamics NAV Server to add to the price list  and this is the screen that I spent 15 minutes on:

Notice anything different? That’s right, granule 9100 is no longer there!! I originally thought it was a mistake and clicked back and forth, deleted and re-created the order just to get the granule to pop up. Sensing something good was going on here, I went ahead and processed the order just to see what the license would look like. If it was missing due to a mistake, I can always just write a sales support to the ordering desk and have them add it for me.

For those of you who don’t know, granule 9100 is a granule that you much purchase to have the privilege to use the Role Tailor Client or RTC. Here’s a blog article that mentions it:

After the order was processed, I did a quick search on Partnersource and couldn’t find any mentino of granule 9100 being removed. So I went directly to the Price Sheet Explanation document and this is what I found:

Happiness! The granule is, as of December 15th 2010, included in the Foundation pack. Now we don’t have to charge the customer extra just to have RTC capability!

One question remains though is what about the customers that purchased the granule? How does their enhancement play out? Do they get a credit? I’d be a little upset, not because of the amount of the granule, but because I’m being punished to be an early adopter.

Dynamics NAV (Navision) in the Cloud

With the introduction of the App-V technology for Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 (Navision 6.0), it really introduces the concept of putting Navision into the Cloud. In case you haven’t heard of App-V, you can download the white paper here describing it in detail:

What is the Cloud?
Simply put, Cloud is software applications that people can use over the internet. There are a lot of IT documents out there will give you some complex definition or a diagram of what a cloud is. Don’t get caught up in tech speak! It’s a battle you’ll never win.

The advantage of the cloud is that you don’t need to invest in expensive hardware to use powerful software. In theory, it may also reduce your need for full time IT staff since there are less hardware to maintain (However, from my experience, this is usually not the case).

The cloud is great for softwares that you can use “as is”. Software such as e-mail and CRM, yes, there are some places where you need to personalize, but it’s usually not too intensive. Even with CRM, you usually need an ERP software to keep track of information that your CRM solution cannot.

Why the Cloud model Doesn’t Work in for your ERP?
Technically, it could. The cloud software model essentially has to be everything to everybody (I will repeat this phrase quite often). The cloud software is not able to be customized because it has to be everything to everybody. Every functionality the cloud software has written has to address the needs of the mass public that are using it, not just you.

In addition, even if the cloud ERP vendor says that you are able to customize their product, you’re request is subject to be routed in many other millions of queries about modifications for their company. And likely to be handed to a developer that doesn’t know what the intent was and may not create the function you need. Why? Because the cloud software model essentially has to be everything to everybody.

Another draw back is the ability to retrieve data. When you sign your cloud software agreeement, most likely, you’ve consented in that the cloud software company owns your data. So when it comes to a time where your company outgrew the cloud model, you may have a hard time trying to get your data out. Even if you can get your data out, it may just be the data from some master tables, and not the transactional data.

As I wrote in my previous entries, every business is unique, or I should say, HAS to be unique in order to have a competitive advantage. If your business is the same as everybody else, you shouldn’t be reading this blog, you should be seriously look into your company and identify what your competitive advantages are and leveraging that competitive advantage. So if your business is unique, why are you trusting the heart of your business that has to be everything to everybody?

How does App-V (Application Virtualization) Change the Game?
App-V allows your software, in our case Dynamics NAV or Navision solution, to be published over the internet. The App-V is an framework that allows you to create a private cloud that is controlled by your company. If you like the idea of not having expensive hardware inhouse, it also allows hosting companies to host NAV for you and publishing YOUR version of Dynamics NAV (Navision) software for you.

The advantage of this private cloud model is that the software is still under your control, this means you’re able to any customizations that is unique to your business. This model takes the best part of the cloud model and leaving out the everything to everybody part.

If your business is pretty simple and you don’t mind keep track of any information that’s not available externally, and you don’t mind waiting a long time for a support/modification request, and you’re comfortable having your financial data stored somewhere, then the straight cloud model may be right for you.

The cloud technology is always changing. What my concerns are now may not be relevant 5 or 10 years down the line. But as it stands right now, I’m having a hard time justifying any company to go straight into the cloud ERP model. The ability of App-V is a good starting point to eventually move into the complete cloud.