The Microsoft Dynamics NAV Process Flow

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While it can be hard to appreciate the fact when mired in process planning meetings all day, the concept of the process has done wonders for business planning. It's no wonder then, that the best business software revolves around the concept. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is designed from the ground up to be very clean and svelte. This not only helps everyone involved understand the operation of the software, but makes it easier to develop and enhance. If you're considering upgrading to Dynamics NAV or are interested in its capabilities, the first step is to understand how it works. That said, here's a high-level description of NAV's process flow.

The first step in NAV's process is the initial setup. This is the first configuration of the NAV system, including entry of essential master data, setup data, and reference data. This may seem like the boring part, but it's essential in tailoring Dynamics NAV to your business. Then the more day-to-day activity: transaction entry. Every transaction is entered into a journal table, where the data is validated according to configuration. The obvious example here is a point of sale, but these entries can also be generated automatically or imported from another source.

While there's a brief validation of entered data when it's entered in a transaction, another more robust round of validation follows. The first round of validation is merely to check essential data (making sure that data is formatted correctly, etc). This stage in the process flow is more broad, and can compare entered data to more meta data to ensure that everything is on the level. The validation done here is configurable, and can be tweaked to send alerts or halt processing under certain conditions.

From then, the data is posted to one or more ledgers, depending on validation. Data can also be posted to various reports if desired. The really interesting stage comes after posting, oddly titled “utilize.” Once the data is validated and posted, the data can be automatically analyzed and collected into reports. This stage is incredibly flexible; almost any level of data analysis and comparison you desire can be implemented with ease. Following that, the data is maintained and stored. If there is some temporary data that's no longer necessary, it can be discarded, or data can be collected in logically accessible areas.

From there the whole cycle starts again (excepting initial setup). While laying it all out there may sound simple, it takes great software to make an incredibly complicated process sound like nothing. In addition, almost every stage of the process is incredibly flexible. The reporting process can break down at any stage in the workflow, so it's a godsend to have the freedom to work out the kinks.
By Commerce Systems Group, Microsoft Dynamics Partner in Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina.

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