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BDO Solutions

Staying Up To Date on Microsoft Dynamics NAV

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Software systems today can no longer survive by only getting updated once every couple of years; the pace of technology is so fast and business changes to quickly. Microsoft Dynamics Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) products are no different.  Like Server and Desktop Operating Systems there are bugs that are encountered, new security vulnerabilities exposed, and major features that need to be included that didn’t exist even 6 months ago.

Each of these issues needs to have an appropriate and timely response to ensure your investment in technology and that your organization can focus on your business and not on the maintenance of the ERP system.  Microsoft releases many different types of updates for the ERP system, each having  different requirements and including different functionality.

Platform Hotfixes

An update to the platform represents a change to the executables and files that were installed with Microsoft Dynamics NAV and affect how the application runs on a specific environment (Server Version, Processor, Service Pack, Operation System, etc) and addresses issues that are related to the display and connectivity in Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

These are released as a set of new files in Customer Source to replace the existing ones and are cumulative and identified by a build number and are part of the enhancement program.

Application Hotfixes

These are changes to the code in the NAV Objects (Tables, Pages, Codeunits, etc) that can be made to address a specific issue, often with very specific sets of circumstances.  These are released as they are identified by Microsoft and are most often the result of a Partner submitting a bug report on behalf of a customer experiencing this issue.

These most often require a Microsoft Solution Professional to review the impacted code and ensure that there are no customizations in the database that the solution will conflict with, and then modify the impacted code.

Service Packs

Changes to the product that do not warrant a new version but include a substantial change that typically require both Application changes and Platform updates are released as a Service Pack; they are usually rare, often happening once during the lifecycle of the product.

For example Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 SP1 included some major changes to reporting (Drill Through) and additional tools for Pages (Matrix Forms and Images).

Often this also coincides with changes to other products related to Microsoft Dynamics NAV.  Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 updated the Visual Web Developer build supported to a new version and Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Dynamics 5.0 changed how SQL Server was supported.

New Versions

Major changes live here - a new version can bring nearly any type of change to the application and it is very difficult to envision what might be coming out in the new version given how quickly new software tends emerge.

These require the most changes and planning to implement but are the most rewarding. For an enterprise, they capture the latest in software development and design and provide the most new functionality for an organization.

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 introduced the N-Tier Architecture
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 Introduced the .NET Interop functionality
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 introduces the SharePoint and Web Clients and Native operations on Azure

BDO Solutions is a national firm with local practices throughout Canada, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Reseller of the Year in Canada for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

By Sean Henderson, Solutions Consultant, BDO Solutions, leading Canadian Microsoft Dynamics ERP & CRM Partner.

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