What is New in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2

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Microsoft recently released Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 as the latest update to Dynamics NAV, the most popular mid-market ERP system in the world. Although there is not much in the way of functionality updates, the R2 release is an important step in the evolution of the product.  Microsoft’s official line is that it will “deliver new levels of customer and partner value through faster, more efficient implementations, compelling new and enhanced application functionality, and unparalleled levels of customer choice on how to deploy and access the solution” and by and large, that is all true.

Dynamics NAV continues to become more closely integrated with Office 365 and can be deployed both on-premises and in cloud-based SharePoint sites, with a single sign-on.  As well, the Web client has been significantly upgraded with functionality equivalent to the Windows client and a look and feel consistent with Office 365.  Dynamics NAV business processes can now be extended through SharePoint workflows and Web parts.

Major enhancements were made to the cash management capabilities, especially if the SEPA standard for electronic transactions is important to you.  An automatic bank reconciliation module is capable of taking bank download files and automatically clearing them.  The SEPA integration includes both a debit and credit transfer.

As with the initial 2013 release, R2 continues to push usability enhancements into the product for both the Windows and Web clients.  One welcome addition is the ability to re-sort a list view by clicking on the header field.  A re-styled user interface is consistent with that now found in Office 365, making the system more intuitive for users with the combined systems.

A major change was the ability to run Microsoft Dynamics NAV on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.  Partners will now be able to run multiple customers in a multi-tenant Azure environment, which offers major advantages for low cost, high volume repeatable cloud sales.

RapidStart continues to evolve with this release with the ability to roll out new implementations and upgrades with PowerShell scripts, which has the promise of reducing the cost and effort for both customers and partners.

All in all, more of a technical upgrade than a functional one, but a welcome one, especially with the improvements to the Web and SharePoint clients.  The user interface just continues to get better and the RapidStart and Azure improvements offer transformational capabilities to partner service delivery.

By Malcolm Roach, CA  Open Door Technology, Inc.


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