Dynamics NAV versus Dynamics 365 for Financials

By Devang Mehta, NAV Practice Manager

Dynamics 365 for Financials and Dynamics NAV are business management solutions for small and mid-sized organizations that automate and streamline business processes and help you manage your business.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 for Financials are very similar products. The Dynamics 365 for Financials was earlier known as “Project Madeira”. These two solutions aren’t really competitors. They target different markets and address different needs. Dynamics 365 Financials is a complete cloud SAAS solution based on the NAV platform. Therefore, two ERP systems have more things in common than things that set them apart.


Most likely the biggest difference between the two solutions is deployment.

Dynamics 365 for Financials is purchased as a service. The benefits here are lower cost, scalability, accessibility, etc.

Dynamics NAV, on the other hand, has a little more flexibility in this regard. You can host the software on your own servers, or in a 3rd-party cloud like Azure if you choose. Dynamics NAV actually works very well when hosted by a 3rd-party cloud, so don’t base your choice between these two products on whether you want “the cloud” or not.

Pricing & Licensing

Dynamics 365 for Financials can only be licensed as a subscription for $40/month for every person. It can only be for named users. This means that Dynamics 365 for Financials will have a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) than Dynamics NAV.  This is because Dynamics 365 for Financials licenses are less expensive per named user ($40 monthly vs $65 monthly); and all infrastructure costs are included in its price.

Dynamics NAV can be purchased either perpetually, or as a subscription. This means you can bear the full cost of licenses up-front, or subscribe to retain access rights. You can also purchase Dynamics NAV users as “concurrent” users, or “named” users. This means you can either buy the rights for up to [x number] of people to use Dynamics NAV at the same time, or you can buy the rights for certain people to use the solution whenever they want. Your choice.


Dynamics NAV is a much more robust solution. Currently, the Dynamics 365 for Financials limitations are:

  1. It does not provide any features for production, storage, or services and human resources management.
  2. Although it allows you to create more than one company, it offers no functionalities for inter-company transactions or consolidation.
  3. In the inventory module, Financials doesn’t provide for the management of several different warehouses (locations), or the management of batches or serial numbers.
  4. In the Purchasing module, Financials doesn’t allow you to create purchase quote requests to vendors; it only allows you to prepare purchase orders.


Financials can only be personalized through “extensions”. This is a new development approach (also available for NAV), which is only just starting to be used by partners.

If you require a lot of customizations, Dynamics NAV will have the edge. It has one of the most “open” codebases of any ERP; about everything is exposed to the system developer to customize. It also has a lot of customizations created by Independent Software Vendor (ISV) . Due to its longevity, a lot of the customizations are already developed, and a rich talent pool of developers already exist.

For Dynamics 365 for Financials, you would have to reach into the Appsource and find an app that plugs right in to Dynamics 365 for Financials. Dynamics 365 for Financials currently does not have all of the configuration options available to NAV.


Dynamics 365 Financials is not a competitor to NAV 2017. I would consider it “baby NAV”.

It is a powerful cloud solution based on the Dynamics NAV technology, targeting the needs of small businesses. Although there are several current differences between the two solutions, Microsoft will expend a significant amount of resources on updating Dynamics 365 Financial to make it a complete cloud based robust solution.  They are announcing new features every month to the software.

How to Receive Multiple Shipments Against a Purchase Order and Track Costs

By AJ Ansari, NAV Product Manager

Question: How can I handle multiple shipments from a vendor for a single Purchase Order in Dynamics NAV (or Dynamics 365 for Financials),  and how do I track the total dollar amount of each receipt?

Answer:  Start by adding the Qty. to Receive, Quantity Received, Qty. to Invoice, and Quantity Invoiced columns visible in the Lines FastTab/section of the Purchase Order. You can do this by right clicking one of the column headers under Lines, and clicking on Choose Columns.

When you are about to receive a partial shipment from a vendor, overwrite the value in the Qty. to Receive field. This field should be showing the same value as what you see in the Quantity field, assuming you have not yet received any goods (if you are using NAV, depending on your Purchase & Payables Setup, the Qty. to Receive field may also be be 0 by default). Also look at the vendor’s quote / shipping document / packing slip to ensure that you have the right $ amount per unit in the Direct Unit Cost Excl. Tax field.

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Overcoming Dynamics 365 Data Migration Blues (Importing Balances and Historical Data)

By AJ Ansari, NAV Product Manager

A key shortcoming with Microsoft’s current data migration tools for importing data from QuickBooks, Dynamics GP or Excel into Dynamics 365 for Financials is that they all focus on migration of Master records, and not on import of any transactional data.

Data Migration to Dynamics 365

Most customers at least want an opening balance for each G/L Account, and sometimes Net Change by G/L Account by month for the last 12 months (for comparative reporting), and to bring in opening Receivable balance for each Customer, Payable balance for each Vendor, and Inventory valuation and quantities.

These can be done by entering or importing data into the General Journal, Sales Journal, Purchase Journal, and Item Journal. BUT, with no RapidStart for Data Migration yet, and the fact that none of these Journals have an ‘Edit in Excel’ option out-of-the-box, getting transactional data in can be quite a hassle.

What I find curious is that there is an Edit in Excel button on the ribbon on the Batch selection screen for each journal, but not on the actual journals themselves (where it is needed).

So you either need to type all that data in, or you have to get creative. What we’ve done is created and published a Web Service for each of those Journal pages, and did a little reverse-engineering to be able to Publish data from Excel into Dynamics 365 for Financials like you can from an “Edit in Excel” list.

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Dynamics 365 for Financials: What Is It?

By Devang Mehta, NAV Practice Manager

What Is It?

Microsoft has been pouring a significant amount of resources into its latest ERP product, Dynamics 365, which was released in November of 2016. The product features Financials, Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Operations, Project Service Automation and Marketing.

Dynamics 365 Financials is a complete cloud SAAS solution, based on the field-tested, mature Dynamics NAV platform and hosted using Microsoft Azure, all at a cost that’s less than what it would cost just to host another ERP solution.

The New Movement

Microsoft’s vision is a refreshing change as it offers a very tightly integrated environment that incorporates the best of each of the Microsoft products and makes them work together seamlessly. Back in the early 2000’s, Microsoft spent billions acquiring four leading ERP solutions: Navision (now NAV), Great Plains (now GP), Solomon (now SL), and Axapta (now AX).  After that, many people (including myself) assumed that Microsoft would blend the best of all these ERP solutions into one. For a time, Microsoft considered doing this (aka “Project Green”), but the task proved to be too large for a quick rollout. Instead, Microsoft initially just added some minor integrations between their ERPs and other Microsoft tools, but did not do anything that could be considered “revolutionary”. In fact, for many years, these various Dynamics ERP solutions actually competed with each other and did not always work well in the Microsoft stack.

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Video Tutorial: Using Microsoft Flow with Dynamics 365 & NAV 2017 for Business Process Automation Across Popular Services

In NAV 2016, Microsoft introduced a proper workflow engine and some templates, opening the door for user defined workflows right out of the box (where previously, an ISV solution or customization would be required). That said, with few exceptions, such as e-mails for approval requests, the scope of the workflows was entirely within the NAV application: being triggered by an event in NAV, resulting in one or more actions and responses in NAV. Despite the limited number of pre-built workflow templates, events, and responses, it has definitely been a good selling feature for the solution.


Now imagine what you could do if NAV workflows could interact with other applications and services that your organization uses every day? Think SharePoint, CRM applications, SQL, cloud based file sharing services, Office apps (traditional and Office 365), BI.. or even social media! Actions driven by events in NAV, or triggering processes in NAV based on events in another application that drives your business.

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