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.

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.

Continue reading “Dynamics 365 for Financials: What Is It?”

Don’t Miss This Free Dynamics NAV Virtual Summit!


Attention all Microsoft Dynamics NAV users:
virtual-summit-image Sign up now for this free NAV Virtual Summit on October 25! See what’s coming in NAV 2017, hear from Microsoft guest speakers, and learn the latest tips from our team of NAV Product Specialists.

This is a free, virtual event offered to all of our Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers. There will be several technical sessions, Q & A opportunities and various scheduled breaks throughout the day.

Can’t make it for the full day? Feel free to sign up and join in as you please!


Getting started with Project “Madeira” Preview & First Impressions

If you are not familiar with Project “Madeira” or would like to learn more about the Preview, please take a few minutes to read my post titled: Project “Madeira” Preview has arrived & here’s everything you need to know! 

Microsoft’s Project “Madeira” Preview is available not just for Partners and ISVs, but also for end-users. Whether you are currently using Dynamics NAV today, or you are a prospect looking for your next ERP solution, you can sign up for the preview and start taking Madeira for a test drive in minutes!

02-Preparing and finishing setup

Thanks to the new “Getting Started” product tour functionality, it will be very easy even for first time users to learn how to use Project “Madeira”. From navigation, to working with transactions and reporting, to getting the Universal App configured, it’s all covered under the Getting Started features. Furthermore, Help is also at hand, should you need it. Simply click the ? icon near the top right of the Project “Madeira” window and a new tab (or window) will open up with the help site.

Managed Services for Dynamics NAV vs. Project “Madeira”

At NAV Directions last year, Microsoft announced its Managed Services offering for Dynamics NAV, and at first glance, it isn’t a far cry from what we’re seeing with Project “Madeira”: On Azure, managed by Microsoft, in a multi-tenant architecture.

But one critical difference between the two is that Partners can build their own customized, vertical solution and offer these with Managed Services for Dynamics NAV.

In Project “Madeira”, all clients are essentially running the same out-of-the-box database, but with extensions that can be enabled or disabled to deliver customized functionality.

Since Project “Madeira” will be in use by customers of many different VARs and will be continuously updated, traditional customizations will not be allowed.

First Things First: System Requirements

You can find the detailed minimum system requirements here, but here is a brief summary:

  • Browser: Latest version of Google Chrome for Windows, Firefox for Windows, Safari on OSX, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 and Internet Explorer 11
  • Mobile Devices: iOS 8.4 or later for iPads and iPhones; Android 4.4.3 or higher and at least 1GB of RAM; Windows (Desktop or Phone) 8.1 or newer and at least 1GB of RAM
    • Smartphones must have a minimum screen size of 4″ and tablets must have a minimum screen size of 7″
  • Outlook: See the minimum system requirements link at the top of this section for full details on Outlook applications, browsers and platform support
  • Office 365 is not required, but I would certainly recommend it so you can get improved productivity with Microsoft Office apps like Outlook, Excel, and Word.

Now let’s get you signed up…

Step 1: Set up your Project “Madeira” login

The Project “Madeira” Preview is only available in the United States at this time.

With that out of the way, let’s go to http://madeira.microsoft.com (http://www.projectmadeira.com also works).

Continue reading “Getting started with Project “Madeira” Preview & First Impressions”

Microsoft Power BI for NAV: Simple. Powerful. FREE!

Microsoft Power BI transforms your company’s data from Microsoft Dynamics NAV into rich visuals for you to collect and organize so you can focus on what matters to you. Empower your management team to make quick, confident decisions by spotting trends as they happen, and push your business further. This recorded webinar will show you how you can start turning raw data into meaningful insights!

Contact us to learn more: info@interdynbmi.com