MS Dynamics NAV End User Developer License

Hello all,

I work for company who wishes to iuse Microsoft Dynamics NAV. I am a complete beginner to this product so if anyone could provide me with links to information about this product please do.

The question I am asking is : Do you have to get Microsoft Dynamics NAV through a Microsoft Certified Partner (ISV). Is it possible to buy directly off microsoft and do the installation yourself?

Does anyone know of any ISV’s that will provide a company with a ‘‘Developer Edition’’ ?

Or Maybe an assisted implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV?


Padraic Hickey

ISV: Yes
MS Direct: No
Installation/implementation yourself: not possible if you or your company has no experience

If you have the experience you might buy ($$$$$) the developers license.

That might be done together with the ISV, formerly called NSC (Navision Solution Center)

Hello Joerg,

Thanks for the response.

Could I ask you just two more questions:

  1. Where can I get a developers license?
  2. How much does it cost?


Hi Padraic, this topic was discussed a lot on our old site (, so take a look at these threads as a good starting point: The first thread addresses your issue, and the rest should provide you with some good back ground reading.

Please feel free to follow up any further questions you have in this current thread, and just reference back. DO make sure to let us know if anyof this helps.

Hello David,

I found this link which explains a lot about the licences:

From what I can tell, it is not possible to just buy a developer license.

You must become a certified partner, complete the exams and only then will you be

allowed to develop with Navision.

Thank you for your time.

That thread is about freelancing, and one of the issues is about a developer licence for freelancing.

Did you follow any of the threads I posted, becasue the first one expalains what you need to do as an end user to get a developers licence. Basically the answer is YES, you can just buy a developers license, but the licence is a very small part of the issue. The big thing is systme support andlearning how to develop in Navision.

You really need to decide what you mean by developer license, there are several levels of developeing for an end user company, You can do quite a bit with just the forms, tables, and report designer, It is a good way to get started, the one thing you can not do is access codueunits and cal code in forms or tables, so you are limited on new functionality you can create, (which for a new user, is probably a good thing), but you can still do a lot, and you can use cal code in reports which combined with processing only feature of reports lets you accomplish a lot. Once you past that point and need more development tools you can add the application builder granule, which gets you access to cal code in forms, tables, and codeunits, it only restricts against some protected tables, which very few people should access anyways. It cost $8000 in the U.S., if you find you need the full developer license as described below you can purchase that for another $26000 in the U.S. You must already have the application designer granule.

Application Builder (7,200)


You use this granule to change the business rules and special calculations that work behind the scenes.

These business rules and special calculations are defined in a language we call C/AL (C/SIDE Application Language). While Application Builder includes access to C/AL, it does not allow access to existing C/AL code that updates write-protected tables (postings for instance). Application Builder lets you create entirely new areas of functionality for your application, enabling you to tailor Navision to fit your entire organization.

This tool also enables you to create 100 Codeunit objects (numbered from 50,000 to 50,099).

The Application Builder granule enables you to take advantage of the functionality included for developers in the Navigation Pane Designer. This means, for example, that you can create new menu items.

Requirements: Report & Dataport Designer, Form Designer, Table Designer and XML Port Designer

Solution Developer (7,300)


You use this granule for the same purposes as the Application Builder granule, but it also gives you access to code that updates write-protected tables.

This granule gives you the access necessary to change or create any object type, and gives you access to the Merge Tool and Upgrade Tool.

This granule also enables you to use the menu options Translate/Export and Translate/Import in the Object Designer. These options are not available with the Application Builder granule.

Requirements: Application Builder

So how do you freelancers do development? Did you all buy the 25K license? That is a pretty hefty investment for an independent.

FIrstly most Independent Freelancers don’t do programming. The biggest value that a Freelancer adds to an End User implementation, is the ability to give an unbiased third party voice to the implementation process. The main role, is something like a liason between the NSCs project manager, and the Client, making sure that the NSC is doing their job right. I know that NSCs don’t like this, but no one is perfect, and the only way that a client can understand the lingo and know what they are really signing is to get in an independent.

The biggest problem that Freelancers have is that generally after a short period Freelancing, they get a great offer from an end user to join as an employee. Of course only the bigger Navision implementation can afford a full time Freelance on board, so there is still plenty of work left with the smaller (<$1 Mill) systems.

Of course a lot of the larger cleints eventually see the advantages of having in house developers, and purchase the Application Builder, and take on a full time developer.

There are also Freelancers that basically work as contractors to a few NSCs and do development work for them. But that model just does not seem to work.

By the way, a developer licence costs a lot more than $25k keep in mind that first you have to buy a FULL Navision License, all the Designers etc, and then you cna look at buying the Application Builder. Mind you with the new Pricing model that will be more “affordable”.

O by the way, many End Users don’t even tell their NSC that I am consulting to them. Often, I jst reveiw all the contracts and design proposals, and suggest “improvents*” and they then just say "Hey byu the way I was playing with Navision, and found this fucntion here, couldn’t we use that instead of the Mod you are proposing. That way the NSC doesn’t get upset and they can work out a good solution with them.

Of course most work for Freelancers is helping End Users that are with start up NSCs, and the biggest mistake most NSCs do int he early days is to over kill on the modifications.

  • Improvements means - remove unecessary mods.

So basically, you would use the customer’s license or the NSC’s license that you work with. I am asking because I know some former NSC employees are now freelancers, and I’ve seen some doing work for customers that I happen to know do not have certain capabilities in their license. I am wondering if it is a common practice among freelancers to use NSC dev licenses for other customers.

Personally I don’t see anything wrong with a customer hiring an external consultant to ‘verify’, as long as this person works with the team constructively and it doesn’t turn into a situation where the external makes us look bad to make themselves look good. I’ve been involved in a number of projects where this was the case and it has the potential to get quite nasty.

There’s a difference between “I would approach this issue like A instead of B” in a meeting with everyone at the table and “Your NSC is going about this the wrong way” after the meeting is over in the customer PM’s private office.

But I am sidetracking here [:)] sorry

Actually I think this is on topic, since its an end user wanting to know all the options.

For sure I have sen Freelancers put down the NSC just to make them selves look good, and that is definitely wrong. But for sure cleints feel out in the cold when in a high end meeting where they neeed to sign away hundreds of thousands of dollars, with out any real idea of what they get for their money. A freelancer being independent can give the client advise that the NSC would not be able to for political reasons.

I would say that Freelancers main source of business are uninformed sales people, espeically around end of quarter sales that are needed to hit bonuses (just kidding of course) [;)]

Tell me about it.

I once had a “Consultant” at an end user, they had “Navision Development Experience” and sent me some code. “Please put this in the database between X and Y”

Now the code is not what I would call standard, it got a little political, and I managed to get a little irritated.

Funnily enough though it was my revised code that went to production.

Now that Microsoft have stopped renewing licences (in the UK at least) to individuals and just give the NSC a licence for them to distribute to their employees and extenral contractors, you are inevitably going to see an escalation of the work done by poorly trained “developers”.

Nothing new there and not limited to Navision.

As David says, the customer really needs the input from the freelancer (who has to be competent to earn a living) to protect themselves from poor development or implementations.

I do the same thing as many freelance consultants and make written suggestions to the client that they can then pass on to the NSC, I try and make the descriptions and words look more like the end-user so the NSC does not get upset.
(Does not always work).

To become a full time freelance developer, I suggest joining a NSC and getting all the training and experience for as long as it takes before going ‘solo’.
At least you will get a full developers licence eventually, but it will run out so you had then better keep good pals with the NSC so you get the renewals and latest versions.


Not sure I agree with you there. The BSC (ISEB, SIGIST), ISTQB and ISO clearly state that the 2nd most common failing in any software development is caused by the Documentation and Specification.

To try and dumb down what you are trying to tell an NSC is a waste of time and money. I would rather communicate with an experienced consultant on a customer site on a technical level than have them try to make it look like it was written by an end user. If you can communicate on the same level it makes the whole process more effective.

I’m sure your customers employ you for your vast experience in Navision for precisely that reason. What’s the point in employing you to write a requirement the same way an end user would? Why not just do it themselves?

I’ve come across freelance consultants that know nothing about what they say they do. Now that’s annoying!

Absolutely I agree with Tony. Where a free lance would be most valuable is to help ‘translate’ user requirements into NAV technical terms. I would LOVE to work with an external consultant if that person:
a - knows about the customer’s business, not just a little bit, but really KNOWS about it
b - knows what they are doing from a functional NAV standpoint, so they can point to the gaps
c - knows what they are doing from a technical standpoint, know about database/software design

A and B are absolute must haves, C would be nice. If C isn’t there at least there is a good basis to discuss where to fill the gaps.

What I’ve seen is where the external consultant actually tries to make the SC look bad to make him more valuable, and in the end that is very counter productive. It just does not help when everything you do is questioned behind your back. The most important part is to be on the same team and pursue the same goals.

Just to clarify.
A proposal to the client that is written in a clear and concise manner describing the functional requirements is a must.
What my comment about changing the words a little is to ensure that no references are made to things that the end-user would not know about.
For example, specifics abut HOW something may be done in code, but rather saying WHAT is required.
I have read some specifications and it was very clear that the person who wrote them was a developer, which is fine in some cases. However, we were on track about not upsetting the company that the client is paying a lot of money to each year and not providing the client or the NSC any reason to feel threatened.
As far as the A, B & C is concerned, is that not essential?

Personally I would not feel threatened by a document that describes technical detail, as long as it is correct and the writer is open to discuss it (knowing that there is more than one way to skin a cat). If I don’t agree with some of it I would open a dialog, involving both the customer and the person that wrote the document, as a team effort.

The reason I say having technical expertise is not essential is because I can do that myself. As long as I can talk requirement and technical detail with the consultant, the requirements are clearly worded, and we can come to an agreement on how we’re going to implement the system. Customer process knowledge and knowing NAV functionality are essential for the document to have any validity though. If either A or B are not present, then there is no added value for the customer to have an external. This applies also to a solution center consultant mind you.

If I were to get a document describing technical detail without the requirement, I would ask for the requirements too, so I can validate the design. Not to try and find something wrong with it, but to make sure the customer’s interests are best served.

I guess if there are reasons to keep the fact that there is an external from the NSC, you have to do this. If there is no such reason I believe every suggestion, idea, should be welcomed by everyone involved. Team work is of the greatest essense. It’s the customer’s money, and if they want to involve an independent third party to keep us honest then that’s what they need to do.

The last bit (keeping it from the NSC) is what this was all about.
If I am working with the NSC then everything is in the open. There are some situations where the client is prohibited by the NSC to talk to an independent. I have one of those clients right now. The get me in on a regular basis to sort thngs out even though I am prohibited to change any of the code.
Tricky situation. In this case I know that the developer employed by the NSC has done some very poor work. I can only suggest how things can be improved.
The alternative is to suggest they use another NSC but that is fairly obvious. The client feels locked in so this is their only way to help them feel in control.
None of this is ideal for anybody (except I get paid for my knowledge) but other than causing a rift and then possible legal action, it is probably the best solution.
Mostly I prefer being called in by the NSC to solve difficult problems or resolve situations that are getting out of hand.

Right I was wondering if that were the case. Would it be possible for you to be employed by your customer on a part time basis?

We’re getting a bit off topic here :slight_smile: