NAV developers licence


I have a strategic issue I am hoping some forum users better informed than myself can advise upon; I do not want to involve Microsoft yet due to the partner relationship issues that might arise. In summary, my company uses Navision 4.0 combined with a niche vertical solution in manufacturing. Without going into it all it has been a nightmare project still unfinished after several years, and our directors now want to evaluate our options, none of which include staying with the current partner and we are looking towards in-house development now. My questions therefore are:

  1. If we bought a development kit and employed our own in-house developer, what would the kit enable him to do? Can he access the code of the vertical solution we already have to try and fix it or would that require the ISV to release the source code, which I am sure they would not cooperate with - and they are based overseas anyway.

  2. If we just dropped the vertical solution altogether, what latitude does that give our new developer viz the core NAV modules we already have to do a full in-house development?

We have maintained our BREP subscription but have never upgraded yet due to the nightmare implementation we have suffered, but are willing to do so, and may have to anyway as I am not sure if Microsoft would sell us a 4.0 kit now anyway and it probably does not makesense to develop obsolescence. I am a production guy and not a software technical person so I hope these questions make sense.

Brian your post really gives very little information, but, … I can understand your reasoning for not wanting to make this public at this stage.

From the little information you have posted so far, (and assuming that the issue of the partner and ISV relationship is the genuine reason for the issues) my recommendation would be to implement 2009R2 from scratch and port over the data you need to the new system. Do all this with a brand new partner.

Your experience with 400 will give you the basis of building a solid system. But I think that the work to fix and maintain your current system is not something you would be capable of doing on your own.

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the feedback. I think for sure we would need to upgrade to 2009 as part of the masterplan, and as I said we are current with the BREP. One big question we have is whether we would be able to work on bug fixing etc on the vertical ISV we have as the partner concerned does not seem capable or willing to do it. We intend bringing in an in-house NAV specialist on good money and will bring in an independent NAV partner to advise on and even conduct the candidate interviews. At top management level there is a feeling to bring this in-house now.

Data is not so much the issue, it is problems with the vertical solution and its faulty functionality. A lot of blood sweat and tears has gone into it for 4 years so we do not if possible want to abandon it, but we would like to work on it ourselves, IF the development kit allows that.

Of course, we could abandon the vertical and do a custom development in house from scratch but that raises all sorts of issues - it is a real long story too long for here! Therefore,can you advise whether the development kit Microsoft would sell us (quite expensive) is the same as the one NAV partners have? If so would it allow up to access the code on a Microsoft registered vertical?

Thanks for your interest.

Hi Brian, it looks like you have done your research, and that is good.

The simple answer is NO the Application Builder and Solution Developer tools are NOT the same as a partner license. In terms of working on the Vertical, in theory if you have a license which has purchased the vertical’s object range, AND you have the End User development tools, you are supposed to automatically get access to those objects for editing. But there are exceptions, and ISVs are more and more often making it more difficult. So unfortunately it is not guaranteed. The objects might still be locked. And the only way to find this out is buy purchasing the development tools.

In reality though is this a Vertical Solution or an Add-On? Vertical solutions should work out of the box and should not need any code customization (except forms and reports), if they do need customization then by definition that is not a Vertical Solution, it is just an Add-On.

These days most of my Navision work is in performance tuning of very big Navision implementations, but up until three or four years ago, still most of my work was recovering systems like yours. The first step is always to sit with the partner and layout all the issues, determine which are partner issues and which are in fact your own issues as a customer. Typically 50% of the projects like this work with the customer nad partner coming to a solid agreement and fixing everything. The other 50% start with a new partner.

So don’t give up on your partner until you are sure of what the issues are and if they are repairable. Changing tracks at this point can be quite costly, but conversely staying on the wrong track can cost even more. You are not the first customer to go down this track, but do keep in mind that it is only a very few percent of cases that get to this point. Sadly you just happen to be one of those.

Dear Dave,

Thanks for clarifying the dev. kit issue. This is a vertical that works out of the box, but by the nature of the industry it is then necessary to do endless customisation, especially reports, which are criticqal for both internal controls and external factors such as customs, very sensitive VAT reporting requirements etc. I should be able to find out if the objects are locked or not via contacts within the partner. Will the object numbers give us any clues, I have those?

The talks have gone on for years with the partner who insists it is all user error, then we show them,it isn’t. In short the lawyers are looming - I doubt it will get that far - but the relationship is dead.

OK, I am at a stage where I can look into some options for senior management to consider and also the consequences. Thanks and I’ll let you know what happens.