Navision over WAN

Has anyone ever tried to run a Navision Client over a VPN connection over a WAN ? What communication line requirements would be involved ? Terminal Server and Citrix are definitely NO OPOTIONS for the customer. I found quite some threads in this forum, but they are all quite old. Anyone tested this already with 4.0 ? Especially with SQL Server ?

It’s slow, slow, slow… you can make coffee while waiting for the forms to come up, and I don’t even drink coffee, mind you… OK, some real info: It’s not an SQL database but will that make a difference? It is, however, a 4.0 system. My office has a 2Mbps connection (both ways) and I have a 2Mbps/256Kbps (download/upload) ADSL connection. Firing up the client and connecting directly to the server across a VPN connection, it takes around 4 seconds for the login screen to come up. Then, it takes a further 6-10 seconds for the menu to display. Opening a customer card can take around 2-4 seconds and scrolling through records between 0,5-2 seconds. I am not able to stand it and I guess anyone will become annoyed in a few minutes if they have to work this way. The only chance is to increase the connection speed. But I have no idea what kind of speed can bring “acceptable” performance. Maybe 10Mbps since that would make it the same as the old networks where Navision started out…

I have the same type of performance. One of my customers does not want to allow me to connect directly to their server, so I have no choice but to work with a VPN connection. In a production environment this would absolutely be unacceptable to me. Not only is the performance too slow, you also have to take into consideration that you are potentially locking other people.

How many connections over WAN do they need? Why will the customer not use Terminal Server?

Yeap, you are all sooo right. But thanks, Nelson for your performance experience. I asked this question on behalf of our distributor for Portugal, (by the way, flying over to Porto next week). They have a potential customer who wants to run around 120 users in 50 stores ONLINE WITHOUT TERMINAL SERVER AND CITRIX. The argument: Other solutions can do that. My Answer: Are those solutions from Microsoft ?


The argument: Other solutions can do that.

In that case, these other solutions most probably will be web based, which of course from it’s structure allows a WAN usage (e.g. Oracle Business Suite), Navision as Cliente/Server with “fat clients” is designed for LAN use, such as Axapta, too.


Are those solutions from Microsoft ?

Using the normal installations procedures, no… but meanwhile all MS business solutions do have their “Employee Portal” part, that might help to come around this particular requirement, but at a much higher cost than Terminal or Citrix. Saludos Nils

In fact the “Employee Portal” is a nice thing but does not help for a POS solution. I told them to either go for offline (database per store with replication every ten minutes) or wait for 5.0 where we should get a thin client.

I guess you will focus the customer on loacal databases and regular replication and, as I am sure you know already, that is a very reliable option in times of WAN interruptions. I know for sure that many Oracel based retails solutions do exactly that but this is hidden from the user.

Hi Thomas Why do they not want to use Citrix? At my prior job, I had to fall back to a Citrix solution. We were in California (on the west coast of the USA) using Microsoft WORD and EXCEL files on a server in Germany. Closing a Microsoft WORD file on a server in Germany could take 5-10 minutes…or more. This was totally unacceptable to everyone. We finally resorted to using a Citrix server in Germany, the Citrix server then connected to the fileserver in Germany with the WORD files. So while not ideal it worked fine, with reasonable response time. The only 3 problems were 1 - Many people had problems understanding that on Citirx they were not on their PC, but a virtual PC on the Citirix server in Germany. 2 - The next biggest confusion for the users was that the version of Citrix that we used (several years ago) did not allow windows “cut and paste” from the Citrix session to the users desktop. But this was again related to people not understanding or wanting to understand how Citrix worked. I understand the current version of Citrix allows this function. 3 - Printing from the Citrix server in Germany to California was still a problem. The local printer in California had to be configured on the Citrix server in Germany. The work-around we used for Word and Excel would not work for Navision. As for a WAN. I had that problem between my 2 buildings. If the bandwidth is not high enough, running reports can be unberarable. The guy in the other building would take more than 15 minutes to run a report that I could run in less than 1 minute. This was solved when we increased the bandwidth to the other building. So bottom line is bandwidth. For my user in the other building, doing other than reports was OK, because the other functions did not draw a lot of data accross the network. Please note that we are running v3.10 executables, if that makes a difference. BTW as for other solutions. My last experience with SAP R/3 was that it ran quite well over a 28.8KB modem. The traditional SAP client is a VERY FAT client, but it is VERY LIGHT on the data transfer. The light data transfer combined with the 3-tier architecture where the processing is done by the application server, not the client, results in very little data sent between the client and the application server. Similarly I could connect from my desk in California to an SAP installation in Germany, or from Germany to an SAP server in California, over our global WAN, and “as I recall” it was almost as if the server was in the same building. It could have been a bit slower, but not by much. Again very little data transfer. So bottom line is, the ability to work well on a SLOW / global connection is a difference in architecture. You could use a parallel example to the client. Why can’t a Vespa go 250km/hr like a Ferrari? …a difference in design. Gary


… They have a potential customer who wants to run around 120 users in 50 stores ONLINE WITHOUT TERMINAL SERVER AND CITRIX. …
Originally posted by - 2006 Feb 15 : 09:17:59

IF a client is going to spend the money on a decent sized ERP system, but is not willing to do it properly, then I would steer very clear of this client, it is just a disaster waiting to happen. At this stage, even if you convince them to go to a Terminal Server / Citrix solution, YOU are going to be blammed for every issue they have. Citrix is a great solution, it’s over ten years now since I did my first Navision/Citrix implementation, and I am still recommend it, BUT it has its quirks and issuses, and if you do convince the client to go for it, then its going to be an uphill battle. There is no logic to the clients arguement that “other products don’t need Citrix so Navision shouldn’t” that is nonsense. They might as well argue that Navision should run on Linux. Carefully question what you are getting into with this client, and how much you need the business.