New ERP System Wait for 5.1??


We are looking at replacing our current ERP system (Vantage from Epicor) with Dynamics Nav. I attended Convergence 2006 and was very impressed what microsoft where offering. I was partically impressed with the Dynamics 5.1 UI. The question I have is should I wait for Nav 5.1 with new ui and 3 tier structure, or deploy 4.0. My main concerns are if we deploy 4.0 we will incur substantial costs in upgrading and retraining users to the new 5.1 ui. As we will be investing a substantial amount and moving to a new platform is it worth waiting till 5.1?

Many Thanks

John Ramage

Well, hard to give a recommendation, because it depends on the specific circumstances …

I think your “timeline” is quite important here, how long CAN you wait? 5.1 was annouced for November 2007, so probably it will be January 2008 when it will be released first …

Nontheless, I would not start “from the scratch” with 4.00, support will expire in 2008 (if I don’t err), at least, I would check out 5.0 …

Thank you for the response.

Timeline is a hard one to guage we could probably wait till 5.1 but then 6.0 would be on the horizon.

My main concern is to deploy Nav 5.0 and then 6 months down the line change to 5.1 and have to retrain all the users on the new UI and if it is based on the three tier structure having to change our backend structure. Implementing an ERP system is an expensive business, if we went with 5.0 on average what would it cost to upgrade versions for say a 50 user system?

How many versions of Nav are planned and when will the products finally merge into Dynamics?

Is the new UI confirmed for 5.1 or will it be more like 6.0 ?

Apologies for all the questions but I’m pitching to our board next week and needed a bit of an unbiased insight.

Many Thanks


I was also at Convergence on the ATE booths. I am going to write a full summary of exactly this question in my blog, for now I have some of the stuff there, but you probably already saw that at Convergence:

Firstly, don’t worry too much about version 6, you need to concentrate your current business needs on a current solution that has a solid upgraede path.

When 5.1 comes out, it is going to be possible to upgreade the executables, and use your old business logic in the three tier environment.

In terms of cost to upgreade, the biggest issue is the Gaps that you develop to get your business and Navision to meet. If you can work on supported Add-ons, and keep modifications to a minimum, the upgrade from 4.00 SP3 to 5.1 should not be huge.

Of course I don’t know what all your needs are, but as a global statement my advice would be:

Implement Nav 4.00 SP3
Run on SQL. 2005
Implement Share point
Create ALL new reports using SQL 2005 Reporting services.
Don’t change anything in th ebase product unless your business would bankrupt without it.
Don’t Upgrade to 5.00
Upgrade to 5.1 executables
Continue running for a short period on 4.00 on 5.1 executables
Test and build yout IT infrastructure.
Deploy limied component of three tier for testing
Upgreade Objects (Business Logic) to 5.1

Disclaimer !!! I don’t know exactly your business, you MS Partner will be able to help you more.


I would recommend implement 4.0 for next reasons:

  1. it is almost mo difference in functionality between 4.0 and 5.0.

  2. It is no difference in functionality between 5.0 and 5.1 (only UI)

  3. MOST IMPORTANT: it will be practically impossible to implement 5.1 with new UI using implementation methodology used by most solution centers. new user interface can be implemented only in stable environment with periodical releases. As we know most current implementations has numerous issues in the beginning what is well offset by flexibility and ease to modify Navision. So even if you implement 5.1 you most likely will start in Native environment and migrate to new UI when system gets stable.

Thanks Val, those point make a lot of sense.

Currently I am recommending that users get onto a 4.00 code base, and get it stable. If you look at Kamils blog you can see that Micrsoft are not really doing a lot in the Functionality area, butmore concentrating on the New 5.1 UI, andmost importantly product stability. So if you have 4.00 and the functionality is solid, then work with that code base, and bestable when 5.1 comes along.

In terms of excutable, 5.00 will be a great product to upgrade to, even if just for the excel word exports, so get ready to do a technical upgrade.

If you are on SQL, then get onto the SP3 excutables, so that youcan get a simpler security model.

But the real issue, is that if you plan to move to 5.1 three tier, then you need NOW to get your IT department ready for the new tchnology, and that means SQL, Reporting services, Share Point, and a full BI phylosophy for your company.

All good advice so far, my question to you is, will going to 4.0 provide value to your company, you are on an old system that it sounds like is not meeting your needs. So, the question is not should I wait for 5.1, or 6.0 or X.X it is, how much is it going to cost me to stay with what I have now.

If going to 4.0 provides value, then do that now.

once 5.1 comes out, you can then ask the question does going to 5.1 provide a value greater then the cost of the upgrade.

each move is a separate decision, there will always be something new on the horizion, you have to make your decisions on what is actually available. With an eye toward the future, which is what David’s suggestion covers quite well.

But even in evaluating the 4.0, you still need to way the cost of going to SQL or going with the Native database. although the navitive database is not the future of Navision, it is much easier to manage, and cheaper to operate. it may very well be the best financial decision to go with 4.0 on the native database, get up and running an make a later transition to 5.1 and sql if it provides a good business value.

My personal opinion is a 4.0 native database is the most cost effective solution currently available to users. The administration is much easier, the hardware requirements are easiers, and you don’t have to purchase and maintain SQL.

Many Thanks for all your responses and I have taken on board all the comments.

I do have another couple of questions, I have spoken to a number of suppliers all providing different services and addons. We obviously want to pick one supplier which suits the needs of our company. Could anyone suggest by looking at the overview below if addons to nav are available.

A quick overview of our company:

We manufacture and sell/rent pressure care pumps and mattresses also as part of our service we decontamintate(Wash/Dry) our mattress’s to be reused within our rental fleet. Our manufacturing process is manual and so is our service and sales, we are looking at Nav to automate all our internal procceses. We are also considering implementing CRM from a sales perspective.

As I understand nav does not provide rental out of the box? Possible addon solution/Custom Code?

Is there a way we can audit our decon process(Wash/Dry) out of the box of nav? Addon Solution/Custom Code?

In our current solution we have a lot of custom code and has caused us no ends of (costly)problems over the years. With our new implementation, we want to minimise this as much as possible, but have all our processes recorded on the system.

Kind Regards


Hi John,

I am not really sure if Add-Ons are the way to go. If you get Add-Ons, you are going to need them integrated to your business anyway.

A much better solution for you would be to go vertical. That would mean either a Service Vertical or a Rental Vertical, but in your case I think the rental aspect is the driver. As far as rental verticals go for Navision the one I know of is RMI ( )