What does Navision need the most?

Having worked with Navision since 1991 sometimes you think that you’ve seen it all. Nothing could be more wrong. Each new client is a set of new requirements and ideas about how to run a business and what “every ERP system really should have” if it was state of the art.

But there’s also always a number of requirements that you see again and again, maybe not from every customer, but often. Requirements that are leading to changes to the system. I’m not talking about customization of invoices and so, but real changes. The same new fields on the same tables, the same extra reports etc.

My personal list used to be 1-5 extra dimensions (that was when we only had department and project code as standard), special statement reports, the job module always needed lots of changes (much better now), ability to register more contacts on the customers (before the CRM module). Lately the change I’ve done the most have been to create the ability to do Excel import/export to journals, Excel exports of many other reports.

But what is that Navision needs the most today? What is it that you hear from your clients again and again?

in my view:

  1. enable NAV reports to output to excel. make this as a standard function that can be found in every reports. when it’s not possible to form in cells, then use the CSS or 1 cell rows.
  2. enable to Email documents, like Invoice, Receipt note, Payment receipt note, Reminders, Fin. Charge, and such as.
  3. easier functions to read or import Shop Floor data collection result, in txt file is fine as long as it’s easy to form. This will help to reduce time and hassles for managing capacity journal in recording every production routing output.
  4. dash-board or a snap view of operation / business situation, in version below 6 (2009) and/or in classic client.

i’ll add if i remember any.

Joe’s mentioned first two have always been asked, and clients can’t understand, why it’s so difficult, especially those, who have experience with some third-party reporting tools, Crystal Reports for example.

I have used CR much, too, and they (changing a lot in time CR vendors) have really worked hard on “Save as HTML” (you get EXACTLY as printed layout in HTML), which automaticalyy resolves Joe’s 2nd issue - Emailing documents. Export to Excel some time ago even contained formulas for summarizing fields, not values, don’t know how it is in the last versions.

But Report Writer has always been the weakest point in Navision, and no hope it will become better, as now MS goes toward eliminating it at all and use different SQL reporting tools - which is OK for (analytical) Reports, but how about simple Documents as SO, PO, Invoices, Credit Memos?

Who nowadays sends these by means of almost obsolete and tehnologically archaic Post Offices? Email works instantly, whatever distance is between the parties, be it neighbouring office building or half-round the Globe - so Documents MUST be Email-able in decent appearance, but Navision’s RW “Save as HTML” is a parody… So we try to do this in tricky ways - install “PDF Printers”, use some third-party Print2PDF solutions, but this takes overhead job - each and every PDF must be sent as attachment from Mail client, no automatic entry of eMail address, although it sits in Customer/Vendor card… There was a thread in forum not long ago about how to implement a “Send by eMail” button on SO/PO, even more, possibility to batch email hundreds of Invoices created throughout the day…


With the new SAVEASPDF in NAV 2009, then at least it looks like they have been thinking hard about this one. (Did anyone actually try if it works with the classic client?)

But should I see this as the only thing that Navision need is better option to save reports?

In that case then Microsoft can really just fire all their Navision developers?

SAVEASPDF and SAVEASEXEL doesn’t work in classic.

Save as PDF and send it as attachment in email is famous short solution, I myself use this alot of time b u t not always. sometime, in certain companies having their own mail server configured by other consultant, the mail server is not allowing attachment. To make it allow downloading attachment, we have to work around with mail server configuration.

Just to be ethical, I won’t tweak any setting in mail server software, instead, give suggestion to client to contact system/network or other IT consultant. Or let the internal IT work on it by them selves. This is the biggest hassle, and users tend to avoid. Means, the pdf attachement can not work. Sometime, users also ignore the attachment and just think the email is blank ! [:(] the sad thing. Other consideration, invoice, receipt, or other transactional document need to be readable easily, as simple as showing it in message body. If we apply to many formatting, the plain text mail client will fail to present the information well.

Since billing is a process that must proof of error, I can not afford an email being lost somewhere caused by mail server not allowing attachment, “email is blank or empty”, email is not readable, and such as. There has to be a way to present it simply and correctly in the email body and this email will serve as an official company’s transactional documents.

But still, is printing the only recurring issue you experience in your implementations?

And since they have already created the SAVEASxx for NAV 2009, then Microsoft can really just fire all their Navision developers? No further functionality is requested?

No, there are many, to pick few of them.

  1. I would like to roll everything out (reversal in 1 shot) against a production order before i finish it, the way it is done in Ax.

  2. Tolerance on higher or lower sides in terms of quantity when receiving or shipping items.

  3. I shud have the provision that, if i have same G/L a/c with diff descriptions then NAV shud post them separately instead of 1 line carrying the description mentioned on doc line.

Erik, These are the things which i have been asked at least more than 5 times (and there are many more) ,u r true that except printing in Pdf we shud mention the other things but as u have good and vast enough experience with NAV even u know that we may be creating a never ending list. I hope you will agree to this. [:)]

I also find these discussion useless but very interesting. Useless because MS isn’t going to do much about them.

I’ve posted about 10 suggestion on
And the response I get is, we will think about it in future version.
So people should post them on the above link and it will have a higher chance of making it into the next version.

I’m not saying that Microsoft will do it just because we post it here. Then we would have had unicode in Navision already! Because that’s been posted here many many times.

But the discussion is surely not useless. No discussion is useless. Because while Microsoft is not going to do anything about it today, then they put everything what they hear more than once to their little black book or whatever system they have as their internal issue list.

In my long experience with NAV I have experienced the same as you. Register and post suggestions in Microsoft, and hear nothing but “we’ll think about it for future versions”. But that’s really all I can expect. You can never expect that just because you’re suggesting something, that Microsoft right away will dedicate 5 developers to do it for the next hotfix! Things are planned many years ahead.

But what does happen is that if Microsoft hear from more and more customers, partners, MVP’s and other bloggers that (an example) the cash receipt journal sucks in Navision. But they are only going to do anything about it, if the issue is a global issue and not just a problem in one or two countries, then a local add-on/localization would be better.

What Microsoft normally do when they have received enough request for changes is that they start their own evaluation on what is really needed. Then they contact a number of actual end-users who are using the system today.

So Rashed, I suggest that you’re posting the same 10 suggestions you posted to DynamicsSuggestions here also. What we do need is a debate on what is really needed in future versions of Navision. Or do you want to leave it all to Microsoft? [;)]

That’s true Rashed.

Could u share that suggestions what inform to Microsoft.

  1. Charge Item when received on PO should accrue/ make value entry for expected cost

2 Item No is not in Inventory Error Needs to change to include Serial/ Lot/Location IN CU 22

3 Be able to filter on Virtual table “Key” in code

4 ReOpen function On sales/Purchace/Transfer Order needs to have a shortcut

5 Navision needs to check Global Dim 1 and 2 code on journal line to Journal line dim table

6 Specify the userid of who is locking when the user gets the error Another user has lock on this table

7 Increase the limit of 4000 bytes for record on tables 8 Display the Service Tier Name and Sql Server name and Database name on Main Menu in RTC

9 Increase 250 character limit on fields in table

10 Nothing to handle when creating a Pick needs to change a window needs to display the availability and why nothing is available

  1. Remove 1024 character limit on COM interface and text variable

12 Allow Personilization at the Role level to editable by users. (you could use this for field level security)

  1. Allow Department menu to be hiden from Main Menu. Or allow to open another Page instead of always opening the Main window.

Hey Rashed,

Now start taking! [:)] Great suggestions!



Exactly what do you mean?

Ok [:|]

Exactly what do you mean?

Would be great yes.


Yes, but I would like to have that option in the menu suite of the classic client also.




YES. But I think that the real keyword here is FIELD LEVEL SECURITY! Although this is not required by all companies, then the request is coming more and more, even from smaller organizations.


Be able to filter on Virtual table “Key” in code

This is a bug. In code if you do Keytable.setrange(field,fieldvalue); doesnt’ work.
Navision needs to check Global Dim 1 and 2 code on journal line to Journal line dim table
Navision doesn’t check that the value in Ledger and in the ledger entry dimension is the same. you could post an entry with different values. The problem is happens on customers doing modification or loading initial data and not comparing the values. I’ve seen a lot of post, where the ledger dimension fields are blank but dimension is filled in.

And that’s what I don’t understand about Microsoft. Even if you’re reporting a confirmed error, then sometimes they take years to fix it.

I remember an error I reported back in 1995 - this was not fixed until the release of NAV 3.70 (the release that had it’s own number but also was know as the biggest service pack ever). That’s was in 2003.

Of course the most important thing is Unicode, but that only comes whent he classic client dies, so its a mixed blessing.

Yes Unicode I think is finally coming when classic client is removed.

Afterwords or now they could combine several of the European databases into one or 2 Euro databases.
Since backward compatibility is changed in 2009, They could change when exporting to text and move the documentation to the
top of text. When Merging objects, it makes it easier to read the documentation before comparing text objects upgrades and service packs.
I believe in future version NAV will be releasing Query object, allowing us to write sql queries. This will allows us to
utilize sql server power to improve performance in reports and in code.
For example instead of looping through code on a record which NAV does with a SELECT * from table You could specify only the fields that you are working with.
Inventory valuation report could run 10 times faster. I have written the sql statement for inventory valuation on my blog and it runs in 5 minutes compared to nav report which takes 40 minutes on large databases
They need to provide a way to identify modification much easier and quicker. Through some layer process or through archiving process.
They should separate Caption and store caption in separate objects. When exporting to text or fob you would have to option to include or exclude caption.
Make it easier to debug the service tier.
When exporting objects to XML format make New element on separate lines and and make the code separate on each line. This will help with code/text comparison tool
Provide a check in /checkout mechanism for developers.
release a 64 bit NAV service tier and client tier
Make it automated to role out addins (new feature in sp1) Instead of copying the dll in each machine. Allow the user to simply click on it and have an option to install, which will download the addin from the server and put it client addin folder and register it.
Provide native mechanism to consume web services instead of using MSXMLDOM. New object type we are going to develop in CAL.NET or if it’s c# then it’s provided by the language.
A more scalable backup restore of the databases. Some db out there are big and backup restore takes a long time.
implement record level locking in code, and change the ledger table structures to out increment so that posting of the transaction only locks the records that it modifies. This may leave gaps in entry no, but that could be fixed during a batch processing at night, if it’s a requirement in a country.
Introduce Archive Ledgers/ Documents tables. The would be same structure as actual tables. A batch process moves the data from actual ledger/ posted document to the archival. Nothing gets deleted. This allows the customer to decide when old transaction can be archived. It allows NAV to still perform at optimal speed even after many years. Naturally some of the reports needs to change, but they could use Queries that combine the ledger and the archive tables.
Re implement Commerce Gateway with bixtalk through webservices.
Re Implement ADCS through webservices, and while they at it, allow Pages to be rendered on Telnet. or on Dynamics mobile.
TESTFIELD or FIELDERROR need to give a more user-friendly error. Currently They give the primary key information about the record. When you post a sales or Purchase Order, the journal line PK are blank. They need to addd a new property called “Importanfields” User can specify which fields are important.
When TESTFIELD errors it would also show the Importantfields. So you could specify the source document no, and Line No. Or serial no. Or lot no. in addition to Primary key
Make sure all the fields in std Nav can be exported to text. For example in NA version 1099 field can not be used with RIM toolkit because it starts with a number.
Implement a way to specify OR filter on separate fields. For example Items that are in Location Blue OR are in Lot A.
Be able to post Item Journal with temporary serila/lot just like dimensions instead of inserting them into Reservation Entry table.

Thanks Rashed. These are all very good suggestions to primary technical/engine improvements of Navision.

But they don’t really answer my question.

What are the things that you’re doing again and again whenever you do an implementation.

Data migration. NAV should release dataports with default file structures.

They can be customized further but at least there should be some default onces. And RIM has shortcomings.
Implement OverReceipt on PO and SO.
I constantly modify CU 80, 90, In adjust cost to hide the window dialog so that it can run over NAS for integration or JOBQUEUE.
MS should make jobs for cost post to GL, Adjust cost, MRP Run, Invoicing shipped SO through NAS.
I make modifications all around accrual of freight. For a lot of companies freight is big part of their cost.
A lot of companies need to know how long it takes from a sales order being entered and released to warehouse shipping and picking it, to get the order invoiced. So sales header and invoice and shipment document need to have date time. They basically want to see the life cycle of every order and identify which once took long and then find out why and improve their process.
Check Stub Stub. In 5 they added two new checks but forgot to include this one.
Mass creation of Warehouse shipment and Mass creation of Picks. I use Warehouse Request table to display all the orders that need to be shipped. So warehouse manager can create the warehouse shipment for hundred of Orders at onces and create the pick at once and print.
I do a lot of integration and each one is different, so I don’t know how MS can help on that front.
Quality assurance. We have to merge addons for this but it would be nice to be part of std NAV. By quality assurance, I mean PO is received, but it needs to be checked and make sure it’s good before being used, and during that time it needs to be quarantined.
Prevent Blank Code to be inserted by default on all Lookup tables!!! I constantly see blank record inserted by users.

True, we use a lot of the feedback we get - and this is great feedback, thanks