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Nav 2013 to Nav 2018 Upgrade Benefits

  • 1.  Nav 2013 to Nav 2018 Upgrade Benefits

    Posted Aug 07, 2018 05:35 PM
    I'm working on creating a presentation for our CTO about whether we should upgrade from Nav 2013 to Nav 2018. I've found a few resources that go over a few of the benefits. One was a webinar that covers the features of 2018 and another that's a table showing all the features added to each Nav Version, but it doesn't go into detail what each feature is.

    I thought I would reach out to see if anyone has some good material on why we should upgrade and the benefits we would gain?

    Joshua McGee
    Information Systems Manager
    Cover-Pools, Inc
    Salt Lake City UT

  • 2.  RE: Nav 2013 to Nav 2018 Upgrade Benefits

    Posted Aug 08, 2018 04:10 AM
    Edited by David Singleton Aug 08, 2018 04:13 AM

    The upgrade question has for a couple of decades been one of the most complex issues with Navision, and I would guess it is the biggest issue plaguing Microsoft today.

    There are many reasons to upgrade, from the customer perspective, some of the big ones are

    -Requirement to access new functionality
    -Performance issues
    -Purging old data
    -Clean up of old code and functionality
    -Compatibility with external software or operating systems
    -Company policy
    -Company restructuring or BRP
    From the view point of Microsoft the core reason is to keep everyone on stable manageable solutions, and that is difficult to do when there are 15 years old versions out there that need support.
    In the "old days" we had the option of a executable upgrade bringing the business logic and data onto an updated platform, but since the Middle tier server that is no longer a stable option.

    So back to your question. In my 25 years of Navision I have found it extremely rare that a customer needed to upgrade purely based on new functionality. And I can not remember a scenario where the additional functionality would have any net gain for the company. The major reasons have seen for upgrading were performance issues, or compatibility with other software.

    This predicates from companies having a single unified ERP system they they have heavily invested in, and the cost to maintain that is far less than the cost of an upgrade.

    Of course this is all changing now. When eventually extensions are available as an actual solution we will see upgrading Navision as common as upgrading Excel. And the core issue here is that to get your system ready for that you will need to keep no more than one version behind.

    In other words, there are many very good reasons to upgrade, but new functionality / features would be close to the bottom of the list.

    David Singleton
    Go Live International
    SQL Perform Navision Performance Consultant

  • 3.  RE: Nav 2013 to Nav 2018 Upgrade Benefits

    Posted Aug 08, 2018 10:43 AM
    I echo David on this and when you look at costs (we are going from 2013 to 2018 this year so this hits home with me), creating a sell on new functionality rings hollow to those approving the funding, HOWEVER, I would argue that your upgrade brings mobility into the picture and for any remote user, handheld user in the warehouse, someone needing to approve a purchase req., etc., having that flexibility from your phone, tablet or other mobile device is awfully convenient...but this is a "nice to have" and not a "need to have".

    You could also make the case that the much improved relationship management capabilities of NAV 2018, coupled with its mobile support, gives you a CRM solution thus saving you from having to invest in a separate CRM system.  I'm not sure if that is in play for you or not?

    But back to core upgrade reasons:

    • Microsoft dropping support of 2013 - will your partner still support it?  Of course, but Microsoft will stop updating the product and if any flaw is exposed or security hole identified, too bad.  One can argue that the product has been out long enough where the risk of that is practically zero, but they always had a monthly release up until the bitter end, so I find that to be compelling.
    • Performance - NAV 2013 is just not as efficient as newer versions and the more you lean on it, the more challenging it becomes to keep it performing consistently.  We have 230 concurrent users spread across 5 locations on the same instance and trust me, we have struggled with the locks, system speed and screen navigation.  It's time to embrace the benefits and lessons learned by Microsoft in their newer releases.
    • Compatibility with upcoming OS's and other software - you have no control over this, but the day will come when that compatibility becomes an issue.  I personally feel that is years away, but being proactive about it certainly benefits you and your team.  Why make it a fire drill?
    • Future proofing - with extensions, upgrades have the potential to be automatic and "boring", similar to upgrading Office.  And that means it no longer has to be a budget-busting event.  You have work ahead of you, but it's inevitable and the longer you wait to start that upgrade journey, the longer and more expensive it will become.
    • Microsoft Cloud initiatives - whether we like it or not, they are charging ahead and forcing the issue on us.  That doesn't mean we won't be able to stay on-prem indefinitely, but when it comes to how NAV interacts with other products in the Microsoft portfolio, namely O365, it benefits everyone to stay as current as possible with versions and not fall too far behind.

    Anthony Darden
    Director of IT
    Protective Industries, Inc.
    Buffalo NY

  • 4.  RE: Nav 2013 to Nav 2018 Upgrade Benefits

    Posted Aug 08, 2018 11:03 AM
    Hi Joshua,

    Unfortunately, I don't have much to add, but we may be in the same boat this year. If you end up with enough information, would you please share it? I'd be glad to get some more ammunition when we go to budget for this.

    P.S. Good luck :)



    Adam Greco
    Katadyn North America, Inc.
    Petaluma CA

  • 5.  RE: Nav 2013 to Nav 2018 Upgrade Benefits

    Posted Aug 08, 2018 11:13 AM
    Hi Joshua -

    There are many improvements and additional capabilities in NAV 2018 over the version you are running. Also, and you probably know this already, support for NAV 2013 R2 is ending in January 2019 so that in itself may be a fairly compelling reason. Of course you can continue to run NAV 2013 R2 and support it yourself but over time this become increasingly problematic due to dependencies with SQL and Windows Server for instance, or Windows 10 on the desktop. You may already be experiencing issues. When you are on an unsupported version of NAV you need to also run it on the last supported versions of SQL and Windows Server (which eventually will not be supported as well). In our experience this leads to a very fragile environment that can be costly and very risky to support. Not to mention things like security risks and ability to integrate effectively with other modern workplace capabilities (e.g., Office 365).

    Outside of these considerations it is important to look at functionality and do a detailed review of your business needs. When making a large version jump like 2013 -> 2018 it is more than likely you can also retire customizations in favour of OOTB capabilites, always a good thing. Your partner should be able to assist with such a review and facilitate an assessment of where the business can gain access to additional capabilities.

    This blog post, with links to our eBook on upgrading NAV (written for the 2017 version) may offer some additional insight.
    Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017: Re-Think The Way You Upgrade - Catapult ERP
    Catapult ERP remove preview
    Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017: Re-Think The Way You Upgrade - Catapult ERP
    With the release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 last month, you may want to start thinking about an upgrade path to the latest features and functionality. The good news is upgrading and updating has gotten a whole lot easier.
    View this on Catapult ERP >

    Hope this helps.

    Elliot Fishman

  • 6.  RE: Nav 2013 to Nav 2018 Upgrade Benefits

    Posted Aug 08, 2018 11:22 AM
    We have known about extensions for several years. We also know that Microsoft never gets it right the first time. We went live on 2015 and we have done technical upgrades every year. We are currently on NAV 2015 objects and an NAV 2018 CU2 technical upgrade. We are just completing the implementation of our Wireless Warehouse project. After that, we are going to do a full upgrade to NAV 2018 using extensions. We figure extensions are now actually ready to be used.

    We are now doing a full upgrades because of extensions. We know that this upgrade will be very costly. However, future upgrades will be inexpensive and quick. Microsoft keeps integrating more related technologies such as Power BI, Flow, Power Apps, etc. They are also starting to introduce Artificial Intelligence into NAV. Having the ability to complete a rapid upgrade at minimal cost will permit users to take advantage of these new integrations. This what I think you should sell your Management team.

    Gregory Alford
    ERP Manager
    Tri Star Metals LLC
    Carol Stream IL

  • 7.  RE: Nav 2013 to Nav 2018 Upgrade Benefits

    Posted Aug 09, 2018 06:23 AM

    Dear Greg,

    I agree with what you have written about extensions with NAV 2018.  In one of our recent customer upgrade projects for an Investment fund company, we migrated them from NAV 2013 to NAV 2018 (with Extensions v2.0). Code migration was certainly not a piece of cake and we had to redevelop several customizations using Extensions. Nevertheless, the customer is now successfully using NAV 2018 with Extensions -  and their future upgrade path is now significantly shortened!
    The top of the list customizations, where we had to redevelop include:

    • There is no native support for DotNet variable in AL. Things could change in future but as of now DotNet is not supported in AL. The only supported and recommended way to use DotNet with AL is by using Azure functions. This requires rewriting DotNet code by wrapping it in an Azure function and call it from NAV.
    • Microsoft has not released Upgrade strategy for moving the data from previous versions of NAV (without extensions) to NAV 2018 (with extensions) for an Upgrade.
    • Using AL, commenting MS code or updating the standard code based on conditions is not possible anymore. For this, solution has to be redesigned in order to meet the requirements.
    • Menusuite objects are not supported. In AL, this will be achieved using new property introduced for Pages & Reports to make pages searchable on the RTC/Web client.

    Thanks, Ritu Sood

    Ritu Sood
    All e Technologies (Alletec)


  • 8.  RE: Nav 2013 to Nav 2018 Upgrade Benefits

    Posted Aug 10, 2018 09:53 AM
    What is the strategy for moving data from custom fields in earlier versions of NAV into extensions? How are custom menus created in the new world of extensions? Is it possible to upgrade to extensions where it makes sense, and merge where it doesn't?

    Gregory Alford
    ERP Manager
    Tri Star Metals LLC
    Carol Stream IL

  • 9.  RE: Nav 2013 to Nav 2018 Upgrade Benefits

    Posted Aug 13, 2018 02:57 AM
    As written before the additional features are no reason for upgrade. Also (I tested it) the performance of nav 2018 is worse and needs higher sys reqs.
    Nav 2013 extended support lasts til 2023.

    Ask yourself what you expect from nav 2018. Then check if it fits.

    Franz Kalchmair
    Microsoft MVP
    Senior Consultant
    Austria, Europe

  • 10.  RE: Nav 2013 to Nav 2018 Upgrade Benefits

    Posted Aug 14, 2018 01:36 PM
    Joshua (and everyone) - want to make sure you know that we keep a page on the website with a collection of resources on the latest version as a handy reference, in case that helps. Feel free to suggest any good references that we can add.

    NAV 2018 Resources - BCUG/NAVUG - Dynamics 365 Business Central & NAV User Group

    Mark Rhodes
    General Manager, BCUG/NAVUG
    Dynamic Communities
    Windsor CO