NAV Extensions: A New Way of Delivering Add-ons

Up until now, the only way of getting add-ons for your NAV implementation was through a Partner.

This limited you to a small subset of NAV Partners that: A) you knew of, and B) who offered the solution you wanted.  However, this is all about to change in a big way.

During the Directions EMEA 2016 conference, Microsoft organised many sessions to explain the intricacies of creating extensions for NAV 2017.  Extensions have been available since the release of NAV 2016 with some limitations, but now their capabilities have been extended greatly.

Simplicity

Amongst other things, Extensions in NAV 2017 can now provide starting data out of the box, so you don’t need to worry too much about setup. It’s as easy as installing the extension package, and you are good to go. They also enforce a way of developing that makes future upgrades almost seamless.

How do NAV Extensions benefit me as a customer?

As extensions are completely modular, the main advantage is that you can find new add-ons very easily through AppSource (the NAV equivalent to the Apple AppStore, or Google Play store, for example).  You will be able to find extensions from many different Partners around the world, which puts their expertise in particular fields only a click away.

It’s still early days so there aren’t that many Apps at the moment, but every new version of NAV comes with more ways in which extensions and, therefore, Apps, can interact with standard code.  As more and more partners and Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers take advantage of the power of Apps, the market will only continue to grow in the coming months and years.

Security First

If you have an Android phone and are worried about AppSource becoming the Google Play store of ERPs, fear not!

All apps on AppSource will have undergone a stringent review and certification process by Microsoft to make sure they follow certain guidelines (both functionality- and coding-wise).

Microsoft curates AppSource, so it won’t become bloated with apps making it an odyssey to find exactly what you are looking for while avoiding second-rate imitations.

It’s great for developers, too!

Directions EMEA 2016 also showcased many interesting new things – including new development tools that will make NAV an attractive option for young developers, which will hopefully bring an influx of new talent with fresh ideas for Apps.


Jon Bernad is a developer at TVision Technology, with over 6 years’ experience of working with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

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