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Microsoft Unveils Dynamics NAV 2009 R2

Microsoft debuted the latest version of its Dynamics NAV 2009 at Directions EMEA 2010 in Prague, noting it will be available in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Targeted at midrange organizations, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 features architectural changes that will enhance integration with Dynamics CRM. The new enterprise resource planning solution also has an online payment service that "works with leading payment processing services and all major credit cards," according to Microsoft's announcement.

The role-tailored client option in the R2 version has added support for remote users, providing organizations with an alternative to "using other applications such as Citrix Systems and Terminal Services." These role-tailored clients can be supported using Microsoft's application virtualization (App-V) technology, enabling centralized management, the announcement added.

"This is a significant release for Microsoft," said B. Robert Helm, managing vice president at Directions on Microsoft, in an e-mail. "The R2 version builds on the architecture introduced in Dynamics NAV 2009 that delivered a completely new client, called the RoleTailored client, and moved much of NAV's business logic to the server."

This new architecture not only enhances integration, but also makes for significant business improvements for organizations, according to Helm.

"CRM integration and payment processing support important business processes that were possible with NAV before but now will have a built-in, Microsoft-supported solution," stated Helm. "That could induce customers to upgrade to NAV 2009 and its RoleTailored client, which previously required major technical and user interface changes in exchange for rather modest improvements to business processes."

Helm added that R2 also delivers technology that makes the NAV client easier to deploy, which could lower costs and remove roadblocks to upgrades.

One nifty new feature in R2 is the "jumplists" functionality introduced in Office 2007 and included in Windows 7. By clicking on an icon, users see recently accessed customers and vendors, giving them a quick way to get back to the last items they accessed.

NAV 2009 R2 also features treemap visualization, enabling "rich ad hoc data visualization," according to Microsoft's statement. This analysis feature allows users to compare any two values, such as sales and profits, to draw business insight, according to Microsoft.

Helm described Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 as "a technical turning point" for the product.

"[R2] will be the last version to include both the pre-NAV 2009 'classic' client, the new RoleTailored client, and technologies for moving customizations (such as user interface screens) from one client to the other," Helm stated. "Consequently, it is likely to be a key version for customers and partners that want to move forward with NAV long term."

New code will needed on premises for NAV 2009 R2, Helm explained, adding that "it doesn't look like those changes are likely to break existing customizations or require major user retraining. It looks much less significant than the changes in NAV 2009."

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media. You can contact Herb here.

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