Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.1 becomes 6.0; Delivery Date H1 of 2008 becomes H2 of 2008

Nobody ever wants to miss a commitment that they make, and with the move of our delivery date from H1 to H2 of 2008, that is the situation we as a Dynamics NAV R&D team find ourselves in right now.  This reality is very disappointing for all of us, and definitely not what we hoped for , but I have to say that I am as excited as I have ever been about the product we are building and I am confident that you will find that the product will definitely be worth the additional wait.

With our next version of Dynamics NAV we are making incredible leaps forward on the user experience and technology platform of the product. It was important that the market, our partners, and our customers understand the magnitude of this advance, thus we have updated the code name for this version from 5.1 to “6.0”. It is at minimum a full version worth of progress. The advances we have made include:

·         We have moved the product from a two-tier architecture to a three-tier architecture dramatically increasing the integration opportunities for customers.

·         We have added support for web services across the board and enabled all of our ISV and partner solutions to also be web serviced enabled. The win for customers is the ability to leverage the open interface from multiple applications in their organizations.

·         We have transitioned our runtime execution engine from an interpreted environment to a compiled environment running on.NET. Giving customers increased performance and stability and aligning us even closer with the advances being on the Microsoft Stack.

·         We have transitioned our reporting story to Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services and the incredible richness that it provides for users to gain more insight into their business.

·         We have added a deep integration with Office SharePoint Services making it even easier to get more people in an organization working with your business system.

·         Finally, and most dramatically and importantly, we’ve made a MAJOR upgrade to a new Role Tailored User Experience that our research indicates that customers will absolutely Love.

We are accomplishing this while at the same time working to ensure that we preserve customer and partner investments. This requires a robust set of transformation tools and processes in addition to the core product advancements.

We are introducing a lot of change and we must make sure to get it right. Why the change in date?  Well there are a few reasons:

·         First, we just were not tracking towards the plan we had created, and we were not going to make the planned H1 2008 date.

·         Second, we are closely monitoring the performance and simplicity of the new 3-tier model. As a result, we made some adjustments to our designs to increase our performance and the simplicity of our install.

·         Third, we’ve made a huge commitment to getting more feedback on this release before shipping.  We will provide code much earlier in the release cycle in order to maximize the feedback that we can receive and process. I will talk more about this later.

As a result of our decision to move the date of “6.0” we decided that it would possible to pull some of the work we were doing in “6.0” forward into a Service Pack for 5.0. That work includes:

·         We are going to deliver Dynamics Mobile support for Dynamics NAV as part of the service pack and for Dynamics NAV 4.0. This feature will allow our partners to create mobile solutions that are occasionally connected and fully integrated with Dynamics NAV.

·         We brought forward a number of Microsoft SQL data access improvements. These will increase both the performance and scalability of the product.

·         We have added a collection of small features that have been highly requested over the years.

·         We have rolled up a number of the improvements and corrections that have been done since version 5.0 shipped.

·         We will expand the number of countries that will have version 5.0 in their markets.

Dynamics NAV 5.0 is a great release, and with these additions it will be even better. Because of the investment we’ve made in the transition process from 5.0 to “6.0” customers and partners should not hesitate to make the move to 5.0 now.

Earlier I mentioned that we are increasing our feedback process before we release “6.0”. Here is some of what we are planning at this point:

·         In November at the Directions Conference in Orlando, the entire NAV R&D leadership team will be there to do an entire day of sessions, running the current “6.0” code, discussing the transformation process, showing our new concepts, and working to gather as much input as we can. We will also provide a set of pre-recorded step by step demos of the “6.0” product that can be used to build familiarity with the product.

·         Also in November we will deliver a preview version of the product to 50 ISV’s who are part of our early adopter program. These partners have committed to working with the product and providing us with feedback. This drop will be of our core release.

·         In Q1 and Q2 of 2008 we will release updated previews to the entire partner community . These will be early availability drops and will need to be treated as such; our intent is to gather feedback on quality, performance, and any transition process issues that partners can identify.

·         The Q2 version will also be localized to a selected number of countries, and we will be working with a small number of partners and customers to work on transitioning their solutions onto the “6.0” product. 

·         The final beta will be provided in Q3 and we will deliver a version for select countries that we will use with our early adopter customers to take them live on the product. By going through the full implementation process and getting end user feedback we are confident that we will have exercised the product to the level where we can all be confident in the solution

As a Dynamics R&D team we are extremely committed to this plan and we are doing everything we can to make sure we get feedback, react to the feedback, and deliver a high quality solution.

The team and I are really, really, really excited about the product we are bringing your way.  I sincerely hope that this quick glimpse behind the scenes into our delivery plan increases both your confidence and anticipation of where we are taking Dynamics NAV.  With well over 1,000,000 users today Dynamics NAV is already a great product, Version 5.0, Version 5.0 SP1 and Version “6.0” are moving it forward towards and even better future. It is a ride you will most definitely want to be a part of.

Darren Laybourn

Comments (15)

  1. Daniel Rimmelzwaan says:

    Thanks for the additional information Darren. I know it wasn’t an easy decision to postpone again, but I know it was the right one to make, and I support it 100%.

  2. Nuno Maia says:

    It’s excellent to know that NAV 5.0 SP1 will incorporate technology from NAV 6.0. Keep good work

  3. Thanks for this news, seeing that you’re planning to add some 6.0 features into the 5.0 Service Pack is a great idea. About the 6.0 release, are you planning something improvement also on the integrated development environment or not? Could be interesting to know something more about this topic.

  4. A bit of NAV 6.0 into the 5.0 SP1

  5. Robert Gauci says:


    Thanks for the update.  Do you know where I can get more information regarding the "web service" possibility?



  6. Thomas says:

    Sorry, but what I read here is mostly "Marketing speak", those shining new features in the product have been known for at least two years. Now you announce to delay it for yet another year, because you just now(?) found out, and I quote the official document: "the development work requires real architectural change"? That makes me shiver…

    And in Q4 2008 (if it should be out by then) it will probabaly not even support SQL2008 properly, which will/should be available Mid-2008. Any statement on this?

    Regards, Thomas

  7. Joe Kabash says:

    Hello Darren, thanks for posting.

    I have one question, there is sentence in this post:

    "We are going to deliver Dynamics Mobile support for Dynamics NAV as part of the service pack and for Dynamics NAV 4.0."

    We now know about 5.0 SP1, but is there going to be new service pack for 4.0 (4.0 SP4) ?


  8. Jbolduc says:

    Hello Darren,

    Quick suggestion for the Dynamics team πŸ™‚

    You currently have 2 releases: One for the ISV and one for Partners a few months after.

    In my role as a Presales, I have to demo the product as soon as possible and provide training to about 45 different persons within the organisation. My suggestion would be to include the Presales in that ISV release so that we have more time to learn the new releases… be able to deliver an good quality training and to be more efficient in our first few demos with the new product πŸ™‚

    Any other Presales to back me on this? πŸ™‚

    Have a great day !


  9. Microsoft released version 5.0 of their Dynamics NAV enterprise resource planning (ERP) offering in March of this year and had promised an improved version 5.1 in 1H2008 (delayed from 3Q2007), but that plan has gone off the rails too. Now the story i..

  10. waldo1001 says:

    Hi Darren, if the product isn’t finished 100% … don’t release it.  You’ve got my support in this as well.

    An option could have been to release part of the architecture to provide Webservices … allthough I know you need the 3-tier architecture for that.

    Good to know some things will come over to 5.1 SP1 – I’m quite excited about the mobile solutions.

  11. Alex Pappas says:

    I too don’t have a problem if software is delayed for good reasons.

    But this is very poor marketing from Microsoft. Also it is clear that in several cases prospects are being pushed towards AX rather than NAV even though NAV has the pedigree in that given field.

    That’s when I start to wonder about all sorts of things not being right.

    Since MS took over I have thought the marketing could be better, but the products and management of releases was always good. Now I’m not so sure I can still believe that.



  12. John says:

    Is MS going to respond to the replies. Or is this one way communication?

  13. WARGOST says:

    We are waiting for a integrated webshop that shold be released i 5.1. will ths be in 50 SP1 or 6.0??

  14. Darren Laybourn, General Manager of Research & Development for Dynamics NAV, blogs about the move

  15. viral says:

    i would like to see new  product or full demo. is there any way to get?i worked on nav 5.0



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