What is Extensions?

I have been working with Extensions since September 2018 and this is an area where a lot is happening so consultants have to keep updated. That is why I last December went for a three day course to bring latest new technologies into my “knowledge bank”.

Everyone talks about Dynamics NAV and Extensions but what is it?

Here I briefly describe what Extensions is and why it means something for you to be upgraded so your system keeps up with the future.

Extensions are a new way to customize Dynamics NAV, and the great way compare to C/Side. You could ask your NAV supplier to create different solutions in your  database. For example, you ask for four new fields on the Customer Card; "Last Contact Date", "Next Contact Date", "Next Activity" and "Note". These are four fields that you want in your system for your sales people to enter information here to promote the sales activities.

Your NAV supplier directly addresses the four fields in the table for the Customer (Table 18 Customer) as follows:

Last Contact Date (Date Field)
Next Contact Date (Date Field)
Next Activity (Option Box) with Phone, Mail or Visit
Note (Text Field)

First your consultant creates the fields in the customer table and then the fields must be inserted into a page; Customer Card so the user can enter information.

In this simple example, the customer table and the customer page must be corrected. However, your NAV consultant forgets to write documentation on these two customized objects so no one really knows what has changed in your system. If your solution needs to be upgraded, a consultant should review your database for adjustments and compare the database with a standard database of the version you are using. If there is no documentation then it may take time and you will have to pay for time used.

All the adjustments must be made in the new version before you are ready again if you want to upgrade.

What do Extensions do? In the Dynamics NAV of the future all customized code is placed outside the standard database as Extensions. Imagine the standard database is a "box" then your customization is  a little "box" next to the Dynamics NAV "box"; there is just a small "connection" between the "standard box" and the "customization  box" so Dynamics NAV always knows where to find its associated "boxes".

When your system is updated, your NAV vendor puts all the new updates in the "standard box" and you are happy because it will take not much time.

So if you still have an older version than Dynamics NAV I would recommend you to have a talk with me about your options. If you want yor system to be upgraded I might want to bid on that cost. All upgrades I do, I will create a "sample conversion" but with real data. The sample conversion shows how long it will take to convert your current solution and the sample conversion can be used to teach your employees with your data as customers, suppliers and for example goods.

How much it costs to upgrade your current solution to latest Business Central 365 depends on the version of your current system and how many adjustments you have made over the years. One example might be upgrading from Dynamics NAV 2015 to Business Central 365 with a few adjustments, expect a cost of at least DKK 100,000.Many companies that run on very old versions often choose to install a standard Business Central 365 and then import master data such as customers, vendors, items, charts of accounts and setup in general. In this way, the company starts with an opening balance. They will be able to do that for a very small amount.