See what's coming in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 'Corfu': Foundations for new workflow, document management, E-services

January 23 2015

Anyone not at NAV TechDays 2014 in November may have missed the latest update to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV roadmap, as well as some new ideas on the mind of senior product team members.

Microsoft MVP Mark Brummel alerted his readers to the roadmap information, which was part of the conference's keynote session and is available for download from Mibuso.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV Roadmap 2015

The next release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, codenamed "Corfu", will be released in late 2015. Michael Nielsen, principal engineering director for Dynamics NAV, told the audience that Corfu will introduce new baseline capabilities around three functional areas: workflow, document management and OCR, and E-services integration. He described E-services as the trading  of electronic documents with other parties and the mapping tools required to transact them.

The new capabilities of Corfu will be more like "railroad tracks" than full-fledged capabilities, Nielsen said. He acknowledged that in the case of document management and E-services, there are already a range of capable ISV solutions that deliver advanced capabilities and that Microsoft expects partners to continue providing solutions in these areas and that they will be looking for partners to build upon the new capabilities.

The NAV development team is also working toward using a single code base across all user interfaces - mobile, web, and desktop client. The web client for Dynamics NAV could surpass the desktop role-tailored client in the next release in terms of its capabilities, Nielsen said. Like the tablet client today, they are planning to transform the web client into a "single-page" application, meaning the URL does not change even as users do different tasks.  This approach should improve performance and responsiveness as a user interacts with the application.

Nielsen also suggested that the new agile development approach used by his team means that roadmap updates will become harder to predict more than a year out.

"Because we're agile now, every detail is not planned," he said.

Solution architect Thomas Hejlsberg also gave the audience a look at "The Lab", or the ideas that the team is thinking about for the future of NAV. None of these ideas, he clarified, are approved plans and are not even in work by R&D. The idea with the highest probability of getting the green light, Hejlsberg said, was an event-driven customization system. A series hooks could allow developers to work with the base product less intrusively and help future-proof customizations.

Other ideas also dealt with the theme of accessing NAV in low impact ways. They are thinking about external event subscriptions, perhaps driven by the Azure Service Bus that could trigger actions. And there could be investments in the future around adding more customization flexibility for individual tenants in multi-tenant NAV environments, perhaps through user-interface level rendering that would leave the code base untouched.

There is much more to see in the 100 minute session, including NAV 2015 updates around C/SIDE, document reporting, Office365 integration, and client enhancements. They also dive into some detail around the updates to RapidStart tools and the new cumulative update model.

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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Comments

MarkBrummel's picture

Jason, Please note that with one codebase, Michael means the code that runs the clients, not the open source code that runs the application. That is and has always been a single code base. Mark

jgumpert's picture

Thanks Mark, appreciate the clarification.

dante007's picture

I hope that these new features will be better or at least the same level as existing add-ons (for example Continia OCR). Otherwise MS can say that we added something new but nobody uses that because it's too simple or there are way better solutions on the market. I don't know how it is in other markets but here we haven't implemented standard document confirmation anywhere. It's too simple and for little companies only.

TMShields's picture

Why don't you have someone proofread these to avoid mistakes like: The new capabilities of Corfu will be more like "railroad tracks" for the than full-fledged capabilities,