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Do We Really Want a SharePoint Client for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009?

by David Roys
Consultant, Intergen,
When NAV 2009 was officially launched at Convergence EMEA in November 2008, there was something missing: the SharePoint client.

At the time, I felt a little saddened by this, after all, the three-tiered architecture promised new clients: a RoleTailored Windows application and a SharePoint client.

I felt let down, but most of all, I was disappointed that Employee Portal was still my only option for implementing a NAV client in SharePoint (unless I looked for third-party solutions). Then I asked myself: do we really want a SharePoint client for NAV 2009?

The answer to this depends on what a SharePoint client means to you. I have found that system owners (the people paying for the system) typically want an easily-deployed, browser-based solution that has a cheaper license cost for infrequent users. I have rarely found anyone that wanted the ability to host their ERP system in SharePoint. There are some advantages to getting NAV inside SharePoint, like the idea of connecting structured and unstructured data, but what does this really mean?

To understand this issue, I went back to some old video clips that showed the initial SharePoint client to Convergence attendees in August 2007. The presentation showed the Business Data Features of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) consuming NAV business data from a Business Data Catalog. If you haven't seen this or can't remember it, you can download the video from MIBUSO. At the time, I was fascinated and wrote some long blog posts about what was on the video.

Having watched the video once more I realized that, as a SharePoint ...

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About David Roys
David Roys is a Dynamics NAV programmer and consultant with Intergen, New Zealand's most experienced provider of Microsoft-based business solutions. He is a Microsoft MVP for Dynamics NAV and co-author of Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009. Additional thoughts, tips and tricks from David can be found on his blog, Gaspode's Brain Dump.
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