Part 6: Multi-tenancy – What does it mean?

Since the 2015 version, Microsoft Dynamics NAV has had the ability to be deployed in a multi-tenanted version. Great! but for the user what does that actually mean?

Well as described in the second post of this series, most Dynamics NAV systems to date are made up of database that contain both a set of objects and the data you input. Multi-tenancy means that objects are in a separate database and are shared across multiple ‘data’ databases.

Each data database is used by a different organisation which can create as many companies as they like within that database as usual. Why the difference? Well when using cloud based Dynamics NAV this makes it much more efficient for the cloud service provider to manage and update multiple subscribers at one time.

So for you as the subscriber it makes no difference except that you share objects with other organisations. That means that they cannot be specifically customised for you so some of the flexibility you have with a classic implementation is gone.

Multi-tenancy is great where you are using an industry specific version of Dynamics that is perfect (or more likely good enough) for you. It means you will get faster updates when the solution publishing partner updates them without additional cost.

Just make sure that you have a option to migrate to a single tenancy solution because what’s right now may not be in five years time and remember once on Dynamics NAV you're in for life as moving off is not something you will want to contemplate! Companies growing out of a templated multi-tenancy solution is something I’ve already seen.

Make sure that your contract when you sign up gives you that option. That might be with a different partner so make sure you have the rights to extract all your data (usually there is a cost attached to this) and be able to use it where you want.

Other than that a multi-tenancy solution is a great way of especially smaller companies getting on a great platform that will sustain their growth up to almost infinite size.


This post is part of a 6-part series. A link to all the posts in this series are below;