Part 8: Dynamics NAV 2016: Engineering

So not one for end users but they will get the benefit all the same. Microsoft with the Dynamics NAV 2016 release are making available their entire test suite to anyone who wants to use it. Why is that significant? Well you have to understand the difference these test suites have made to Microsoft’s development quality and cycles to understand its potential benefit to both partners and end users.


The test suite consists of over 17,000 individual tests that can be run against A Dynamics NAV system to see what fails. When Microsoft do any addition or changes to NAV they then run these tests and make sure that, bluntly, they haven’t broken anything. The test create a set of data, tune the process and then check the result. This ensures that the software still does what it should do and that there are no unintended consequences of anything they’ve changed.

Creating these 17,000 tests was no small task, it’s literally thousands of hours or development just for the tests. The last two or three years you’ve seen the results though as its enabled Microsoft to release a new version every year with a quality not seen previously. Even more impressively those of us on the insiders programme get a new version every couple of weeks as they simply write the code, run these tests and so ensure it’s a valid functioning set with minimal effort.

So releasing the tests to the rest of us will make us just as efficient will it? Well yes and no. That’s because writing tests takes quite a bit of time and effort. Is it viable to write one for specific client developments? Probably not as I doubt the at least 50% cost increase will be hard to justify.

Where it will pay off though should be with add-on solutions. Any vendor that doesn’t make this investment for software that they are trying to sell multiple times is treating their customers as guinea pigs. I suggested as a recent panel that tests should have to be submitted as part of the Certified for Microsoft Dynamics certification and I really hope that suggestion is taken up.


This post is part of a 9-part series. A link to all the posts in this series are below (updated as published);

Author: James Crowter

I’m passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I’ve worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I’ve seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I’ve also had some hard projects over that time where it’s felt more like warfare at times. Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I’ve been working with a small Danish product called Navision that’s now become Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV and I’ve also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I’ve been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It’s my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction. So colleagues & clients have asked me to start this blog to share some of the insight that both this knowledge (obviously where not restricted by NDA’s or client confidentiality) and experience can help. Specifically I want to concentrate not on the specifics of how (there are some great blogs already for that) but why. If any user helps their business make better decisions or consultant can give better advice then that will be objective achieved. I founded Technology Management in 1992 and have led from the front ever since. Helping clients use technology to grow their business is my passion through explaining technology in terms that everyone can understand. My interest in computing began at the age of eight, long before my school had the equipment to cope. Throughout school and university I developed software commercially. I hold many IT certifications, such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV (for over 17 years), Microsoft Dynamics CRM (for over 10 years), as well as Microsoft Windows Server, Exchange and SQL. In October 2015, I was awarded the title of Most Valuable Professional (MVP), a title given to a select few individuals (31 currently) across the world specifically for Dynamics NAV. After years of working with a range of distribution and manufacturing software for hundreds of organisations, I focus on understanding the business requirements of an organisation, what it will take to deliver the systems required to maximise their potential. Follow me online via my other social channels: - Twitter: @jamescrowter - LinkedIn: Or email me directly at james[.]crowter[@]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *