Technology Management has been participating in the Technology Adaption Programme (TAP) for Service Pack 1 of NAV 2009 recently, one of only eight partners worldwide selected to do so. Now that the programme is reaching a conclusion I was recently asked what the most significant improvement was.
Well it might not be the first thing users think of and really came in with 2009 itself, but the ease of upgrading from one version of the role tailored client to another will make the most difference long term.
With classic clients forms it was a long and difficult process to make sure that all the changes had been migrated to any new version, as you had to go through each one and visually check not just the main forms but menu’s and properties. It was too easy to miss something which changed the experience when users came to test it.
With pages it could be argued that you have less control but in reality, on real world projects we haven’t found it restrictive yet. What it does mean is that its very quick to migrate to newer versions as it’s now a compare and paste, very similar to the tables and codeunits that make up the rest of NAV. This means that tools we use in these areas can now be used for the Pages as well.
Why did we discover this with the TAP programme? Well there were several releases, localisations and hot fixes to implement so we actually had to upgrade from one version to the latest several times. It proved much quicker than we expected to do so.
Any why will that make a big difference for NAV users? Well companies using NAV will be able to justifying upgrading with every new release, getting improvements and additions much quicker. Typically at the moment I guess, most only upgrade every three or four years because of the costs and effort involved. Once on the new role tailored client I would think that will reduce to eighteen months, giving much better value from their maintenance payments and letting them adapt new features almost immediately.
With 2009, NAV had kept its traditional advantages of being very customisable but now the upgrade process is as simple as other packages as well.