What is Microsoft Dynamics NAV?
Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a market-leading ERP solution designed for SMEs. It can help control finance, sales & marketing, HR, manufacturing, warehousing, operations and more. NAV keeps your whole business on the same page, helping automate and connect processes to improve your business’ efficiency and productivity. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a highly customisable solution, allowing it to be developed to fit unique business requirements, regardless of the industry. As a Microsoft solution, Dynamics NAV integrates seamlessly with other applications in the Microsoft suite, such as Outlook, Excel, PowerApps and SharePoint, providing even more functionality to an already versatile solution.
What is Microsoft SharePoint?
Microsoft SharePoint is a web-based collaboration platform which provides a lot of functionality. It can be used within organisations to create internal intranets and/or external-facing partner portals. SharePoint is highly versatile, allowing for the development of custom functionality to help streamline and enhance business processes. For businesses using Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint comes included as standard, so no new licenses are required. However, SharePoint can be licensed separately if need be. SharePoint can be used to consolidate business documents and data in one area which can be accessed by everyone within your organisation, improving visibility.
Linking Microsoft Dynamics NAV to your organisations SharePoint site allows you to view and interact with NAV data from directly in SharePoint. This can save time for users who only want to check the data to gain insights and don’t need to access full NAV functionality.
How to access Microsoft Dynamics NAV data in SharePoint
You will require an Office 365 account or a separate SharePoint license to get a SharePoint site up and running. A Dynamics NAV server and Dynamics NAV web server instance will also be required—this can be deployed either on-premises or in a cloud environment. When using the Azure AD tenant single sign-on can be configured, making the process more seamless and eliminating the need to sign in multiple times when accessing data between SharePoint and Dynamics NAV.
When you have a SharePoint site set up, you have the ability to deploy Microsoft Dynamics NAV as an app, allowing NAV data to be accessed, edited and updated in real time from within SharePoint. To set up SharePoint to be used with Dynamics NAV data, you will have to create an app catalogue in your SharePoint site. You will then have to do some coding in Visual Studio to link the two solutions properly. After that is done, the app will have to be uploaded to the app catalogue in SharePoint. Once it has been added and trusted to your SharePoint site, an icon will display which, when clicked, will open the Microsoft Dynamics NAV web client directly in your SharePoint site.
You can also display specific pieces of Dynamics NAV data as web parts throughout your SharePoint site, allowing you to link to certain NAV pages, such as your customer list. You can edit the URL to only show certain parts of the page and remove elements such as the ribbon, navigation and fact boxes. As well as displaying lists of data, visualisations can also be added as a web part and embedded in your SharePoint site. The visualisations in Dynamics NAV are generated using its native integration with Microsoft Power BI, which supports many different types of data visualisation. When viewing data which is displayed as a web part, users have the ability to drill down into the data, which when selected, will open the relevant page in the Dynamics NAV web client. If you have your customer list embedded on your SharePoint site, when a specific customer is clicked, the detailed customer card will open in the Dynamics NAV web client.
Your SharePoint site can act as a portal which presents embedded lists of data and visualisations to provide key information to people within your business. SharePoint also allows you to add additional pages and subsites which can be used for different business departments, such as financials or sales—which could subsequently show NAV data relating to that department. SharePoint also allows for permissions to be set so only certain users can access what they need, ensuring that the data is secure.
We hope this blog post has given you some insight into how Microsoft SharePoint sites can be used alongside Dynamics NAV data. At Mercurius IT, we have years of experience working with both Dynamics NAV and SharePoint. If you are interested in deploying an integrated platform which combines Microsoft Dynamics NAV and SharePoint, please get in touch today, we are happy to help.