It was back in 2009 that Microsoft first introduced web services and the possibility of reaching in and out of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. It was a very tedious task before that. Do you remember COM technology and setting up the underlying message queue – MSMQ? Did Microsoft make it easier for people like you and me to reach out to different platforms? With the Introduction of OData in Nav2013 and SOAP web services in 2009, it has tremendously helped us integrate with different systems.
I am personally a big believer of web technology and why wouldn’t I be? Between a PC, Tablet and my Smartphone, I use it every day, all day! Allowing ERP to reach out to cloud for services has never been easier. We are living in an age where each of us will soon have access to a mini manufacturing facility at home where we can freely access 3D printers, self-driven drones and various home automation gadgets. These devices have started a mini-revolution. These devices are all derivatives of our old friend the PC and they are all addressable and networkable.
So how does this play into Microsoft Dynamics NAV? Well, would we be ahead of our time if we could choose a ‘Shipment Method Code’ that states drone from location Yellow, Bin A, get and ship to the code as presented in Dynamics NAV on the sales order? Amazon has begun testing their ‘Prime Air’, a drone delivery service guaranteed to deliver within 30 minutes of placing an order on the web. To make this happen it means that all nodes and systems should be proactively talking and coordinating with each other. All sounds amazing! But how do they talk? Here are four options that are available out of the box with Dynamics NAV.
- Web Services – There are two predominant ways to publish a web service in Dynamics NAV, ODATA using REST protocol or SOAP using CRUD. To the non-techie, this mean you have a number of different ways to talk to NAV – you can even publish some of the NAV data in JSON!
- .NET – You can access most of the .Net library directly in NAV, build a Constructor and use the .Net library.
- Files and Job Queue – In an asynchronous file transfer, using FTP or any file dropping mechanism. A NAV job queue can perform a series of processes as soon as the file is transferred over. This is commonly used in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
- Client Add-in – A client add-in extends your Role Tailored user experience by allowing you to see or perform action on data right from Dynamics NAV. There are Client add-ins’, such as web-browsing, that allow you to run SSRS reports directly from NAV. Other add-ins interact with a TAPI phone system. The possibilities are endless.
Tomorrow’s technology is closer than we think and Microsoft Dynamics NAV will definitely play a big role in it. It is the neocortex that manages all transactions – an incredible solution!