The Microsoft Dynamics NAV team has been looking to Mediterranean islands to gather code names for releases in recent years including Corfu (NAV 2016),Crete (NAV 2015), and Sicily (NAV 2013 R2).
But this year the team has ventured into open waters, so to speak, by giving its release planned for late 2016 the code name Madeira, after the Portuguese archipelago of four islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest African coast.
Microsoft had provided some hints about the Madeira release several months ago at WPC 2015, showing off how it will integrate Dynamics NAV into Office 365 to boost productivity. At Directions North America this week, they offered NAV partners three examples of how that integration might look.
When an employee receives an email from a contact who is already known in Dynamics NAV, the Madeira release will support displaying information about that contact and within the Office 365 email client. The user can take several common actions without ever moving to the NAV client. For example, a email containing a request for a quote could be processed within a new Outlook interface that calls on the contact and account details. Once the quote is generated, it can be pushed into an email response as a PDF and sent off, with the quote accurately recorded in NAV.
In another example, Dynamics SMB program manager Chad Sogge demonstrated how an email from a supplier regarding a change of address might be handled. Outlook working in concert with NAV would recognize the contact and bring forward the current vendor information, which could be updated directly without leaving Outlook. Similarly, a new contact could be added to an account in NAV. Today, these kinds of action would require opening up NAV separately and going through a series of copy and paste actions between the windows.
Finally, Sogge showed off auto-recognition of email contents by NAV. For example, the system migh recognize a quote number in an email body and convert it into a hyperlink that will then bring up the NAV document for viewing.
While the official Dynamics NAV roadmap guidance for the next two releases offers little more than a commitment to providing "a business solution from Microsoft that is quick to implement and easy to use, with the power to support SMB business ambitions," demonstrations of Madeira, due in late 2016, signal a greater investment in drawing Microsoft SMB ERP ever closer to the larger productivity strategy.