NAV? What Is NAV?

Thoughtware Article Published: Apr 19, 2022
BKD Technologies


image-20220413134714-2When Business Central users, developers, and consultants get together, the subject of the “olden days” often comes up. You hear questions like, “What version did you start with?” and “Do you remember how it used to do updates?” Maybe you started with NAV 5.0 and remember what life was like before Edit in Excel. You could hit Shift + F12 and have the keys to the kingdom … or full access to the tables and all the data they held. How things have changed.


Figure 1 Microsoft NAV 5.0 Chart of Accounts


Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central has grown and changed since it was first developed in 1984 by Personal Computing and Consulting (PC&C) A/S in Copenhagen. The first iteration was a single-user accounting software known as PC Plus. A few years later, in 1987, PC&C released the first version of the client/server-based accounting system that would allow multiple users to work within the system at the same time. It was called the Navigator 1.00. PC&C partnered with IBM Denmark on this release. That is a pretty impressive start. 

  • 1988 Navigator 2.00
  • 1989 Navigator 3.00

In 1990, the software became available outside of Denmark. It was made available to Germany, Iceland, Spain, and then the U.K. That is where the first use of the name Navision was used.
Navision 1.0 was released in 1995. It was completely rewritten so it could pass the Microsoft certification. It was certified as “Designed for Windows 95.” 

  • 1996 Navision Financials 1.20
  • 1997 Navision Financials 1.30
  • 1998 Navision Financials 2.00
  • 1999 Navision Financials 2.50

In 2000, Navision Software merged with Damgaard Data and became NavisionDamgaard A/S. They later shortened it to Navision A/S. 

In 2002, Microsoft purchased Navision A/S and the software joined the Microsoft Business Solutions offering as Navision Attain 3.01. Microsoft Business Solutions Navision 4.00 was the last classic Navision Financials version of Navision.
Did you know? In 2005, Navision was rebranded as Dynamics NAV.

image-20220413135522-42008 heralded some big changes with the software as the release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 saw a new role-tailored client, deeming all that came before as being “Classic.”
With the release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, the interface really got a makeover as the software broke away from the old technology. The biggest change for those who were with the previous iterations was the addition of the role center. 


  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 added the Tablet Client.
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 introduced Workflows, Extensions, and a Phone Client.
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 cleaned up the interface and added the Outlook Integration. 

Did you know that Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 was codenamed Tenerife? It was announced at a Directions conference in 2017 as the next generation of the Dynamics NAV product.

In 2018, Microsoft publicly released Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and brought Microsoft Dynamics NAV to the cloud.
Business Central is an enterprise resource planning system that brings a lot to the table: finance, sales, procurement, manufacturing, CRM, supply chain, and more.
Take a look at it now. My, how you’ve grown. 


Just for fun …

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