At the Microsoft NAV Directions Event in Phoenix this past weekend, we received a lot of questions regarding the impact of the new NAV 2013 SharePoint client on DynamicPoint Expense and Requisition Management products. To answer this question, let’s first examine exactly what the new SharePoint client does. Simply stated from the MSDN article on the product, “The Microsoft Dynamics NAV SharePoint client enables you to interact with Microsoft Dynamics NAV data from a Microsoft SharePoint website.” So this means that if the data or functionality exists with Dynamics NAV, you can view and/or update it from SharePoint. The picture below shows how pages and reports are available for selection in the new NAV Web Part.
This is different from the DynamicPoint product or custom portal scenario, in which the functionality does not exist with Dynamics NAV. For example, as it relates to our Requisition Management product, the creation of a purchase requisition and routing for approval utilizing SharePoint workflow all occurs before any information is created within Dynamics NAV. Only upon approval of the requisition do we create the Purchase Order. A similar process applies for Expense Management. An employee expense reimbursement request is only integrated as a Purchase Invoice after a user enters the details of their expenses, obtains the required approvals and our application assigns the appropriate general ledger accounts and dimensions.
So in summary, the new SharePoint Client reaffirms the approach taken by DynamicPoint that extending Dynamics NAV functionality through SharePoint is a smart thing to do. By leveraging the security model, data accessibility through Business Connectivity Services (BCS) and workflow and review via Outlook, we are able to deliver products that are more tightly integrated with your existing infrastructure. Combine this with your users already being in SharePoint for all the other great functionality that it provides, and you have the perfect platform. Thanks Microsoft for giving us more great reasons to continue to invest in SharePoint as being our employee’s portal to Dynamics NAV.
By Mike Marcin, DynamicPoint a Microsoft SharePoint Expert in California (CA)