Microsoft Dynamics AX Over Microsoft Dynamics NAV

The Microsoft Dynamics suite includes ERP solutions for businesses of all sizes and industries. Over the last decade, Microsoft acquired two ERP companies that resulted in four Dynamics ERP products: Dynamics GP, Dynamics SL, Dynamics NAV, and Dynamics AX.

The two products that have the most crossover are Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics NAV. When deciding what fits the best for the company, a lot of people tend to generalize and view AX for large enterprises and NAV for small to medium size businesses. If only selecting a software was that simple.

In terms of size alone, Dynamics AX is regarded to handle up to 10X more users than Dynamics NAV. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t smaller businesses using Dynamics AX and larger enterprises running Dynamics NAV. Instead of taking the traditional approach and looking at both products from a size perspective, let’s compare by looking at the bigger picture. Explore this article and know what are the major differences between Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics NAV.


Difficulties come in all shapes and sizes – from accounting compliance to vertical needs. Let’s say your organization has different accounting groups in different organizations within a consolidated corporate structure. This is one classic example of when the robust functionality of AX will overpower NAV. Dynamics AX works best when there are multiple accounting groups or a shared service models exists. Dynamics NAV is best suited for organizations with the same accounting group managing the books for multiple entities.

Dynamics AX is built on a platform that handles more complexities. Dynamics AX has more functionality out of the box.


Once the user considers his business process complexities, then the user needs to consider the volume of data being transacted and the resulting reporting requirements. Dynamics AX has richer analytical and reporting functionality than Dynamics NAV, with more modules. The software also consists of much-advanced business intelligence, workflow, and portal capabilities that are beyond what Dynamics NAV natively offers.

Dynamics AX is one of the most powerful platforms that can handle great volumes of data without any decadence of performance. It can also handle multiple sites across multiple locations and has the capability to easily scale to thousands of users.


This scenario is a little easier to decode, as Dynamics AX was the first Dynamics ERP product built in the cloud. Dynamics NAV is available on-premise and hosted, but the latest version of Dynamics AX (AX7 or AX 2016) runs natively in Microsoft Azure. This is the best option for companies that are rapidly expanding and need mobility, versatility, and scalability in their ERP solution. The new release brings out the benefits of the cloud that are most important for business.

The cloud version, or AX on Azure, is also becoming the Operations Application in the upcoming Enterprise Edition of Dynamics 365, a new cloud product that combines both ERP and CRM capabilities into one solution. Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition is a solution designed for large companies with over 250 employees. By choosing this route, a user can merge the powerful functionality of Dynamics AX7 with individual modules for core CRM, in addition to Microsoft’s Power Apps and Flow. This solution is also available for on premise customers as well.

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