What is the “Madeira Project”? First impressions

Microsoft has just launched the first public “beta” of its new cloud ERP for SMBs, which it calls “Project Madeira”. This name is no coincidence, as all of you who follow the evolution of Microsoft Dynamics NAV closely will already know. Essentially I am referring to the fact that the code name of the new version of the NAV which will be released at the end of the year is "Madeira" (for the 2016 NAV it was "Corfu" and for the 2015 NAV it was "Sicilia"). Does this mean this is the beta of the new version of NAV? …well no 🙂

These days I am receiving a lot of questions about the “Madeira Project”, so I will try to clarify some of the most common ones.

What is the Madeira Project?

It is the first ERP in SaaS (Software as a Service) format from Microsoft and is strongly oriented towards SMEs. This is a new step, in line with Microsoft's "cloud-first, mobile-first" vision, since we will be able to work from any device (Windows Phone, iOS and Android), as well as from any browser.

Those of you who have worked with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 will be familiar with “mini” objects., which in broad terms was a simplification linked to a specific "small business" role, where most of the NAV fields and processes that were not strictly indispensable to complete the "normal" management cycles were eliminated. Well, we could say that the philosophy of "Project Madeira" is precisely this. What is offered "out of the box" It's a product that works almost from the first minute... simple, agile, accessible, intuitive.

It must also be said that it completely is integrated with Office 365, serial. That is, if we have an Office 365 subscription, we could, for example, perform "Project Madeira" tasks from our Outlook.

When will it be available?

In principle, its launch is expected to take place in the second half of this year, although my personal opinion (based only on intuition, I have no information on this matter) is that it will not be available before September for the States United.
For the rest of the countries there is no definitive prediction, although what is expected is that there will not be a big gap between its launch in the United States and the rest of the countries.

Is the “Madeira Project” the 2017 NAV?

As I said before, no. This is a new product and the development of the “Madeira” NAV takes place in parallel, but of course the name is not a simple coincidence, since the basis of the product is Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

How can I acquire it?

Through Dynamics partners who are part of the CSP Program (Cloud Solution Provider), who can also offer their own configurations based on the “Madeira Project”, both with “packs” that include Office 365 + PowerBI, and for example by offering an embedded vertical solution.

And how can it be developed/customised?

It will always get done “extensions” of the NAV.

With extensions? But… there are limitations!

I tell you, from what I have read, and as I have already repeated in several forums: NAV 2016 is only "the tip of the iceberg". How we develop from this release onwards will be a big turning point in the life of the product (just like NAV 2009 already was). With the new version of NAV, many of the current restrictions and limitations will disappear... and we are only at the beginning (app market,...).

Now let's get to the first impressions.

The first thing that really catches my attention is the simplicity and “cleanliness” of the workspace, something that has already been refined in the latest versions of NAV. From a user point of view it is extremely useful to be able to have access right from the start to only what I need for my daily activities.

With minimal effort I can customize my work area, incorporating, as I said, information relevant to carrying out my work.

Navigation, very fluid, as in the latest versions of the Web client:

The practices have been simplified, as I have already mentioned, adapting them more to the role of "small business":

Naturally, all information is traceable, i.e. the "browse" functionality in the application is maintained.

I really liked the "products" approach and this is a great change. If we go to the product list, what we find in a first screenshot is this:

And also, with the possibility of changing the type of display:

With sales price and stock information.

Of course, you can also manage user roles and permission set assignments.

And I also have the possibility, as it couldn't be otherwise, to carry out some configurations, therefore very simple.

I can change company parameters, for example on the NAV “company information” page, as well as serial numbers, accounting settings, etc.

Also perform a complete reconfiguration with a wizard, import data and many other things.

It just seemed to me SPECTACULAR the way to implement extensions. In a simple way like this:

In short, a product with a long history and which has a great future in markets such as the Spanish one. I am fully convinced that he is a “winning horse”.

When I get to work with the solution for a few more weeks, I will do a more in-depth review. In the meantime I hope to have clarified the main doubts in this regard “Madeira Project”.

Thanks and regards, Miguel Llorca.

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