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Is the performance of your Dynamics NAV or Business Central solution too slow for your business?

If the answer to the above question is yes, then read the rest of the article where we demonstrate how we look to improve the performance of your system and where your issues may be occurring. 

Before we get into this, let’s start by putting a few questions to you: 

  • Are you finding your solution slow all the time or is it when you perform certain activities? 
  • Are you the only one experiencing a slow system or is it your colleagues too? 
  • If you are the only one experiencing a slow system, is it only on your machine or does it happen when you log on to your colleagues machine? 

By starting out asking the above questions is vital to being able to diagnose exactly why your NAV or Business Central solution is running slow. In our experience, focusing on the who, the when and the how is usually how such issues are found and resolved. 

In the vast majority of cases, you will find that users complain about the system always being slow which usually means the screen is always slow which means that the system isn’t slowing them down but it is clear the issue is associated with the functionality that they use the most in the system. 

It goes without saying but almost all IT solutions have the potential to be both fast or slow. This is no different when it comes to NAV/Business Central as all types of system no matter what make or model can suffer from performance issues. In addition to this, these solutions can also suffer from things that are outside of the control of the system that can slow it down. When it comes to NAV or Business Central such factors can be network speed, servers as well as local computing resources. 

Some of the issues caused above could largely be down to what version of NAV/Business Central you are using. To put this into context with an example, things such as desktop speed, network speed and local client settings were vital cogs in the wheel of Dynamics NAV 2009 or earlier. Furthermore, it can also be the case whereby an SQL database falls out of the remit of NAV/Business Central however is vital in being able to deliver the very best response. 

Here at Advantage, our team of experienced professionals have worked with many clients in helping them to improve their overall performance on their NAV/Business Central solutions. We’ve worked with many of the earlier versions of NAV so have a great starting point in terms of identifying issues in slower systems. We work through our extensive checklist of things to check across your system which have the potential to cause significant problems for your system. After these outside activities has been completed, we can then get our team to focus on checking all the quick fixes that can be made where required. 

We usually find that in the vast majority of cases, the issues lie in one or two key screens or reports which usually means that it is a data indexing issue. If you are a regular user of NAV/Business Central, you should be able to find this out for yourself as you will notice how a screen has got gradually slower over time. It is pretty clear that this shouldn’t happen at all. Some users automatically assume that this is relatively normal due to the large datasets it is dealing with, but this still shouldn’t be the case. It goes without saying but indexed data should work well every time. However, the problem is usually caused by the fact that a solution is modified and putting new records into tables but the optimising of the data is often overlooked, leaving this problem to get worse over time. 

Here at Advantage, we could put together the most comprehensive checklist for you to use, however the best thing to do if your system is slow, please consider, the when, the where and the who and then get in touch with our team here at Advantage so we can undertake a system audit for you. 

At this point, it is also worth using Business Central online as a comparison for some issues that have cropped up in the past. 

Regardless of whether Business Central is hosted by Microsoft or through a Managed Service Provider such as us, there is no doubt that it is much more performant than ever before. In the past, Microsoft used to sell NAV and then let partners like us implement it – this meant that they had little or no idea what happened to each customer when it came to overall system performance. As a Microsoft Gold partner, it was down to us to ask them to make improvements to this and to that but most of these suggestions were not at the top of Microsoft’s priority list. It was like this until Microsoft decided to host their own software and our customers, alongside customers from all over the world on Microsoft servers as Business Central Online (SaaS). It is important to note here that you don’t pay any extra for Business Central Online as Microsoft absorbs the costs associated with the server infrastructure.  

Following on from this, Microsoft upped its game when it came to making performance improvements for Business Central. They streamlined more code, they have also maximised the power that the Azure SQL engine in the back end gives to the solution, they have also automated the process of moving systems to better servers and much, much more. To sum this up, Microsoft needs to worry about the performance of their system as they have more than just you as their customer. This can also be the case when it comes to security as Microsoft has to worry about all things security for the solutions. 

It is important to understand that Business Central has a substantial amount of accessible data relating to how the system is currently performing. You have the ability to use Microsoft Power BI to find out who is doing what, which parts of the software are running slow, which users are using more resources than others or suffering longer responses. Microsoft then takes this data to look to improve performance across the board on a regular basis. 

Next Steps? 

If you are a business that is currently using Dynamics NAV or Business Central and are experiencing a slow system and would like to book in a Dynamics System Audit with our team then please contact us now

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