Dynamics NAV 2016 is a three-tier application consisting of database server, application server and the client.

In the Dynamics NAV installer, you can select which features to install. So you just need to run the installer on each machine that you want to setup and change the parameters during setup.

Below, I have shown some of the example setups you would want for your Dynamics NAV environment.


For a demo environment

You will need at least one computer for setup.

All database server, application server and client functions will be installed in one computer. This setup is not recommended for the live environment.


Minimal infrastructure setup

This is a minimal configuration requiring one server. For authentication existing Active Directory is used.

Application server and database server is in one server, and the client is installed for each computer. For environments with few users, this configuration is sufficient. However for more users, it is not recommended.

Pros: Initial hardware cost and running cost is minimal.

Cons: In case of security breach to the servers, as both application and database server is in the same server, it is likely that sensitive data will be accessed.


Typical 3-tier setup

This is the most typical setup with separate servers designated for database, application server and the client.

Pros: In case of security breach to the application server, database is separate and sensitive data is less likely to be accessed.

Cons: This configuration is not fault tolerant and will have down times in case database or application server is down.


Setup for multiple domestic locations

In case of access from multiple domestic location, VPN access is preferable.

On top of the 3-tier typical configuration, you will need to setup hardware or service for Site-to-Site VPN.

Pros: Using Site-to-Site VPN setup, users do not need to take into account of detailed network configurations for access to Dynamics NAV.

Cons: If the network quality is not very good, there may be cases where users will experience poor performance. This configuration is not preferable for requirements with large sets of data to process at once.


Setup for multiple overseas location

With international implementations, there may be countries where connection is poor. Therefore, direct connection from the client is too much of network load – resulting in poor user experience. There may be cases where network connection errors.

To overcome these issues, for international implementations, remote desktop access is recommended.

Management and trouble shooting is easier as majority of the issues can be checked remotely.

Pros: This configurations allow access from poor network conditions.

Cons: It may be confusing for users as files and program access will occur in both local and remote environments.


Setup for tablet and mobile device access

Dynamics NAV 2016 allows access with “Universal App” and is provided with native Windows Phone, Android and iOS apps. You can access to Dynamics NAV from outdoors – still with similar experiences with desktop client.

Pros: You can access Dynamics NAV from outside. Using the web client will minimize setup required for each client computer.

Cons: Not all of the functions available in the native client can be used with the web client. (as of 2016/5/15).


Setup using Microsoft Azure / Office 365

Latest version of Dynamics NAV 2016 works natively with Azure SQL as standard feature – reducing running costs compared with other cloud services such as AWS.

If you own an Office 365 subscription or Azure, you can use those login details with Dynamics NAV.

Pros: You can use the same logins as Office 365 applicaions and web apps which uses AAD via single sign-on.

Cons: It is the most complex setup and will require most amount of time for configuration.