Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV


Microsoft Dynamics NAV Administration

Microsoft Dynamics NAV Administration

A quick guide to install, configure, deploy, and administer Dynamics NAV with ease

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(For more resources on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, see here.)

The installation of Dynamics NAV Classic components remains more or less similar to the Dynamics NAV 5.0 version. Thus, in this article, we have used the NAV 5.0 version for installation of Dynamics NAV Classic components and the Dynamics NAV 2009 SP1 version for installation of RTC and the other new components introduced after the release of NAV 2009.

Installing a Classic client

Classic client installation, also called a C/SIDE client, is more or less the same for all the versions of Navision Financials, Navision, Microsoft Business Solutions—Navision, or Dynamics NAV.

We have illustrated an example of 5.0 SP1 Dynamics NAV C/SIDE client installations as follows:

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Starting with the startup screen of the installation disk, the process is fairly easy and well defined through the various installation stages. Click on C/SIDE Client for Microsoft Dynamics NAV under the Install section of the screen to run the installation wizard.

If we want to install multiple versions of NAV on the same machine, there is a work around to do that. Install the latest version and copy the client (C:\program files\Microsoft Dynamics NAV\...) folder(s) for the rest of the versions that we want to use. Once we have copied the client files, use fin.exe or finsql.exe to run the appropriate version of Dynamics NAV; this is not supported by the standard product and must not be used in a client production environment.

The installation process takes us through the setup wizard. In a network installation, we would typically select Minimum as the Install option. This needs the least amount of disk space. We can also select this option if we need just the client executables.

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

In the following table, the columns indicate the installation options for Dynamics NAV, rows indicate the features available with the option. A checkmark in the respective row and column indicates if the feature is available for that option:









Typically used in a network environment. Only with few install options.


All install options selected by default.


Most flexible option and also the one most frequently used. Gives the ability to choose the desired install options.







Demo Database





Backup of Demo Database





Commerce Integration





Business Notification Manager





Employee Portal





Outlook Integration





Gantt Server





Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

If we select Custom, we will get a few options to select from the following:

  • Help: This is the option for installing Dynamics NAV Online Help. It is recommended to have this option always on.
  • Demo Database: This is the option to install a demonstration database with the CRONUS company. This is not needed typically in a network installation. We may need to install this option in a single user installation.
  • Backup of Demo Database: If selected, this option will copy a backup (.fbk file) of the demo database to the program folder.
  • Commerce Integration, Employee Portal: These options need to be selected if we are installing Employee Portal, Commerce Gateway, or Commerce portal (discontinued now) components.
  • Business Notification Manager: This is the option to send automatic business event notifications from NAV.
  • Outlook Integration: This feature installs components for Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Outlook Integration. This also installs a toolbar in Microsoft Outlook.
  • Gantt Server: The OLAP component that facilitates management of shop floor production using visual status updates and plans.

There is also the option to change the installation path, by clicking on the Change... button at the bottom.

The following are some of the key program files and what they do:

  • Fin.exe: This is a client executable for the Microsoft Dynamics NAV C/SIDE client.
  • Finsql.exe: This is a client executable for the Microsoft Dynamics NAV C/SIDE client for SQL Server option.
  • CRONUS.flf: This file and the files with extension .flf are the license files for Microsoft Dynamics NAV and are responsible for granting appropriate access to the application areas, based on what has been bought from Microsoft.
  • Fin.stx: The local settings, system menu captions, and regional settings are kept as system text in the .stx file.
  • Fin.etx: The error messages for the system errors and not the application errors generated by business logic are stored in this error text file.
  • Database.fdb: This is the Microsoft Dynamics Classic database file.
  • Database.fbk: This is the Microsoft Dynamics Classic database backup.

The wonders of the ZUP file are as follows:

  • In the versions prior to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, all local client settings such as column widths, report filters, and displayed form columns, were stored in the .zup file for the users on their local application data folder. A parameter for client executables fin.exe, fin sql.exe—ID=<name> saves the ZUP file with this ID, thus providing the ability to group the ZUP files together and giving the ability to back up different ZUP files.
  • In the Dynamics NAV 2009 RoleTailored client version, the .zup file is replaced by the following files and tables where the local settings are stored:
    • ClientUserSettings.Config
    • PersonalizationStore.xml
    • CustomSettings.config
    • Table 2000000075 User Metadata
    • Table 2000000071 Object Metadata

Upwards compatibility: It is recommended to upgrade the client executables to the latest version, if not the database. However, with NAV 2009 this may not be true.

        Read more about this book      

(For more resources on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, see here.)

Installing a C/SIDE database server

A C/SIDE database server has been renamed as the Dynamics NAV Classic database server with the release of Dynamics NAV 2009. This is essentially the Microsoft Dynamics NAV legacy database. The Dynamics NAV Classic database server incorporates the simplicity and easy-to-use features of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. It is a charm to maintain and manage this database. Traditionally, this database server has been used extensively (before the SQL Express option was provided). Let's walk through the installation process for this database server, before we discuss some specifics of this server.

We can either select the Install option from the auto-run setup for the product CD as shown in the following screen or we can explore the product CD and run setup.exe from the server folder and follow the installation wizard:

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

There are two options available while installing the Dynamics NAV Classic database server—Typical and Custom.

If we select Custom, the system will prompt us to enter the following parameters, which are essential for the running of the server:

  • Server Name: This is the name of the database server. If the name we entered already exists, the installation process will automatically append #<incremental number> to the name of the server. For example, if we enter a server name NAV_DB_Server, which already exists, the system will automatically rename the server that we are installing to NAV_DB_Server#1. This server name is also referenced in the name of the service of NAV database server.

    Spaces are not allowed in the Server Name parameter.

    Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

  • Network Protocol: We will have an option to select from the following network communication protocols:
    • TCP/IP (Kerberos)
    • TCP/IP
    • NetBIOS

    Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

  • Cache Settings: We will be asked to set aside some space for the cache. There will also be an option to select if commit cache is applicable to the database server.

    Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

  • License File: This screen allows us to select the license file. If we select Install demo license, the installation will copy the CRONUS.FLF—the demonstration company license file to the server folder and use that for installation. If we select the Select personal license option, the installation process prompts us to select a license file path.

    (Move the mouse over the image to enlarge it.)

  • Database File: We get two options here—either to create a database file when the first client connects to the server or select a database file (.fdb) now. If we select the latter, the system would prompt us to select the file path of the database file we intend to use. The next screenshot describes the selection of the database file:

The following table outlines the main parameters as they are selected by default in the Typical installation of the Dynamics NAV database server:


Server Name

Network Protocol

License File


Default Computer Name


Demo License File


The following list defines some of the key program files associated with the Dynamics NAV database server and what they do:

  • Server.exe: This is the executable for the database server.
  • Schemaxt.exe: This file is used for schema extension.
  • StopSrv.exe: This is an executable to stop the Dynamics NAV database server service on the computer.
  • HotCopy.exe: The HotCopy backup utility is a tool that takes a snapshot copy of our database, while the database is still up and running.
  • CRONUS.flf: This is a copy of the demonstration company license.

The Dynamics NAV database server can be used on different configurations and installations. The following command line parameters can be used to set up/change/ start/stop the Dynamics NAV database server service and/or installation. These parameters are from Dynamics NAV version 5.0.





Server Name




Used as a client parameter to connect to the server name for the Dynamics NAV database server (as used in the server installation). Used as a server parameter to set the name of the server.






Used as a client parameter to connect to the database specified in the Dynamics NAV database server installation. Specify the full path of the database file (.fdb) if the database is not stored in the Dynamics NAV folder. Used as a server parameter to set the name of the database.






Used as a client parameter to connect directly to a company within the particular server name, database.





This client parameter is used to define the name for the setup file. The program contains a separate setup/<ID>.zup file every time we connect using a new ID. This parameter is extremely useful in a multiuser configuration, where we can define an ID for every user or a functional group. The program saves Dynamics NAV user settings in a .zup file.


NT Authentication



Use this client parameter to specify which authentication will be used to log on to the database/server. The choices are Yes/No. If we select "Yes", the system will use Windows Authentication. Selecting "No" will prompt us to enter a database login and password.


Net Type



Use this client parameter to specify the type of network communication protocol that we will be using.


Commit Cache


Stores writes in the cache before they are written to the database on the server; this makes the database function faster. This can be enabled in both the server and client.


Object Cache



This client parameter is used to provide a cache on the client machine for database objects.


Net Type


Used to specify the type of network protocol that will be used for connecting to the server. It is mandatory to have the same option on both the client and server side. Options are TCPS, TCP/IP, and NetBios





This client parameter contains the complete path of the temporary file(s) being used by Dynamics NAV while running.


DB Test



This parameter is used to test the database when the program is opened. Options are min, max, test.





Use this parameter to specify the type of

network communication protocol that we will

be using.

Status Bar



Status bar displays information about the screen (form/table and so on). It also displays whether there is a filter on the screen, the User ID we are logged on as, and work date. This is used as a client parameter.


Close Forms on Esc



This client parameter determines whether the system closes on pressing the escape key.


Marquee Full Selection



This is the option as to where the "whole" control needs to be in the dragged box to be selected or not.


Quick Find



This client parameter if enabled by a "Yes", allows us to find the records in an un-editable field as soon as we start writing.


DB Read only



Allows the database to be available to the user as read only. This is a client parameter.


DBMS Cache



The DBMS cache stores the data in the local system's memory before it is transferred to the database server through the commit cache. The value of the DBMS cache varies from 100 KB to 1 GB. This parameter is used at the client side.





Stops the server at a specified time.





Limits the number of concurrent sessions allowed to log in to the server. The maximum limit is defined by the number of users in the license. This parameter is defined in the server configuration.


Install as Service



If we are using the installation wizard to install the NAV database server, the server will be installed as a service by default. This feature comes in handy if we want to install a second instance of the NAV database server on the same physical server.


Uninstall as Service



To uninstall the NAV database server service.


Some of the client properties can be changed from Tools | Options, as shown in the following window:

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Preparing a Microsoft SQL Server database for Dynamics NAV installation

This section describes the raw method of how to set up a SQL Server database for NAV.

Open the shortcut for the Dynamics NAV Classic client for SQL (finsql.exe). Once there, go to File | Database | New. Specify the SQL Server name in the Server Name field; we may also lookup the SQL Server name with the drop-down Assist Edit button provided.

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

The next option is to select the type of authentication—Windows or Database Server Authentication. If Database Server Authentication is selected, the User ID and Password for the database login will have to be specified. If Windows Authentication is selected, the system uses a Windows user login to log on to the SQL Server database. It is worth mentioning that the user selected in this step must have appropriate permissions to create SQL databases.

The next window asks for the database name and shows the following options:

  • The database and transaction log file: There is an option to select Location of the files, Size, File Growth (amount by which the data file will expand in percentage, MB or KB), Unexpected Growth (Yes/No), and Maximum Size (MB).
  • On the Collation tab, the following fields need to be specified:
    • Windows Collation
    • SQL Collation
    • Collation Description (type)
    • Validate Code Page

When creating a new database, the SQL Server collation is selected by default (Windows Collation or SQL Collation). It is recommended to select Windows Collation, which is closely related to our local, regional, and language settings.

The next tab for Options has the following options:

  • Members of db_owner, db_creator, or sysadmin: This limits access to the database to the users of these three SQL Server roles.
  • Single User: This setting limits the access of a database to only one login at a time.
  • Recovery Model: There are three options (Bulk-Logged, Full, and Simple) used for the way that the transaction log is managed for the SQL database:
    • Bulk-Logged: The transaction log will contain information about the large transactions only. This model provides support against disk failure and does not affect the performance as much as the full mode does.
    • Full: The advantage that full log has over all other models is that it guarantees the recovery of the database to the point of failure. It is advisable to use this method for production databases, provided the resources are available to do so.
    • Simple: This is recommended to be used for development databases or non-production databases.
  • Auto shrink: This provides the option to shrink the database automatically. This operation is performed by SQL Server. This option has had some performance issues associated with it while using with Dynamics NAV.
  • Allow Find As You Type: This allows us to use find-as-you-type while searching for records in a form.
  • Enable for Microsoft Dynamics NAV Server: This is a new feature added in the NAV 2009 release; it provides additional support for the new middle tier to be connected to the database.

The following set of options is under the Integration tab:

  • Maintain relationships: This determines if the SQL Server will maintain relationships between tables that are defined using the table relations in Dynamics NAV.
  • Save license in the database: This is an important property that allows the user to save the license in the database. Therefore, if we have multiple licenses that need to be installed on the SQL Server databases, we could store the license in each of the databases instead of storing it in the SQL Server.

The following set of options is under the Advanced tab:

  • Lock timeout: The user can specify if the client will wait for the locks to be resolved by themselves or it will put a lock on the session that has already been locked.
  • Timeout Duration (sec): Specify the time that the session will wait for the lock to clear itself before it locks the session resource.
  • Always rowlock: SQL will decide what level of locking to choose, if this option is not selected. If this is selected, Microsoft Dynamics NAV will place row-level locks.
  • Security- Models: Discussed in the article, Securing Dynamics NAV Applications.
  • Caching- Record Set: Define how many recordsets are cached when fetched from the SQL Server using a single FINDSET operation. It will be slower to fetch a recordset that has more than the number specified here, using FINDSET.

Once all the relevant settings are done and an SQL database created, a backup of the CRONUS database can be restored from the program files folder of Dynamics NAV to create a demo database.

An object file (.fob) can also be imported to create a "blank" NAV database.

        Read more about this book      

(For more resources on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, see here.)

Connecting a Dynamics NAV client (Classic) to the NAV Classic database server

Open the Dynamics NAV Classic client, also called the C/SIDE client in older versions. Go to File | Database | Open.

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Specify the Dynamics NAV Classic database server name and select the authentication type.

On the Advanced tab, there is an option to select the network connection type that we wish to use for the connection to the server.

Connecting a Dynamics NAV client (Classic) to a Microsoft SQL Server database

Click on the Dynamics NAV Classic client for SQL Server (finsql.exe) from File | Database | Open.

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

In addition to the SQL Server Name, we also need to specify the Database Name that we intend to connect to. The next step is to select the authentication type—Windows or Database Server Authentication.

Installing the RoleTailored client for Dynamics NAV

Microsoft introduced a revolutionary client for the Dynamics NAV 2009 and subsequent version called the RoleTailored client for Dynamics NAV. The concept behind this client release is to give an experience to the user of Dynamics NAV, to be able to view their routine tasks and making it a lot easier for them to navigate across the pages and application areas. This is achieved by allowing Microsoft VAR(s), developers, certified consultants, and so on to create Role Centers for the Dynamics NAV users based on their day-to-day tasks. While doing so, an additional layer of application was introduced as a middle-layer component, called Dynamics NAV server. This layer essentially provides an additional level of security for the application and with the use of the Windows communications framework, opens up the application to Web services.

Let's walk through the process to install the Dynamics NAV 2009 RoleTailored client and also the Dynamics NAV server—the middle-tier component.

The setup screen that looks like the following screenshot has different options for different install/configuration types:

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Click on the Client if we are installing the NAV client over the network on a user computer. We may have to select the Developer Environment or Classic Server Components, depending on the type of the planned installation.

If we intend to install additional components, we can choose Customize and the following screen will be displayed, which gives us the option to select additional components.

We have to make sure that we have the database server and the NAV server to connect to before installing the NAV RoleTailored client.

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Click on the link and the installation will require us to enter a Server Name and communication port.

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Server Name in the option of the previous screenshot is the Dynamics NAV server name (middle-tier). If we have to change the properties of this connection, we will have to look for the clientusersettings.config file and modify the connection details in the file.

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Installing the Dynamics NAV server (the middle-tier component)

Dynamics NAV server is a Windows component service that runs as a middle tier for Dynamics NAV. The middle-tier executes the business logic for the Microsoft Dynamics RoleTailored clients and Web services.

The properties of the connection can be changed at the time of installing the Dynamics NAV server from the installation disk.

After installing the Dynamics NAV server from the installation disk, the properties of the connection are stored in the customsettings.config file as shown in the following screenshot:

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Connecting a RoleTailored client to the database

A Dynamics NAV RoleTailored client connects to the Dynamics NAV server, which in turn connects to the SQL Server database. Essentially, the server name provided at the time of configuring Dynamics NAV connects us to the desired database. We can change the Dynamics NAV server that we are connecting to from the client, by using the option Select Server, as shown in the following screenshot:

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

A prompt then asks us for the relevant server address that we intend to connect to and the company in that server's database:

Installing Microsoft Dynamics NAV


We saw illustrations of 5.0 SP1 Dynamics NAV C/SIDE client installations. This was followed by an installation of a C/SIDE database server. We then prepared a Microsoft SQL Server database for Dynamics NAV installation. Finally, we connected a Dynamics NAV client to the NAV Classic database server and Microsoft SQL Server database.

We also walked through the process of installing Dynamics NAV 2009 RoleTailored client and also the Dynamics NAV server—the middle-tier component, which gave us additional security to the application. Then we established a connection between the RoleTailored client and the database. We also saw how we can select the appropriate Dynamics NAV server from the client.

Further resources on this subject:

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Microsoft Dynamics NAV Administration

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