About Roadmaps and Domino…

Opinion, by Mark Brummel

Yesterday I got an email from WordPress with a notification that my blog was down for a quick moment because they had to scale it up to a larger server because of the trafic. They also sent an email to Mark Zuckerberg to please notify ahead next time if there are to many people refering to the same website.

All jokes aside… there have been some unexpected side effects from some of my previous blogs that I want to address.

So nothing about Business Central today.

Roadmaps from Microsoft

I’ve never seen as many roadmaps from Microsoft as I did yesterday, not even when attending Directions or NAVTechDays.

Let me also share some that I found on Google…

We will start with the NAV 2016 roadmap. No worries. NAV is all around and NAV will be around for a while. It’s actually true, we made it to NAV 2016 Next +2 which is according to my 7 year old son NAV 2018.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 Roadmap - Microsoft Dynamics ...

Let’s move ahead to last year when Dynamics 365 FOBE was released. (No wonder they changed that name).

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 Release and Dynamics 365 ...

Nothing wrong here. Still NAV ongoing development. Everybody happy, we don’t care if they branch of our code for some other product and party away. Hey, it was NOT NAV right? Who cares.

Now let’s role forward to a few months ago.

Dynamics NAV & 365, Roadmap & Strategy - News From ...

Ups. Hey, this is weird. Where is NAV. Ok, I see a NAV 2018 R2 but it seems like there is no vNext of NAV anymore. O wait, now FOBE = NAV. I think I understand but I am not sure.

Now let’s take last weeks roadmap.

Roadmap for Dynamics 365 Business Central (Formerly ...

Hmmm, I think someone forgot to put the R in front of the word evolotion. Where is NAV 2018 R2?

A Marketing Gimmic

Roadmaps are a marketing gimmic. The world of technology we are in is changing so f*cking fast that nobody at Microsoft has a roadmap. You wake up in the morning and something has changed that you have to act upon today. This is why Microsoft moved to yearly releases in the first place.

Not shipping NAV 2018 R2 is, in my opinion a big mistake. Customers and partners already have very little confidence in these roadmaps anyway and just deciding to cancel a release does not improve that confidence.

The Domino effect…

Before I blogged about Business Central the statiscics showed my blog was dead. I was maybe getting 50 hits per day. My blog does not exist to promote my services. Hell, I would blog differently if I wanted to do that. Both the NAV community and the IT industry in general is screaming for developers. Everybody in our industry can work 400 billable hours a week. From home probably too.

If you try to google my blog you almost have to explicitly put my first and last name in the search criteria. There are at least 50 other NAV blogs that contain more actual information than mine. I stopped sharing technical stuff a long time ago.

The chance that somebody ends up on my blog that has nothing to do with NAV are virtually none existing.

I wanted to share this picture with you.

Physics 111: Fundamental Physics I: Physics of the domino ...

Imaging that my blog is the smallest block, all the way to the right. If you look at the size, there is no way that little block is going to make the large one at the end fall down.

But if other, larger blocks start moving and each time the blocks get larger then eventually the large block will start to move or even fall over.

Just Ignore it…

Nobody is forcing you to read my blog. Nobody has asked you to follow me on Twitter or on LinkedIn. It’s very easy to unfollow or even block users if you don’t want to see their messaging. It works quite well I can say from my own experiences.

Let’s move on…

I will continue my blog series on Business Central. Maybe not in the next couple of days. Easter weekend is ahead of us and I also have to prepare a presentation and show up next thursday at QB Share in Leusden.

The next blog will be about the user. I believe by reading other peoples messaging we are focussing too much on ourselves (partners) or the product and we tend to forget making software is not a goal. Software is a means to an end. A tool people use to do their job and make decisions, or in the last years a commodity that we carry in our pocket.

This blog is the place where I share my thoughts and I appreciate you following me.

PS: I am not a Microsoft MVP anymore. I resigned last year and declined the award.


  1. Slawek Guzek says:

    Thank you, Mark, for writing this series. It is a very fascinating reading, even more because reading it I feel like you are sharing my own thoughts, not yours.

    NAV originally gave us a brilliant tool to sit with Client and solve their problems in a very individual and unique way. Each Client is different, each runs its own business processes. NAV enabled us to build close relations with Clients. It was so plastic that it could fit almost everywhere (sometimes the results were quite monstrous but that’s another matter).

    I have this feeling for quite some time now that this plasticity is taken away, bit by bit. Yes, new features are added too, we can do more – outside NAV.

    You are right saying that it is not about us – partners. It seems that Microsoft vision is quite clear about that too – it is not about partners (or product), it is about sales, sales, repeatability of sales. Partners, true end users’ partners in this vision are becoming expendable, app vendors will plug (eventually) the functionality holes and NAV(?) will finally become a commodity for $100 per user per month.

    I wonder if the next Microsoft move over upcoming years will be to absorb the best ideas from apps, build them into standard ‘whatever is left from NAV’, so the app vendors will loose their ground at some point too. No, not possible?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pedro Duarte says:

    I always enjoy your blog posts Mark, because you aren’t afraid to shoot the right questions and point out some good points about state of NAV and the road it’s taking.
    It’s curious the way Microsoft is moving, what will happen to all the good old NAV customers that have a solid implementation inhouse and are forced to change to a new version with restrict changes?
    I’m wondering that sooner or latter they (Microsoft) will want to close the core changes we are all used to do.

    Liked by 1 person

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