The Microsoft Dynamics ERP line includes a variety of solutions aimed at different industries and for different purposes. Two of the most common solutions that come up against each other include Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

These two solutions seem very similar at a glance, especially when compared feature for feature, which often raises the question what exactly is the difference between Dynamics AX and NAV. In this two-part post we will look at five areas that set these two ERP solutions apart.


The key areas to pay attention to lie in the difference between company size and the industry represented. Dynamics AX will often find favour with the manufacturing industry and public sector because it handles complex manufacturing processes well. In instances where the primary goal is the for the users to easily and quickly process data, Dynamics NAV would probably be a much better option.


In the past how each of these systems performed was dependent on the infrastructure.  Microsoft Dynamics AX required a greater investment in server infrastructure because the system is more demanding. With NAV however those costs were substantially lower because the system was less demanding on the hardware. Today both of these solutions can be cloud hosted, on premise or a combination of both.


The interface of the Dynamics NAV system is significantly more convenient and easily readable for the user because it is similar to the standard Microsoft office products. It also enables the user to go through data quickly. In this regard Dynamics NAV is much more convenient for an ordinary accountant, while a financial analyst will have substantial opportunities when working with Dynamics AX.


One of the key areas to pay attention to when looking at the difference between these two ERP solutions is cost. The Dynamics AX solution offers extensive settings when configuring, adjusting and using the system which is why it comes as no surprise that the final implementation costs of the system are on average at least 1.5 times higher than those of Dynamics NAV.  Licensing costs for dynamics AX are also much higher than for NAV.

Global presence

Both solutions support multiple languages and currencies, and can transact across borders. Dynamics NAV does an excellent job of handling decentralised global operations; however, Dynamics AX works better for managing end to end global processes.  Dynamics NAV is a very popular, effective ERP solution for growing international businesses that don’t have such a complicated organisational structure while complex enterprise solutions who need visibility across multiple decentralised locations in different countries is best suited to Dynamics AX.