Performance Tuning Your Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Business Central ERP: The Difference Between On Premises and Cloud (SaaS)
If your vehicle is regularly tuned up, it runs more efficiently, saving gas and wear and tear while making your ride a lot smoother. It’s also part of what you do to take care of your investment, so it lasts longer.
Tuning up your ERP is pretty much the same. When you do performance tuning on your ERP, you take care of your investment in the software, ensuring it continues being an asset to your business.
This is a very important task, especially with so much riding on your ERP. Today, ERP is more than just software that handles accounting, finance, and other business processes. It’s the “engine” that runs the company, part of a broader computing schema which includes the web, servers, and hosted applications. It’s imperative that these business systems—with ERP at the core—are operating at peak performance.
Moreover, performance tuning ultimately increases the performance of your ERP, which leads to improved productivity, which leads to happier employees, which leads to happier customers, which leads to increased revenue (while cutting costs), which enables growth. It’s as simple as that—and as powerful as that.
With the advent of cloud (SaaS) software, the need for performance tuning hasn’t changed; however, there are some differences in why and how it occurs. In this blog, we discuss performance tuning your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central or Dynamics NAV ERP solution, including the important differences between on premises and SaaS.
Performance Tuning in NAV or Business Central On Premises: When Something Has Slowed Down
If you are using Dynamics NAV or Business Central on premises, you typically reach out for assistance if you notice a process or procedure is taking too long to run. There is usually something that triggers the request—for example, you might see errors in the Event log. There are no tools provided by Microsoft for performance tuning in NAV or Business Central on premises.
Performance Tuning in Business Central in the Cloud/SaaS: Constant Monitoring Behind the Scenes
This is a different story. Business Central SaaS has built-in telemetry tools that reach out to you with suggestions—showing you what you need to do to “tune” it for optimal performance. This might come in the form of decreasing database size or purging unneeded tables. Behind the scenes, Business Central is constantly analyzing your database and how it performs against all others.
12 Performance Tuning Targets for Dynamics NAV or Business Central
Regardless of which version you are using, performance tuning is an important task that will result in return on your investment while keeping your ERP running smoothly. Here are some areas, sorted by potential gain/ROI, to tune up:
- Virtual Machines. The biggest bang for your buck is to analyze your virtual machines. Normally, VMs are not reviewed after the initial setup. Performance can be impacted by incorrect setup, changing the setup on the fly to meet changing needs, or corruption of a virtual machine.
- Flow Fields. Analyzing Flow fields can give you big gain with little effort. At ArcherPoint, every time we analyze a client’s flow fields, we come up with a laundry list of issues. Some flow fields could cause big issues. We have a tool that will run through every individual flow field and create a report of all flow fields that are under-performing. Correcting these will have an immediate impact on performance.
- Table Data. Purging table data like old EDI orders, rouge sales orders, change logs—any table with data that can become easily bloated or hold onto old, irrelevant data should be reviewed on a regular basis. The change log setup can have a big impact here. Work with your partner to ensure you are capturing the right data and only tracking the changes you need to track. IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not purge ledger entries as part of your performance tuning. This can be done, but it is a multi-step process that is best done outside of the performance tuning conversation / project.
- Auto Statistics in SQL Server Manager. This is a parameter that should be turned off. The ROI is low, but the investment you make in taking this step is zero. Just turn it off, it is not needed.
- SQL Reporting Services. These are a performance killer. If you are not using them, turn them off!
- WSDL Files for all Web Services. WSDL (Web Service Definition Language) is the ‘contract’ between the ERP side to the customer and vice versa. Ensure the service is only including the fields that are required for the transaction. Bloated WSDLs that contain unneeded fields add to overhead and can add to bandwidth required and slow down posting but is very easy to correct.
- Repeats in the Data Set. This is typically not done unless there is a particular problem, but, in short, you look for Repeats that aren’t immediately preceded by a “find set”—FIND('-') FINDFIRST().
- Platform. Every platform Microsoft releases includes performance improvements. Many customers are using older versions of the application but are on newer platforms for this reason. Referred to as a Technical Upgrade, it’s simple to do:
- Update the server
- Update the clients
- Restart the server
- Uncompiled Objects. Deleting uncompiled objects will not make a huge difference in performance, but it is a clean-up task that should be done regularly.
- Solid State Drives. It is absolutely necessary to have solid state drives or equivalent!
- NAV Service (NAS)—also BC. This can do load balancing with users to improve speed. Have separate NAS for users, web services, and job queue tasks, and spin up multiple NASs to isolate different uses.
- I/O Test. This can vary; for example, ArcherPoint’s is set up in NAV and communicates with SQL server exactly how the NAV application communicates with SQL server, enabling it to uncover issues that a standard I/O speed test won’t uncover.
Need A Performance Tuning Plan?
These are just some of the ways you can tune up your Dynamics NAV or Business Central ERP for peak performance and greatest ROI. Performance tuning is important so reach out to your partner or ArcherPoint for help. We will work with you to set up the right process for your business, establishing baselines to identify where to focus our efforts. Contact us to get a fixed-fee quote to tune your Dynamics NAV or Business Central system.