Dimensions in Dynamics NAV 2013 – Part 2 (Deployment)

by | Updated June 13, 2018 | Dynamics 365 Business Central, Dynamics NAV

In Part 1, I described how dimension integration in Microsoft Dynamics NAV has been significantly improved with the NAV 2013 release. In this post, I would like to discuss how dimensions in NAV can best be deployed now that performance is no longer the primary constraint. Beyond the dimension itself and its relative importance for your business, you will need to consider three important numbers related to dimensions in Dynamics NAV: 2, 4 and 8.

In NAV, you are able to create an unlimited number of dimensions and use as many of those as you wish on any given transaction. As an example, a company may assign a department, cost center, customer group, item group, and project to a sales invoice line. The requirements for dimensionalization and the rules for combinations may all be maintained in setup tables that are either defined up front or as your company’s use of those dimensions evolves. A company intent enough on various measurements could see well over ten different dimensions in use. As the introduction of additional dimensions is considered, it is important to know how that information will ultimately be used and what additional burden on data entry is acceptable. This is where the numbers 2, 4 and 8 become more important.

2: There are two global dimensions

A global dimension is simply the name NAV assigns to the two most important dimensions. These are not only stored in the parent tables and referenced by their Dimension Set IDs, but they are also included on every posted entry. As such, you are able to filter and sort on these values from posted ledgers and documents.

4: There are four dimensions allowed in an Analysis View

An analysis view is the out-of-the-box business intelligence (BI) tool that NAV provides for slicing and dicing your dimensionalized data. With an analysis view, you are able to review the interplay between dimensions, drop the data to an Excel pivot table via a built-in-tool, or append an existing account schedule to use the included dimensions. You are able to have as many analysis views as you wish and can build them by any combination of up to four dimensions at a time. The limiting factor here is simply that any specific analysis view may only include four dimensions.

8:  The eight dimensions deemed most important, via setup (also called shortcut dimensions)

On most document and journal lines, the first eight dimensions may be edited right on the line. Dimensions beyond these eight may still be entered, but require an extra click by the user to open a separate page.


I often recommend a brainstorming session to first identify the dimension candidates. Once the list is compiled, the importance of each of these should be ranked. The cutoffs may then be considered. As an example, if five potential dimensions are identified, the final one may require a little extra consideration as it would fall outside of the four-dimension limit in Analysis Views. It may ultimately still be deployed, but this is where the cutoffs are best considered. With the final list in hand, one additional consideration should be discussed: which of the dimensions are candidates to have their values defaulted into transactions. As an example, it is sometimes advantageous to have the customer numbers duplicated as a customer dimension. In these cases, the user should never need to manage the dimension; it should simply go along for the ride with the customer itself. There are a number of these and examples include customers (and/or groups), vendors/groups, salespeople (and/or territories, regions), items/groups, resources/groups, jobs, etc…




An upgrade is a good opportunity to introduce additional dimensions if you want history to also include those values. Alternatively, if you’re on NAV2013 and wish to deploy new dimensions and append history, the process should not be cost-prohibitive. We have scripted a few of these and the investment is not significant. Some additional options will be explored in the next entry: Part 3 (Extension).



Related Posts

  • While I have always been a strong proponent of the power of dimensions, I have only recently been able to fully embrace the execution in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Many have…

  • In this final entry on dimensions, I am going to explore some of the ways you might modify Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 to better utilize the existing dimension functionality. While…

  • Since the acquisition of the Navision product in 2001, Microsoft has continued to improve the product functionality and features.  The introduction of Dynamics NAV 2009 propelled the product into a…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upcoming Events


02sep10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer - Cycle Count Management

02sep12:00 pm12:30 pmBest Practices for Work Order Planning and Routing for Field Service Companies

09sep10:00 am11:00 amWhat is Levridge? An Overview of the Ultimate Ag Solution

09sep12:00 pm12:30 pmOverview of Microsoft Promotion for NAV and GP Clients

10sep11:00 am12:00 pmConfab with Stoneridge - Livestream - Field Service Comparisons

16sep10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer - Product Lifecycle Management

16sep12:00 pm12:30 pmHow to Upgrade to Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: Examining Custom Code and ISV Implications

16sep2:00 pm2:30 pmScheduling and Dispatching for the Modern Field Service Company

23sep12:00 pm1:00 pmDynamics 365 Business Central Wave 2 Release Preview - An Overview of the Most Exciting New Features Coming in October

24sep11:00 am12:00 pmConfab with Stoneridge - Livestream - The Modern Workplace: Teams, Sharepoint, Outlook, Office, and AI Integration

30sep10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer - Return Management

30sep12:00 pm12:30 pmEmpowering Your Field Service Technicians with a Mobile Solution


07oct12:00 pm1:00 pmThe Three Paths to Business Central from Dynamics GP

08oct11:00 am12:00 pmConfab with Stoneridge - Livestream - The Vision and Strategy of Microsoft Business Systems

14oct10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer - Complex Cost Modeling

14oct12:00 pm12:30 pmGenerating Custom Inspection or Process Forms

19octAll Day22Stoneridge Connect Fall 2020

22oct11:00 am12:00 pmConfab with Stoneridge - Livestream - Stoneridge Connect Recap

28oct10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer - Engineering Change Orders

About Stoneridge
Stoneridge Software is a unique Microsoft Gold Partner, with emphasis on partner. With specialties in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we focus on attracting the most knowledgeable experts in the field to our team, and prioritize delivering stellar solutions with maximum impact for your business. At Stoneridge, we are deeply committed to your results. Each engagement is met with a dedicated team, ready to provide thorough, tailored, and expert service. Based in Minnesota, we intentionally “step into your shoes,” wherever you are. We focus on what you care about, and develop trusting, long-term relationships with our clients.

Subscribe To Our Blog

Sign up to get periodic updates on the latest posts.

Thank you for subscribing!