Dynamics NAV Development for Non-Developers: Part 2 – Data Structure Basics

by | Updated August 15, 2016 | Development, Dynamics NAV

For some who deal with Dynamics NAV development, tables, fields, data and relationships all make perfectly good sense. For others, these data structure concepts are a bit more elusive. If you believe you may be in the latter group, you may want to scan through this entry before jumping further into the topic.


In Dynamics NAV, all data resides in records that live in tables. Much like in Microsoft Excel, each value in a record (row) is stored in its own field (column). In NAV, all tables reside in a single database. In Excel, those tables might reside in a single workbook.

Multiple companies in a single NAV database can clutter this definition a bit, but consider each company as sharing the same table definition (fields and rules), but with a segregated set of data that is housed separately from other companies.

As an example of this data structure, consider the Item List page in Dynamics NAV. On it, you will see many items, each line reflecting a different record in the table. Like Excel, the columns represent fields on the record (within the table).

Opening a specific Item Card presents you with all (most) information about a specific item record within the “Item” table. Each cell, or field, in the page, reflects a different field in the underlying “Item” table.

Primary Key

In a relational database like Dynamics NAV, each record must also have a unique value (or a combination of values), called the primary key. In the case of items, that unique value is stored in the “No.” field. No two item records can share the same “No.”, even though a particular “description” might be common to more than one item.


Pages in NAV are generally straight-forward in that they typically access a single table. There are certainly exceptions – document pages with a header and lines is the most obvious. Reports, on the other hand, frequently access multiple tables, related by a single common field or filter. Reports may also manipulate data before putting it to paper or screen. As such, reports present a slightly more difficult challenge when trying to isolate the location of the information they represent.

Whether you are working in the table directly, creating or updating a page, or modifying reports, it will be very helpful to understand the basics of the table structures.

More on Data Structure in NAV

If you want to dig a little deeper, you might start with some online tools and tutorials. The MSDN introduction to tables, written for Microsoft Access, is as good a starting point as any.

Read more for further exploration into whether developing in NAV as a non-developer is a good idea or not.

Related Posts


Submit a Comment

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

Upcoming Events


01sep10:00 am10:30 amEnsuring Quality and Compliance for Batch Manufacturers in Life Sciences

01sep12:00 pm12:30 pmIs it Worth It to Move to the Cloud? A Look at Considerations for Current Agribusinesses Using Dynamics GP

01sep2:00 pm2:45 pmWhat’s New in Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain

09sep11:00 am12:00 pmConfab Live with Stoneridge – Data Strategy and Reporting – Mining Decision Making Insights

15sep10:00 am11:00 amSolving the Biggest Challenges in Agribusiness Through Innovation and Technology

22sep12:00 am12:30 pmSimplifying Payroll and HR Management with ADP Workforce Now

22sep10:00 am10:30 amStreamlining Batch Manufacturing with Technology

22sep2:00 pm2:30 pmProcess Automation for Microsoft Dynamics D365 for Business Central, Finance and Operations and GP

23sep11:00 am12:00 pmConfab LIVE with Stoneridge - Riding the Wave 2 Release – Key Features Coming to Dynamics 365 this October

29sep10:00 am11:00 amTop Five Reasons Why NOW is the Right Time to Move from Salesforce to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement

29sep12:00 pm12:45 pmUnderstanding Job Costing and Tax Management in Business Central

29sep2:00 pm3:00 pmDigitalizing Horticulture & Agriculture - How to Sell Plants Online and Simplify Business Management

30sep12:00 pm4:00 pmSecurity and Permissions Training for D365 Business Central or Dynamics NAV


06oct10:00 am10:30 amPreview of D365 Business Central Fall Release Features and Functionality

06oct12:00 pm12:30 pmInsider's Guide to New Features Available in the Fall Release of D365 Finance and Supply Chain

07oct11:00 am12:00 pmConfab LIVE with Stoneridge - Dataverse and Dynamics in Review – Let’s Get Technical

13oct12:00 pm12:30 pmWave 2 Release – What’s Coming for Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Service

21oct11:00 am12:00 pmConfab LIVE with Stoneridge - Dataverse and Dynamics in Review – Let’s Get Functional

26oct(oct 26)9:00 am28(oct 28)5:00 pmStoneridge Connect Leadership and Community Conference

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!