But the Madiera apps for Windows, iOS and Android that Microsoft made available in preview form over the past few days aren't the client apps for the next release of Dynamics NAV, company officials said. When I asked a spokesperson if Madeira was the next version of Dynamics NAV, I was told no.
"Project Madeira is a new multi-tenant, public cloud business management service (SaaS). It is a separate release from Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which is on track to ship v.next in the second half of CY 2016. Project Madeira is a new offering built on the Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform and several other Microsoft technologies. We have a related but separate development stream for Microsoft Dynamics NAV v.next," the spokesperson said.
The preview is available in the U.S. only, and the service itself will be generally available during the second half of calendar 2016, starting in the U.S., with other countries to follow.
Madeira is aimed at companies with between 10 and 100 employees. It's designed for companies that "need more than the simple financial and accounting tools they started with, but aren't yet ready to make a big investment in a customized enterprise resource planning (ERP) system."
Madeira allows users to stay inside Outlook while handling financials, sales, purchasing, CRM and other related tasks. Microsoft is encouraging third-party software vendors to build both horizontal and vertical extensions for Madeira. There's already a Power BI content pack for Madeira.
Madeira does have its roots in Dynamics NAV, as Dynamics NAV Most Valuable Professional Erik Hougaard described in his blog post about the new offering.