NAV on Docker in 2022

One of my clients asked me if I would be able to help them with an ‘upgrade’ of an add-on for Dynamics NAV for one of their customers. For this task I would have to get a working C/SIDE in a number of versions. It’s been years since I’ve done any C/AL development, and I thought this would be a cool task to work on. This post describes what I found is what does and does not work if you want to do this using Docker containers.


Just to paint a picture… First of all, the end user is on NAV2017. They had an older version of this add-on, which was developed on NAV2013. The task at hand was to implement a newer version of the add-on, which was developed in NAV2018. Technically, this was a downgrade of the add-on objects so I had to be careful to avoid any incompatible object attributes. I won’t bore you with the details of the actual ‘upgrade’, nobody wants to read about those.

The Environments

To be able to identify the mods of the original add-on, I needed a C/SIDE environment for NAV2013R2. Since this version is not available in containers, I had to actually install this version.

The end user is on NAV2017, and the ‘new’ version of the add-on is in NAV2018. Both of these versions are available in containers, and supposedly all you need to do is put together the correct artifact URL. You can find this information on Freddy’s blog. Mind you though, the localization for the US is called ‘na’ in NAV, not ‘us’ like in BC.

How about Docker?

what does and does not work? This, to me, is a pragmatic problem. I spent quite some time trying to make NAV2017 and 2018 work in containers, because I have used them successfully in the past. I have a terrible memory though, so I always start from scratch, and what I could find was outdated. At some point I just started the NAV2017 DVD download as I was researching a problem. The d/l completed before I found the answer so I abandoned the container idea for NAV2017 and just installed it. I have plenty of VMs available to do this so one way or another, I’ll get a working instance.

After going through a bunch of troubleshooting and following obsolete download links, I was able to make the NAV 2018 container work. Freddy wrote about troubleshooting here, but not all links still work. You have to enable .NET framework 3.5 and 4 in the Windows features, you need Visual C++ redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 (“The program can’t start because MSVCP120.dll is missing”), and you have to get working SQL bits (weird – the Windows client did work but C/SIDE did not until I installed those). What made the ODBC errors go away for me is the SQL Server 2012 Native Client. The SQL link in Freddy’s blog did not work for me.

I could not get NAV2017 to work at all, it would not even start. As I said I got the DVD to download before figuring out the problem and I installed it from there. It’s not like I have NAV2017 clients lining up, so I did not want to spend a second more than I had to on this.

Lesson Learned

So in the end I ended up installing NAV2013R2 and NAV2017, and was able to get a NAV2018 container up and running. The lesson learned though? I bet it is still possible to get the NAV2017 container to run right, but just as a safety I have downloaded all versions of the DVD going back to NAV 5.0. To Microsoft’s credit, they still have most of those as downloads, but you never know when they will remove them.

This post is mostly for my own benefit, but I wanted to share it if anyone out there also needs these. Let me know in the comments how you’ve made NAV and C/SIDE work in containers.

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