Multiple NAV Builds of Web Clients

Ah, the NAV Web Client of forever unhelpful error messages:


It’s not too hard to get things set up with it correctly once you’ve done it a few times. I ran into an interesting challenge this week, however.

I needed to setup different build versions of the WebClient on the same box. A customer was testing a higher build to move to and wanted the new build of the web client in place to match.

If you’ve never looked under the hood of the WebClient, you get:

  • A directory in C:\inetpub\wwwroot
  • A virtual directory in IIS to match the above
  • The Application in IIS called WebClient under it
  • What looks like and acts like a Shortcut in your wwwroot folder to the WebClient installation location

That last one is the troublemaker!


To make a new instance, you use the Powershell command to make the new WebClient instance. For example, I used:

New-NAVWebServerInstance -WebServerInstance NewClient -Server clientservername -ServerInstance newbuildinstance -ClientServicesCredentialType NavUserPassword


This created all the above as discussed:

The problem might be apparent to you already: The Target of that “Shortcut” in Inetpub can’t be changed to a new Target. This points to the WebClient installation, C:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics NAV\100\Web Client folder. If I replace that folder’s contents with the new build, that will break my production version of the site. They’re sharing the same application system. But I can’t change the Folder Target.

Enter the Link Shell Extension:

If you install this Explorer extension, you’ll get the Link Properties tab that I previewed in that screenshot above.

Now when you look at the WebClient shortcut, on that Link Properties tab, you’ll see this is a Symbolic Link, not a shortcut.

The extension lets you change the Target. Now you can make a new Web Client folder elsewhere in the OS, update the files from the new build, and restart that web site. All else functions like any other multi-NAV Web Client installation process.


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