Category Archives: Uncategorized - Page 2

NAV 2013 Technical Documentation on What is New

Just a quick note. If you don’t have this link already, here’s the MSDN article on what’s new in version 2013:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh174007(v=nav.70)?lc=1033

Import Budget into Excel in Dynamics NAV RTC

When you’re working in the RTC environment in the G/L Budgets, the standard NAV function is that you can export the Budgets into Excel, edit it, then import it back in in the same Excel format. This works fine in the classic client, however, when you try to import the budget in Excel in the RTC environment, you get the error message:

Dates have not been recognised in the Excel worksheet

The problem, as explained by my local Microsoft rep, is caused by the Dynamics NAV server recognizing the field in Datetime instead of just regular date. The solution to this problem is to modify report 81 with the following object.

Report81RTC

The code for the changes is found here:

http://www.mibuso.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=46932&p=247791#p247791

Auto-hide Taskbar Does not Autohide in Windows 7

This post is not Dynamics NAV (Navision) related, but I hope it’ll be extremely helpful because real estate space is really scarce on the desktop. Especially when you’re trying to cram all that data on to your screen.

This was troubling me for the longest during one of my demo sessions. Basically, I set my start menu to use auto-hide because I want to utilize all the space on my screen. The taskbar really gets in the way of everything we do.

Sometimes, the taskbar will not auto-hide. After browsing Google, the problem is caused by some notification or processes running in the background. What troubled me was that this only occurs every so often.

The problem is caused by the SQL Server Management Studio. You know, the annoying notification that asks you to give them your opinion on SQL Server. It turns out, you can’t just ignore that or else your taskbar will never autohide. The way to resolve it is to do this:

Basically, you have to set the Behavior of the SSMS notification to Hide Icon and Notifications. After changing this, my Auto-hide taskbar is working again.

If you don’t have SQL Server running in the back end, then I would suggest hiding the Icon and Notification for the different programs to see which one is causing it.

Dynamics NAV 2009 Reporting Book Released

Looks like I jumped the gun when I wrote about the book release on this post.

For real, the Dynamics NAV 2009 reporting book is now officially released. Again, you can buy a copy of the book here:
https://www.packtpub.com/microsoft-dynamics-nav-2009-for-professional-reporting/book

Back when I was asked to review this, I knew this was going to be a must read book for any people out there wanting to develop reports in Navision. After the final product is delivered to me, I have to say that the final book blew away even my original expectations!

Aside from the content it provides, Steven Render (the author) really made an effort to document all the necessary steps to create good looking and complex reports with step by step examples, and… PICTURES! For all of you future NAV book writers, it really doesn’t matter if you can construct the most beautiful sentience in the world. Well done pictures will always win. Better yet, draw/write within the pictures, as what Steven has done in his book.

I’m not alone on this as Eric Wauters (Waldo), a fellow NAV MVP, also had some good things to say about this book here.

As I mentioned before, this book really patches up the lack of documentation on the reporting side for NAV2009 and its capabilities. The information here is definitely not something you can just download from Partnersource or Customersource.

Recap of Directions 2011 for Dynamics NAV (Navision)

Overview
This post is an overview of my experiences at Directions 2011 – Connect Learn Execute. Again, if you don’t already know, Directions is THE single event that any partner dealing anything with Dynamics NAV (Navision) absolutely has to attend. Not only do they preview a lot of new stuff, it’s also a great place to learn from what other partners are doing and the challenges they’re facing in the market.


The Vibe

The event itself was spectacularly put together by the Directions people. Everything was very organized and well put together. Having been to Directions since 2006, every Directions I attended since had been better than the previous. There were always incredible key takes aways and new friendships that are made.

However, this year I felt something missing. In particular, the energy level to be low. The problem wasn’t the event itself, rather, it was the attendees lacked enthusiasm and energy. In addition, I significantly noticed a lot of partners that I’d use to see (even until last year) did not come to this year’s event.

There are a number of theroies on why I think the energy level is low:

  • The presenters from Europe speak and present with no emotions, like robots. If there’s a competition for monotone speak, the European presenters would be clear winners, no doubt. 
  • There was a couple of presentations that I would like to call the “Doom and Gloom”. Basically, we have to significantly change our business model to be volume based seller. 
  • RTC. Apparently, many partners are still struggling with this.

Demos Dynamics NAV 7 (Navision 7.0)
Looking at Dynamics NAV 7, Microsoft really made significant improvements in usuability, development environment, performance, etc. etc. They’ve addressed everything (and I do mean everything) that I thought was a problem with Dynamics NAV 2009. It’s really a product that everyone can really be excited about.

The reason I can’t blog much about Dynamcis NAV 7 is because as a Dynamics NAV MVP, I’m under the NDA. And since Dan Brown mentioned that everything we saw in Dynamics NAV 7 is not to be made public in the beginning of the event, I have to follow it. Fortunately, not everyone in the conference cares about what they signed, so you can find a lot more about Dynamics NAV 7 if you did a Google search.

One thing I found strange on this event was how Microsoft showing off freely how Dynamics NAV 7 looks and works, even though the product release date is scheduled for Q3/Q4 2012. I can tell you also that Dynamics NAV 7 that I saw in the MVP program is different than the Dynamics NAV 7 they showed at Directions.

Within one year, anything and/or everything can change. After seeing Dynamics NAV 7 in its current form, and knowing people and rumors will start of fly about Dynamics NAV 7, I really hope Microsoft can release it sooner than later.

Key Take Away
Microsoft has moved to the cloud. Dynamics NAV is moving to the cloud. From the sessions in “Doom and Gloom” series, the message was clear: “Move to the Cloud or DIE!”

Yeah… They were fun sessions to attend…

Imagine if Your ERP is on the Cloud with Amazon Right Now

If you haven’t heard already, Amazon Web Service AKA Amazon Cloud, has been down since around 1AM on April 11th, 2011.  I wrote an article about my reservations of having the heart of my business outsourced somewhere in the post here.

Imagine if your company decided to have your solution hosted with Amazon Cloud. You’d be hurting a lot right now as a lot of orders will have to be written by hand. But assuming you’re not using Quickbooks anymore, your company must’ve grown to a significant size, and in a world that’s more connected than ever, your ERP solution is probably integrated and receiving orders electronically (EDI, E-commerce sites, etc).

I realize this cloud computing is still at its infancy and as we can see, even if a hosting company as big as Amazon can fail without warning. The lessons learned here if you decide to host your ERP or Navision or GP or AX, etc. You have to:

  • Make sure how you’re going to process the order by hand
  • Make sure you have a plan to get all those electronic orders by hand
  • Make sure you have a plan to manually ship those orders

These plans will need to be in place for the long term as you never know when the hosting company can get their server back up and running again. It may take hours, days, or even weeks. Even so, you’re risking data loss after it comes back online. Basically, even if the hosting company guarantees, you’d better not expect it’ll be guaranteed.

On the flip side, if your hardware is hosted in house, the manually processes are not as important. You can get a computer and restore a backup last night of your database faster than the hosting company can get their server back online.

Recap of Directions US 2010 for Dynamics NAV (Navision)

This is an overview of my experiences at Directions US 2010. Again, Directions US 2010 is THE place to be at if you’re interested in learning any new for Dynamics NAV (Navision).

The biggest difference that I noticed on this conference is Microsoft’s presence. But the biggest presence is not about showcasing the latest technology, or talk about how good the product is. Rather, it’s open forum where you can meet and interact with the product team, managers, AND executives! I have to say that I’ve never attended a Microsoft conference where you can so freely interact with all levels of the NAV team. We get to hear opportunities and concerns from all levels in the NAV organization; which is pretty cool!

KeyNote:
Let’s start with the Keynote. As may of you may know from my last blog post at Directions, I got in trouble because I posted some numbers that were not meant for the general public. So this year, they were a little more careful abour releasing the numbers. Here are the key points on Dynamics NAV:

– Dynamics NAV is the #1 Revenue generator for the Dynamics product family
– It has the largest presence for ERP partners on the Partner Network
– Despit the economic downturn, the growth of NAV has been on a steady increase!

The last point just blew my mind! Even in an economic downturn, companies are still investing in ERP software, and more specifically, into NAV. Not just that, NAV grew in the economic downturn! This just shows you what a great product Dynamics NAV is and how good the parnter network that stands behind it is.

One other huge point is that Kirill (the head guy for Dynamics) is not under the business solution division anymore. He now reports directly to Steve Ballmer (the head of Microsft). This means that the Dynamics business is now significant enough that now warrants Steve Ballmer’s direct attention.

Product:
The demo on Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 has been showcased. There are couple of interesting things:

– Visual representation of data – The demo they showed is the new Item Availibity screen. It’s a visual representation on the stock level. You can click the chart and have the system generate a new purchase order based on the user input. In addition, this screen now takes into account forecast as well!

– RTC (Role Tailor Client) over the WAN – With R2, the users can now use the RTC over the WAN. This means that you can have remote offices and sales people take advantage of the the full functionalities of the RTC without the limitations of using remote desktop and/or terminal server.
There was an image of Dan Brown using the FULL RTC on an airplane 38,000 feet above ground.

– Most of the add-ins in the demo video are now in the base R2 product. Frankly, this should’ve been in there in SP1.

Interesting ISV:

Jet Reports – They’re an adhoc reporting tool using Excel. The Jet 2010 product has been greatly enhanced and there are a lot more templates and a easier user interface to start using the product. Some may even make the case that you don’t need to be good in Excel anymore to create nice reports in Jet. Comes with some very nice standard reports.

Centerline Pivotier – They’re a reporting tool as well. However, their approach is very different from Jet Reports. Their approach is to leverage the existing Microsoft product in SQL (that you already own and use) to generate nice reports. This product is a little more techincal, but easy enough to train end users. Also comes with some very nice standard reports.

Software-as-service (SaaS) companies – The whole concept of going to Cloud Computing. Believe it or not, NAV has a cloud model. And some of these SaaS companies that have booths at Directions are showing how it can be done.

Session of the Conference:
I have to say the sessions I enjoyed the most are the interactions with all levels of the Dynamics NAV team. From product managers to executives. It’s very valuable that they ARE taking into account on what we are saying about the product and ARE putting our input into releases.

I also got answers on why the tougher new MPN requirements. As a small partner, it seems that they’re trying to get rid of me, along with other smaller partners that has really been the lifeblood of why NAV was successful int eh first place. However, upon getting into a deeper conversation with an executive, I now fully understand why (my next blog topic).

Interesting Note:
I got more than a few people coming up to me. Not because they saw my blog or saw my posting on mibuso or dynamicsuser.net. They know me because because I was the “dissonant” voice in these Microsoft sessions. I spoke what, in their opinion, needed to be said. I guess when you’re really passionate about something, you fight tooth and nail to preserve it. Or make it better.

Future of Dynamics NAV (Navision) – Recap of Directions 2009

This blog post is an overview of my experience at Directions 2009. In my opinion, this is THE event to attend if you provide software or service to Dynamics NAV (Navision).

Most of the sessions in Directions 2009 were about the RTC experience, upgrading to RTC, getting partners to buy into RTC.

Instead of posting a session summary ,which doesn’t really do the presenter justice with a few paragraphs, I just decided to write some highlights that stuck out for me during this event.

Numbers:
Now, for some numbers shared by the MBS executives:
– xx% of all Microsoft ERP sales is Dynamics NAV Navision – (Microsoft asked me to remove this number)
– There are now 1,350,000+ registered users for Dynamics NAV (Navision)
– There are 76,000+ Dynamics NAV (Navision) customer implementations worldwide
– No other mid-market ERP has more users and install base

Wow!! That’s some serious numbers! xx% of all Microsoft ERP sales is Navision! For all the people saying that Microsoft will discontinue or kill Dynamics NAV or Navision in favor of other products, I would seriously ask them to check their facts again.

New Cool Stuff in NAV2009 SP1:
(For all the people that covered what I’m about to write, I’m sorry if I’m duplicating)

– Dynamics Online – This is a Microsoft Software + Services thing. The demo they showed is a customer processing credit card transactions and have the credit card cleared by Dynamics Online. This is very neat and I’m very excited to see what other services they plan to offer with this program.

– Drilldown to Detail Reports – One of the best features in Quickbooks is the ability to drill down directly from the reports. For a long time, no other ERP product can duplicate what Quickbooks did unless they purchase BI tools or other report writing tools. This is now part of NAV2009 SP1. It’s about time!

– Edit in Excel and Import it Back – The folks demoed the ability to export to Excel, which was there since v5.0. But now, you can edit the data in Excel and import the data back into NAV. In addition, there is version control if the data is different from the time it was exported. But this functionality is not out of the box, it requires some programming.

Future of Dynamics NAV (Navision):
C/AL is Not Going Anywhere – One thing confirmed by Microsoft is that they will NOT kill C/AL either (the Navision programming language). It will continue to be used to develope Dynamics NAV (Navision). This means that partners do not have to rush to hire a ton of C# or VB programmers as previously thought. It also means customers do not have to fear about MSFT revamping the core logic of Navision making it unrecognizable.

Application Roadmap – In the Dynamics NAV (Navision) Statement of Direction, there’s talks about adding an Application Roadmap. This roadmap will list out improvements and new functionalities within the application to be added to the future releases.

I’ve confirmed with many Microsoft executives and managers that the NAV product team DO look at MS Connect for production suggestions. Even though they do not respond to most of the suggestions, they do put the suggestions into serious consideration. So if you want to make a difference in the future of NAV, this your chance!

Interesting ISVs:
– Centerline – They make reportings tools within NAV. Essentially, you can build queries within NAV and have it print very nice reports using SQL reporting services.
– Lanham Address verification – Lanham & Associates (the makers of EDI, eShip, etc) is developing a address verification grnaule within NAV. I have to say that it’s taking long enough for someone to come out with a good solution within NAV. No pricing is available on this product yet but this looks very exciting.

Session of the Conference:
For me, the session of the conference was not in Navision. It’s called Inventory Management devlivered by Jon Schreibfeder (www.effectiveinventory.com). His session described how to achieve profitability by managing your forecast and your items. Lanham’s forecasting granule is based on this guy’s teachings.

Other interesting observations:
– There were more than a few Microsoft Partners using a Mac
– Learned the approach for purchasing ERP software for Europe, US, and Asia. Very interest, but I’m not sure if the conclusion was based on too much alcohol or scientific proof.

Source of all Evil?

I noticed this when I did a search on Google using the keyword Dynamics NAV or Dynamics GP (or AX or SL, or whatever).

http://thesource.ofallevil.com/dynamics … rview.aspx

It seems random, on top search results it displays www.microsoft.com. On the later pages, it displays thesource.ofallevil.com.

The source of all evil? Is this a Microsoft joke? Or did Google intentionally do this?

Product Suggestions for Microsoft Dynamics

Got a suggestion to make the product better? Go here to log your suggestions (or complaints, rants, raves, etc). It’s about time Microsoft has something like this.

https://connect.microsoft.com/dynamicssuggestions

Make your voice count! Microsoft is listening!