A bit of history of NAV VAR model

Hans Peter Bech, former Central Europe VP of Navision Software, illustrates the the go-to-market model behind the expansion of NAV in Germany in the early 90s, the first market after Denmark where NAV was distributed.

Hope you all enjoy this reading, article is available here.

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Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 is available

Yesterday at Directions EMEA in Mannheim NAV 2016 has been officially announced. Many of you probably have already read since the blogosphere is in turmoil, but I still want to point out some of the features that makes me more excited about this new new major release:

  • Phone client, immediately available on Apple iTunes and soon for Android and Windows devices: important premise to really achieve cross-platform implementations
  • Deploy on Microsoft Azure SQL Database: in combination with the NAV managed Services For Partners will drastically really reduce the time needed to get a customer up and running. More information in Waldo’s post
  • Document management, workflow, (OCR) capabilities: finally an out-of-the-box solution to streamline A/P processes. Workflow seems a great catch, cannot wait to test it!
  • Renovated development environment: welcome to the 21st century 🙂 Syntax highlighter, line numbers, intellisense, command tooltip and…UNDO! :-O
  • Posting preview: allows to see the result of a document before posting
  • From a developing standpoint RecordID and IsTemporary availability on records, automatic deployment of Add-ins, TryFunctions will make the code base simpler and thinner

A few other points:

  • NAV 2016 require a different license key that is no backward-compatible
  • Release notes with known issues are available at this link
  • Windows 2008/2008 R2 compatibility has been officially discontinued, even though the installation maybe successful with additional software as Windows PowerShell 3.0. Same with SQL Server 2008 R2, that is out of official support

Time to start discovering it!

Lists and SubPage visibility

In the last days I came across an issue that took a while to me be solved. An user by mistake removed the SubPage contained in a page of type List:

RemovePartAfterwards it was not possible to set its visibility back because into the Customize This Page function the option FastTab was not available, contrary to when the function is called from documents pages:

CustomizeChanging the main page type from List to ListPlus is the solution triggered the FastTab option to be shown:

Customize2

 

Code fields sorting

Code fields in NAV very often store numbers: most of the people assume them to be sorted as an integer, but let’s see how NAV deals with a table having one code field as primary key:

Code sorting 01

Numbers are not in ascending order, due to how SQL handles this type of fields.

When creating a new code field in NAV, nvarchar type is used inside the SQL table structure: since it’s a string SQL Server in terms of sorting considers the position of each character, causing the problem shown above when comparing numbers whose digits are not in consistent positions.

From a SQL prospective it’s possible to pad values to a fixed length as workaround using  REPLICATE clause:

Code sorting 03

But how about NAV? It’s possible to restore the (beloved) native database behavior changing the value of SQL Data Type property of the field to Variant:

Code sorting 04

This will affect the SQL field definition switching it to sql_variant, allowing to execute the correct number sorting:

Code sorting 05

But before applying this change take carefully in consideration these effects:

  • Strings will be sorted before numbers.
  • Won’t be possible to insert anymore values with leading zeros (e.g. if value 99 is existing, an error will raise if inserting a new record with value 099).

UPDATE: on August 20th 2014 a new cumulative update for NAV 2013 and 2013 R2 has been released and include the bugfix no. 360182 “FlowFields with mixed SQL Data type work in an unexpected way”. I will test soon this new build in order to understand the benefits.

 

Dear novice users, do you speed up filtering?

During training sessions one of the first topics is managing filters in pages and report. Indeed master data with limited number of entries are chosen, to be make explanation more understandable. This time I accidentally picked a G/L Account with several thousands of entries so, selecting records with document type different than invoice and credit memo, meant a few seconds of wait every time an option was ticked.

Option_Filter2

At that point the course attendants started being a little skeptical, and made a point about the total time necessary to perform the query, close to 15 seconds. So, I suggested to compose the filter with the QuickFilter box, using the usual syntax, in order to speed up the filtering and drop down to 3 seconds the full execution time:

Option_Quick_Filter

I normally avoid showing this filtering method because most of the times writing inside the box the values to select/exclude takes more time than ticking the options, but in a case like this definitely worth using the QuickFilter.

 

Speaking of users productivity, I noticed also that almost no one run actions shown in the role page with the mouse right-click on the task bar:

Actions_From_Taskbar

I personally find this way very fast and practical since it allows moving to a new document/page without stepping back to the main page, especially when a Role Center is well designed and the promoted actions effectively match with daily operations. Do your users act with the same behavior?

Cust. Ledg. Entries sorting not working

In NAV 2013 I experienced on several installations a bug in modifying the sorting on Customer Ledger Entries page. As usual, after clicking on the key list, a different one from the default used is chosen:

Customer Ledger Entries Sort 1

But nothing happen. The most common reaction – and mine too – is selecting the sorting again (guessing not to have clicked in the right area) but the effect is the same. Nothing.

Customer Ledger Entries Sort 0

The solution I found after several attempts is removing the sorting placed in “Ledger Entries” action of Customer List and Customer Card pages, and add it on Customer Ledger Entries, which doesn’t have any key specified by default. Et voilà, now it’s working again, I’m able to change the key with a different one 🙂

Customer Ledger Entries Sort 2

The identical issue occurs also on vendors and items and can be fixed with the same resolution. Meanwhile NAV 2013 R2 is not affected, due to the new sorting behavior which allow sorting by whatever field regardless of keys defined in the table.