A supported version of Visual Studio cannot be found (NAV 2013)

We all love NAV right?? Well my patience with it was stretched to breaking point over the last day or so.

One of our customers has upgraded their hardware but didn't want to upgrade NAV from 2013. In itself this is strange, be we cant force people to upgrade can we ?!? Anyhow, having performed the database migration to the shiny new, superfast server, they trashed their original server. All good so far and no issues for the users, as close to a seamless go live as possible, all were happy, until……we logged on to perform a simple report change.

To my horror we got the error stating "a supported version of Visual Studio could not be found"… Visual Studio was not installed, they did not own a copy of VS and were not prepared to pay for one. The battle commenced….Many hours of "fun" later…. We have a NAV2013 install that can design reports…

In summary this MSDN page led me to the Microsoft Web Platform Installer which allowed me to install the required software

  • Visual Web Developer 2010 Express
  • Visual Studio 2010 Shell (Integrated)

This cured the initial error message but then presented me with a new one.

The Application Data for Visual Studio could not be created. (ARGHHH!!!)

To resolve this you have to manually create a folder (yes in this day an age you have to manually create a folder!!!)

Having manually created the folder (with no content) C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0

We can then design a report layout in NAV 2013….. simples!

Hope this helps someone….

(Big shout out to Claus Lundstrom's blog and Stack Overflow for this)

 

Object comparison / analysis. Grrrrrrr

I am sure that by now we are well aware of the new tools (available through PowerShell) that have been added to a NAV developers arsenal.  However, when it comes to trying to find where a field is used, or a function is referenced…The only word that springs to my mind is "arghhhhh!!!!" Lets face it, these things are traditionally painful and as close to manual labour as a white collar worker can get!

Here at Technology Management we have tried many solutions to resolve this age old problem.

  • The manual export to text and search in notepad method (not fun!).
  • Software that resides with NAV itself such as "Object Manager Advanced".
  • Software external to NAV such as TFS, Merge Tool and many others besides.

Please don't get me wrong, I am not in any way shape or form criticising any of these products, as, in their own right, they are great bits of kit! But, having tried them all, for one reason or another they have all fell by the wayside.

One piece of software that we have been using for a while, (me only recently) and seems to have received very positive feedback from colleagues is "Statistical – Prism". Now lets be clear I'm not saying it's better than any of the other software mentioned above. We are not reselling it or any such thing like that. I 'm just saying, that from my experience its proved its worth on several occasions.

In terms of usability its so simple. 

  1. Export your objects as text 
  2. Open Prism 
  3. Point it at the file
  4. Search for stuff

Within 30 seconds you can see a full list all objects

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Expand the list and see the objects within the object type

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Select the reference you are looking for and away you go.

This bit, that's the life saver from my point of view, is the simplicity of finding where things are used within the database. In the example below I previously created a function called CalcFreeStock. This is a function on the Item Table, I know its used in other places but I have no idea where. All we do is right click the function

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then left click "Find Usages". Prism scampers off and returns a list of all references to this function.

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I believe its beautiful in its simplicity, amazing in terms of the time saved, and shocked to see how much it improved the quality of work.

All I can say I have used this extensively over the last few weeks and its saved me hours of manual searching. That cant be a bad thing can it?

 

 

 

Ctrl +C, the gift that keeps on giving!

Here at Technology Management we are quite keen to get our customer upgraded but its not for everyone. Last few weeks I have been working on a few of our clients with older version of Dynamics NAV. While reminiscing, I was reminded of some of the "shortcuts" in the old 2009 Development environment… These may be long forgotten (or indeed common knowledge) but thought I would bring them back into the light just in case there are of any use to anyone.

Here goes….

Struggling to remember an on screen error message? While its on screen copy it.. (ctrl+c )

Need to move a function from one place to another, who wants to completely rewrite the function in the new repository? This can be avoided by copying the function and pasting it to the new place. Just select the entire line rather than the text… This will recreate the function "as is" all locals copied with it ctrl+c to the rescue! 

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In addition to the ease of copying functions, variables and text constants I found (by accident), that if you are copying a text constant Dynamics NAV knows what it is so can be passed in the variables section of the Globals (or locals)

Below you can see I have copied a single Text Constant Line (but I could have selected a block) and am about to paste it into the Global Variable Section of another table

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Clever NAV knows this and puts it in the right place..

Ctrl+C the gift that keeps on giving.

 

 

NAV and Web Services

Following our recent visit to Mibuso's TechDays we have seen how Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 is increasingly using Web Services. Not only for massive integration developments, such as the new 'out of the box' CRM and EDI integrations, but for small and cool things like showing a map of a customers location on the customer card ,or even useful stuff like getting exchange rates direct from a trusted supplier.

The demo on Web Services really did open my eyes to the little things we can do to try to make lives easier for NAV end users. Taking the Exchange Rate functionality as an example, this is a simple, yet really useful example of how a simple Web Service can make the lives of a NAV user little easier.

Just think, no more needing to;

  • log into the bank
  • download the latest Exchange Rates
  • find then open the excel file
  • open NAV
  • navigate to the currencies page
  • open the currency you want to edit
  • then (finally) typing the new exchange rate in, ONE AT A TIME!!!!!!! ARGGHHHH!!!!!!! 

Wouldn't life be a little better if you could do all of this by just pressing a button and its done for you?

I accept there is a little configuration required to set it up, but once you are all configured, look at the time you will save, not to mention the wear and tear on your fingers  :)

The Exchange Rate Services are configured from the Currency List. 

ERS

Once configured and enabled

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all you have to do is press the 'Update Exchange Rates' button 

UER 

and POW!  

All of your exchange Rates updated in one…

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Cool, right?

 

If this has peaked your interest or has given you food for thought on any other Web Services you think may save you time and effort then please contact us either on 01902 578300 or email us at hello@tecman.co.uk

 

 

 

Dynamics NAV 2016 Keyboard Shortcuts

Not all of a NAV Developers posts need to be super technical or overtly complicated, here is a nice simple one.

Of late Technology Management have been working with a few customers who are either in the process of upgrading or have just upgraded from Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Classic Client to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016. One of the most common causes of frustration is getting used to the changes in the keyboard shortcuts. 

Good old fashioned things that were corner stones of a NAV keyboard warrior's life are just…..different. Commands like F3 (new record) F5 (open a list) are still there they are just ….. different. So if you want to carry on being a keyboard warrior and ignoring that "new fangled mouse thingy" then click here to get to the full page of keyboard shortcuts as published by MSDN.

It looks like this….

 

KBSC

 If your looking for a different version to Dynamics NAV 2016, then change it from the "Other Versions" drop down at the top of the page.

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 Merry Christmas from all at Technology Management.