NAV 2013 Release and Some Keyboard Shortcuts

It's nearly here, NAV 2013 RTM will be availble next Monday (1st October)!

Technology Mangement went live with a customer last week on the Beta version, along with Microsoft on their TAP program (this is where Microsoft work with Partners & end users to test the software before public release). Even at the Beta stage it's been pretty robust, so the RTM looks to be a solid release.

We have the SharePoint Integration up and running and I'm amazed at how simple this is to use and the speed of response is fantastic. Integrating NAV Pages directly in to SharePoint offers some real opportunities in expanding the reach of NAV in to an organisations business processes. All you have to do is edit the web part, select the NAV page you want to display and click on OK.

There's also a nice feature added around keyboard shortcuts, some useful ones below. Alt+F12 is a cool one – hides all the stuff around the page you're on to give you more space for viewing the data.

Keyboard shortcut Functionality
Ctrl+F1         Toggle between collapsing and expanding the ribbon.
Alt                 Display access keys in the ribbon.
Alt+F2         Toggle between hiding and displaying FactBoxes.
F12                Move to the main window.
Shift+F12     Move to the Role Center from a task page.
Alt+F12        Optimize space for the current page.

More to follow soon……

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Release Date

Microsoft has announced the general release date of Dynamics NAV 2013 as October 1st 2012. This release has to be one of the most comprehensive and game changing releases for years. Many new features have been released along with technical changes, so I thought I would start with a couple of new features.

Nav2013

Choice of clients

  • Windows Client (An enhanced feature rich role tailored client)
    • If  you use office 2010 you'll recognise this. Designed around the look and feel of office 2010 it features the usual menu bar down the left hand side, context sensitive ribbon bar at the top, which is customisable (if you want the user to).
    • Enanced charting (incl. 3 axis charting) – more to follow on another blog on charting.
    • Quick response – much faster than the previous 2009 client, it's snappy and feels good.
  •  Web Client
    • Supports Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. I've had it running on my iPad (other windows based tablets are available).
    • Pretty much all the functionality of the windows client
  • SharePoint Client
    • Use either hyperlinks to the web page or use Web Parts
    • Web parts driven directly from the NAV Page (no additional NAV pages required)
    • Ability to link web parts (e.g. a customer list and an invoice list linked to the customer)

The new licensing announced last week means a user will either be a Full User (who can access NAV using any of the above clients) or a Limited User (who will still be able to use any of the above clients, but will ONLY be able to write to 3 tables / read all).

The Limited user can also write to a new entity for timesheets related to the service / job costing module. Typically a Limited user would be a remote user who needs to process specific tasks (e.g. put on purchase requests/orders/timesheets) but may need to still view more information.

Reporting

Reporting was re-designed in NAV 2009, but it was quite painful for developers to work with. This was recognised quickly by Microsoft and the whole area of reporting has been re-written. You now create a report object, which is the tables, fields and any custom logic/variables you want to include. This will ultimately provide a dataset to the report. You then open the report designer in Visual Studio 2010 and design away. You don't get the complexities with headers/footers as you did in 2009 and I beleive give it 3 months of practise anyone writing reports previously in NAV classic will be a convert.

Microsoft has also been through most of the standard reports and re-dsigned them giving them a long overdue facelift.

 

I'll aim to post a blog weekly with more information about 2013, there's a lot of new features & benefits to write about!

In the meantime if you have any specific questions please drop me a mail (matthew.woodhouse@tecman.co.uk)

NAV 2013 – Loads of new features and some surprises

Microsoft has recently released the Beta version of NAV 2013 (aka V7). There are many published improvements but it looks like there's also a few smaller changes not advertised.

I found one yesterday that has been a real pain for years – the item description has been finally increased from 30 to 50 characters – simple, but such a difference! One of those hallelujah moments.

Dynamics NAV 2009 Role Tailored Client Evolution

I was looking through some old PowerPoint slides the other day and found this view on what the Role Tailored Client (RTC) will look like in the future. It’s interesting to see how it was envisaged compared to how it ended up. Note the date at the bottom of the first image being 2005 – I wonder what Microsoft are working on now!

Free Jet Reports for Dynamics NAV Users!

As from tomorrow (1st September) all Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers who are on maintenance can download a free Excel Reporting tool from Jet Reports called Jet Reports Express.

Jet Reports Express is an add-in to Excel 2007 or 2010 that allows you to pull data from your Dynamics NAV database straight in to an Excel table, where you can use some of the really cool features of Excel like pivot tables, pivot charts and in 2010 slicers to analyse your data (I would suggest useful tables are the G/L Entry table, Value Entry table, Item Ledger Entry table, Capacity Ledger Entry table as a starter).

If you already have Jet Reports you won't need this but any users within your organisation who do not have Jet can benefit from this.

You can download the software with links & videos on how to install from Customersource – if you don't know how to access your CustomerSource account drop me a mail and I'll be happy to help you set it up (matthew.woodhouse@tecman.co.uk).

Filtering on SubForms with Microsoft Dynamics NAV

There's a useful feature which has been added to the Role Tailored Client in NAV 2009 R2 to allow you to filter sub forms. A feature sometimes missed from the old classic client, but now a welcomed comeback. So, to filter on a subform, simply click on the field you want to filter on and press SHIFT+F3 – easy!!

Microsoft Unveils New Functionality for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2

May 19th 2010. Microsoft have unveiled some of the new features that will be appearing in the next release of Dynamics NAV 2009 R2. It is expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The headline changes will be as follows;

  • Out of the box Integration to Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Online Payment Service for Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Direct internet access to the Role Tailored Client (NAV through a browser)
  • Support for MS Appication Virtualisation (App-V)
  • Windows 7 user experience improvements
  • Treemap Visualisation

For me the big one here is being able to get access to NAV via a browser. We are expecting this to be delivered through sharepoint and allows us to now easliy design pages for pretty much anything remotely and at what we hope is to be a lower cost license model (e.g. customer portals, shop floor data capture etc).

TreeMap Visualisation is out now for NAV 2009 RTC

One of the new featues is the Treemap visualisation that provides better visualisations of business data. This has already been released and we've just tried adding this in to an existing 2009 SP1 database and it worked a treat. The supplied sample points at the customer table and dynamically builds links to all the decimal based fields. So taking the concept we've quickly done the same for the item table, which was about 10 minutes work.

TreeView 
Another great feature of this is that you can drag the sliders for each axis to help you zoom in on data (e.g. zoom in to the most profitable customers). You can double click on the square and it will open the card view of that customer, as well as having all the usual factbox links at the right hand side. As it's built on a standard list from NAV you can apply all the usual filters and flow filters to the data as well.

NAV2009 SP1 – Blue Sky Time

Dynamics NAV 2009 SP1 has some changes that allow us to create a windows based application to be built directly into the NAV application. This basically means the world is our oyster – if it can be written for windows, it can be incorporated into NAV. The examples provided by Microsoft to date are all very interesting (for example when scrolling down a customer list you can see a map of where they are and the current weather at their location!) but what we’re looking for is something you would find useful. Therefore if you can think of an ‘add-in’ to NAV that would prove useful to your business, please let me know – we would be really interested to hear your feedback.

Here are some ideas to wet the appetite

  • Daily exchange rates
  • KPI Data – orders taken, invoiced, pick volume, production load, warehouse utilisation
  • Server state (disk space, last maintenance plan)

I’m not saying we’re going to create all these, but we are keen on seeing what we can achieve, so we may as well create something useful!

Look forward to your input.

 

Matt

NAV Session Killer for SQL

If you find you regularly run out of NAV licenses or would like to keep the number of open sessions to a minimum then help is at hand. We have created a new bit of functionailty called the "NAV Session Killer". This runs on your SQL server and monitors the open sessions and if it finds a session open longer than a pre-defined period that you can define in setup it simply kills it, freeing up a NAV license.

The cost of this is £250 which includes the installtion and setup on your server, providing we have remote access. Compared to the cost of NAV licenses, this is a bargain!

If you're interested please contact the support team @ navhelpdesk@tecman.co.uk or call 01902 578300.