iPad & Android client for Dynamics NAV 2015

So one of the most exciting new features for Dynamics NAV 2015 are the new clients for the Apple iPad , Google Android and of course Windows 8 tablets. So now either internally over Wi-Fi or better still from anywhere with a 3G connection you can access your Dynamics NAV system both to find information and to input new transactions.

Letting you use Microsoft Dynamics NAV on the move they expose all the functionality  another ERP available in the standard client in a new touch friendly interface, wow – tell system that does this. You don’t need a finger as sharp as a pencil on this one. Designed to be used on devices down to 7 inches in size (so not phones yet) it provides an intuitive experience that anyone used to a tablet will get straight away. 

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Better still it connects and used standard pages from your core system so any customisations to for instance role centres or order entry will be reflected immediately on the tablet interface.

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It supports any of the reports that you can produce via the windows client and you can even download  then to a local PDF reader for into the tablets email calendar to send on.

One other thing I really like (and would like in the standard client please Microsoft) is that the search is active on every column on the page so that you don’t have to select the column to search on – much easier.  In the example below for instance its found ‘CAN’ in both the company names and the contact.

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As you would expect it when you rotate the tablet it adapts its layout to the portrait format which is often the most convenient to hold it on the move with its similarity to a writing pad.

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So what do you need to setup NAV 2015 for the tablet? Well you have to publish the middle tier service with a security certificate (even if only using internally) and while you can use a free self signed versions its so much hassle that we suggest you buy one at about £120 a year. This makes your system as secure as possible being the same technology that gives you that little padlock when you connect to your online banking.

Other than that you have to connect to the appropriate app store for your tablet, download the app and sign in with the address of your middle tier (which has to be in the format of for instance https://nav2015.tecman.co.uk) and then enter the same security credentials as you would for running it in a browser or signing into windows.

And talking of browsers if you like the interface better than the standard one you can use it in the browser of your choice – its shown below working in Google Chrome and yes, all the touch functions are still working so that nice new touch screen laptop is finally justifiable. In fact to use the touch interface you have to just add ‘/tablet.aspx’ to the end of the URL you’d normally use for the standard client.

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Now I’ve started let me finish the technical bit by saying that Microsoft have built the clients using Apache Cordova so similar to the Dynamics CRM client its very light and actually very little is held or happens on the tablet. This means as new standards or formats appear they should be really quickly supported. As you might expect client side controls need to be JavaScript based to work on the tablet, .net assembles are the one thing not supported. The other things currently is that due to the differences on each OS client side devices such as camera’s or barcode readers are not supported, partners can add support via JavaScript though.

So who will use this, we a lot of company managers have iPad’s for note taking now so that’s one group. Obviously sales staff on the road will find it an absolute gift but I also think that with more rugged versions that are starting to appear now it will prove a great shop floor data capture device.

Devices like the MioWork tablet shown below have a larger display area than handhelds and with their touch screens, ability to survive drops and water, exchangeable batteries, easy communication over Wi-Fi  combined with a reasonable cost, they could make printed production orders a thing of the past with a few simplified screens delivered via the Android app.

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Having used the client for a while now I have to congratulate Microsoft for the quality of this interface, it is truly as useable and complete as version 3 is not version 1. For sure its a great addition to the Dynamics NAV. Just for once I don’t have actually anything I’d like to see in 2016!

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