Erik's blog on Microsoft Dynamics and Navision

Erik's blog on Microsoft Dynamics and Navision


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I'm a Dynamics NAV/Navision freelancer and helps partners and end-users with their NAV implementations. I do everything from third-party management advisory, coaching of new NAV teams, project management, training, setup and development.

Do you want to hire me to help getting your project a success? Then contact me via my contact form here on this page.

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  • Get started with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016

    Today was the day NAV 2016 was released. And most of Microsoft’s documentation and files are already online. When a new version is released, then what most of you really want to is to get your hands on it.  At least if you’re not currently at Directions EMEA to see the new version being presented.

    It is available for download at:

    If you don’t have access to download yourself, then you can download Dynamics NAV from the DUG download section. But only in a world-wide version.

    Notice that a NAV 2016 license key is not compatible with a NAV ​​2​​015 or NAV 2013 R2 license. And the other way around. A NAV 2015 and NAV 2013 R2 license key is not compatible wi​​th a NAV 2016 key.

    Links to the NAV 2016 resources

    Dynamics NAV documentation on MSDN

    - Dynamics NAV 2016 system requirements

    - Dynamics NAV 2016 Deployment

    - Dynamics NAV 2016 Architecture and product overview

    - Dynamics NAV 2016 Installation and setup

    - Configuring Dynamics NAV 2016

    The development sections are not yet available.

    More links provided when available. But I guess you have something to get started with. Take it as a good opportunity to learn a little PowerShell. Smile

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 : What’s new?

    Today at Directions EMEA in Mannheim (Germany) the release of Dynamics NAV 2016 was announced.

    I had expected that the Navision release of 2015 would have been called NAV 2015 R2, like with NAV 2013 and NAV 2013 R2. But I think that with the many new features, then this version really deserves it’s own version – even internally, where it’s now version 9.0.

    End User Improvements

    I am super excited about this new version. There are 60 improvements to this release. So I’m only going to share a few of them. And when I have the link to the full announcement and improvements list, then I’ll post it in the comments below.

    A lot of great improvements for the users, like:

    - ability to import purchase invoices directly into NAV (with OCR scanning)

    - improved workflow functionality to automate parts of billing, HR and Payroll, financials and other critical functions.

    Before you post your invoice, then you can get a full preview of how this invoice would be posted, incl. g/l accounts, dimensions etc.

    The Phone Client is a new way to run Dynamics NAV on your smartphone (Windows Phone, Android and iPhone). Use it to upload pictures of receipts into NAV.

    Technical Improvements

    And then there is all the real technical stuff. The changes which most users really don’t care much about. The changes that will allow us (Microsoft, ISV’s, partners and the developers) to create even better solutions in the future. “Stuff” that will allow for partners and ISV’s to create add-ons (special NAV apps), which can be installed without changing a line of code in the users database. And therefore they are also not changed, whenever Microsoft releases new versions. This is now possible via the functionality called Eventing.

    I have personally been working with this release for many months now and it may not look that much different (except having new Tiles/Icons), it’s what’s inside that matters.

    I’m not at Directions EMEA today, but I’ll suggest that you read follow MVP Mark Brummels updates from Directions EMEA or Waldo’s Blog. They are onsite and reporting from it on their blog.

  • NAV MVP Award Number 12

    October 1st is not only the day Dynamics User Group can celebrate it’s 20st anniversary. It’s also the day where the new MVP cycle starts. First time I received it was in 2004, and I’ve received it each year since. Every year it has become something I look forward to. will I get it or not? And since the mails are sent from Seattle, then here in Denmark it’s late afternoon, before the mail arrives. The waiting had become long.

    But I did it again – just received the “Congratulations 2015 Microsoft MVP” email! Thank you, it’s always a happy surprised again to have received. Especially since I have not been the most visible MVP the last couple of years. You can read much more about what I spent my time on instead in the anniversary blog post. But now that I know that both the past (the many old posts and blogs etc.) and the future looks bright, technically speaking, then you can also expect to see a lot more to me again.

    I had hoped to meet a lot of you in Mannheim next week for Directions EMEA 2016, but I have spent so much time on the website the last couple of weeks, that have to stay home working. 

  • 20 years of Dynamics communities

    In October 1995 I was a young Navision developer living in New Jersey, US. While working for one of the first Navision partners in the New York (Business Management International), I really missed the Bulletin Board System ran by Navision Denmark, open only to Danish partners. So I started a online mailing list. One of those where when you sent a mail to the address, then it was automatically send to everybody else on the list. I think I had the email of may 10 people working with Navision. Emails were not that common in 1995. They became the first members of Navision Online User Group. But within a few months it grew fast. And then you know most of the story.

    After being know under the name Navision User Group (, we were called Microsoft Business Solutions User Group ( Today over 180,000 mostly NAV and AX users have signed up as a member of Dynamics User Group. There are over 100,000 users visiting our web site every month, asking or answering questions about Microsoft Dynamics, or finding answers in our more 250,000 posts. Or learning from the blogs or documentation on the site.

    It has been 20 years of ups and downs. Our success in the early 2000’s made our web server fail again and again.

    In 2006 we moved to Community Server, the community system we are using to run the site. In 2011 an error started causing IIS to crash many times per hour, resulting in huge timeouts on the site, when the server was restarting.  Since upgrading at that time was impossible, I spend numerous amount of hours, on finding a replacement. And until 2 weeks ago I had been actually been ready to drop everything, but the forums (blogs, downloads etc.). That was until I found one of Telligents old employees, who offered to help us out. In 2 hours he were able to identify and implement a workaround preventing the error from happing again.

    So the last 2 weeks has been running faster than ever! Additionally I can now announce that an upgrade of our current web platform, will be upgraded to the newest version Telligent Community 9.0 in Q1 2016. With all our current sections organized after product (AX, NAV etc.), more or less like you see it on Microsoft’s Dynamics Community site. But of course much better!

    I would like to thank everybody who either is or have been an active part of Navision Online User Group, Microsoft Business Solutions User Group or Dynamics User Group. Many of the current Dynamics MVP’s started their “raise to the top” as bloggers or moderators with us.  Without you there had been no Dynamics User Group. And thanks to our sponsors, they are also an important reason why we have been able to continue for so many years.

    May Dynamics User Group have another 20 years! Smile


  • Expense Management in Dynamics NAV

    Handling employee expenses is a very time consuming task for many companies. When I worked as a global erp architect for GN Store Nord, and traveled a lot to our subsidiaries using Navision. Each month I spent approx. one full day of making travel expense reports based on my batch of receipts. Then it took one of the accounting employees about the same amount of time, one day pay employee (in our department at least).

    So in 2005 we started implementing a system to handle this. We did find a few "candidates", not anything made in NAV. The integration into NAV and the whole project took way longer than expected. But it didn't take them long, before the costs had been paid. With the new system we were able to handle it in hours, rather than days. We still had to handle the paper receipts manually, but got the reporting and approvals online, and had it integrated with credit card statement imports.

    In 2005 systems like this were a huge investment and only really attainable for companies with +100 users.

    In 2015 this is something any NAV customer who just have a few employees with lots of travel could justify investing in.

    Today Danish ISV Continia released their Continia Expense Management. Continia is most know in Denmark for being the company that about 25 years ago released NaviBanking, now known as Payment Management, something a lot of Danish Navision customer here uses. Lately they have also become known for being the company behind Document Capture. They didn't develop this product, but bought it from the developer Tommy Olesen, who now is working in Continia. Here he and Claus Lundstrøm (known for his NAV report designer/RDLC blogs and courses) have been the product managers for their new solution.

    Continia Expense Management is build on the same platform as their Document Capture (DC) solution. In fact DC needs to be installed on the end-users NAV, but if they are not using it directly, then they don't have to add it to their license. It is basically a smartphone app (available Windows Phone, Android and iPhone) connecting to Continia's internet server (continiaonline). On the app the employee is able to upload receipts via pictures taken with the phone (or alternatively attaching emails). After adding base information to the receipt, like was it paid with credit card, amount, currency, description, dimension etc., then the employee can upload it. The employee doesn't have to be a user (neither full or limited) in NAV.

    In NAV the accounting user can now synchronize the receipts uploaded by the employees to continiaonline, into NAV. The approval process kicks in, where the approvers will be using a web portal to approve the expenses. Same portal as used by Document Capture. The employee can follow the approval progress via their smartphone app. Additionally credit card statements are imported, allowing to apply the employees reported expenses to the transactions on the credit card. Any transactions without receipts are "kicked" back to the employee, who needs to account for the transaction by attaching a receipt.

    When approved the expenses are transferred to the general journal and posted, just like any other expense made manually in NAV.

    This was just a very quick introduction to what it can do. I can recommend that you go to to read more ad watch their webinar. Continia Expense Management be available for NAV 2009 R2 (classic and RTC), NAV 2013, NAV 2013 R2 and NAV 2015, and is released today at 12:00 CET.

    I have great experience with the add-on products from Continia. They are on of the few ISV’s in the NAV world who I can always trust delivering great products. And I’m sure going to try out Expense Management my self. Not that I’m travelling that much in my current job, but just to be able to help my own clients using it.

  • The solution to the classic NAV report upgrade challenge?

    Anyone familiar with upgrading customized classic Navision customers to the “new” role-tailored Dynamics NAV experience, knows that it can be a rather challenging and time consuming affair.  When it comes to upgrading forms to pages, Microsoft provides a transition tool. But there were not much help getting the classic reports migrated to RDLC. The function to suggest layouts in NAV 2009 were basically not useable, unless it was a very simple report.

    Today there are maybe 100000’s of customers “out there” running older classic versions of Navision. Often customized and with hundreds of reports requiring to upgraded. Doing it manually is a huge time consuming project. When I did my first upgrade of an invoice from NAV 4.0 to 2009, it took me about 30 hours to get it right! After I got more familiar with the process, I have of course been able to do it much faster. But it still takes hours for each report. Maybe I am I just slow, but it is pretty much the same I hear from my co-workers.

    When I’m doing a classic to “modern” NAV upgrade, I mostly suggest the customer, that we just skip all their old reports, and only do those they really need in the new in the new. Most customers with a +10 year old NAV installation have tons of customizations they no longer are using. Upgrading a classic NAV is a good time to do remove old customizations and unused add-on’s etc. Get rid of everything they don’t need, to get as close to a standard as possible. Or at least making sure that what ever customizations are done in a way, so that future upgrades can become as easy as possible.

    But not all companies are able to skip all their customizations when upgrading, and just do a few new.

    Which means that they have to spend 100’s of development/upgrade hours on old reports. Good for us the NAV developers, plenty to do, except it gets boring, when you have done a few. The customers then often end up staying on their old Navision.

    And if we decide just to skip the old reports, the customer often then asks if this is something he can do himself, like he did in the classic. When I show the customer the report designer and Visual Studio, then he looks at me as if I was mad! In classic NAV it was easy to move a few fields and so.

    The new solution

    About 2 months ago I first heard about a new company called ForNAV. It was founded by Michael Nielsen, Jacob Reinholdt Rasmussen and Jan Silleman, who all are very well known in the Dynamics NAV world, where they all have worked for Navision Software/Microsoft/+Partners the last 25-30 years. But you can read more about them here.

    Their first product is called Reports ForNAV Converter and is a “tool” you can use to convert old classic reports objects in to object files you can import, compile and run in your new Dynamics NAV, just like any other NAV report. The only difference is that you can not modify the report from within NAV, when it has been created with the Converter. If you need to do any layout changes, then the only way to do it is to go back and do the changes in your old classic NAV, and then migrate it back. But since it really only takes seconds for each report, and the solution is only months away, it not a big problem.

    Next year there are releasing Reports ForNAV Designer. Then it will be possible not only to modify the layout of the upgraded report. But also to do it in an environment I’m sure that all users who are familiar with the report designer in the classic version of Navision, would feel right at home.

    A few weeks ago co-founder Jacob Reinholdt gave me a demonstration of both the Converter and the Designer. The Converter almost done and being released very soon now. In the current state of the Designer it is not yet possible to change the dataset, but that will also be in the product when released.

    ForNAV looks great, and it will be a way for the many customers with old reports to get them into the “modern” NAV experience. And a customer who wants to be able modify his own old reports or create new reports will love it! Yes even developers and consultants will love ForNAV. And everything is much faster than in standard NAV. Creating a 200-300 page report in standard easily takes minutes. With ForNAV it only takes seconds.

    That’s all great. But the is also a few minus to be using ForNAV. The way the generate the report is quite different than how NAV is doing it. Whenever a report is created, the output is not XML, as in NAV, but a fully formatted PDF file. That means that the features you have today, to export any report to Excel/Word will not exists. PDF and print only.

    And what about the many standard reports in the new NAV, not upgraded from classic. Unless it’s going to be possible to convert a standard NAV RDLC report with the converter also, then I really don’t see ForNAV as a possible replacement for Visual Studio. Because then the customer would not be able to modify any existing standard reports, not available in the classic versions.

    Not to talk about potential issues in handling of reports in a mixed environment? As I understood, then it’s not going to use exchangeable layouts (where the user can select different layouts for the same report object – like RDLC or Word). And what about functions like SAVEASEXCEL, SAVEASPDF etc.? They are not going to work either. But I would not be surprised, if ForNAV could find a solution to that too in a later relase, knowing the founders.

    If you also want to see the product, then you can watch the latest ForNAV webinar recording on their webpage. And if you’re going to Directions EMEA in October 2015, then you will be able to see a live demonstration of both ForNAV Converter and Designer.

  • The state of the Dynamics communities 2015

    It’s a very long time since I last wrote one of these “Status of the Dynamics community” updates here in my blog. In fact last time was on July 1st. 2009! And in October 2015 the Dynamics User Group can celebrate it’s 20 years anniversary! Smile

    Compared to 2009, not that much has really changed, except I feel that it’s now even more difficult to find your way around in the Dynamics communities. In 2009 Microsoft’s own Dynamics Communities was still in its beginning. There were a lot of activity in especially their CRM and GP forums, but not that much going on in AX and NAV. Here users were still using mostly DUG and Mibuso.

    Today the Dynamics Communities is were new users typically asks their first question. Only if they don’t get a reply within a very short time, then they post on either DUG or Mibuso (when it comes to NAV and AX). Less and less users posts in the old “3rd party” forums.

    When Microsoft first acquired Navision Software with AX and NAV in 2002, the community was separate from the products. There were no direct communication between the community and the people developing the systems. Only between Navision Software and it’s partners.

    Microsoft changed that! They introduced the MVP awards to the Dynamics world, and now started actively working with the community. For all those of us, who had been active in the Dynamics community this was great. Finally we felt that we were appreciated for our work. An although we do it because we love it, then it’s always nice to receive a thank you!

    In the first years the old AX and NAV product groups at the old “Navision Software” was struggling to find out how to work with us. Later I feel that they also have come to appreciate the community, and not only see us as someone who always complains.

    Now there’s a high level communication from the product groups at Microsoft and the community (primary MVP’s). We participate in online meetings with the product group and in all the activity connected with the new releases.

    That’s all great, and we appreciate it a lot!

    But what happens in the part of the community not dominated by MVP’s and the superstar bloggers? What about the normal Dynamics developers, consultants and end-users?

    As I see it, then basically all of the old “3rd party” communities, a becoming less and less popular.  Most new users start by using Microsoft’s own Dynamics Communities ( Quite natural, if you think about.. If you went out to buy a new expensive Audi car, then you would normally take it to the authorized dealer, not the local “no-name” car shop on the corner. Not that the local car shop could not do the same job. But just to be sure, then you go the the Audi dealer. Same thing with Microsoft Dynamics. If the users know that they can get the help they are looking for within Microsoft, then they really have no reason to go else where!

    So we can ask the question: Do we still need to have the 3rd party Microsoft Dynamics forums or is our time over?

  • Navision installations – from DOS to Hyper-V

    I’m sure I’m not the only Navision freelancer, who besides loving to understand and master Dynamics NAV, also likes to try out new computer stuff, including installing all the new NAV versions? In the old days, back when this website started in 1995, this was so easy.

    Classic installations

    Back then in the early days of Navision Financials, the first Windows version (released with Windows 95), there was really no need for something special. You just installed the clients, and used local copies of your clients databases (FDB-files), which you ran directly with the FIN.EXE. There were nobody using SQL Server, unless they had 100’s of users.

    Basically it was more or less an unchanged installation process, compared to the character based DOS and OS/2 versions Navision 3.0 and up.

    And although SQL Server had grown more popular, then my personal preferred method for classic clients, were until a few years ago, the old FDB-file. It was simply just so easy.

    I started as a freelancer in 1999. In a time where it still was normal that NAV consultants and developers didn’t bring their own PC, when working onsite with customers. You were assigned a PC, where you could access their system. Most companies did not allow any external access via the internet. So basically all I needed was a car and a desktop computer at home.

    I installed my first SQL Server on my personal computer in 2005, when I started testing the platform used by Previously that had been something only our IT department handled. But I never used it with Navision until I started testing NAV 2009.

    Three Tier installations

    Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 was surely a game-changer. Quite a few my longtime NAV freelancer friends, have still not truly embraced the role tailored client (RTC) or the Three Tier installations. What used to be as easy as running a few files, now required a much rather high technical knowledge, not only NAV in itself, but about network, security settings and a like.

    Not that it isn’t possible to install a demo version with more or less a few clicks. But as soon as you start to install several versions, then the challenges began. The process of installing extra server instances in 2009 wasn’t as simple as of NAV 2013, where you had the Administration console. But in order to have more instances, then you still need to manually turn on and configure TCP port sharing (in order to use the same port numbers so that you can make it a bit easier for your self when opening the NAV servers with the client).

    The Windows and installation nightmare

    So until recently I had an SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2014, IIS, Visual Studio 2010, 2013 and 2015, as well as NAV 4.0 SP3, NAV 5.0, NAV 5.1, NAV 2009 R2, 2013, 2013 R2 and NAV 2015, plus a lot of other apps installed on my Thinkpad W550s running Windows 8.1.

    As part of my MVP status, I have also participated in the TAP program for Dynamics NAV 2016, and here the CTP (community technology preview) releases have kept coming sometimes every week. The current CTP is number 19! Lots of time used installing and uninstalling.
    When MS releases new pre release versions, they typically only change all the version numbers/references etc., late in the process. So installing a pre release, typically have some conflicts with the previous released version.

    Everyone who uses Windows also know that, the way to keep your PC running at a decent speed, then it’s a good idea to reinstall Windows and all your apps at least once a year. The reason among others is Windows does not clean up very efficiently, when installing updates and removing programs. So if you like me, always “have to” install new releases and sometimes beta software on top of heavy systems like SQL Server and Visual Studio (in multiple versions), then I would always recommend you to vipe and reinstall once a year. Something I have done yearly for the last almost 20 years.

    It used to take me a few hours, but the last few years (same process as when I buy a new pc), “refreshing” my pc have taken me 2-3 days at least, plus a week or so before all the settings where almost as before. Basically billable time wasted!

    Windows 10 and Hyper-V

    Shortly after Windows 10 was released I was reading a comment on Facebook, where Waldo wrote something that made me consider, if there was another way. He said “Server software is on a server OS, and client software is on Windows 10”. This was in context to a problem running NAV 2015 NST/web server on Windows 10. Waldo suggest just to use HyperV which is a part of Windows 10, and then have your “servers” as virtual machines.

    Hyper-V would not only allow me to get around the reinstallation nightmares and issues running NAV servers and everything locally, but I could also make the footprint of each app much smaller to my primary laptop. And when I get a new PC, then I can just move my VM’s to the new PC.

    Creating my first Hyper-V took only a very short time. All I really needed was a machine where I could run NAV 2016, so I installed a Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014 (that’s when I love my MSDN subscription). Remember to turn on virtualization in the PC bios first. It’s turned off by default. And if you have an older pc, then it might not even be available.

    The main challenge was that I’m usually only connect by WIFI. When the virtual switch, used to get the virtual machine “online” had to use my wireless network adapter. This doesn’t work out-of-the-box. Only with true wired Ethernet adapters. Instead you need to create an internal network and bind it to your wireless adapter (sharing with this virtual adapter).

    I exported (copied) the Windows Server 2012 R2 VM right after I finished installing it. This VM I have then reused for the other NAV versions. In terms of disk space, then it might not be just as optimal, as I have SQL + Visual Studio etc. on all VM’s. But I only start the machines I need, when I need them. And I am able easily to move the VM’s to my NAS and network servers, when I have some I don’t need as often. 

    I like this whole concept with VM’s and the cleanness of my PC, that I decided to take my old laptop (a ThinkPad W530 with 16GB ram and 1TB disk) into a Windows Server running Hyper-V. It took me a few days to turn it into a domain, with SQL Servers, development machines with VS, test server for, etc..

    Now the remaining issue is to get the VM’s on my laptop to work on the same network my new domain, so able to access my new domain servers.

    But al together then I think that using Hyper-V’s to install your NAV test and development servers, is something I would recommend anyone. Why mess up your pc? Server software on server OS, client software on client OS, to quote Waldo.

    So if you haven’t already, then try it out today! Its not getting any easier if you wait. The installations keeps getting more a more advanced.

  • Windows 10, the yes and the nos

    Sorry long time since I’ve written. Long story, not going to bore you with that, except than saying I’m feeling much better. Needed that summer vacation time off thing. Tomorrow the kids are back to school. Time to get some things done. Smiley

    And this one is not even about Microsoft Dynamics, but about Windows 10, here a few weeks after the release. I first installed the Windows 10 Preview in January, on my Surface Pro 3. But since the Surface isn’t my primary pc, so I haven’t spent that much time with it until July 29th, where I installed the upgrade.

    My first 3 words so far! I love it!

    So far it’s been a lot like a marriage. On the wedding day (July 29th), it installed perfectly, Windows upgraded all of my settings and applications. If you haven’t already upgraded, not not yet received it, then you can also download it from MSDN, if you are a subscriber. Here you must member that upgrades normally only upgrades applications if you upgrade to same (or replacing) edition AND language. So I upgrade my Danish Windows 8.1 Professionel to a Danish (despite I’m using English as my language on the pc) Windows 10 Professionel.


    After a few days the problems starts. I want to log into my bank, using the national NemID (easy-id). It didn’t work! Had to use Internet Explorer or Firefox! Next one of Microsoft’s own websites PartnerSource. The message was “This website needs Internet Explorer. This website uses technology that will work best in Internet Explorer.”


    But in general I’m very happy with Edge. It feels a lot faster than all the other browser I usually have installed on my pc. I have Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome installed, so that I’m able to test that Dynamics User Group runs similar on all browsers. Where Firefox used to be by preferred browser, over Internet Explorer and Chrome (which I have never really trusted). But laterly, also on Windows 8.1, I have felt that Firefox just started to become much slower on a lot of websites. Especially Facebook. But Edge is feels faster, not a lot, just faster, with especially, Facebook and LinkedIn, but it just feels faster. I haven’t made a real benchmark, so it’s just a hinch.

    Maybe what makes Edge bigger is its lack of extensions and settings. It still feels rather basic.

    As with the last couple of


    With Windows 8.1 Microsoft had almost convinced me on going “all in” on using the cloud. OneDrive for my personal files, and OneDrive for Business (part of my company Office 365 Business subscription). The integration between Windows and OneDrive was almost perfect. It worked just as using a local drive. No matter if I were working on my primary laptop (Thinkpad W550s – it has a great screen and long battery time) or on my Surface, then I felt I had the same access to my files. Despite only my primary pc actually had them all online , then I access them almost as easy on my Surface. As long as I was online.

    On Windows 10 you can only see the online files in Windows Explorer and similar places. To get access to any offline files, then you need to use the OneDrive Settings and Choose Folders, in order to be able to see them!

    Had it been a marriage, then that next night I’m not sure that we kissed good night! Our first real fight. Microsoft you could have done this one better. According to my fellow Microsoft MVP Richard Hay, then Microsoft have removed Placeholders because some users didn’t understand the concept of online/offline files! Insted Microsoft is planning to release a new Universal app for Windows 10, which will allow us to browse offline files and turn them online. In my eyes not really a replacement.

    I am still considering if I’m going to stay in this marriage. A feeling shared by many comments in Mays blogpost!

    So if you haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 and are you a heavy user of OneDrive and/or OneDrive for Business then you should wait until Microsoft comes up with a solution to this.

    To Microsoft’s defense, then I must add that if you use the build-in search (from the start menu or taskbar)

    Start Menu

    Another new “thing” is the reversed Start Menu. I might have been one of the few who actually loved the Start Menu in Windows 8.1. And despite that, then I’m not running my Start Menu in the new Tablet Mode, unless I’m actually on my Surface, without the keyboard attached.

    Initial I thought that the result the merge, was a little strange to use and didn’t really compare to the old Windows 7 Start Menu. And organizing the tiles is not as easy as it was in 8.1. But the more I’m using it, the more I like it. Especially after I tweeked some of the settings. If you go Settings (Win+I) > Personalization > Start, then you can change the behavior a bit, including adding additional folders to show up.

    The problem, in my opinion, with the Start Menu in full screen, is that the left “sidebar” is not visual by default.

    There are many many other new things worth mentioning. But not to make this too long, then I’ll better stop here.

    Microosft Dynamics NAV and Windows 10

    That is, so far there has been a few blog reports on Dynamics NAV and Windows 10.

    Erik Hougaard (MVP): Not all Dynamics NAV versions works on Windows 10. He tested the old character based DOS version Navision 3.56a, which worked fine. Navision Financials 1.30, Financials 2.00, Financials 2.60, Attain 3.01 and
    Microsoft MBS Navision 4.00sp3 did not work. But Dynamics NAV 5.0 and newer works fine. Including the NAV 2016 beta.

    Mark Brummel (MVP): Found some issues with scrolling in the Development Environment and a tip how to fix it.

    Finally you can check on Microsoft own compability page. Here you’re also able to “vote” if a version is compatibel or not!


    Have you found other problems with Dynamics NAV and Windows 10? Then please write it in the comments.

  • ASCII: A thing from the past? Not in Dynamics NAV!

    ASCII means American Standard Code for Information Interchange, and was a standard 7-bit computer character set developed in 1960. When MSDOS was developed, ASCII was the standard. And thus it was the standard in Navision.

    Today most Windows applications uses ANSI, an 8-bit character set, which is a character set in it's base identical to ASCII.

    If you live in a country with only English characters, then you're most likely not even aware of this being a problem.

    But if you, like me, comes from Denmark, then it's something you always have to consider, whenever you import or export data from Dynamics NAV. Otherwise our local characters are not displayed correctly.

    Thus most of us have a Ansi2Ascii and Ascii2Ansi converter in our NAV toolbox.


    Isn't it about time that Dynamics NAV becomes easier to integrate to other applications and starts using ANSI as the standard? Customers, who still needs ASCII, can continue to use the converter, or it could be a setting in the server.


    Sadly it's not always possible to use XMLPorts, because here you can specify if you want to use MSDOS (ASCII) or Windows (WINDOWS) as your character set.

  • Let’s Clean-Up NAV: Department MenuSuite–CaptionML

    In his blog, Mark Brummel started a clean-up project, with suggestions to smaller fixes to Dynamics NAV that makes a big difference.

    And I also have one, which have annoyed me for years.

    Developers only using the default (ENU) language might never have thought about this as a problem, and that’s maybe why Microsoft have never fixed it. But I’m sure that most developers using other languages together with the default ENU have experienced the same issue.

    And this problem has existed ever since the menusuites were introduced.


    When you create a new menu item, then the caption of the report/page is copied into the CaptionML, but only the caption of the language you have selected in the Development Environment (DE). The result is that you have to manually type in the ENU caption. If you don’t then this menuitem will not show anything when the ENU language has been selected.


    To me it sounds like a small change, to have the DE insert all the captions of the object!


    PS: The above screen cut from the DE running with Danish language, actually show a different problem. If you understand Danish, then maybe you can you also see it?

  • Should the Dynamics NAV object designer be replaced by Visual Studio and C#?

    Ever since the release of the three tier model with version 2009, Dynamics NAV has been running on C#.  Internally and partly hidden. But it is C#.

    And ever since the rumors has said that Microsoft would drop our “beloved” Object Designer and replace it with Visual Studio.

    Except for the Report Designer, which partially is using Visual Studio to design the layouts of your reports, then there is no indications from Microsoft, that the Object Designer will be replaced by Visual Studio any day soon.

    But the question is still interesting.

    Should Microsoft replace the Object Designer in NAV with Visual Studio and a full blown C#/Visual Studio experience?

    If we assume that Microsoft will solve the issues described here in Mark Brummels blog post, would it then be a good idea?

    Personally I think not.

    What is and has already been the strength of Dynamics NAV is its “beauty of simplicity”. Even though this old “slogan” from the days of Navision Software is no longer used, then it still describes the product fully. Despite the development environment is no longer as simple as it was in the mid-90’ies, then it’s still quite easy to learn. Even for “non-programmers”!

    And I think that this is one of the reasons why Dynamics NAV has gained the success it has. It has allowed companies and partners to hire people without an actually programming background and successfully turn them into great NAV developers/consultants. The structure and code in NAV is simply easy to learn and use. You don’t need too much of a developer background to add a new field, apply some new business logic or what ever you need to do.

    I have always said that I would rather learn an end-user (who already understands the business logic and and processes) to develop in NAV, than take a “real programmer” and learn them to develop in NAV. Processes and business logic are more important than actual programming skills. It’s more important to get a solution that does what the users needs, than having some beautiful streamlined code. Functionality is more important than the platform.

    With the arrival of DotNet interoperability, web service consumptions and more advanced integration to 3rd party application. We, the old fashioned C/AL developers, are met by a large wall. Now the “real development skills“ are suddenly required. We can either learn C#, or we have to find less beautiful ways to do the same things from within NAV (often not possible at all).

    So it’s no longer an either-or. Right now most parts can still be done in the “Development Environment”, while more and more needs to be done in Visual Studio.

    I cannot see how Microsoft would be able to replace the “beauty of simplicity” in the “Development Environment”, with a full-blown Visual Studio-experience.  But I do read the signs.

    So my suggestions to all NAV developers is, that you better start learn to use Visual Studio and C# now, or you will stay a dinosaur for ever.

    A good way to start is to study Mark Brummels blog series, starting with Dynamics NAV in C# - The Differences.

  • Just got my 11th MVP Award for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

    October 1st has almost become a tradition. You see I got my first MVP Award for Navision (before the name change) in 2004. And I've got it every year since then. But since Microsoft reevaluates each award every year, based upon our Microsoft "community activities" the previous year, then I really don't know that I've been "renewed" until I get that email on October 1st.

    There's no monetary values included in the award. But it is opening up access to resources like participation in web-meetings (and sometimes in the Development Center in Copenhagen) with the NAV product team, access to beta-versions etc. - must under the NDA (non-disclose-agreement) under which we can learn and be prepared for the upcoming versions, but certainly also give feedback to the development team about new functionality. Most of all it's really just an honor.

    Another reason I'm always looking forward to see if I'm still in the MVP Team, if other community members have made it into the list. When I first got it in 2004, Luc van Dyck (Mibuso) and I where the only two who received it. Last year there was 29 plus a few who doesn't want to be listed (as far as I remember). And most of them doing a fantastic job with their blogs and forum posts etc. But also with their Youtube videos and books and what do I know. By the way, now that we talk about books, then I'm going to come with a review of Mark Brummels new book "Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Application Design". Mark is also an MVP and I loved his last book, so I'm sure I will love this as well.

    Filed under: ,
  • It is no longer possible to get new Dynamics NAV 2013 licenses

    Last week was getting a new license for a customer I had been working on for the last 5-6 months. There we were ready to install on the customers servers and start the training. But when I received it I could see that it was not for NAV 2013, but for NAV 2013 R2. A license for NAV 2013 “R1” could no longer be issued.

    Diving into this issue I also found out that this was changed as of October 6th. 2013. As of this date running NAV 2013 with a NAV 2013 R2 license is considered “downgrading” and no longer legal according to the licensing terms. I was told by Microsoft that I would just have to upgrade to NAV 2013 R2, before going live with the customer, then there would not be any problems and everything would be legal!

    As it is not an option for my customer to go for NAV 2013 R2 at this point in their project, this of course got me very worried. Potentially this could be a big problem, not only for me, but also for other projects already working on a NAV 2013 where they have not purchased the license, but also companies who do multi-site rollouts based on a NAV 2013 template. They would no longer be able to get new NAV 2013 licenses and would be forced to upgrade their template.

    There are no technical issues in using a NAV 2013 R2 license for NAV 2013. Only legal!

    The problem isn’t so much that they have changed this. But I does think that it’s a big problem that they haven’t announced this change in the licensing conditions. When they released NAV 2013 last year, we were given a notice that we can still get NAV 2009 licenses until the end of 2013. That gave customers and partners a good time-frame to plan their implementations and eventually buy the needed NAV 2009 licenses, before this date.

    This was yesterday. And I’m very thankful for being at Convergence in Barcelona, as a lot of the Microsoft executives are also here. Luckily everyone I talked to about this could see this potential big issue. And after talking to a few of the people at Microsoft I found the right person to talk to.

    He explained to me why it had been changed and what their intension for doing were. As I understood it, then it was both because he was told that upgrading from NAV 2013 to NAV 2013 R2 was just a minor task, but also because NAV 2013 does not enforce the 3-table rule in regards to the limited user license, as R2 does. He told me that he was already working on an addendum to the licensing terms, which would “allow” customers to run NAV 2013 with a NAV 2013 R2 license. He was “just” had to get it translated into all the different languages and had really not planned on sending it out until January. But he agreed on uploading the English version new terms to PartnerSource within the next couple of weeks.

    So I’m almost happy again. Happy that I have been here in Barcelona so I were able to meet the right person and get an answer right away. But only almost happy, because he also told me that it only would be allowed to run NAV 2013 with a NAV 2013 R2 license, if you have a “technical” reason why you cannot use NAV 2013 R2 and that it would only be until the end of March 2014.

    I’m looking forward to see the addendum and the actual terms of using a NAV 2013 R2 license with NAV 2013 when it get released.

    I will keep you updated.

  • Convergence 2013 EMEA–live from Barcelona

    Today was the last day of Microsoft Convergence 2013 EMEA. Microsoft’s own conference for Dynamics customers. This year is the first time for some years where the conference is back in it’s “old” multi-day format in Europe. The last couple of years it has been arranged as single day events in multiple difference cities in Europe. In the US, it has always been a multi-day event.

    It’s my first Convergence for years as I have not participated in the US Convergence since 2005 and I skipped the one-day Convergence completely as I didn’t find it worth the travel. But this year it’s back as a big and well-visited conference taking place in beautiful Barcelona.

    The first day, November 4th., was a user group day arranged by the Federation of Dynamics User Groups (FoDUG) together with Microsoft. FoDUG is a group of many different Microsoft Dynamics user groups, so far the Dynamics User Group (, German MBuf, the Dutch Dynamics User Group and Dynamics Communities (NAVUG, AXUG and CRMUG). The content of the UG Day was all directed towards end-users and all lead by either end-users or Dynamics MVP’s within all three products. Dynamics GP is not available in Europe so is not covered by Convergence EMEA.

    My sessions

    First I was in a “roundtable” discussion regarding international Dynamics NAV deployments together with Michael Horn (Voith Turbo), Yohei Ujita (Nissin Foods), Peter de Bruin (SAASplaza) and Andy Hafer (NAVUG). It was a session where we discussed the different issues companies have when doing international/multisite NAV implementations, such as licensing, architecture (single or multi database setups), working with partners and of course dealing with local legal requirements. I think it was a good session and it was interesting to hear how different companies are dealing with international implementations in many different ways.

    My next session was titled “Dynamics NAV development tips and tricks for end-users”. It was a presentation session showing how end-users are able to use the basic development tools in NAV 2013 and 2013 R2. So I showed how users can create new fields, how to insert them into pages and even briefly showed how to add them to (simple) reports. I also managed to cover creation of new tables, based on using “copy & paste” of existing tables to link them to new lookup fields. But we also talked about the different limitations, and what end-users should avoid doing, even when their license allow them to. It was a lot to cover in a just one hour. I could easily have spent a lot more time on this. I have attached my presentation to this blog post, as many of the participants asked for it and I did not upload it to Microsoft in time to be on the official site.

    Dynamics CRM 2013 Global Premier Event

    Monday night was the “release party” of the newest version of Dynamics CRM. It was a big and very American marketing event with a lot of videos with customer cases, onsite and online interviews. In the almost 2 hours the “event” there no demo’s and we basically didn’t see the product in it self. But there were plenty of opportunities to see CRM 2013 after the event.

    Kiril’s Keynote

    Tuesday the actual Convergence started with Kiril Tatarinov giving the keynote. Often the keynotes on Convergence can be a little “too much” for Europeans like me, but this year it was actually great. Sure there where lots of PowerPoint slides showing market trends and numbers. This part was covered by Jean-Philippe Courtois. So Kiril didn’t have to cover this in his part of the keynote. Instead he had invited a number of customers on the stage talking about their implementations. First he had two interesting NAV customers. Biocop, a smaller Spanish organic food distributor and Heineken, who needs no further introduction. After this he had two AX customers, first Pandora, a Danish jewelry company and then Chanel, the French company who also needs no further introduction. The last customer was more surprising. Carrefour the worlds second largest supermarket chain. They have selected Dynamics AX as their new ERP system. That is the kind of large enterprise customers Microsoft really want to use Dynamics AX!

    The rest of Tuesday and Wednesday was primarily used for a large number of break-out sessions covering the AX, NAV and CRM. The target of Convergence is customers and potential customers. Therefor the technical level on most sessions is not supposed to be very high. For a “techie” and MVP like me that of course means that technically I have not learned that much. But I will still say that it has been worth going here. There is something special about these big Microsoft events. Even if you don’t want it, then you kind of get a “buzz” that stays with you for many days after you get back. Microsoft knows how to get people exited. You’ll meet a lot of interesting people and are able to find people from Microsoft who can answer most of the questions you might have, even if not on the official program.

    The location

    Barcelona is a great city to visit, and I wish that could have stayed a few more days to see it again. Last time I was here is over 25 years ago. And the weather in Barcelona is currently much better than the cold and rainy Denmark where I live.

    The actual conference center Barcelona Fira looks like most other conference and exhibition centers in the world. The food was great here and in the exhibition area there was coffee, drinks, fruits and snacks available at all times during the day. But the sound system in most session rooms where really bad. So bad that it in many sessions was really difficult to hear what the speakers were saying! And especially on the UG day the setup was not good. Many of these sessions where supposed to be in the roundtable and interactive format, but since they all had the typical “theater” setup then it was difficult to get a real interactive discussion going.

    But all together I’m very impressed by what Microsoft have been able to pull together in basically less than 4 month. And I hope that they are doing it again next year.

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