DDC: Upgrading Best Practices to NAV2013
For those who don't know already .. With DDC I mean "Dutch Dynamics Community". Tonight, once again, I decided to defy the bad weather .. to go to the session that Per Mogensen was doing about "Upgrading Best Practices". It's always nice to gain insight on that .. because let's be honest .. NAV2013 is a hot topic .. so upgrading to it is as well. I was told that the recording of Per's session will be on the website of the DDC asap. I strongly recommend you to download and watch it, as it contains quite some tips and tricks you want to know.
I would like to share just a few touch points already :-). But before I start, just wanted to share that I really love the DDC sessions: down-to-earth, to-the-point, perfectly put together, nice atmosphere. As the BDC is "sleeping" at the moment, I'm glad there is the DDC to "satisfy my hunger" to NAV community (if that's an expression at all) ;-).
Why upgrade to NAV?
Always a good question. It's never good to upgrade "just for the heck of it" , is it ;-). Well, one of the better remarks here was the huge improvement regarding performance. Per explained that the caching has improved a lot about performance: instead of reading the G/L Setup about 200 times in a posting routine, it's going to read it only once .. going from about 1200 SQL transactions to about 480 in 2013 is absolutely great!
Another remark I liked, was .. It's future-proof. Upgrading from this version on is going to be simple for future versions. This is obviously speculation .. but then again, it makes sense: the basics are there now .. finished and as we like it.
A few things in the "old versions" will cause you the amount of headaches you really won't appreciate… . One of it is "Dimensions". While Dimension changes were great nevertheless .. This has involved quite some changes in code throughout the entire application. You will going to have to take that into account!
In the same list, we're obviously also thinking of: Costing, Warehouse Mgt, Item Tracking (of course .. ), … .
What about Forms?
We all know by now that the classic stack has disappeared. So Forms, Classic reports, … are gone! This means: forms will have to be transformed to pages. And you have a few approaches for that:
- Full transformation: means a huge setup, but you're sure you didn't forget anything
- Recode in pages: means you'll have to do a lot of testing, to see if you got everything and everything is still working
- Or mixed: this one I like: just transform as much as you can, and start from that as a base version .. .
But in any case .. no forms anymore! :-).
I heard that Reports are no problem at all .. Is that right?
Uhm .. how do I bring this most gently.
No, seriously, you have to keep in mind that you'll have to seriously manage your reporting, especially when you're still do your reporting in classic. But also for those who already turned to RDLC: there are still a few points to think about, with a main thing that was mentioned: Microsoft also changed the basic reports. This is good, but if you also changed these reports, upgrading is next to impossible, as there seems to be no good way to be merging these huge text objects .. .
But this doesn't have to be a problem "per se": there are new possibilities now. I'm thinking of:
- Jet Reports Express
- Web Services
And a way to trigger what reports are actually used at a customer. So only do those things you really have to do, and reconsider whether "reports" is the right platform/way to do it. E.g. you might want to replace some reports with PowerPivots, based on Odata.. .
Sure, a lot, but again, watch the DDC website for the recording. A few points to mention (really have to go to sleep now..):
- NST is not running as a user anymore, so some stuff is somewhat more difficult. One example is File Handling, but other stuff, like OCX/Automation .. or the lack of it .. You'll have to deal with
- The OnReport.. Trigger only runs in the classic environment. So unfortunately, there is no way to get Report-Usage-Statistics on RTC reports
To conclude, let's just share the few steps you'll need to upgrade:
- Upgrade database to NAV 2009 R2. Also make your database available where NAV2013 will be able to see it (Win2008/SQL2008).
- Import Upgrade Step 1 objects in NAV 2009 R2. Be sure to take the right (localized) fob!
- Import DEV license
- Run Step 1 data upgrade in all companies
- Delete all objects except tables
- Connect to database from NAV2013 and run data upgrade
- Import merged NAV2013 merged objects
- Compile all
- Setup NST
- Import Upgrade Step 2 objects
- Run Step 2 data upgrade in all companies
- Run Dimensions upgrade with SQL Scripts
Now, I'm going to sleep .. as tomorrow, I'll have another Per-day: going through his Mergetool :-).