Dynamics NAV Gets Connected

In my first ever blog post on Gaspode's Brain Dump I wrote about a site where ideas for new product features can be posted. Today I came across a news article on PartnerSource that pointed me to a new place for logging feature enhancements, the Connect for Microsoft Dynamics site. You will need to register a Windows Live ID in order to use the site, which site is a big improvement on the old public forum.

Microsoft seems to be committed of late to listening to feedback from partners and customers and this is a very welcome move. Recently they requested feedback on how the online help can be improved through Convergence and some of the public forums. This new listening, caring Microsoft makes me feel warm and fuzzy and I truly believe that we should all be feeding back to Microsoft where we think the product can be improved. Long gone are the days when this was a pointless exercise, so sign up and give it a go!

The site seems to have been active since October 2007 but there are only 7 suggestions for NAV – maybe it hasn't been that well publicised? Well here's a suggestion to get things going. If you want to vote for this suggestion you can register and click the rating. Here is the suggestion:

Every implementation of NAV I have ever been involved with has a test system and a live system. I am assuming this is a universally accepted practice – you don't want to be applying programming modifications to your live system without testing them first. In nearly every implementation of NAV I have been involved with, there have been instances at least one user has been logged in to the live system and thought they were logged in to the test system and they have mistakenly posted entries in their live system. The request I commonly receive is to make it so that it is immediately obvious to the users which system they are in: live or test. This should be immediately visually obvious – to me there is only one way to achieve this and that is to change the colour scheme of the windows. You can change the text in the title bar (via 3rd party utilities or by renaming the company) but this is not immediately visually obvious. Another less common requirement is for users that need to work in more than one company at once and they want to see which company they have open. Again they want something that is instantly obvious and don't want to be reading titles of windows. So my suggestion is: allow the Window Colour and Appearance options to be specified at a Company AND Database level. The Database level is required so that if a user restores their live system over their test system (something they frequently need to do) they do not lose the all important colour settings. At the database level it could be stored in a table similar to the $ndo$srvproperty table in the master database – this would have one record for each NAV database. Restoring a database would not overwrite this value. At the company level, it would be set in a table that is company specific.

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