Converting 1600 Forms to Pages | Continued

Yesterday I went to the customer with most of the pages stuffed in my briefcase. I felt proud to have done the job within (fixed price) budget but also scared to see the first test results.

After moving all the pages from my briefcase and putting them into the database we could start the first "Testing". Now you should know, I don't know the details of how this customer works and 90% of their main processes is done in the add-ons outside of standard NAV.

So the joyride started. The first discovery was that the customer had forgotten to order Granule 9100. Remember this: you cannot use the RTC with an upgraded database unless you buy this license! So we used our development license to run the pages and their Solution Developer license to design the pages. FUN! Anyway, this should be fixed at next weeks visit.

Role Center

First task was to create a new role center and put their most important pages in there.

As you know, a Role Center exists of a minimum of three objects: Two Pages and One table.

The first page is the actual Role Center that contains the definition of the Left and Right part of the role center which are either sub pages or system parts AND the Menu options which are defined by the actions.

The second page is the Activities page which contains the cues which are merged with the Role Center menu as you can read in this post.

The cues are based on flowfield in a cue table.

My Advice:

Create a cue table for your company (or add-on) and store all the companies cues in that table. You can built several Activity pages on that table but always move cues from one department to another.

My Second Advice:

Start with the Small Business Owner role center. This Role Center contains a ton of shortcuts and menus to all the parts of Dynamics NAV. Using this as a template you can remove what you don't want either by personalisation (profile or person) or design.

So this is what we did, we created these three objects based on the SBORC and added some menu's.

This is where the penny starts to drop.

Designing a role center is difficult. These end user developers where used to the 3.x menu's and now have to think in workflows.

Another important difference is starting with a list rather than a card. But this is something that you get easily used to.

CardFormID

When you don't use the TIF editor part of the Transformation Tool the pages are generated without a CardFormID. This is a new propery that should be populated in each list page that is started from the Role Center. This defines the Card Page that is activated when you double click, Edit or View a record from the list. It can be defined as the Vice Versa of the good old LookupFormID property, only this property is on page level, not on table level.

PageTypes

The second issue we ran into (which was planned and foreseen) was the page type. The Transformation tool transforms most forms into Card pages. This results in a compile error if your Subpage is a card instead of ListPart which is mandatory.

My third advice:

Fortunately we were lucky, our Add-On is designed by the Famous Gary Winter. Most of the Subforms are called ...Subform or ...Lines so we can export the pages to txt format and to a find & replace of the pagetype property.

Issue solved.

Actions on Subpages:

When testing we found out that some of their functions where mixing data from the subpage and the page using the CurrPage.Lines.FORM.GETRECORD function. Now, this gets converted by the Transformation Tool and actualy compiles, but does not work. The function always returns the first record in the filter of the subpage.

We rewrited the code... and will use this trick.

The Test Result

After changing these issues we were able to test one of their main processes from start to end. All of the other pages worked exept one wizard page that needs major redesign. But we know that wizards and Matrixes are solved differently in the RTC.

Dataports

In this process two dataports are used. THIS DOES NOT WORK IN THE RTC. All dataports need to be resesigned. This can be done by either creating a flat file XML Port (Microsoft definately needs to change the name) or using a file variable in a codeunit or report.

The End Result

At the end of the day we had achieved to goals. One of their main processes was working in the RTC. And the customer is more aware of the impact of the RTC on their business.

Designing Pages and Role Centers is very different from designing Forms. It requires different thinking. Something that still a lot of people in the Dynamics NAV channel need to get used to.

Going Home

We had a fantastic day with great results and a lot of fun. Looking forward to next week. Are you enjoying these blogs? Then reply something otherwise I might stop. Stick out tongue

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