Today, Todd Bergesson of Microsoft confirmed at NAVUG that the classic forms as we have known them since 1995 will be discontinued in NAV "7".
This quote is from MSDynamicsWorld.
The reason for this, Bergeson said, is twofold: First, SQL is the only server option for NAV 7, so when a user is upgrading to 2009, he needs to upgrade to SQL; and second, the Classic Client must be upgraded to the Role Tailored Client using the transformational tool in 2009, because the engine that runs the forms in previous versions will no longer exist.
"So, when you upgrade to 7, and everything's in forms, nothing will run," Bergeson said. "I can guarantee you, the forms aren't going to miraculously change and appear, because that's going to throw the development cycle out by another year. So, that engine is gone. Classic client is gone, so you just need to have that discussion now."
Entire article here
So anyone who wants to use NAV 7, the RTC is the only option. This also means it is mandatory to go through 2009 to upgrade your forms to pages. This has two reasons.
1. The Transformation Tool is not shipped and/or updated for NAV "7"
This means that you would either have to run the old Transformation Tool but against what forms, this brings us to
2. The new funtionality is only in pages
So you cannot merge your forms with "7" forms and go to pages. You MUST merge your old forms with "6" forms, then goto "6" pages and then merge to "7" pages.
This is a mandatory path every upgrade must follow.
And this is old news, but it has never been official until now.
What are the other consequences...
From a development/partner perspective there are massive consequences, namely most partners have built their own development tools within NAV. And they won't work anymore. Let's have a look at the three most popular ones
1. Object Manager by Idyn.
Unless updated to pages this tool will not work anymore, and even then, it will be extremely hard to use since having a page based tool it requires all developers to have an RTC active on their development systeem. Which off course they should already, but still, it is more a hassle
This tool is already updated to pages (thank you Denster, I did not know that), so tool will still work , but the form versions can only be used in old versions.
Here, there are no changes. Clearly this tool has been made with the vision that having a tool that resides within NAV does not have a long term future. ReVision is .Net based and uses an external repository. This tool should be a safe investment.
I was actually thinking about whether it was already online .. and where I had read it before (the thing that forms were discontinued, I mean ...). And it was actually on my own blog .. :-/. It was all in the SOD, which I shared quite some time ago .. . I hate NDA! :-/ I didn't even know what I wrote and what not anymore.. .
It's great to hear you are working on an update Reijer and I'm sure that your customers will love it.
You won’t hear me say that revision isn’t a safe investment but you still need the Object Manager for all the functionalities that revision don’t have. And don’t worry, the Object Manager is already updated to pages.
Exiting times indeed, I really want to look a couple of years in the future to see if this decision of Microsoft was a good one. Let’s hope so!