Authumn 2010 is comming fast and 2011 will arrive soon for all of us who are always so busy, This means that the magical release year "2009" is more and more history. And this makes me aks, how many implementations have you done with the RTC, how many profiles have you setup, how many pages did you create and did you use webservices and Client Add-Ins?
The reason for this Blog Entry is the fact that I am sitting on a stupid hotel bed in a foreign country. Tomorrow I will teach a NAV 2009 RTC training to a partner and an end user. They are at the start of a migration project from version 3.70 to 2009 and wanted some coaching from someone with experience.
Imagine they ask me.
But seriously. How many 2009 implementations have we done and how many companies are using it. I talk about it to a lot of people and only few have upgraded existing customers. Most implementations are new. What about thos 75.000 existing customers out there. Someday they all need upgrading.
So ask yourself, what did you do with the RTC. Are you ready to upgrade all these existing customers. Some with 5 users and some with 500. Some have 500MB of data, some 2,5 Terrabyte. What is stopping us...
UPDATE: Based on the open discussion and questions asked by mail and phone I wrote a small update about RTC Performance.
PS: Did you know I wrote a book ?
As I said, there isn't any issue (bugwise), they don't miss any functionnality, it is more of a user experience issue that I can't quantify unfortunately.
Like you replied to me in your other post on RTC Productivity, I agree it depends on who you ask. My customer (or most, not just a few, users of my customers) liked working with the Classic because when it comes to simple tasks as filling in lines as most order entry or accountant users do, the RTC is just not doing the job good enough. Maybe did we do something wrong in the installation, but so far, every check MS'support told us to do was negative.
This user experience thing is perfectly illustrated in your fellow blogger Vjeko Babic's last post (http://t.co/mHPZ6vm), "... NAV Classic client has some features which are simply unbeatable when it comes to productivity and speed".
I know his blog post was not meant at saying the Classic is better than the RTC, and don't get me wrong, I like the RTC a lot, it is not a consultant's problem, it is a Microsoft's problem which I hope they really work on ;-) !
Can you be a little more specific about what your end user misses in the RTC compared to classic?
This can be very valuable information.
Only 2 experiences with NAV2009SP1 RTC for me so far : 1 upgrade from NAV5.0 and 1 new implementation (without any customization yet).
The new implementation went OK, i.e. it went as well as previous implementations with the Classic client. The problems encountered were mostly due to the lack of experience with the RTC client and since time lost by lack of experience was not charged to the customer, in the end, he is quite happy (my boss less...).
The upgrade was a real tougher one: not from a technical point of view (my colleagues did a pretty good job with form transformation), but from a user acceptance : after 2 months (and a lot of time spent on training), they are still missing the Classic client ... although there isn't any issue with the RTC though... except one... what was it again ? ... oh yes... performance !
I haven't got/seen live implementations as in my country RTC is not available yet, but I've played with W1... and I can agree with Thomas, SPEED is a real issue, plus lack of common shortcut keys (this is slowly changing with SPs).
I had a client, to whoom even classic seemed slow, as they had to prepare 1000+ SOs every night from 4am till 6am, it was food industry, delivering foodstuff to hundreds of small shops and cafes every morning before they open. (recurring / copying could not be used, SOs changed daily much enough to be easier to create them from scratch)
If I try to offer them RTC, I'll be shot dead immediately after a demo - or even alredy during it :)
In Hungary we are still waiting for it :)
My RTC level is ZERO!
For these reasons:
1. hard to migrate all the existings customer customizations and convince them because of real poor app improvement
2. No main functionalities added (i mean, manufacturing extensions, finite loading on jobs section, real GANNT graphs or similar )
3. poor speed in executing app functions and using the interface
IMHO , RTC still got to improve a lot!
Honestly, i prefer to get some more features on the Manufacturing / jobs / finance part rather than a new client...
that's why IBM AS/400 is still a great competitor.
everybody I showed the RTC so far was shocked.
We tried with 3 customers to implement 3-tier instead of classic client.
The biggest issue is the speed!
The next issue is speed!
It is not acceptable to wait 15 seconds after entering the quantity in a sales line before you can continue.
Same database, same order in the classic client there is no noticable delay at all.
Another issue is the unstructered form design.
Especially when seeing the Sales Order card it is not easy to determine which is the subform and which is the "main form".
So far I'm very disappointed by the RTC and I hope that it will improve with the next version a lot.
As we are also developing POS systems for Navision and the Classic Client will not be available anymore with V7, we are trying hard to create a POS screen which satisfies our customers. But Speed is one of the key issues at the point of sale and I do not see that NAV2009SP1 provides the performance required.
I think the keyword there is "should". I work for a fairly large end user, over 100 users. They have been on NAV since the 2.X days. We just upgraded from 3.7 to NAV 2009 SP1 Classic. Aside from the problems we had in getting the three tier environment setup, the RTC was just too much change for them. We would have had to support users on both clients which means double development time.
I think the RTC is great, but it's a challenge to get old users to use it. There's the initial development time, training time, complaint time / lost productivity / "I really have to use this?" time (in our case). I wanted to move to it still, but it was just too much work for the company. And that's with me being a full time employee, not a consultant. Take a lot of that time and multiply the cost times 4 to 5 and it's a lot of money.
I understand what you mean and partly you are correct.
However migrating from NAV to AX would require to redevelop all customisations in AX whilst you can reuse all your C/AL customisations in the RTC.
The RTC is also much, much more intuitive to use for end users. The effort that the UI team has put in usability really pays of in that area. It should not be a huge investment to teach an existing NAV user the RTC.
The TCO of pages is in the retraining of folks already used to the classic client. In a new implementation, I would guess the TCO would be in favor of the RTC. But switching users would require retraining and the average user in the US is not so easily retrained.
The upgrade from 3.7 to 4.0 required some additional training. The upgrade from 4.0 Classic to 2009 SP1 with RTC might as well be a switch from NAV to AX.
Thank you for your part of the discussion.
Your reply adds to the more general thinking that the web services are a big chunk of the added value of 2009. And yes, in 2009 we can use webservices with a Technical Upgrade.
Don't asume this in V7.
What interests me is the other assumption that the RTC adds to the TCO. Why do you think that?
In the implementations I've done I never got the option that the TCO of pages was more than that of forms. But then again, how do you measure TCO.
I'm a former consultant who is now an end user.
We are still at NAV 4. Updated executables to 2009 and use the middle tier to feed our new website that was launched in May. Can't get the funding to upgrade as there is little perceived value and a very tough business climate. The cost of retraining on the RTC just adds to that cost.
My guess would be that any upgrades in the last two years have been few and far between due to the economy.
Thanks for your comments Anna. I am really curious to the experiences of other people.
The Intention of implementing the RTC at new customers only was IMHO just for parners to get experience easier, not because it is not qualified for existing customers.
BTW - Am I wrong or were the Microsoft people saying that RTC was intended just for new customers? So they could get past all the exceptions we were raising about lost features...
I'm maybe the least qualified to answer, since I'm in substantially retired from the real job. Just taking some small jobs as a subcontractor by NAV partners.
Anyway, so far, I didn't even hear of RTC implementations... Maybe they had some, but didn't use my help on them... but I think some words should have fallen on my ears...