All around NAV dev and test
In our onward going strive to get our verticals as efficient as possible on the market we were recently discussing whether we should continue our own Links feature or should abandon it and fully adopt the standard NAV version. One of the arguments against standard NAV is the simple fact that users are not able to personalize the Links window, both on Classic and RTC, while they can in our solution. As this also seemed in conflict with standard NAV behavior we considered this a bug and decided to log an incident for it: incident 9717916 (for details see How to Customize the Links FactBox?).
Some bugs are clearly bugs and some are in the gray area where you could consider them to be "By Design". And this is exactly how the MS support engineer looked at the issue. Long story short: there was nothing to fix from his point of view and after a short discussion we agreed I could (and would! ) request this as a feature change through Microsoft Connect.
Although I have been using the tool for ages already, it hasn't been many times. And every time again it appears to me the tool is a disaster from a usability perspective. First I have to search for the right URL: I often just go to Partner Source (or even www.microsoft.com) and search for msconnect. And once I am logged on it feels I have to relearn the tool, every time again! Eventually, however, I always succeed, one way or another, to get my things done. So I got our Links issue logged as a suggestion (have a look here).
But then I wondered: in what way could I give some weight to this? Well, any user of the tool - having the right permissions for a specific product - can vote on an entry:
Then looking at the list of NAV suggestions it's clear that the vast majority of entries only have 1 vote in favor (and zero against). Which raises the question: who's actually using this tool? Have you ever used it? Did you ever vote on Microsoft Connect? It does not look to me many are ...
So on my mibuso post for the Links issue I placed this simple "call for action". Apparently not in vain having 9 votes so far.
Yesterday (July 6) Søren Nielsen published his post Table 2000000068: Record Link – almost great!. Worthwhile to have a look at and also vote for his MSConnect entry!
As I am preparing some RTC demos I had been roaming around on Partner Source for some good ideas and had a look at the demo scripts. I down loaded various of them including some PowerPoint presentations like the Introduction to NAV 2009 PPT. The link says it's a .pptx file, but once down loaded it shows as DemoScriptIntroductionPPT.zip. Opening this .zip file I found myself looking at a whole bunch of files:
So what to do with that?
As I recalled it was not the first time I ran into this issue so I logged an incident on it and within 24 hours I did get the .pptx file! And this morning I even received a second one through another MS channel. The latter also explained what I could have done myself:
You can simply rename the file extension that you downloaded on Partner Source (from .ZIP to .PPTX) and you will be able to open it with Microsoft Office PowerPoint.
I had tried a similar thing, but on the some of the files in the .zip file, not the .zip file itself.
As said before: a child can do the laundry!
Probably this applies to many more files on both Partner and Customer Source. I wonder why MS does not use the .pptx extension for these files or writes some kind of instruction for the user that she knows. Or am I the only blond guy?
I have never dived into PowerPoint file formats, but seeing this should I consider a .pptx file being indeed some kind of .zip file?
When I open my blog control panel the dashboard part shows statistics on the number of recent views and recent posts:
Just now I noticed that my post on MS Test Manager 2010 & NAV is my first one hitting a thousand. So one big thanx to all my readers!
... dynamicsuser.net home page lists an excerpt of all blogs. The number of hits displayed always tends to be lower than the numbers on the dashboard. Anybody a clue on that?
For the second time in little over a week I ran into the same situation where, after updating the CustomSettings.config file and restarting the NAV Server, RTC was still connected to the previous database. The first time this happened I eventually got RTC connected to the right database by restarting my computer.
As I didn't want to restart everything again today I decided to pick this up a bit more intelligently. So I searched the forums but, although I came across various worthwhile info, it did not provide me the right hint. So I wondered how I had done this before. I could clearly recall that I had been changing reference to databases like this before and I was quite sure that simply restarting the NAV Server was enough. And then I realized that only recently I had configured my default NAV Business Web Services to automatically start up.
"Might it be," I asked myself: "that both servers should be stopped before the updated CustomSettings.config file could take effect?"
A simple trial of this thought proved me wrong, oops, sorry: right! I stopped both services and after that restarted them again. Aha.
To better understand this all I had a look in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Developer and IT Pro Documentation. Specifically these sections gave me some better understanding:
Apparently both NAV Server and NAV Business Web Services are linked to each other and if either one of them is still running the original config file is still 'active'.
Last week I attended an internal event where during one of the break-out sessions my younger colleague Andreas Zippel did a very good presentation on RTC arousing quite some enthusiasm in the group. Worthwhile mentioning is that he only recently started working on RTC!
Already working with RTC for a couple of years I was also touched by it all, not in the least due to the fact that I even learned something new. I have to confess I was quite surprised I hadn't noticed this feature before. Especially seeing today that it was already announced on some of the NAV 2009 pre-release presentation (see for example Marq's and Waldo's blog). Why write about it as it is already known? Just the simple fact that probably there are more shortsighted like I apparently am.
Yes. I have been customizing a lot op pages over time and never ever had noticed it was there. Just have a look at this picture:
See the encircled button? Just push it and a freeze pane marker will be inserted after the selected column name in the right list:
Now clicking OK will effectuate the feature and now I can (horizontally) scroll through the customer list while the No. column stays fixed!
As we say over here: a child can do the laundry.