Review: Steven Renders' Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009: Professional Reporting

Steven Renders; what's in a name! I have to confess, a name I never heard of until only recently. I mean never before I had heard or read the name Renders, let alone Steven Renders. I guess I totally missed your no-advertising-though-advertising post, Waldo. Huh?

And all of a sudden it popped up: an e-mail of Mark Brummel to Steven with me on cc. September 22. Mark sounded Steven about presenting an advanced reporting session at our next DDC-event. Steven appeared to be the "Belgian guy he new about and who would be a good presenter on the subject". Within a couple of hours the whole thing was settled! And ... from Stevens initial reply I was to learn that he would not only be the presenter for the subject, but also was going to release a book fully dedicated to NAV reporting.Big Smile

Being the spider in the middle of an big report transformation project currently, I couldn't have wished for more and I immediately ordered myself a copy of the - still to be released - book. Even before reading it I was hooked by it, or to be honest and more precise by its cover. Red, my favorite color, in all its shades. Of course purely subjective, but the most beautifully cover so far of the PACKT Dynamics NAV portfolio. And how it matches the current theme of my blog. Geeked

The DDC-presentation was settled, the book arrived and that thought kept lingering: read and review, Luc. Spread the word! So I lit the fireplace and sat down to read. Admittedly I regret not to be the first to spread the word as these credits go to Waldo and Alex. But still, here I go and stop my posturing .. now.

So what's the book about?

Of course, as the title (and subtitle) reveals, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009: Professional Reporting - Discover all the tips and tricks for Dynamics NAV report building. Indeed many (usefully) tips and trick are unrevealed. Of course I could about describing various parts of the book, but I guess that wouldn't make sense, so I'll give you my list of strong and weak points

Strong points

.. and I mean, really strong points:

  • Tips and Trick, Warnings and Notes, all abundant present
  • Completeness, as the book is covering all major possibilities of reporting in and with NAV
  • RDLC part of a RTC report is about formatting and layout, but not behavior
  • Notion of a dataset and how to generate using dataitems and variables
  • Possibilities and Limitations
  • Steven's personal opinions and advices

Weak points

... or should I call them less strong point, as they are fully out weighted by the strong points:

  • Abundant, good graphical illustrations made me really miss them on pages were I had to do with text only
  • Good and relevant advices on choosing BI tools, showed that these are missing for how to design a report (way before any coding is involved), how to look at it ftom a functional perspective. Reading BI part made me anxious to hear more from Steven on this (functional) level.

So ...

Surrender to Renders! Yes

Go out there and buy the book! If you're still not sure if this book fits your needs, open this sample chapter and read What This Book Covers (pag. 4 in this pdf).

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