I just got some breaking news from – for me – a very reliable source. Fellow Microsoft Dynamics NAV MVP Erik Hougaard just released his blogpost that Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 will be released this year afterall. That confirms the statement that the product was ready to be released – which means that Microsoft wasn’t bullshitting us (pardon my language) in the US.
The news was brought by “Alysa Taylor“, General Manager of Global Marketing for the Cloud & Enterprise Business Applications and Industry division (wow…). Well, the messaging in her area had never been so confusing.. but you can’t say she didn’t act upon it, with this blog post:
As she clearly states. “Dynamics NAV 2018 and Dynamics GP 2018 will become generally available later this calendar year“. It can’t get any clearer.
Also, the cloud-offering of NAV will be deliverd as two distince offerings:
I truly believe that the passion, motiviation, dedication and collaboration of the partners and Microsoft’s NAV-team contributed to this – which have made Directions US 2017 a useful conference to say the least ;-).
I’m going to be short on this one – basically because I have missed quite some from the second keynote. Two things I would like to quickly share.
Release date information
Look at this slide:
So, I take from this there is NO release this end-of-year, only a preview we can play and prepare with. The General Availability of Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” is going to be Spring 2018!
New Client Rendering
During the session, there were also some screenshots of what Microsoft is working on: a complete refreshed rendering of the Web Client / Tabled Client (both? Not sure ..). And you don’t have to do anything for it, your pages and all you did, will be rendered completely different, in a new, refreshed way. Here is a small preview (in slides) on how it is going to look like, under the name “Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” UX“:
This is a Role Center:
Somwhat scrolled down
Notice that – although you scrolled down, the navigation is still on top of the page.
A list page:
And a Card page:
You might ask – where are the factboxes – well, there was a way of visualizing those as well – but I was not quick enough to get a picture of that ;-).
That’s it – thought I’d share it!
I’m just done with the keynote, and have been writing down quite some notes – so I figured, why not turn this into a blogpost ;-). One with a very clear disclaimer: all the below, is how I percieved it, and might deviate from whatever Microsoft was trying to make clear to us. I repeat this every time I write a blog like this: I’m not good at this Marketing and Business sessions like Keynotes. But hey, I try ;-).
Full focus for the Cloud!
That was a clear message! Microsoft is still all-in. Quotes like “we’ll fully focus on the cloud” .. “we’ll first make sure the experience in the cloud is like it should be, and then …”. Let’s not be surprised about this. Do know though, there was absolutely no indication during the entire keynote, that support for on premise business would disappear – even there was a confirmation that there is no intention to kill off On Premise business. Just – there is a clear focus on what the market wants … cloud!
In a nutshell:
Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”
That’s how the next version of NAV is called. I have a feeling I shouldn’t be saying “NAV” anymore – then again – you know what I mean. “Tenerife” is a codename though – when there actually is a release (no release date was shared during this session), there will be a final product name. So, in short, knowing what we know now:
Full NAV Functionality in Dynamics 365
Finally a formal confirmation from Microsoft that our beloved NAV platform in the cloud, called Dynamics 365 today, is going to have FULL NAV functionality! Not only “Financials”, but the full app! Confirmed! I hold you to it, Microsoft ;-).
And not only that, you will be able to take your customized solution – as is – to Dynamics 365! Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” enables that. Microsoft still recommends Extensions – obviously – but it is not a full requirement anymore. We’re talking embed apps, and I can imagine limitations will come if you draw that card – so, if possible, let’s do Extensions! Let’s do a true app!
But – Microsoft listened – embed apps are going to be possible.
Common Data Services
CDS is a very key part in whole Microsoft as a company. It’s connecting all these Microsoft products with each other .. through CDS .. For all of this software to work together. .
We have seen a demo during the Keynote, that – I think – kind of like illustrated that. The invoicing app that comes with O365, which you can use on for example an iPhone, where you can create an invoice, which you see in the Business Center in O365, where you have prices that come from D365 Business logic … you know .. Cool stuff. More to come when somebody can wrap their head around it ;-).
First Look at Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”
Basically: Demo Time! Let me quickly go over of what I picked up of it.
I understood that the full functionality is basically already there in the preview sandbox – you can simply enable it with the Sandbox Wizard (just search for the page).
You can now very simple change role center from the web client, without sign out/sign in. Very simple. Same is for changing companies, by the way.
Import data has been improved. Not only master data from quickbooks are imported, but also documents, like sales and purchase invoices, balances, … . It’s very easy to take for example quickbooks customers to D365 Tenerife.
One place to find all setup, like:
New notifications to run more smoothly – we saw an example on Purchase Order, where Yannick punched in a “vendor invoice number” that was already used.
New interactions with excel – to “edit” the journal in excel. Even additional lines could be added from within excel. Basically, that’s how accountants like to work!
You can give your accountant access to your system by use of a wizard. Very useful for giving your specific accountant access, but it doesn’t stop there – it will also enable you to select from companies in a list, that would be able to provide accounting services for you ..
Yannick also showed that it recognized contact pictures, filling in a profile to recognise gender and age.. . All with Azure Services, which Microsoft is more-and-more consuming.
You will be able to personalize your user experience in the client. Not exactly the same as the In-App designer, but not that different. You can add, remove and move parts of fields and quite some more – all for you individually.
Also, terms of “behind the scenes”, quite some things were shared, like these impressive stats:
You will be able to extend Tenerife
As already mentioned – Appsource will be extended to enable consulting offerings! Yep, you read that right! You can define a fixed price offering, on AppSource!
What I read from this, is that you will be able to (sorry for the somewhat unreadable slide)
These will become available right inside D365 Tenerife. AppSource is there to Build with you, Market with you and Sell with you!
Quite the same as personalization, but when you stop the designer, you have the opportunity to save the changes – you can take the changes, and deploy it on a different tenant.
It is basically the generated code that you get, that kind of like enables this In-App designer as being a great to for developers as well!
Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” will come with about 44 pre-defined API’s, which can be used to connect third-party system to NAV.
You don’t really need an NAV background to be able to integrate with it.
This was cool to see – but I could have had slightly the wrong picture. Then again – this is what I got out of it.
Microsoft has created some kind of “Account Hub” app, on the Dynamics 365 platform, for accountants to connect to their clients.
Remember that for the user, there is a wizard to “invite” their accountant. Well, for the accounts – if invited – there is functionality to easily manage multiple of these customers, by providing functionality, like:
Every single O365 is already running the product .. will have a Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” backend. So they are ready to extend with our apps, our extensions, … . One Demo we have seen, is an integration with the “Booking”-ability in O365, where companies like Hairdressers, who wants the ability to have online appointment registration.
The scenario we have seen was:
And it was going to add this in the O365 calendar – and not only that – it was also visible in a part of some customized part of Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”. Also the data for the Staff-list, and the kind of services, was data that came from the App in Dynamics 365.
Integration with outlook
Also on the Outlook-integration, Microsoft has expanded. We saw a demo where from quote-thru-payment, all was done from Outlook.
As a conclusion, this is what we are up for this week:
I’m on my way to Orlando as I write this post. For quite some time, Irma – and apparently a local storm today in Belgium – made it very unsure if there was going to be a “Directions US” this year. We’re lucky that there is – and I’m very much looking forward meeting all the nice people again over there.
This blog is about a very specific session that I need to do there – something that (in my knowledge) hasn’t been done before at any Directions. A pretty neat idea from Microsoft, which I immediately accepted to give it a go :-).
a PowerShell Combat (with Dynamics 365 Components)
This is going to be on your workshop-list – so you need to pre-register to be able to join.
Basically, we would like to make it fun for the nerds among us, we’re going to have a little contest. We’ll do two things.
First of all, the stage is yours. I’ll give you the chance to show your coolest PowerShell solution that you have ever built – and you’ll have the chance to demo it. I really don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if anyone will come up – I surely do hope so – but in any case, I’ll prepare some of my own.
Next, if there is time at least – I’ll give you an assignment where you can work on. First (decent) solution wins!
You see, PowerShell knowledge is required before you enter ;-).
Funny enough, I’m still working on getting some prizes for the session, but I have some time to sort that out with Microsoft.
Let’s have some fun! Be prepared! And see you there!
Yesterday, we got a new Development Preview from Microsoft. You can read the announcement on their blog.
This time, a lot has changed on how the image is constructed – basically meaning that my blogs on how to get your development environment on your local system are totally outdated ;-). I will see on getting this available and I might update them.
How I understood it – the machine is a quite “default” machine on Azure, not having too much NAV-specific stuff on it. All NAV-specific bits and bytes are in an “docker image”. If you don’t know what that is – don’t worry :-). I don’t either (or at least not really deep) – and I’m still able to do what I want.
There are just a few things that I would like to point out already, to make your life a bit easier – or let’s say – that made my life somewhat easier on this new image.
You can develop locally
Yes you can! Your VSCode can be local – and it can connect to the NAV instance on your newly created image. You basically just need VSCode and the extension – and you can find the latest version of your extension on the VM (in the C:\DEMO-folder) – or you can even download it from a URL that is provided in the status-page of the VM:
Once you have the vsix on your system, just load it in your VSCode!
Next, you should make some changes to your lauch.json – but these are all indicated on your landing page of the VM that you just created. It should look like this – and in the bottom, you see what I mean:
Then, before you are able to download symbols, or publish an extension, don’t forget to install the certificate, which you can find on the landing page as well. Make sure you install it on your local machine, in the “Trusted Root Certification Authorities”
When you are working on the VM, and you want to interact (aka “play”) somewhat with the docker container, there is a PowerShell-shell for you on the desktop:
It will take you to a prompt within the image. One very detail, but not too clear at first, is that Microsoft has foreseen a symbolic link with the host. Basically the c:\DEMO folder on the host, are the very same files as the c:\demo folder in the image. All files you put in that folder, as accessible in both the docker container, as your host.
Very useful for
Whatever. Just place the script there – like you see that I have placed my scripts there as well (WaldoPS). You can just edit them on your host – and execute them in the provided shell in the container.