It's beginning to sound as a cliché, but once again, Directions EMEA 2010 was great! Outstanding organisation, outstanding sessions, outstanding food .. outstanding girls ;°) (sorry, felt mandatory to mention them as well :-) ). Sure there are always things that could be better, but that's always, everywhere, anytime. One should know that most of this event was realized by only four persons. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the efforts of those guys... and to thank them for the opportunity for me to speak for the audience. I'm always quite nervous doing sessions, but afterwards, it gives a positive feeling .. let's call it satisfaction .. to have been offered (and taken) the opportunity... . Thanks guys! Now I just hope that the session was good enough for being considered next year as well :-).
The hands on labs were great! Good examples, good apps .. even useable applications. Dmitri Chadaev (hope I got his name right) did a great job in this .. . The only remark there I got is: try to do it at the end of the convention, not at the beginning. But that's only a small remark ... . They were of high quality.. .
The sessions that I attended were useful, and i learned a lot. Finally, I got a picture of not only what the cloud is about, but also what we can do with it, and what it involves .. to only mention one thing.
And let's not forget the announcements. Off coure we all know already that NAV 2009 R2 is coming end of this year (Q4 2010) ... and I think I can speak for all that we still hope that the new debugger (or at least a simplified version of it) is going to be included in that release. It's a great initiative, thank you Microsoft. Furthermore, what I didn't mention just yet (I will write a dedicated blog about it), Mark Brummel has written a Book! And not just a book. A book about NAV 2009 SP1 Application Design. It's coming in June. I read it, reviewed it, and I can already say: a big part of the book is going to be mandatory to read at iFacto ... . Thanks, Mark. I know it took you months of intensive writing in the evenings and weekends .. but you can be proud of the result!
So, releases, books .. a lot to look out for ;°)!
A last, somewhat sad announcement is the fact that Jan Silleman is leaving Microsoft. I don't know the official title of Jan, but he was responsible for the sales of Dynamics NAV. Who will take Jan's place? That's for the future to tell. All we can say: Thanks, Jan, for the dedication you showed throughout the years...
To conclude .. the location was just perfect. Great hotel, great service, great food and facilities .. and Prague. Do I need to say more? I wish I'd got more time to visit the city. The people were nice, the city is beautiful. In my opinion, for next year, you can take Prague again as your location :-).
See you next year, guys!
To conclude, some impressions:
To start: a video of the fireworks of the gala-evening.
The last "Dan and Jan" show .. (Jan Silleman is on the far right..)
The middle finger of Mark Brummel after Michael Nielsen told him that he won't read his book (.. Joke, off course )
She wanted a picture of her and me .. or was it the other way around ... (thank you Kamil)
Claus Lundstrum showing the blueprint of "my" page icon (if you want to know more, read the first post about this Directions ;°) ).
I've been looking forward to this session of Freddy. He has been advertising it during our session on Wednesday, and apparently, people listened, because lots of the people that attended our session were here as well. Off course, it's a hot topic as well .. the cloud.. what the hell is that cloud?? And Azure?? I don't know if these questions were really answered during the session, but at least, everyone has got a pretty nice picture now of what it can be useful for ... .
I'm not going to blog all the details, because very soon, Freddy will blog all about it on his blog.
He started out with a simple explanation about Windows Azure: it's some kind of "Cloud Services Operation System" and serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the windows azure platform... . Simply said: it's something out there (hosted by Microsoft) that you can use (or abuse) to put your services .. and off course pay for what you use. If you need a lot of resources, you'll get it automagically (and pay for it, off course), if you don't need it, not. For example, ticket sales for Michael Jackson (he used Bruce Springsteen as an example, but I like Michael Jackson a little bit more :-) ) would have sold out in a matter of minutes. So, in a matter of minutes, you have to be able to sell 40000 tickets, and after that, you need a lot less resources from the server(s). Cloud services is a great way to deal withthis, but not only this, off course.
Cloud services is just something out there, hosted, that you can use to make your setup much easier as well. For your internet applications, you don't have to foresee some hosted environment to do your stuff. It's already there, on Microsoft hardware, and they guarantee it's scalable, secure, reliable and an uptime of 100%.
What a lot of people wonder is whether it's good for hosting ERP .. well, Freddy stated pretty clear that it's definitely not intended for that... so now you know ;°).He continued by explaining that there are multiple ways of using the web services .. and you can also use NAV 2009 webservice on the internet .. by using a proxy service, which he explains on his blog. Thing is that he showed us how to connect over the cloud (service bus) with a guestbook application and an iPhone app... . Quite nice examples, but again, I'm making it myself easy, and I'm not going into details, because Freddy announced multiple times that he is going to publish everything on his blog .. so you'll be able to find every detail there shortly.
Now, we'll have to think about applications in where we can use "the cloud" ... . It brings us a lot of opportunies. It's just a matter of how creative we are to develop solutions for it .. . It's nice to see that Microsoft are bringing services to the cloud as well (like the Dynamics Online Payments thingy...) .. so we'll have to go on that bus as well.
Good job, Freddy, and keep the blogging comin' :-).
A session presented by a fellow-MVP:Jörg Stryk. The guy is unbelievable into SQL Server and SQL Server performance tuning on a NAV database (like Hynek is as well), so he's quite a good catch to be presenting a session about this topic, off course. May be you know Jörg from his book: The NAV/SQL Performance Field Guide.
Jorg started out by pointing out that a Key is not necessarily the same as an index. Key's are terms from the classic environment, while an index is something else. And it's indexes that he would liked to explain...
He compared it with the "yellow pages". If you want to search something, you go to the index, which points you to the right page. He even tore out the index pages to make clear what an impact "removing an index" can have. Furthermore, he pointed out there was still a way to search in a "somewhat" decent way, because the pages were physically stored in an arranged way. Furthermore, removing that physical structure (removing the clustered index) would mean ... Heaps of data where you have to search in .. Which is exhausting. He even was physically exhausted after toring out pages from the book ... so we got the message pretty well :-).
After that, he went into the real theoretical part, explaining the structure on SQL Server, and how you can see when there is an index problem .. having lots of reads.
To be able to do something about it, you have to understand how NAV reacts on SQL Server. For starters, how does a key translate to an index? The primary key, for example, will be the primary key in you SQL Server, plus, it will be clustered (by default) as well. All secondary keys will be made as indexes as well, completed with the primary key...
I suggest you check his blog as well. He even did this session in Munich and blogged about it. Just read here. Now that I noticed, it's needless to bother you with another description of his session ... easy for me ;-).
Good job, Jorg! Very well explained. This is really importand and/but basic stuff, so in my opinion, everyone should be able to understand this - and handling problems related to indexes, reads, ... . Especially because from next version, only SQL Server will be supported... .
There is nothing much new on the Testing Codeunits Functionality, only that it hasn't been adopted very wel in the NAV community by now. During the session, it was nice to see (again) how it works. I'm not going to explain it again, because Kamil Sacek already did in his blog: Kine's Info and it's quite good explained in the MSDN as well. But, I am going to tell you this:
Application Test Toolkit v2
There is going to be a new "Application Test Toolkit", which will contain testing routines that Microsoft uses internally. This toolkit is a great way to get started with the new types of codeunits for testing your application. The toolkit consist of +200 testing routines, that are used by the product team as well to get you going.
On top of that, they made it possible to run the toolkit in the RTC environment as well. This way, you can test your solution on both the classic client and the RoleTailored client.
The toolkit is NOT for download just yet, but it will be in a couple of days, so download it and start exploring the usefullness for you and your company! I will keep you informed here to download the toolkit as well.. so stay tuned.
At this moment, Directions EMEA is "going on" .. and once again, it's turning out to be quite a success. This is only my first blog about it, while it's the second day .. . This is because I had a session about Web Services (with Freddy, by the way :-) ) on the first day, and wanted to take the time I had to do some preparation, because things have been so busy that I didn't find enough time. But I can say that (now I finished the session) all went fine. I'm not going to blog about it, because it was just a session about the basics of web services: how to set it up, some coding examples on how to connect to them, and some ideas for using the NAV2009 Web Services. Freddy showed his examples he built that you can find on his blog .. and people were enthusiastic .. so we can be positive about the session. It was an honor to be able to do a session together with Freddy :-). Today, he will build upon our session, and go "beyond". He will show how to build services in the cloud, and connect to a local NAV ... off course by using NAV 2009 Web Services. Really looking forward to that :-).
NAV 2009 Release 2
Before our session, I attended the Opening Keynote by Jan Silleman and Dan Brown. Yet again: big success. Not just because of the presentation, but because of the content .. not just every-day content: but an announcement: NAV 2009 R2. Yes, you read it correct: by the end of this year, Microsoft will release "NAV 2009 Release 2". What will be in it (as we know it by now)? Well, the things that were on the agenda for NAV '7', but are already completely finished:
This is great news, off course, but what I would have liked to be in it as well (as a developer) is the debugger (off course). Who knows, there is still time .. :-). Come on, MS!
One nice little story about that keynote: Claus Lundstrum demoed the new possibilities in NAV '7' regarding a new report builder. He opened the object designer (the latest build) and he made a remark about the fact that he changed the icon for the page object ... And said: "It's because waldo has been bugging me about the ugly logo, so if you don't like it, blame waldo".