Convergence 2007 Diary: General NAV Session (Partner Day)

I'm attending this year's  Convergence EMEA in Copenhagen as well.  Last year, in Munchen, it was my first convention which was a very positive experience.  This year, I have the chance to attend Convergence as MVP.  This involves for me some work (MVP Kiosk, Information Desk, ...).  I wonder what  it's going to involve.


As a partner, I have the chance to participate on Partner Day as well, where I am now following the General Session about Dynamics NAV.


Off course, Jan Silleman made some time to explain what the delay of Dynamics NAV 6.0 involves.

First of all, a new code name: 6.0 .  This version is going to be a major release, so 5.1 made no sense at all.  I think we all agree.

Second, as you know, the new release date will be Q4 CY2008 for W1 version.

Next, there is more time for readiness, and there are a few initiatives as well:

  • ISV Beta Access Program (where we (iFacto) are participating in as well)
  • Technical peview ... Which is promised the first half of 2008 to all partners (I sure as hall hope it'll not be second half of first half).
  • TAP program with "go-live" customers (don't know yet what this means (didn't hear it) but I'll try to get some more info)

If you wondered ... there is going to be an Update Statement of Directions (makes sense...).


Then ... A new announcement: NAV 5.0 SP1 that contains a number of improvements:

  • SQL performance: index hinting and other improvements
  • Planning engine: re-doing the planning engine to make it easier to use/understand/maintain
  • Costing: Some more improvements
  • Mobile solutions.  From what I've seen, the Mobile Framework works on NAV... But also this is not clear after this general session.


Documentation.  What is there to say about documentation.  Not much, but one very nice thing will be that the Localizations will be documented in code!  We've been waiting for it for a long time. 

One more thing to do, Microsoft, make it possible to include multiple localisations in one NAV license.


The Dynamics NAV screensaver.  Like I already mentioned on my WPC diary, there is going to be a new Screensaver with lots of more info like RSS feeds, changing pictures (own pictures),... .  It should be available now (according Jan Silleman).


On Wednesday, there is going to be an announcement that I'm not allowed to publish yet.  I know it now, it looks very nice for customers, so check my blog on Wednesday (at least if I don't forget myself Smile).


There are going to be more countries on 5.0, but sorry, I didn't catch which ones ... Damn he's going fast!! Sad.  It seems a logical decision now that 6.0 has been postphoned (again)... .


Demo time...

Michael Rosenorm did a small demo about the Jobs-module.  Not really exciting (sorry Michael Wink).  The mobile solution that is going to be part of SP1 was more exciting to say the least!


Then some marketing fluff... A lot I didn't catch by writing the above ... But let me try to sum up some highlighted points:

  • Business opportunities:
    • Value of upgrade:
      • One thing I would like to highlight is the use of upgrade centers.  Why?
        • High Quality: they do this every day, so there is a huge knowledge
        • Low cost: as they are doing it every day, they can do it faster.  Also, it can be don in a low cost country.
        • Increased capacity: your own people don't have to do it.

Personally, I'm using Liberty Grove as upgrade center.  They do everthing, full service (also go live) for a fixed price.

  • Business Ready Licensing (BRL) and Enhancement Plan.  A colleague of mine is going to sort this out during the conference, so it could be that I'll be giving an update about this as well.
  • Sure Step Methodology: an implementation methodology to do your projects more efficiently.  I know we're working to implement this in our organisation, and I can say one thing: it's a very good initiative, but implementing the full blown methodology is a bit too much for us.  But there are already many CPLS's that provide training about this methodology.  I would advice to get informed about this!!

Next, Jan showed a brief release schedule.  They didn't go deep into it (may be for the best Wink):

  • Q1 2008: 9 new localised countries
  • 1H 2008: SP1
  • 2008: 6.0
  • 2009: Malta (Minor Release)
  • 2010: Mallorca (Major Release)


Then 6.0 Demo!

I got my first (very small) demo a year ago in Munchen, so I'll just try to concentrate on the most important points:

  • Date fields: the good stuff still works ("w", "w32", ...) ... And also a date picker.
  • The development environment is still happening in the classic client!!
  • Webservices: you can expose a page or a codeunit.  In this demo: a page.
    • He exposed the customer card
    • Then he showed a C# program, to create a customer by giving a customer name.
    • Then, we saw that te application got a Customer No. From the No. Series ... To show it executed business logic from within NAV.


Time for Q&A.  Mogens Elsberg, Jan Silleman and Darren Laybourn were the ones that were answering these questions:

  • Is it possible to release the Web Services solution for 5.0:
    • No!
    • It is part of the 3 tier  technology
  • How is MOSS going to communicate?
    • Through NAS
  • How can we prepare for 6.0 (regarding coding)
    • There is a white paper available on Partnersource that describes this in detail.

There were other questions, but it was too hard to follow... .

Comment List
  • Thanks for the update, Vincent.  I know there is a lot of Sure Step knowledge with you ... Smile.

  • Hi Waldo, thanks for the update. Really nice for the ones that couldn't make it to the conference. Some people work, you know ...

    Regarding the sure step methodology:

    Sure Step does not oblige to implement full blown methodology as it provides guidance for all types of projects in all types of companies. That means that it provides guidance for a large complex project in a large company as well as a simple project in a small company.

    The tools and the approach of the project manager in both scenarios will be necessarily different.

    Except for that sure step is providing a lot guidance and tools that are accepted by all standard project management methodologies (prince2, PMI, ...). These tools are at disposal of the project manager when he thinks he needs them.

    It is my personal opnion that if you want to implement Sure Step you need to be familiar with standard project management techniques (check my blog regarding a number of these basic techniques. If you master these techniques, sure step will not only be a nice tool. Only then it will be the key for your project success! If people don't master these techniques, sure step will only document their failure.

    Good news is: Plataan offers not only sure step training (in 2 formulas: overview and in detail) but also standard project management training.

    Cheers, Vincent - Dynamics MCT

    PS: keep on updating us through your blog about Convergence. Super!