Convergence 2010 - Ask the experts

Jan Silleman started off with a joke ... I'm don't know what I'm doing up here ... is he right? Off course not ;°) In this session, people can ask question so big chiefs at Microsoft ... so there is no agenda .. It all depends on the attendees.

First question was about a guy that developed quite a complex Warehouse form with colors and stuff. How to do this roletailored. The answer was simple: whatever is not possible in the UI of the RTC .. Just do it with Client Extensibility. It's simple, easy and fast... . And they're right!

Next question was about if the Business logic is ever going to be on the database layer (he meant: stored procedure). Answer: Nope, not going to do that. And it's not on the roadmap. (ufff, I'm glad).

How many users per middle tier server: 100. Huh? I always heard 40.. . It actually depends on the load, doesn't it? But you know what the limitation is relatively low, right? You'll run into memory issues .. Why? Because the service tier is 32bit, so maximum uses 4Gb RAM. This is a huge issue, which is going to be solved in NAV '7', when the service tier is 64 bit.

Question about locking and blocking. A customer has got much problems with locking and blocking .. Is this going to be addressed? Yes, definitely. On two levels, even. Communication layer is going to be changed as well as some business logic that will be refactored as well .. to have less locking in the default system.

Are there any plans for bringing Visual Studio into the development experience? Interesting question, glad they asked... . Visual studio is a file-based system, while NAV is an "edit-and-run" kind of system .. where deployment is soooo simple .. means the two don't really get along. Plus, the small bridge between coding and metadata. So, probably: no. Definitely not in the next two versions. But is that a problem, when plans are for bringing .net closer to c/side? Like consuming a webservice in C/AL, or like you can do today, by building custom add-ins .. which will be extended ... building .NET and use it in C/SIDE is going to be easier, handier, better, simpler, ... .

External connection & DCO licence. Finally! Now, I hear Microsoft explaining this to customers ... something what Microsoft (Belgium) tends to put on the shoulders of Partners:

  • External Connector: it's external users working with NAV data or database automatically
  • DCO: Jan is coming back to the Web Users. It was there since long, but was called something different. So it's not about selling more, but about selling right! Again, a lot of partners that just couldn't get a way to explain certain scenario's to partners. But Jan explained that they are aware of the problem ... does this mean they're looking into that?

What is the focus of NAV CRM? Well, they are focusing on integrating with Dynamics CRM, which is off course much richer in functionality. There is going to be less focus on extra functionality in NAV CRM (as it is already quite rich on functionality), and more on the CRM integration. So, if you want to go beyond, use Microsoft CRM and integrate with NAV. If not, there's NAV CRM as well.

Next topic was about the report builder. In fact, is there something that users can use to build their own reports ... in fact a new type of JetReports... . Well, there is going to be a change in that, and building RDLC reports is going to get easier (simplicity....). People are looking into the report builder of the SQL team, and building data sets is going to be easier in NAV '7', so things are looking good..

Next there is a customer that is upgrading to NAV 2009 SP1 Classic Client. The reason that it's not going to be NAV 2009 Sp1 RTC, is because users don't want to be bothered with again a new client/software. Is a one-by-one (or better: phased) rollout a good idea? Dan answered that it can be a good idea, because it just takes time. Compare with office 2007. How long has it been since you got familiar with office 2007? Exactly. Now you notice much more functionality in Office 2007 then before, because now it's "superdiscoverable" (which is my new favorite word - thanks, Dan :-)). It takes time, but it's worth it!

Localisations. Is there a plan to make the localized versions much more consistent? Yes, there is. They're looking into what they can consolidate to make it much more consistent. NAV '7' is the first milestone for the consolidation process. It's going to take time. Kitting is a good example of something that was there in a localized version, and what they will bring to the world wide.

Where's code coverage and client monitor? Nothing final yet, first they want to understand how it is used now ... . But if it's in, it will be part of the new debugger... which IS on the roadmap.

OK, very interesting session, and good answers (except the DCO/External Connector stuff again) from Microsoft.

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