Directions EMEA 2011: Microsoft Dynamics NAV Announcements

This is the end of quite an exciting week for me .. . People have been asking me: "Hey Waldo, why haven't you been blogging about Directions ?? We count on you, boy!". Well, besides of the fact that I'm really starting to feel much too old for being a "boy" .. I must say that I just was too busy during Directions.

But finally I found some time to blog about it .. and I'll do that in a few parts, because there is just too much to share (anecdotes, nice to know, experience , announcements,...)! This blog will be about (probably for you) the most interesting part: the announcements that Microsoft made (and which I still remembered after the party last (very late) night (and early morning :-/) - there might have been more announcements though, so forgive me my ignorance ;°)).

Anyway .. here they are...

NAV '7': Classic Reports are discontinued in NAV '7'.

I hope you all know what that means.. . Don't be mistaken .. you DON'T have a reason anymore to postpone working with (and on your) RTC reports, dudes! Get yourself familiar (if not already) with it! As I already stated in previous posts .. there are some great trainings out there to get you started.

To improve the report story in NAV'7', they are working on making your life somewhat easier. Most likely, there will be:

  • A new Report Dataset Designer: which makes sense, of course. Now you have to add fields on sections to create a dataset .. which is quite on-orthodox..
  • Upgrading to RDLC 2008. Finally, fields can be added directly in headers and footers .. which is a big issue at the moment. You'll be able to use VS2010 .. and new controls will be available, like Tablix and Gauges.. .
  • Statistic use of reports at customer site. This is great. This will get you familiar which reports are actually used at a customer .. and if you know that .. you'll only have to convert the used reports. Well .. if we get a chance to have these statistics before NAV '7' comes out.

In my opinion, it's a good move. There should be only one way .. which is the new way!

Free Equisys (Zetadocs) link with Office 365

I didn't experiment with Office 365 yet. But the guys from Equisys did .. and they built kind of a nice tool that imports a certain document into the cloud (Sharepoint on Office365) by just dragging and dropping it into an addin on a RTC page. Really intuitive, straight forward and simple!

And Microsoft makes it possible that this is going to be available for all partners!

BUT

I don't know the specific details about this. And I must say .. there was quite some confusion:

  • When is it available?
  • Who is it going to deliver?
  • What is the consequence (pricewise) for the customer?
  • Is it only for partners with an enhancement plan?
  • ...

Well, I don't know, but this is what I got out of the different stories: you'll be able to add it in the license for free .. from September .. If you have an enhancement plan. You'll be able to download the control from the Equisys website, for free, and use it in your developments.

In short terms: there was a gap: NAV was not linked with Office365, and Microsoft fills that gap by making available the Equisys solution.

Free Jet Reports Express

Same for Jet Reports Express. Not the full version, but the express version of JetReports will be available for you, free of charge, for every license you sell. And this for the partners who have an enhancement plan.

But same questions here .. When, who, what exactly, .. ? I'm sure a lot will become more and more clear in the near future.

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  • Hi Eric, I just wanted to respond to your post to fill in some of the gaps, and help your readers understand more about the announcement.

    Zetadocs Express for Microsoft Dynamics NAV will be made available for download in October 2011, and will include the drag and drop functionality that you saw in the keynote.  It will also include integration between NAV 2009 and Office 365 workflow, so that non-NAV users can approve NAV documents like Purchase Invoices. There is also the ability to deliver reports as PDFs by email, and archive them automatically in Office 365.  

    More information on the functionality of Zetadocs Express can be found at www.equisys.com/zetadocsexpress, where your readers can also register with us to receive updates such as video demonstrations, details of beta trials, etc.

    Zetadocs Express will be available to download from Equisys at no additional cost to users of the Role Tailored client who are on a Business Ready Enhancement Plan.  Zetadocs Express will support NAV 2009 R2 and Office 365, and will be available for customers in G1 and G2 countries.  We’re also working very hard to ensure that the implementation process is very simple for partners – as you saw in our session at Directions, we demonstrated how simple it was to email-enable an NAV report (2 minutes) and how simple it was to implement the “drop zone” on an NAV page (2 minutes).

    The hope is that partners and customers will see how this add-on will extend the functionality and value of NAV, and simplify the implementation and integration with SharePoint.  As we’ll have developed the integration piece with SharePoint Online as part of Office 365, all (in theory) that a customer needs to get up and running is some help from their NAV partner to refresh their license and install the objects, and an Office 365 subscription.

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