Dynamics NAV Source Control with iFacto ReVision

You might remember a few of my previous blogposts about this. We (Bart and me) have been working quite hard on a tool we call "iFacto ReVision". In fact, not only on the tool, but also on all the other stuff behind the tool (marketing, website, ...) .. you don't wanna know... :-/

What is it?

The tool is a simple (which I like to emphasize) addition on the NAV Client, which monitors the user's actions. With "simple", I mean, easy to install, easy to deploy, easy to use:

  • You only have to set it up once
  • You only have to install it once for every person that works with objects
  • You don't have to import any objects in any database to be able to use the tool
  • Install once, and it works for all NAV versions.. (or should work for all ;°) .. we tested on version 4 and up.. ).

This simplicity has cost us a great deal of time .. but in my opinion, it was worth it. We have quite a good basis to work out much more functionality now.. .

Indeed. We see this version as the beginning of much more .. Smile. But of course, it all depends on you. If people don't use it, or don't feel there is a added value of any kind, than we just stop development ;°). So, feedback is key!

Why should I use it?

If you wonder why, then we're talking about functionality. Well, the primary goal is: Source Control. In this first version, the primary goal is actually "Source Logging". So, just log all changes, lock objects, ... My developers do at any time .. without changes in the development experience. So, you should be able to see what has changed, why it has changed, who did it, when did he do that ... . Stuff like that. Pretty basic, but until now, quite difficult in NAV.

Now, on top of that, we built in some very nice small things as well .. , like the compare & compile, external editor, ... . Now, the compare & compile (like I would like to call it) is something I really love (and works quite well). You always have more database of the same customer (TEST, DEV, LIVE, STAGING, TRAINING, ...). Well, with the tool, you can compare objects between two of those databases right from the object designer .. And transfer developments to the other environment with your favorite compare tool ... and save the right in NAV, with that same compare tool (saving the text file, is saving and compiling in NAV).

I blogged about this earlier, but if you don't remember, just check out the movies we put online.

The present

The version where I'm blogging about is some kind of trial/beta release. It's a release that we wanted to make available to you to test .. and to receive (any kind of) feedback. What is missing, what is wrong, is it useful, when would it be useful... ? Stuff like that.

The intention is that it's going to be the same version as we are releasing. See it as a base version, a "Standard" if you will .. while there will be an "Advanced" version in the near future.

The future

Is bright Smile .. at least in my opinion .. . To give you the tip of the iceberg, this will be added:

  • Basic Project / Task management
    • The intention is to be able to link to your internal database .. Or create some kind of platform so you can link with a project database
    • The intention is to give a reason on logging to your changes.
    • This feature has a high priority ..
  • iFacto Compare
    • A separate tool with the compare-functionality
  • A decent tray notifier to alert you of sourcecontrol messages
  • Further TFS integration with Work Items and such...
  • Open the client and connect to the right database from within iFacto ReVision
    • This would mean that we would have a central database where the connections to the different clients and databases ... .
    • Only a few steps away .. Smile.
  • ...
  • and because of the fact we have all these versions of objects .. we will be able to build some kind of "build-server" to build your own versions of database of customers or products in a specific moment in time .. or a specific branch of your product.

This, and much more, is all part of the big picture.. Smile. In fact .. the current engine has already lots of possibilities and feature which were not yet activated in this current release. This means that features can (and will) follow each other up quite rapidly.. .

Do I have to pay for it?

I'm not going to lie .. of course you have to pay. And I don't want to have an excuse for it, in fact. I find it normal that when you want to use some kind of tool .. and you want support for it .. that you have to pay for it. And I WANT to support it, maintain it .. and build further on it.

The price model we have in mind is simple:

The price model we are planning it to be is simple:

  • A partner version: pay once, use a lot
  • A one-user version: pay one, use one

We're still considering the details about the pricing, so nothing is final yet ... everything can change. As you probably can imagine, this is quite a difficult exercise.. so all feedback is welcome there :-).

Be aware..

Be aware that this is still a Beta (.. quite a good beta if you ask me ... ;°) ). It's intended for you to play with, and give feedback. Please consider this as a product-in-development .. as well as the functionality as the bugs.

If you give feedback, you have a big impact on the functionality, of course, so please, do so! You can either use the forum (mibuso) or mail (revision@ifacto.be).

waldo, is this blog going to be a advertisement for your product?

Well .. I have been thinking about that.. . It's just .. I'm so enthusiastic about this .. and about the upcoming possibilities. So if you call it "advertissement" .. then yes, probably, you can expect that on my blog. If I would be excited about another product .. probably I would have mentioned it as well (like I mentioned codegenius in one of my previous blogs...).

Does this mean I'm going to blog less about other stuff .. . dude .. of (and notice the single "f"!) course not!

Where can I get it?

If you managed to read until here, I can image that you want to download it as well ;°). I published the tool on mibuso, and you can download it here. Furthermore, you can leave feedback on the forum or via mail .. and if you're interested on following-up on the updates, I suggest you subscribe to the thread on the forum.

Enjoy!

Comment List
  • Any plans for supporting GIT?

  • Well .. as you can see on www.ifactorevision.com, it's on the roadmap ! :-).

    We have been testing with SVN internally, and all looks possible (although in completely other way as in VSS or TFS.. so takes some time).

  • Hello Waldo,

    any news about SVN support ?

  • Well, we're working on it .. but I can't give you any date at this moment .. sorry :-/

  • SVN support would be great, any schedule on supporting that?

  • No, no pre version.

    But there will be no difference between the trial version (online) and the payable version .. only the fact that it's registered and unlimited in time.. .  Only thing you will have to do is fill in the registration number.

    .. at least .. that's what we're going to try ..

    We're building this component as we speak, so anything can change (sorry for this dubious info .. but that's all I can say right now).

  • My question was more wether we can buy a pre version or not ?

  • We will always try to have some kind of trial version.  Either it's a fixed date (for the beta release) or a 30-day trial or whatever.. as long as there is no abuse, of course ;°).

  • Hi Waldo,

    the lack of SVN isn't a show stopper, i haven't checked the cost's for TFS.

    Will there be a chance to use the tool further than 28.02.2011 ?

    More testfeedback will follow.

    regards

  • SubVersion is indeed on the list .. one of many things :-).

    We just want to have the framework completely ready before we add more versioning tools.. .

    Is the lack of SVN a show-stopper for you at the moment?

  • Hi Waldo,

    so far well done, currently testing it on two native databases, made some checkin's, compare etc, in fact we don't have any MS Source server so i needed to evaluate TFS, it would be realy nice to use SVN for sourcecontrol.

    We have a Project that will start in mid Feb, with huge code changes within the objects, so having the possibilty to use this software would be funtastic.

    regards

  • Thanks, Daniel .. well, we do like it :-) hope we're not the only one.. Wink

  • I just looked at the demo clips on youtube, and if this stands up to real-life team development scenarios, this might very well be the most important development tool for NAV developers to date. Congratulations Eric and everyone at iFacto

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