NAV 2009 SP1 Workshop summary

Yesterday, I attended a workshop about "What's New in NAV 2009 SP1" in the Netherlands. The workshop was hosted by my good friend Mark Brummel … and yet again, quite a success. During this session I came across quite the same items I already mentioned in my previous posts, so I won't repeat them again. But I WAS surprised to notice a few things …

First of all the lack of knowledge regarding everything about the new reporting possibilities. It was clear to me that people avoid the RDLC-layout-capabilities. It seems that, since NAV 2009 allows to print reports in the old way (starting the old report in the classic client), people don't find the necessity to put the work into that anymore.

I can understand that the Belgian people don't have this knowledge yet since the Belgian version isn't released yet. But the Dutch version has been released for almost a year now .. and still … people are avoiding it, don't have the knowledge. Only one guy (hey Mischa :-)) seemed to have gained some knowledge about it. Strange, if you ask me … Indifferent.

In my opinion, there is business (hole in the market, like they say in dutch :) ) for people that want to "pick it up". Just like "SQL Server Performance Tuning", this seems to be a branch that not too many NAV Partners want to gain knowledge of. That's why it might be an interesting business focus? I believe in the new reporting capabilities … and I will make sure that my developers will get the proper training to get the most out of it… . In fact, we have our first training next week. If you want to do train yourself as well .. here is a good starting point.

On the other hand, I noticed many positive things. People have been working with de transformation tool A LOT. There were really specialists regarding Form Transformation. A few things I learned were:

  • People all have their different approaches: some are doing a 100% form transformation … doing NOTHING in the page designer. Others are not transforming anything and do everything straight into the page designer. So, not really "one way to go".
  • Different things to think about, like the fact that not all translations are transformed and stuff like that.
  • People have been creating really creative solutions to work around some "disadvantages" compared with the classic client.

There was a lot of interest in the Client Extensibility. What is it? Well, it's possible now to create your own controls, or use custom controls in the Role Tailored Client. Christian Abeln is godfather of "Client Extensibility", and you can read a lot about it on his blog. Also Freddy has been working with it, and created a nice tool (the component helper) to make it even more simple. We spent about an hour talking about examples, brainstorming, … . Interesting! In my opinion, it's going to take some mind switch to get the most out of it … but try to imagine the opportunities. I like to describe it like this … the only limitation is going to be the creativity of the consultants :-).

Last thing I would like to draw your attention to are the testing codeunits. I knew they existed, but I didn't know how they worked. Mark showed a simple example that made it clear to me. Simple said: you'll be able to create test scripts to test your code. In these new types of codeunits, you'll be able to suppress confirms (by automagically click "yes" ) and stuff. Actually, the example that Mark showed, was created by Kamil Sacek (Kine from Mibuso) and you can find it here.

To conclude with, I would like to share with you some "did you knows" that I got from the course. Did you know:

  • That SHIFT+F12 gets you back to the rolecenter?
  • The meaning of these new C/AL statements:
    • SID
  • That VAT 1:1 added a table in the new default database, which means you'll probably have to do a data migration? (more of that on Marks blog).
  • F8 is back … and is still F8?
  • You can search for a certain field in the "About this page" (the new "Zoom") by pressing ALT+the starting letter of the field
  • The Service tier is 32 bit, so won't use more then 4Gb RAM … which causes the limitation of 60 users.
  • NAV doesn't use reporting services, only RDLC layout

It was a great session. Definitely worth the 5-hour drive Wink. Good job, Mark!

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