Item Attributes in Dynamics NAV 2017

Recently, Encore hosted an event: “What’s New in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017”. We presented the best new Features in Dynamics NAV 2017, including item attributes. Enjoy!

Video will start playing at the correct point in the presentation.

Searching and grouping your Items list has just become much simpler in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 with the introduction of Item Attributes. Users can add their own custom data to each Item record to enhance their filtering of items, especially when entering Sales and Purchase documents. The types of fields that you can add include:

  • Lists
  • Text
  • Integers
  • Decimals

Attribute Type: Option

If you wanted to create a pre-defined list of attributes to assign to your items, you can create an Attribute Type: Option. For example, if you wanted to list your items based on colour, you can create a list of colours to choose from.

When you select Type: Option, this will enable the Item Attribute Values button in the ribbon. Clicking it will open the Item Attribute Values table where you can create a list of predefined values.


Attribute Type: Decimal/Integer

If you select Type: Decimal or Integer, the Unit of Measure field appears, where you have the option of defining a Unit of Measure to this attribute. For example, if you select Decimal, you can assign the Height, Width and Depth of an item per CM.


Attribute Type: Text

Picking Type: Text will allow the user to enter a simple description of the item. In the example below, you can type in the Material composition of the product.


Once you’ve defined your list of attributes, you can then group them into Item Categories. Assigning items with Item Categories will inherit the attributes assigned to them.

Item Categories

For each Item Category, you can list the Attributes that you want each item to inherit. Let’s say for example that all of the Furniture products that my company sells are made out of Wood. In the Material Attribute, I’ve assigned a Default Value: Wood.


You can maintain Item Category hierarchies, by extending the default attributes into child entities. For example, the Chair Item Category will inherit the list of default attribute values if you select Parent Category: Furniture.


Assign Attributes per Item Card

Selecting the Item Category in the Item Card, will inherit the default Item Attributes assigned to that Item Category. For example, if I assign the Chair Item Category, it will inherit Material: Wood and Product Type: Chair.


I can then continue assigning the remaining attributes with unique values to each individual item record.


Filtering on Item Attributes

Once Item Attributes have been defined for each item record, this will make entering line items into Sales or Purchase documents much easier. By drilling into the Items list, I can use the Filter by Attributes function to search the items list by Attribute Values. In this example, I’m looking at my list of European Chairs.


A tough part of maintaining an ever-expanding items list is to classify them into categories that will make it easier in searching for them. In the past, customers resorted to entering and maintaining descriptive item attributes in the item number and/or description fields. In NAV 2017, users now have the flexibility of assigning as many descriptive attributes to each item record; making it much easier to maintain a clean and easy to search items list.


Video Transcript:

So my part is small but it could be very valuable. So a lot of times when we start a new implementation, one of the most common request that we get in terms of item upload is, “Can we add this new field to help us to sort and categorize our items list?” So Microsoft has redesigned the way that you group and categorize the items list and introduced something called Attributes. So what attributes are, they are customer defined, I guess like a fields or qualities of your inventory, and they allow you to basically define and come up with as many different levels of description of that particular item.

So what the process is for defining attributes and then also assigning them to each item is you’ll start by going into the attributes list. So I’m just gonna type in the Search field, and it’s called Item Attributes, and you’ll see that there’s already that are defined. So for example, you can set your list of different colors that you sell your inventory in. You can also assign different measurements. So here it has steps with height.

You can also provide any sort of descriptions. So here for example, it’s material description and etc. For my example, I’m going to use the bicycle. And so I’m just going to add a couple of item attributes. And then I’ll go through the assigning of them to the bicycle item card.

So here, let’s see for example, we want to have bicycle type, and for the type fields, I’m gonna select Options and I’m going to enter a pre-defined list of the different types of bikes that we’re selling. So, immediately, one I selected Option, this little button here in the ribbon, Item Actually Values pop up became available. You can click on it, and here I can enter my list. So, for example, we sell BMXs, Road Bikes, Recreational, etc. So next, we can then assign these individual attributes on a per-item basis or we can also add them per-item category. Then we assign the item category to the item card, it’s going to inherit all the default attributes that we have assigned to it.

So if I go to Item category, you can see that I started item category for bicycles here. So, just gonna open that up, and I also gave it an attribute of a material description where I entered a default value of Carbon Fibre. So for all bikes that we’re gonna be selling, they’re all made of carbon fiber. So I’m gonna create a new attribute for Road Bikes. And I’m going to select the bicycle. I’m categorying, you see that it’s inherited all the attributes that were assigned to the bicycle parent item category.

I can then continue going down the list and say, “All of my road bikes that I’m gonna sell are in the color black. And all the bicycle types that I’m gonna sell are, let’s say, BMXs.” So now you can see that the bicycle here is the parent item category, and then just below it is the road bike. So next I can go into My Items list…and I can then just click into that. And on the item category code here, I can select the Road Bikes. And then notice here in Fact Box here, it’s inherited all of the different attributes that I’ve assigned to it. What’s more is you can continue to add more attributes to each individual item record.

So here, for example, maybe I decided I’m going to include one for Bike Frames, so bike frame. Then I’m just gonna quickly add it, edit it, and then I’m going to give it measurement in centimeters. And I’m just gonna say that for this one, it’s gonna be a frame of 57 centimeters. So we’ve assigned attributes but, you know, so far we don’t necessarily see the benefits of that.

One of the benefits that we have, and I’m just gonna open this here, minimize it, is when we’re entering sales orders or purchase orders…

So when we’re entering sales orders, and we have a long items list, like some customers have up to 15,000 records, assigning an item attribute will also help refine your search. So if I drill into the items list from the sales order line, I can also filter by the attributes. So for example, if I want to search for all bicycle types that are BMX, I can select that and then right away it filters down to the list of all the items that were assigned that item category code of BMX. So I can select this, and then right away I entered a sales order with the attribute that we’ve assigned to it. So that’s pretty much it for Item Attributes. Are there any questions? Pretty straight forward.

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