Back from Microsoft Directions 2013 Where Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 Was Finally Released!

I just got back from Microsoft Directions in Nashville, Tennessee where Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 was finally released.

Before I get into some of the nuts and bolts of the sessions I attended, Aran and I decided to check out some live music in one of the bars in downtown Nashville.  We came across this guy who set his piano on fire before playing it!!

Onto NAV 2013 R2; The first thing I noticed about the new Dynamics NAV version is that it’s had a bit of a face lift.  Complicated graphics and logos are being replaced with clean simple looks. We’re seeing this a lot in the technology market right now, iOS7 being a prime example.

Personally, I like the new look.


The big part of this release was “On” Microsoft Office 365 and “In” the cloud.  However, Aran has spoken to that already, so I will concentrate on two of the changes I think affect the end user the most with Dynamics NAV 2013 R2.

The first addition, which I think will result in lots of interest, is the ability to sort columns by clicking their headers.  A lot of users are used to this experience in other software and in fact to a certain degree expect to see it in Dynamics NAV. However, the technology behind this is all about database calls and the most efficient way to serve up data to the client is by using an Index. In this case, the new sort feature does not require an index on the field (which would be a lot of new indexes and bog down the system) so, as a result, could cause some performance issues when used on large lists of data that are unfiltered like the G/L Entry Table. This sort of feels like we are back to “find as you type” where the demand is there from the end user but those of us that have to support the application want to rip our hair out.

Here you can see I have sorted the Open Sales Order List by Location.

The second addition has been the ability to create reports for Dynamics NAV in Report Builder. Previously we have had to use Visual Studio which can be a pain on a customer site when we are making quick but numerous minor alterations.  This can be enabled from within the Development Client under options. The word is that it doesn’t matter what tool you use, the reports are compatible between them both.

There is a lot more changes under the hood of Dynamics NAV 2013 around things like new commands in C/AL, Writeable OData, Web Client Improvements, multi-tenancy NST’s, Office 365 document storage with Links in Dynamics NAV.

Looking like another great Dynamics NAV release.

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