Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 Overview & New Features
Encore recently hosted a webinar outlining the new features in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015. We talked about some of the small improvements made to NAV 2015 over NAV 2013 R2, new developments to the RapidStart partner tool, new Cash Management features, and enhanced Power BI and Social Listening capabilities.
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Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 Launch Video Transcript:
Welcome everyone. I want to give you a warm welcome to Encore’s Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 webcast. My name is Carlos Ekkert and I’m one of the product marketers at Encore. We’re excited to have a very information packed webcast prepared for you today. We’re going to try to get through as much as possible. We’ll quickly walk through the agenda to review what we’ll be covering.
We’re going to zoom through introductions and then we’re going to dive into what’s new in Dynamics NAV 2015. Also, on the technical side, we’ll put those two sessions together, just to make sure we’ll go through what we’re looking at today. If there’s any time at the end, we will have a little bit of Q and A. We won’t be taking any questions during the webcast, but if you have any questions, you can send them through to the question panel on GoToMeeting. We will be monitoring those and we will try to get through as many as possible at the end of the webinar. Also, for those of you who are familiar with Encore Business, we’ll be providing contact information at the end, so you can reach out to us with any questions that you have.
We are going to give you guys a bit of an overview as to which sections of NAV we’re going to cover today, as far as the 2015 version is concerned. There are a few new things that came out. We want to focus on what is new between the previous version, NAV 2013 R2, and the current release which came out of October 1st of this year, NAV 2015. First, we’ll cover simplifications and a number of other smaller features and functions that were added to the new version. Next, we’re going to have a little discussion about RapidStart, which is a partner tool that enables us to do upgrades and implementations quicker than we ever have before. We’ll spend some time on Cash Management and what’s new within that specific module. We’ve got some really neat stuff in Power BI and some new reporting abilities that we have in connecting BI and effectively power put it to NAV. Then we’re just going to have a real quick discussion around what’s new and how we’ve been able to embed social listening directly into the NAV product as well. And then finally we are going to show off the Tablet Client, which is an interesting thing to show via webcast because you can’t necessarily see the tablet, but suffice to say, you will be seeing me using nothing but my finger on a screen to navigate throughout NAV, which is quite cool.
The high level topics of what’s new with 2015, again the focus was on driving down the time and thus the cost to the customer in order to perform an upgrade from a previous version to the latest version of Dynamics NAV, as well as driving down the cost of new implementations. The second area of focus was on ease of use, and that ease of use you’ll see prevalent throughout the entire application. Whether that’s on the tablet, which we’ll show you at the end, or just the simplification right within the Rich Client, which is how we’ve been able to integrate word-type document reporting directly into the NAV product. And then finally we’ll look at the Cash Management and Social Listening modules, which largely takes NAV and looks out to web services out in the cloud and interacts with information that is not necessarily directly within your NAV product.
Just before we move into the simplification process, as there may not be just all NAV users on the line, but rather some individuals that were new to NAV, I thought I would do a quick overview as to what the product looks like in general. None of what I’m going to show you at this point is necessarily new to 2015, but really just a warm-up to some of the more specific topics that we’ll get into in a minute. Right now, you should be seeing my homepage. I have specifically transcribed to the role of a small business user for tablet and one of the reasons for that is so that I can show you the tablet interface later on. Basically, the role that I choose when I initially setup my own personal preferences ultimately dictates the interface and what gets presented to me – largely on my homepage and everywhere throughout the system. That role center shows a couple of things. For example, down the left hand side, I’ve got a navigation pane that allows me to navigate the long way throughout the system and I do have the ability to modify this to my own personal preference. You’ll notice that NAV is very quick and easy to configure to how you want the information to be presented to you.
So, I’m going to create a new tab here. I’m going to pick an icon for it and I’m going to add some things that I want to see within that tab. I’m going to add my list of customers and I’m going to add a list of my sales invoices also. You must do a quick restart to refresh the page form and then you’ll see that over here I’ve got a new tab called NAV 2015 Webcast. I’ll click into that and I’ve got the two lists that I added to that specific area. That change I made was very specific to my unique user, so the experience that I’m now building is one that is very, very personal to me.
Just to head back to the homepage of Role Center. I’ve got a few other things that show up directly on my homepage. I have the ability to quickly glance at how well my business is doing and I’ve also selected a few different things that I want to keep an eye on. I want to see how my overdue sales invoices are. So you can see, I’ve got $114,000 sitting in that bucket. You can see, I’ve got $243,000 sitting in my sales this month bucket. In both those cases, they are interactive. Based on that title, I can quickly launch into it and see in detail what is making up that $243,000. I’ve got some key performance indicators on the right hand side of the screen, largely intended to be a bit of a personal dashboard, so I’ve subscribed to a couple of these one. They also are interactive, by clicking on the customer, it will then show me how Cannon Group Sales are made up, in terms of that $61,000 that’s presented to you there. I can also switch between a variety of different KPIs to ultimately see whatever it is I want to see out of the NAV system. This is an interesting one that shows my total sales sliding downwards in trend for European Union clients and then sliding upwards for my foreign clients.
We also have another neat feature that ultimately shows me my trial balance, directly on my homepage as well, so I can get a good sense as to how the business is doing – and yes, it indeed has dropped off from November 2015 to December 2015 and then we’re not having a great January 2016. And then finally, I’ve got the ability to navigate to any of my customers directly on my homepage. This is not the complete list of customers. This is the select few who have made it on to my personal list, so that I can quickly navigate to the ones that I deal with most frequently, which is a lot faster than trying to go the traditional way, which is logging in or seeing the complete customer list and then trying to find the Cannon Group within in. It’s a nice way of surfacing up to your homepage, those records that ultimately you deal with more than any others.
Quickly back to my Role Center. The last thing that you’ve got within the homepage, is the ability to quickly launch and then create new documents whenever you need to. The concept here is to ultimately reduce the number of clicks required to get to the main functions that you as a user perform within your NAV application on a day to day basis.
That is the very, very quick overview of NAV. Now I wanted to get to the topic of simplification. The story around simplification is Microsoft was getting feedback from new customers that NAV was a very nice application, but that was difficult to learn, difficult to feedback, and did some things that didn’t make necessarily a whole lot of sense to an individual coming off the street and wanting to use it. And so they took that feedback and they did some focus groups where they took people off of the street and put them in front of NAV. They have to sign a non-disclosure saying that they hadn’t have truly never seen NAV before and then Microsoft just said “go!” Some of the feedback that came back was…We’ll ultimately see the results of those conversations, but at the end of the day, they really needed to focus on making the application intuitive to a user who had never seen it before -and we’re going to show you what some of those things were. Ultimately, they came back with a couple of design principles for 2015. One was improving and paying attention to the visual quality of the information being presented. You can see it’s graphically cleaner than previous version. You can see some nice transitions, especially when we get to the client, between graphs and between screens, which was also very nice. They really focused again, like I mentioned before, on reducing the total number of clicks in order to get to either the transaction or the function. You’ll also be able to interact with Office in a variety of different ways within the application.
Specifically, what do all those things mean? What did they do? They did a couple of things. Within the tiles, you saw on the homepage, they made them effectively expressive. You’ll see that not only do we have the tile like we did in 2013, but in 2015 we now have a visual indicator of red at the top of that tile, which is basically telling me red is bad. Having $114,000 in overdue sales invoices in a given month is not a good thing, but $243,000 in sales is a good thing. That’s sitting at green. And of course one at the middle or just okay will show up as yellow. Individuals with access would have the ability to go in and save for that overdue sales invoice account, change the threshold for what is good and what is bad. In this particular case, I want to change my threshold because the business grew and now I’m going to say that $150,000 is actually okay. Let’s see what happens. As soon as I change my threshold, for myself and anyone else who has access to this particular KPI, $114,000 now becomes an acceptable amount to have in your overdue sales invoice amounts. That’s one of the things that they did around what they call expressive tiles.
The next thing that came out in some of these design sessions was showing which fields are mandatory on a page. One of the things that users came up with, was they would go and they would enter an invoice for example, they would try to proceed to the next step and they would get an error message telling them that they missed a particular value – something that’s not complete prior to posting. The other thing that they said was those individuals did not understand what they needed to do when coming to a new sales invoice, was how to create a new document number. For all of you NAV users who used NAV on a regular basis, you know when you create a new document you have to tap twice in order to auto-generate the number. In specific circumstances, what Microsoft has done based on meeting some criteria of having your number series setup and only one number series setup, that number will effectively be generated for you automatically and you won’t necessarily even see the number fields. Let’s take a look at those two specific things and see how they render in NAV.
Let’s start by hitting that sales invoice button and again users of NAV will notice my number field for the sales invoice is no longer there. That’s the first thing. It automatically generated for us behind the scenes. We will explain a little about what ultimately those criteria are for when the screen will not show the numbers.
The number series can be setup in multiple different ways. You can have a number of different number series pertaining to the same document type. In this case, the number series or the number field will not show up when there’s only one number series defined for that particular type. When there is an available number in that number series, i.e. it’s not at the end of that range, and that that number series is set as the default and you can’t override on that particular document, number series can be setup. However, it will suggest a number for you, but you can override it. It’s been setup that way, then the number field will still show up here on this particular document.
The next thing that’s new about this particular interface is you’ll notice there are red asterisks in place by a number of different fields. These are graphical indicators to the user that these specific fields are mandatory fields prior to you being able to post. One quick note is it does not stop you from saving a record prior to having those in. The validation is still on posting, but the idea is that the individual gets to see what they need to enter before it will allow them to post, rather than not knowing, posting and then getting the error message. One of the questions we’ve had when demoing 2015 version is “that’s great. How easy is it to setup additional required or mandatory fields within the system?” The answer to that is it actually got a whole lot easier. We’ll generate a new sales invoice and now we have the description/comment field as a mandatory one and now it shows up graphically for me as well.
We’re going to start entering my sales invoice again. I’m going to pick a few items here and then I’m going to show you one of the final things within the simplification area. I’m going to sell 2 of these conference tables and anyone who uses NAV or has used it historically, will notice that I have a total calculating at the bottom of my page. One of the biggest complaints that NAV has had throughout the years was in order to get a running total, I’ve always have to hit the statistics button. Now, based on this new version for the simplification user, we actually get to see that running total as we enter it. Tony is going to explain a little bit of the reasons why it took so long for this particular feature to show up when it was so highly requested, but it’s finally here, so we’re all pretty happy about that.
Some of the reasons Microsoft decided not to have a running total on these documents is that particularly in areas like North America, you can have a lot of taxes involved in the total value of a particular document. If you were to try and constantly keep those values updated every time you modify or change the field, for example a quantity or a price and with taxes, on tax, etc., you can end up having a bit of performance degradation within the system. What Microsoft has done here is they’ve actually worked around making the calculation of the totals, including tax, in 2015 so that they can have it update automatically after making changes. However, in cases where there’s an exorbitant amount of tax being used in your particular business, the recommendation is to actually remove that feature. But for 90% of the customers now, this will be a workable solution.
Thanks Tony. The last feature to show around simplifications was removing the user interface elements that the user does not have in either their license or in their permissions.
There are two sets of permissions that relate to having solution when it comes to a customer of NAV. The first would be the permissions that you have with your license bar, so that you can include things like ISV add-ons for example, maybe payroll or maybe some of the enhanced job functionality that comes from our ISV partners, as well as the core functionality that you get when you purchase your license from Microsoft, that being the foundation and the extended pack. Those permissions are one grouping that allows you to access certain areas within the NAV implementation. The other area is actually assigning roles and permissions to users, so in that case you might have somebody who only works in sales orders and you don’t want them working in purchase order area. You can actually get and assign roles and permissions to those particular users that are a little bit more granular and maybe pertain to that job responsibility within your organization. What Microsoft has done in 2015 is enabled the system to automatically remove UI elements within the client that the users don’t have permission to and also your license file doesn’t give you permission to. It doesn’t do that automatically. If, for whatever reason, you still wanted to see them there, there is a setting within the innovation service tier that you can configure. If you do want to see those removed automatically, that feature is available and you can turn it off.
That basically means that users that don’t have access to certain areas will no longer see the areas they don’t have access to. Which makes it a lot easier and reduce the number of complaints whereby an individual tries to launch the HR module and then they get the red X error – they don’t have permissions. Now they just don’t know they don’t have permissions and they don’t get upset about not having access to a particular area.
I want to talk about a couple other really small features that came with the new version of NAV. They’re really minute ones, but they’re actually kind of neat. We’ve going to quickly take you through those. In the General Journal, now we have the ability to track quantities as well as dollars, rather than trying to track quantities in the amount field. That allows for some pretty interesting analysis and it also has an impact on how we use unit or statistical accounts going forward. The other one is we now have the ability to omit a description on a journal. That means is when I select a particular GL account in my journal, the description of the GL account defaults to the description of the journal. Meaning that the user then does not need to enter anything in order to get the transaction to process. What we’ve done instead is enabled the ability to not have that value default and then to make the description value on the journal mandatory. Thereby forcing the user to enter in a description of what is exactly happening in that particular journal. Let’s see those two features.
Click in the same area. It’s in the General Ledger area, then my general journals, and I’ve got one particularly right here, and you’ll see as I tab through it that I’ve got not only $3000 for this specific transaction, but that I also have a quantity amount of 15 as well. That will then track all the way through to your General Ledger entries, once posted. That’s the quantity field, which is now available.
The next one I wanted to show was defaulting the description. For example, I’m going to take the Consultant Services account. I’m going to select it, hit tab, and you can see that the description for consultant services now defaults. Instead it allows the user to quickly go through and post it, but now we lose all ability to see whatever this specific transaction was about. I’m just going to navigate to the GL account for Consultant Services and I’m going to check this new checkbox. For this account and this account only, I’m going to omit default description in the journal. Now I go back to my journal and create another line. I’ll select the same GL account and I hit tab and now it does not default. Tony will then go ahead and do some making the description field mandatory for this specific transaction and therefore the user now has to document effectively what they’re doing.
The next thing I want to talk about is RapidStart. While I think most of the people in the launch event are customers and not vendors, RapidStart really applies more to the vendor. I think there’s some knock-on effect to customers that make this specific topic relevant. A number of years ago, Microsoft changed its release strategy for Dynamics NAV and they moved from having large releases every roughly 3 years or so with small service pack releases in between, to a much more flat release schedule. Effectively what we have now are annual releases and we’ve had them very consistently for the last three years. New NAV versions, at least in Canada, were showing up on pretty much October 1st of every year. We’re now down to a 12-month release cycle for new versions and the amount of functionality and change that comes with those versions is largely the same from version to version. In addition to that, they’ve come up with a different release schedule for cumulative updates, in that they come out every month. With the amount of change that’s happening and the frequency of the change that’s happening from Microsoft’s perspective, they really needed to make sure that the ability for the partner to apply updates and outperform new implementations and new upgrades was as easy as possible, because we’re here and we build on an hourly basis. The longer it takes us, the more it costs you. By driving that amount down, we can do these upgrades faster and better, quicker, more effectively, and ultimately what that means for the customer is cheaper and faster. They really spent a lot of time in building the various tools to do that.
Within the RapidStart 4 upgrades, they included not only the ability to upgrade the data faster than they used to be able to, but they also included a merge utility to merge codes from previous versions into code for the most recent version with much less conflict or what they call “noise” so that the efforts of the developer when upgrading your code were much more targeted to only the areas of potential conflict and they’ve reduced that by 75% or so.
We’re still working on testing that internally and figuring out how that cuts down on the time.
They did also come up with some improvements for the RapidStart for data migration for customers that are coming from other applications and wanting to promote NAV as well. This is for both customers and potential new customers to NAV.
They also introduced some new functionality within Cash Management. Now I know we have a rather global representation of individuals from around the world, so this particular piece is really focused on the US and Canada, but effectively they’ve come up with a new feature called a Payment Reconciliation Journal. What this journal allows you to do is to automatically pull in bank transactions so that you can reconcile checks that have cleared your bank with the checks that you’ve written within NAV – without having to do that manually. There’s a new area within the Payment Bank Account card that allows you to define the tolerances for automatically matching those checks that have cleared your account, based on a percentage or based on a dollar amount threshold. There is definitely some work that needs to go into getting your bank accounts properly hooked up to your NAV accounts. Currently, for those who are from Canada, this is not quite available yet, but it is coming very soon. We’ve also added a few additional fields on the Payment Reconciliation Journal that enables easier reconciliation once those transactions are brought into NAV.
Also coming very soon is the ability to effectively subscribe to those banks for both reconciliation purposes, as well as accounts payable purposes, to communicate with those banks directly using a web service. Rather than the current method that our clients use, which is download a bank statement to a file location on your server and then import it from there. This becomes much more live link or initiated from the system link that automatically does this by accessing the bank directly through this web services. They are not, again, quite there for our Canadian customers, but will be available in the near future – probably within the year.
Next section we wanted to talk about was Power BI. It’s a slightly technical demonstration, but I’m going to try to show off some of the ability of NAV to interact directly with Excel. This, while this is a 2015 feature, is actually available to those clients running 2013 versions and greater. You do require Excel 2013. You also require the PowerPivot and PowerView Add-ins, which are both free to download from Microsoft as long as you’re licensed on Excel 2013. The demo that I’m going to do, I’m going to pull data not only from NAV, but also from the Azure Market Place., I’m going to subscribe to some web services out in the cloud and pull data from those services directly into my dashboard. Then ultimately to publish it. In order to publish it the right way, you do need Office 365, although I’m not going to do that as part of my demo. The nice thing about doing it this way is most of what I’m doing is largely in Excel. For the user community that’s out there, most people know Excel, and so the ability to do this becomes something that is really in the hands of the user, not necessarily in the hands of the partner. In addition to that, as I show you from the left hand side of the screen, everything that is on the requirements list there is effectively technology that you will already own in many ways. You also have the ability not only to connect to NAV, but to connect to other data sources, whether that’s a different line of business application that you have, some legacy data from previous system, or your marketplace data, you have the ability to combine, mash together data from multiple sources. Where you need assistance from a partner like Encore is largely in creating the queries. Now I’m going to create some very simple queries for you guys, but once we do that, the process of exposing those queries externally and accessing them becomes relatively easy.
The demo I’m going to show you today is I’m going to go into the NAV Development Environment. For those old users of NAV, it is the Object Designer. And I’m going to create the number of query objects. Then I’m going to go to the interface, the rich client for NAV, and I’m going to set up these as web services. Then I’m going to go into Excel and reference those web services so that I can bring in the data into Excel. I’m going to add some marketplace data to that. I got to tie all that data together. And then I’m going to do some additional stuff within Excel to effectively make it look pretty. And then I’m going to do some analysis on this and do it in less than 10 minutes.
In order to do that, I have done a little bit of pre-work in order to get that all setup. As I mentioned, we start within the development environment, so this should look familiar to anyone who uses Dynamics NAV and does so from a technical perspective. We have a section called the Query Object. I’ve created three custom queries – one for sales invoice lines, one for items, and one for customers. I’m going to create a new one just to show you the method that I used to create these. It’s as simple as a query gets and all I’m going to do is add the entire table. In this case, it’s the vendor table. In that vendor table, I want to add in the number of fields. I’m going to select the fields that I want exposed in this view and I’m going to hit okay. It’s going to take those three fields and add them. The query will be saved as object ID 50004.
I’m now going to go back to the NAV environment. Within the 2013 and later version, I have the ability to go into administration, IT setup, general, and we have a new feature here called Web Services. And within Web Services, I can create something new. I’m going to reference, for example, a query object that was my vendor’s. Literally the effort it takes to expose this external is to hit that publish button and now when hitting this particular OData URL address I would be able to bring in a list of all of my vendors. What I’ve done for the model is I’ve added (I didn’t have to write a query form) a page so I can reference a page. The two pages that I wanted to reference, as far as my dashboard is concerned, are the countries and the sales people that are assigned to the invoices and sales line invoices that I’ve sold in a given time period.
Now that I’ve got that, I’m going to keep that open and I’m going to go into Excel. I’ve already created an Excel dashboard and what I need to do is go to PowerPivot and pull in some additional data. You see I’ve got the PowerPivot tab. I hit the ‘Manage Data’ button. You can see from here that I have already added sales people, customers, and sales on invoices, date, items, and countries. Let’s say for example I did not have countries here. The process to add countries to this model is as simple as going up to select data from a data service. We’re going to get the OData and what I need to do is I need to reference back from here – My Countries OData URL. Go back to PowerPivot and paste that URL in there. Select ‘Next’ and ‘Finish’ and it will now take in all of that country information. Now I’ve got a list of countries.
The only other thing I need to do at this point is connect my countries to my customers. What I do is go to my customers, select this country code, which is coming in from the customer query that I wrote. Then I create a relationship between my customer and my countries table and I’m effectively linking together the country code in the customer table and the code in the country table. Finally, I hit ‘create’ and now I’ve linked those two together. If I want to see how that’s linked together, I can also see how all these data elements that I’m pulling in are related. I’ll just give it a second to render it here and there’s my countries. I can now see my data model shows. Most of my analysis of these sales invoice lines, but because these sales invoice lines are related to customers and customers are related to countries, I can now pull in the full country name and do analysis on country. Same thing with sales people – I can do analysis with them.
The last thing I just wanted to show is like I said, you’re not limited to just the NAV data. I can also go out and get data from the Windows Azure Marketplace. What you saw there was the ability, what I included there ultimately was I pulled in a really simple one, which was date. I’m going to do a search for date. It gives me a bunch of results – I want to see only the free ones. So I’ve subscribed to it and I subscribe to it because it’s a free one, but one example that you could use is weather. I always like to use the weather example. I could pull in, from a web service, the weather for all our users over the world on a given day, and then match the weather in that region with the date of the sales transaction to see who buys stuff on a rainy day or how much more profitable or how much more sales I drive when it’s a sunny day. The process is quick and simple and in this particular case, I subscribe to the date one and it’s bringing in my Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, as well as specific dates.
Now I’ve got everything hooked up. You close this view of Excel and I will go over to my PowerView dashboard, which I have created some of already. Now, I’m going to do some real quick analysis. One of the things that’s not showing here are sales people – I want to see my revenue by sales people. That shows my sales people and I want to analyze what my sales people buy. Let’s go to the sales invoice lines and I want to see dollar amount. Let’s try that on there. Now I see which sales people have sold what. And now what I want to do is I want to show that differently. I’m showing is a pie chart by how much has John sold versus Peter. It is interactive so I can click on various things. If I want to see whose better at selling finished goods, I can see the difference in split. John Robert sells $540,000 of the $655,000 we sold in finished goods. Peters sells the remainder, which is $26,000. It is possible to do more analysis, for example, where I bring in the date and show you how much each individual sells on a given date, but we are running a little bit short on time. That’s ultimately the way in which we create a dashboard. The rest of it is now publishing it and you can publish this as an Excel file or even render it as a web page within a team site within Office 365.
The next thing I wanted to get into was reporting and for this section, I’m going to hand over to Tony. I don’t want to go through too much of this before handing it over. Just know that in order to do what Tony is about to do, you need a few things. You need Word 2013, a free Jet Reports add-in for NAV 2015, NAV 2015.(This does not work in 2013), and you need a PDF writer or Microsoft Reader
What I want to demonstrate here is a new reporting tool that Microsoft has released within NAV 2015. We are particularly enamored by this new tool and we think our customers will be too. One of the frustrations we’ve had within implementations and with upgrades is round reporting and the time it takes to get a well-designed and well- executed document for our customers when they send them to their customers. The new reporting tool, which was introduced in the world, tailored client, is not the same as the old ‘what you see is what you get’ tool that we had. When it comes to making minute adjustments to reports, it starts to become a time consuming process. Therefore, Microsoft produced this new reporting tool as a way to allow us as partners power to change the layout and the formatting of reports into our customer’s hands – so you guys don’t need to contact us for minor report modifications.
The way this works is we start out with a template and we can get some of these templates off of office.com. What I’m going to do here…I’m just in Microsoft Word and I’m searching for a sales invoices templates in the cloud that suits my needs. It’s got an invoice number, bill to, shipped to, place for a logo, and some lines. I’m going to create this guy. When I say ‘create’ what it will do is it will download it to my instance of Word and what I want to do here is I want to save this for later use, so I’m going to save it in a folder that I pulled two minutes ago. I’m going to override the one that’s here and replace the existing one. As you can tell, I’ve done this demo once already. I want to close down Word and I’ll go back to NAV. Now, what I need to do is I need to take this Word template that I’ve just seen and I need to associate it with a report object in NAV. That report object is generated the same way as any other report object. What happens is the filter that I defined get exposed out as data items in Jet’s express for Word.
I’ve created a cut-down report, 50001, report layout selection, 50100. It’s going to initialize the reports here and figure out what’s going on. I have my report down here, 50100, sales invoice Tony demo – it’s using the built-in RIDLC. I don’t actually have the built-in RIDLC for this report, but that’s how it’s set up. I’ll apply a custom layout against this report, hit ‘custom layout’, select ‘new’, choose a layout (I’ll use Word), and say ‘okay.’ It will then generate a new record. Now, I’ll import the layout that I just downloaded in Word and associate it with this report ID 50100. I’m going to import the layout, choose sales invoice, and now this report is associated with that particular layout. Next, what I want to do is edit that report. Almost like a mail marriage process, I want to associate the fields that I have in this report with the layout. I’m going to say ‘edit layout’ and it’s going to open up Microsoft Word for me. It’s going to open up Jet Express forward and it’s going to have my layout here.
What I have in here in this Jet Express for Word, if I actually look in the document, I can see it has exposed out all these different fields. Now, where these fields come from? If I go into the developer environment here and I find my report, 50100, what we can see is they actually represent this report layout here. So I’ve got company and customer and shipment, expand company. I can see here’s all the fields that I’m exposing out, and that’s what I see here in my Jet Express for Word. What I can do here, is edit the header here and choose the fields that I want to see, then replace them with the fields that I’ve exposed from my NAV report. So here I’m wanting to enter my customer’s address information.
I can start dropping these fields right here – phone number, for example. I can get information from the sales header. Obviously, a sales document can have one or more sales line and we need to represent that in here too. One of the features that we have is the ability to highlight where you want to see a repeater. Choose the data item that represents that repeater and hit ‘insert repeater’ and then I get fields in here too. Here I’m quickly going to put in quantity. I’m going to put in a unit price. Then, down here I’m going to show that I have my report total so I can put a total, including tax in here.
Now, save, close, and then I import it. I can run this report here and put it to PDF. Here’s the invoice that I just downloaded. We can see I haven’t put all the fields. I have a repeater that comes in here and my total shows up there. I’ve done this, which is great, but really what I want to do is I need to attribute this to the sales invoice process, because if I go to sales invoice now, find a posted sales invoice, then I’ll hit ‘print’ and it’s going to show the standard NAV, which we don’t want to see. We want to see the new report that I’ve designed. This is the old report, now I need to take my new design and associate it here. I’m going to go back into my custom layout and to my report selection. Next, choose a custom layout for this particular report. It brings up my list because I can save multiple different layouts per company. Select ‘okay’, and now it has associated report 50100 with a custom layout instead of the standard RIDLC. I’m going to make one more change. This involves going to report selection, sales, and I need to say when it comes to an invoice I don’t want to do 10,074. What I actually want to do is 50,100 – my demo. Now if I come back here again and I say ‘print’ and I push it to PDF, say open, we can see that it’s actually used my Word document.
I’m confident that shows the value there and how quickly we can put the power for our customers to generate customer-facing documents themselves.
Microsoft has also given you the ability to schedule reports with Report Scheduling. To get this running, you need to have the NAS and job queue running. It’s a simple configuration and if you’re not able to do that yourselves, we can come in and get that configured up and running for you, probably about an hour. What Microsoft has done is taken the ability for some reports to be pushed into this report inbox. For example, if you’re going to run big financial reports at the end of each month or maybe the end of the year, you don’t want to run that during the day because it’s going to hold up your session. Maybe you just want to put that report into the box and have it run overnight. That way, when you come in the morning, it’ll be complete as a PDF – you can send it to the printer as well. What we have here is the ability to schedule with an option on printing. This is telling me the report ID – I’m giving it a description. I’ll leave that as Detail Trial Balance. I’m just going to put it to a PDF, but what I can say is…T, I’m just putting T in and that will basically tell it to run immediately. I say ‘okay’ to that and I’ll come back here and say ‘show the queue.’ It says my report’s ready to be run there. Let’s refresh this again. And that’s gone from there. If I come back here and refresh my Role Center, we can see I’ve got the Detail Trial Balance there. I can say “show” and it’s going to allow me to open up this particular report. In this case, a filter was applied as well when I ran this report and that’s been recognized here. I had 11200 and that’s why I only have one GL account here. Let me just do that again and show you that I can change the filter. If I go Detail Trial Balance, that’s where my filter was, and take that guy off and I’m going to say ‘schedule.’ PDF again I’m going to say T because I want it to run immediately. Say ‘okay’ and I can show all reports or unread reports. I’m only seeing the latest one. We’re going to show queue to impose us. It looks a little bit bigger because I’m doing more than one account. Back here, refresh here. Here’s my unread report. I’m going to say ‘show’, ‘open’. Now we can see the filter’s gone up here and I have all of these GL accounts.
What recognizes the filter as well? What you put in there is what it’s going to recognize in the report box. We think this is another great feature. We’re going to be talking about this system when it’s running a month and all the processes.
The inclusion of social listening into the 2015 environment. I’ve not installed it within the application today. Largely what this enables customers, our customers to do, you as users, is embed this social listening directly as a fact box within a couple of objects within NAV – specifically the customers, vendors, and products or items area. What this effectively is doing is based on, for example, your customer, it will show you basically the sentiments of the posts out there on the various social sites, whether that’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and return to you within your NAV environment, how people out there are tweeting about your specific customer. This enables you to see what some of these comments are about. Maybe the buzz is positive or negative on a particular customer while you’re looking at their customer card, or potentially even whether the buzz is positive or negative about one of your items. This way, you can be prepositioned to defend any issues that might be being posted negatively about your particular products.
The Tablet Client is actually a relatively easy one to install and it’s compatible on a variety of different devices. On the screenshot, there are3 different devices and you can see how it renders the exact same role center on each of those devices. We also show you, on the right hand side, how it looks when you tilt it sideways. There’s a lot of good benefits from this. For starters, this gets NAV out into the hands of the individuals that are in the field or that are executive in nature. Or even if you want the interface to be easy enough for them to pickup without really having to have any training – gets it out into the fields, into the hands of sales people that can now interact with our customers and directly with NAV.
I have to talk about the modern track as well, in that the users that are coming into the workforce these days are not used to necessarily working with desktops and big, bulky laptops – they are more used to working with tablets and tablets only. My wife, for example, does not have a laptop. She uses an iPad and nothing else. So creating an experience for those users who are entering the marketplace that is familiar for them and is on the devices that they’re used to working with, is I think a really, really good thing for attracting new employees.
Really quickly on this particular one, it’s available on a variety of different devices. It’s not necessarily confined to just Microsoft. You can also run this through Apple, run this on Android devices as well.
The Tablet Client is actually an extension of the Web Client. The standard Web Client can be accessed using any browser. In fact we have used browsers such as Dolphin. However, when you go to input the extension of tablet.aspx at the end, that will only be supported in IE or Chrome. The requirements for getting the tablet to run are that it’s really designed for a 7” or a 10” tablet, not something in the middle. I think we call those phablets, the phone tablets. That’s not really designed for that kind of experience. Not only that, but it also needs to have a certificate. We’ve used a self-signed certificate here, but you can also get a certificate from a certificate authority. The way that we’ve connected to it is we’ve used both VPN and direct access, but if you were to have a web-facing server, you could also do it over the web, which is why you have to have that certificate in place.
The other things to note are that it doesn’t allow you to work offline, so you do need to be connected to have the data. Also, it doesn’t, at this time, control the GPS or the camera, though we think they would be great features and definitely some business processes that we could use those particular parts of our tablet or phone with – we’re hoping that they get added in the future.
What was involved in getting everything setup?
As I said, you need to have a certificate and you need to have the Web Client installed. Once that’s done, the Tablet Client is installed as part of the Web Client install, which is one of the options in the wizard when you’re installing the serverand then just getting that certificate. If you’re using a authorized CA certificate, then you don’t need to install it locally. If you’re using self-signed, then you do have to install that locally.
From a user’s perspective we were given a new tablet this morning at 9:00 AM that it never had access to the Tablet Client. We had to effectively download it and hook it all up. I think the end to end process took maybe 10 minutes.
Let’s get into the tablet. It will be the last little thing that we’ll show . It is actually effectively the exact same Role Center that I was earlier subscribed to when I did the overview type demonstration. Just like the overview, I’ll quickly navigate. I tap on the tile to see my overview. I’ve selected the very last invoice. At the top right, I’ve got three little dots. I can select that and show the post document. Effectively, I was two touches away from the homepage and now I’m at the sale invoice for that specific customer that is overdue. I can see it was for a computer and a server and scroll down to the bottom to see anything else relevant about this specific invoice.
Back to the homepage, I also have those access to those tiles. They are also interactive. So as I switch between graph and graph, the transition of moving from one graph to another is very aesthetically pleasing. Also, just like before, I am able to touch to drill down into a specific area. In this case, it’s showing me the customer ledger entries that were of type form and again from here I can navigate to specific documents and transactions. I have that trial balance just like I did on the homepage at home when I show you the very beginning, and I also, just like Tony showed you a few moments ago, subscribed to a number of reports that are now delivered to my inbox. This also works in the Tablet Client. I’m going to take my top inventory items. I’m going to click it and I’m going to use the reader in this particular case to take a look at my top 10 inventory items. Once here, I can move this over to give me more real estate. Again, using my index fingers, I can zoom in and out to get a better view as to what items I’m selling and it looks like the INNSBRUCK Storage Unit with door is my biggest item. I’m going to flip back to NAV and I can do the same thing and go ahead and do the Detail Trial Balance as well.
At the very bottom I also have those favorite customers that you saw. This is slightly different view of those same customers. I’m going to…actually I didn’t want to hit that one. I wanted to hit the one above it. Cannon Group please. And I have the fact boxes on the left. As you can see I’ve got no quotes. I’ve got one sales invoice. I’ve got four posted invoices. We’ll get to those in a minute. If I scroll down to the very bottom, I actually get some KPIs within the Tablet Client that are kind of neat. I get an Age A.R. for this specific customer. I can navigate to anything that’s looking like it’s blue to see what was on those old invoices. The other thing is while I’m directly within this customer, again I hit the three dots on the top left, and I can launch a sales invoice. Because I’m on this particular customer, it defaults for me. I’m going to enter again, with my finger here, the item number. So it brings up my items to select on the side. I scroll down using my finger again, and you can see it’s only rendering a few at a time, but as I scroll it quickly gets more for me. So I’m going to sell a Calgary Whiteboard. I’m going to enter in a quantity of 2. You know what, I picked the wrong customer. No, I actually got the right one. Okay, so I’m going to sell 2 of those. It gave me a warning that I was out of stock. It’s now giving me a total. So I like this sales order, potentially I’m with the customer directly in front of them. Again I use the three little dots at the top right and I’m going to post this. ‘Do you want to post this invoice?’ Yes, I do. So the invoice is posted and moved to the posted sales invoice list. Another new feature within NAV, it asks you if you want to go to the posted invoice rather than you having to back out and navigate to it, so yes I do want to see that posted invoice. Here it is. And again I’m going to hit those three buttons and maybe I want to print it or maybe I want to email it to the customer right while I’m with them in front of them. I’m just going to print it. I’m going to send it to PDF and do it on screen. You see its pretty format. And do you guys remember when Tony updated this invoice format? Now I see the Word version of this specific invoice. Of course it wasn’t totally finished but now I actually get to see the new format. It’s readily available for anyone who’s producing that invoice that quickly.
And I can also email it, like I said earlier, but I don’t have Outlook installed on this one. I just got this tablet this morning, so I won’t do that. So Carlos, I think we’re done with the rest of the demos. Thank you for everyone who kind of stayed on for the extra 10 minutes that it took to get through everything and Carlos you have a couple of wrap up notes to go through and we’re done for the day.
So thank you everyone for attending the NAV 2015 webcast. Thank you Aran and Tony for a very fast demonstration of NAV 2015. Some brief information for those of you who aren’t familiar with Encore. We’re Canada’s largest Microsoft Dynamics partner and we work with many Microsoft Dynamics NAV clients throughout Canada, as well as NAV customers and their subsidiaries in other countries such as the US, South America or Central America, some in Africa. If you’d like to contact us, you can either reach us by calling us at the number listed there, triple-8 number, or you can also email us at Encore@Encorebusiness.com. If you’d like a recording of the webcast sent out to you, please email Encore@Encorebusiness if you haven’t already. This concludes our webcast. Again, thank you for attending and have a great rest of the day.
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