NAV 2015

Taking Full Advantage of Dynamics NAV 2015

The upcoming version of Dynamics NAV 2015 will make available a series of new features that mainly focus on enhancing Cue functionality. Since a “technical upgrade” isn’t necessary, the end users can easily install the new version, without facing any of the risks typically associated with system upgrades. Thanks to the new features, users will be able to perform a higher number of tasks via the same interface they’re already accustomed to.

Dynamics NAV 2015: Turning Cues into Business Intelligence Tools

Especially developed for Dynamics NAV, the Cues are about to become valuable Business Intelligence tools. Besides displaying important business data, such as performance indicators relating to role centers, the Cues will help organizations boost operational efficiency.

NAV 2015

The new features included in Dynamics NAV 2015 allow users to customize Cues’ appearance and functionality according to their needs. The features not only include new colored indicators, additional icons, and integer, decimal, and percentage data types, but also give users the option to expand the amount of data that will be displayed in each Cue and to complement Cues with buttons or toolbars required in daily work.

Similar to previous versions of Dynamics NAV, the new upgrade will allow users to create Cue controls along with relevant Field controls, which can be adjusted to further modify the way Cues appear and operate. For instance, you can choose the icon that will be displayed on each Cue, how Cues will format and record number strings, and what color the indicators will have (e.g. you can set up the system to use blue for “favorable” and red for “unfavorable” indicators). Additionally, by changing AutoFormat/AutoFormatExpr settings, you can customize the format of values in Cues (e.g. you can place currency and/or percentage symbols after a value).

In NAV 2015, users will also be able to use both FlowFields and normal fields, which offer new data aggregation possibilities by complementing the basic operations with new sources of Cue data. Instead of only using the “count” feature to find out “max,” “min,” and “avg” values, for example, you’ll also be able to use query objects.

Making the Most of It

To take full advantage of the features included in Dynamics NAV 2015, it’s important to follow the best practices explained below.

  • The name of a table specified in the SourceTable property must end with the word “Cue”. The reason for this is that the Cue Setup page only shows the tables that include this word. As an example, “Mini Activities Cue” (1313) is a perfect equivalent for the “Mini Activities” page (1310).
  • Field controls must always be bound to the table field. That’s because future customizations will be stored in relation to that field. For instance, on the “Mini Activities” page, the “Ongoing Sales Invoices” Cue control must be set to “Ongoing Sales Invoices” in the “Mini Activities Cue” table.
  • End users can customize indicators by accessing Cue Setup Administration (table 9701), especially designed to allow system administrators to set up defaults for indicators, or Cue Setup End User (table 9702), developed to enable end users to launch new pages from Cue controls.
  • To perform a “technical upgrade” to the latest version of NAV, users must mount their current applications to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 Server. Additionally, it’s essential to know that without adding the GetCueStyle function to the code unit 1 and assigning it ID 16, end users won’t be able to customize Cues.
  • To give end users the permission to read, insert, modify, and delete data, the table Cue Setup Administration (9701) must be added to “Foundation,” under “Permissions.”

Dynamics NAV 2015 delivers a series of practical improvements, while offering end users a truly complex out-of-the-box ERP solution that is partially customized by default so that it can be used immediately after the installation. In business environments where customization has become the norm, the system can be easily setup to meet any needs and demands.

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How To Prepare For Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015

Part of Microsoft Dynamics’ family, NAV delivers an ingenious ERP solution able to assist small and medium-sized enterprises in finance, manufacturing, supply chain, and customer relationship management. Ready to go one step further, Dynamics NAV 2015, formerly codenamed “Crete,” promises to take care of two pain points most NAV users have encountered over the years:

Dynamics NAV 2015Download our NAV 2015 guide on the new functionality that can automatically match your entries with transactions

1) Upgrades – NAV 2015 includes more upgrade tools to make possible technical upgrades instead of full upgrades. This means that users don’t have to perform any of the additional technical tasks they used to complete before, which will reduce overall deployment and maintenance costs.

2) User experience – Coming with a brand new interface, NAV 2015 will provide a more consistent user experience across Windows, Apple and Android devices.

According to Kirill Tatarinov, Executive Vice-President of Microsoft Business Solutions, the cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) technologies included in NAV 2015 will also make possible seamless integration with the new Office 365, extending system functionality for superior reporting capabilities. In a nutshell, users will be able to use the tools they’re already accustomed to (Excel, SharePoint and mobile devices) to complete different operations more efficiently.

Why Choose NAV 2015

Although very little information has been published so far, a demo performed during Microsoft Convergence 2014 revealed that “Crete” delivers a wide range of new features, which will make possible advanced data processing. For instance, you’ll be able to develop more relevant formulas and even to use information derived from NAV in conjunction with data collected from other systems in order to perform more complex analyses.

Additionally, you can use the system to create color codes for highlighting titles and different areas of your reports. This way, identifying specific elements on a page becomes a very simple task. Browser performance has also been improved, offering users a truly intuitive and smooth browsing experience.

Upgrading to Dynamics NAV 2015

One thing is for sure: as many people are currently running pre-NAV 2013 versions, an increasing number of users will start looking for system upgrades very soon. Furthermore, Microsoft will end technical support for NAV 2009 in 2015, which means that the latest software version is going to be in high demand.

Fortunately, NAV 2015 is on its way, proposing new, more powerful features, which will not only streamline financial, inventory, warehouse, sales, marketing and service management, but also allow current users to keep customization to a minimum when replacing previous software versions with the latest one.

Besides, the most recent solutions released by Microsoft (e.g. Dynamics NAV 2012 R3 and GP 2013 R2) indicate another essential aspect: over the past few years, the developer has made impressive efforts to develop new mobile business management tools. Dynamics NAV 2015 should be included among these solutions not only because it delivers a new software version, but also because it’s one of the few tools that will help developers turn “mobility” from a simple trend into one of the most essential concepts of Information Technology. Further, the concepts especially created for this new upgrade will provide more reliable upgrade paths for future software solutions.

Should You Upgrade or Re-Implement?

If you’re a NAV user, you have the option to either upgrade or re-implement. To make the right choice, you need to consider the following factors:

  • An upgrade may be a better option if you use a recent NAV version, such as NAV 2009. In case of an older version, it’s better to re-implement.
  • If the version you’re currently using has been heavily customized, re-implementing the system is the best alternative to get stable business solution.
  • If your organization has changed significantly since the last implementation, it’s important to consider the degree of customization performed and required for the future before deciding between a system upgrade and a re-implementation.

As Dynamics NAV continues to evolve, manufacturers will be able to streamline more business areas, while meeting growing customer needs and demands. Though quite brief, the overview presenting the features and technologies included NAV 2015 reveals the fact that this software solution will probably become a key business success factor, helping small- and medium-sized enterprises overcome inefficiencies and move forward toward their goals.

NAV 2015

Looking Ahead: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015

Among Microsoft’s array of ERP solutions, NAV has been the enterprise accounting software of choice by distributors, manufacturers and other organizations alike. Users have come to expect Microsoft to roll out upgrades for these ERP solutions either once a year or every other year.  So for all of you NAV people on 5.0 and 2009-the time has come. NAV has been working on an upgrade since late 2013.  Soon, small and medium sized enterprises will have upgraded features in NAV that will arm them with the tools to move forward in 2015.

NAV 2015

The Microsoft Dynamics NAV team has been hard at work to not only make the ERP solution simpler to use but also to have multi-tenancy and multi-platform capabilities. During the Convergence 2014 presentation in March, Microsoft committed to shipping yearly releases for NAV, beginning with NAV 2015. Also christened “Crete”, the NAV 2015 is expected to undergo partner testing in June and launches in beta for businesses in September.

While Dynamics AX R3 got all the hype for its new capabilities, the NAV 2015 also promises to be packed with a couple of upgrades that will improve business agility among SMBs.

NAV 2015 is built to create a uniform experience across devices. For example, when operating on mobile and other portable devices, it can adjust as a user tilts the device. However, Crete’s main emphasis is on Power Business Intelligence (BI), integration with Office 365 and document reporting.

NAV 2015 Business Intelligence

Big data plays an important role among organizations by enabling them to put the customer at the center of the universe- with central access to customers, suppliers, sales cycles, inventories and other pertinent business processes.  With Big Data becoming not only an advantage-but a necessity for Manufacturers and Distributors competing in the SMB space-it is becoming crucial to capitalize on big data sooner, than later. However, despite the importance and potential of big data, very few organizations are using it to their benefits. It’s estimated that 85% of businesses do not have the capability to harness the power of big data for their operations.

With Crete, Microsoft is focused on helping small businesses tap the full potential of big data insights in their critical business processes. Through Power BI, Crete users will be able to use common tools such as SharePoint, Excel and mobile devices. Some of the key features in the Power BI module include:

i) Power Query – This feature will enable users to access data from public and corporate data sources.

ii) Power Pivot – This module extends the capability of Excel by adding key Performance Indicators (KPIs), hierarchies, custom measures and relationships. Pivot’s in-built memory can store generated models, hence enabling users to analyze millions of data fast.

iii) Power View – Provides interactive views of Excel data or reports in form of charts and graphs for easy understanding.

iv) Power Map – Enables end users to integrate Excel with geospatial data to create a 3D map experience.

Power BI will also be accessible through Windows 8 app-enabled phones, iOS and Android devices.

Apart from introducing new features, Microsoft is also working on technological innovation that will make it less expensive for users to upgrade to NAV 2015 and subsequent versions. Any upgrades after NAV 2015 will be easier to carry out. Users will not feel a big technological shift like has been in the case before.

The Crete is expected to be a major NAV upgrade. After launching Crete, the NAV team will focus more on supporting applications.

Microsoft believes that small businesses also need agile solutions that will solve their problems just like the big companies. Crete will solve many of the problems SMBs face in their daily operations. Crete is poised to have powerful enterprise-comparable features that are quick to deploy and easy to implement.