I totaly love the concept of pages. They are easier to merge and upgrade and they way they render is awesome. However, they come with a few drawbacks. Some of them we already had in the classic client with forms, some are new.
One of the drawbacks is the lack of drag and drop. This was true for the classic client too.
A place in Dynamics NAV where it is very obvious what would be the value of drag and drop is the debugger. The debugger in NAV2013(R2) is designed as a page.
In general it works pretty good. It is easier to break, toggle breakpoints and the fact that you can debug any user on the servicetier is just straigt from heaven.
But one of the things that was a 1000 times easier in the old debugger was watches. It is no longer possible to just drag and drop them.
However… I only recently found a neat trick and I figured “how is it that I did not notice this earlier”.
The AL codepart is developped as a client add-in which allows to send events to the page. One of the events is adding a watch while hovering over a variable like this:
Now take a close look at the icon
If you push the + sign the variable is added to the watchlist.
Personally I find myself pretty foolish not noticing it for more than like 2 or 3 years but hey, I might not be the only one.
At the moment of writing this, 10 Design Pattern video’s are published. I recently started working on 5 more.
People at Microsoft have asked me what is the logical order of watching them. This is actually quite a hard question to answer. Some videos are in detail about a specific pattern that is represented by a few fields and some code while other video’s are about larger patterns such as explaining the locial flow of posting routines.
With the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics NAV2013, a discussion started around the flexibility of the Excel buffer.
Until 2013, the Excel buffer table used automation libraries directly which allowed C/AL developers to add features without a lot of hassle.
Now with 2013 Microsoft implemented the use of DotNet Interop, but since NAV cannot directly use the office libraries, a wrapper was shipped.
This wrapper limmits the possibilities of C/AL developers to add features.
I am very happy to announce that Microsoft has listened and will implement the most used featutures to the Excel buffer in a future version and they have released a codeplex project to downgrade them to 2013 (r2).
My plan is to wrap all the changes into a new Excel buffer table and put the dll on Mibuso, but at the moment I am terribly occupied, both at work and at home. I did not want to withhold you from the news that the codeplex download is available.
In earlier versions of NAV when you did a change on a large table in NAV, the Object Designer would wait until the change was done on the SQL Database until you could continue working. NAV2013R2 gives you control back immediately, but you cannot do anything until the change is finished at the backend.
This video series will focus on best practices to create your own solutions on top of and integrated with Microsoft Dynamics NAV and are based on the design patterns and the methodology that was developed by PRS.
When writing this blog the first two videos are online and I just finised two more. Each week I will release two video’s, except for next week when we have our Design Paterns meeting in Vedbaek.
My (ambitous) plan is to write a small blog post about each video.
The first video’s are:
How do I Implement the Number Series Pattern (YouTube)
How do I Use the Select Pattern in a Posting Routine (YouTube)
Since NAV 2013 R2 was released there has been a lot to do about removing the backup feature (fbk) from the classic client. Especially the part that allowed people to backup and restore a specific company.
Honestly I cannot recall when I last used this feature other than copying a company within a database. I would be curious to hear real business cases for this feature, especially end-user cases.
But I have some good news.
Just like an indicent in Formula 1, this incident is under investigation. Maybe it will be back.
Last Monday there was a MVP call with Microsoft about issues in NAV 2013 R2 and the feedback about this issue is that they realize that they’ve broken functionality that causes something that could be done before not to be possible anymore.
They are currently looking at if and how a similar feature could be reintroduced. We will be hearing from Microsoft within few weeks.