The future of NAV – a small wrap up

These days we got a lot of messages about the future of our product – Dynamics NAV. Now I’m seating in a plane and traveling to Nashville on NAVUG Summit and finally have found some time to make a small wrap up with all important things. I think now, after two Directions in North America and EMEA, picture is clearer.

Roadmap

The first thing I want to mention is roadmap of Dynamics NAV. I think it is absolutely clear that in this moment we have Dynamics NAV 2017 as ‘on prem’ and ‘on cloud ready’ solution, but as SaaS, we have Dynamics 365 for Financial and Operations Business Edition, generally based on Dynamics NAV. But this is just in this moment, because Marko Perisic announced in Madrid last week that we will have published Dynamics NAV 2018 at December 1st. This announced is mostly based on partners feedback and this is absolutely this what partners wanted. For now, SaaS solution will stay the same, with the same name and in the same countries (US, Canada and UK). But with this new NAV version, partners will get new solution and the most important, with this new NAV version they can start to use Visual Studio Code for Extensions v2. This is important because partners now can start immediately with new model of development and to be ready for the spring and new solution.

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At the spring 2018, we will finally get already announced new product – Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”, but only as cloud SaaS solution. As on-prem solution, we will get Dynamics NAV 2018 R2, but with the same code base as Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”. In this moment I don’t know a reason why we will still have the same product with the different names ‘on cloud’ and ‘on prem’. But very soon, we will continue with only one name – currently code name Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’. System will have new modern web interface, sandbox and lot of new features (more about it in another post).

And ant the spring, we will get Dynamics 365 for Sales App with less features (ex Business Edition) and Dynamics 365 for Marketing as preview. Both of these products was presented on Directions and they really look nice and rich.

New Package – New Opportunities

As I said, I don’t want to write about all new features in the future release, but what with the whole package. The main idea is to stop to implement ERP and/or CRM; but to continue to implement full business solution. This is what clients need; they don’t care what part of system it is, the just need to solve their problems and their requirements. And as the new business solution, we will have Dynamics 365 as business solution who cover most of the potential client’s needs. That means we will not sell e.g. ERP, but solution. In this solution we will see what real requirements client has and implement adequate Apps with adequate level of features. Price will depend of this, but we will don’t know prices, because of lot of changes. By my opinion, very important is that now we can combine Apps from ex Business Edition and ex Enterprise Edition. With this we will have more agility in implementation process. And of course, all of this will be integrated with Common Data Service. And even better, we can use CDS for our integrations. We can use not only Dynamics 365 Apps, but also PowerApps, Flow, Office 365, Power BI, 3th party Apps… as the same business environment.

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Conclusion

The final message is by my opinion very clear and very positive. For both partners and customers. Don’t afraid, Microsoft will not stop with this amazing product. Rebranding is not canceling. But with new name, we will get still the same powerful product, but with the great new opportunities as well.

I can write probably more, but I think this is more than enough as the first wrap up after two Directions. Future of our product is a clear.

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Contacts Photos in NAV as Cognitive Service

I’ve just wrote a post about Image Analyzer in NAV as Cognitive Service and recognizing attributes for Item, but now I’ll write about second part of using cognitive services in NAV and D365 for Financials. Now I’ll show you how it works with people photos. This feature works on the Contact Card.

When you create new contact and upload contact’s photo, you will notice notification that you can see result of the image analysis on the Profile Questionnaire Fast tab.

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I tried it with one of my photos and you can see result. System recognized my gender, but ages… 😊 System thinks I am 50 (just for the record, I’m 45 😊). I tried with a few different photos and unfortunately, system found my ages between 48 and 51. I don’t know if this is problem with system or with me 😊.

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OK, I tried with some other people and for example, my 25 years old sun has mostly 29, based on Image Analyzer (gender was OK again). My wife is female (thanks god 😊) and 7-8 years younger…

OK, I can conclude that gender recognition is 100% correct, but with ages – so, so. If we can accept 5-6 year more or less, it is OK. But mostly, we can use this age recognizer just as some nice funny reminder. And yes, I’ve tried with picture of my dog 😊… system took a time, but it could find anything (no gender, no ages 😊).

And, just not to forget… if you already have some photos of your contacts, you can run action Analyze Picture from Action tab every time when you need it.

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And if you want to know how it added technically to currently D365 BE, you can go to Extension Management and recognize Image Analyzer App. That means, this is made as an Extension and it can give you some new ideas how you can create maybe something similar.

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And of course, I hope we will have this Extension on Dynamics NAV installation DVD.

How to start with Accountant Portal in Dynamics 365

If you have accountant agency and want to take care about a lot of clients, you can use this new feature in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Business Edition (too long name: I’ll use D365FOBE). It is really good to encourage your clients to start with Dynamics 365. After that you can use your new Accountant Portal to manage all your clients using free license for external accountants.

To do it, you need to have your own D365FOBE subscription and install this App from AppSource. Open Extension Management and go to AppSource and choose Account Portal (click on ‘Get it now’).

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When you finish installation process, you need to sign out and sign in again. Then you will be noticed that Account Portal is installed and system will ask you if you want to accept user personalization changes to enable this feature (click Yes). Then you can continue with Next and Next to start 30-days trial.

After that, you will get a different home page, where you can add new clients, choosing one of the options: Enter Clients, Manage Clients…

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Then, you need to create client and the main details. The most important field is ‘Client URL’, where you need to enter the URL destination for your client’s instance for D365FOBE. When you finish with this, you need to click on ‘Test Client URL’ actions to check if everything is OK.

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After filling other details about your client, you can close this page and see your new client on your home page.

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Here, you will see the basic clients information and you can choose to go to the client. . From this page, accountants can drill down to their clients’ specific transaction details. These were only the basic steps how to start.

My sessions on this fall conference season

This fall Dynamics NAV conference season will start soon, in two months and it is the last moment to register on conference you planned to go. This season we expect thick events schedule and officially season will start in Orlando on Directions NA at September 17th. If you need the full list of Dynamics conferences, you can find here.

I’ll have my session on three of these conferences. First I’ll start with Directions NA, then continue with Directions EMEA and finish my season on NAVUG Summit.

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I’ll have the same session on Directions NA and Directions EMEA – ‘Project Management Methodology in Dynamics 365 BE Implementation‘ and I already wrote about this topic.

My first session will be third day of Directions NA – September 19th at 3:15pm. As I said, I’ll have the same session on Directions EMEA, and it will be at the first day of conference, after Keynote – October 4th at 11:15am. After these two conferences where I’ll have soft skills topic (project management), I’ll have more technical topics on NAVUG Summit, starting from October 11.

My topics will be how to use Flows with NAV, where I’ll show not only technical topic, but also practical example how and where to use it. And then, I’ll have topic about variations in Manufacturing in NAV, where I’ll try to transfer my experiences in a lot of Mfg implementations. Schedule is published, but it will be changed for sure. I know this, because I need to provide two sessions in the same moment 🙂 … and I know myself, I cannot do it 🙂

See you there…