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.

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Working with Dynamics 365 Clients from Accountant Portal

In my previous post, I’ve describer how to install and start with Accountant Portal in Dynamics 365 for Financials (…and Operation Business Edition), but now I want to continue this story.

First, when you want to add a new client, you can do it from your home page. Just click on Manage Clients action and then choose some of your existing clients or add new one clicking on New. If you want to create new one, minimum what you must to do is to add a name and Client URL, where you need to enter the URL destination for your client’s instance for your client D365 system (just basic part of URL: https://XXXXXX.financials.dynamics.com).

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When you finish it, close the page and click on Client Summary -> Redisplay All Companies, and new company will appear on your home page.

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The basic information on your home page about companies you manage are:

  • Company names
  • Cash Account Balances
  • Overdue Purchase Invoice Amounts
  • Overdue Sales Invoice Amounts

If you need more information or if you want to do something directly in one of the company, you need to click on a Company Name or on Client Summary -> Go To Client.

If you are registered user in this client database, you will open it, but if you are not, system will ask to type your new credentials. After you finish with this, new database will be opened in new window and you can continue with work.

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.

Directions 2017 NA

The third year in a row, I’ll have session in Directions NA. I’ve got confirmation a few days ago and I can say that I’m so happy, because it is one of the my favorite conferences and I really love the American audience.

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Conference will be held at the beautiful hotel JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, Florida in period September 17-21. It is still not too late to make registration here. I would like to see all of you there.

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This time, my topic will not be technical, but related with Dynamics 365. I’ll speak about Project Management Methodology in D365 BE Implementation. I think this is important topic although we are usually thinking only on very fast selling and very fast implementing solution, when speak about D365 Business Edition. But it is still a project and we still need to take care about a lot of things and to manage it.

Now, I don’t want to speak about all details here, because I’ll try to help you in this kind of project management with this session.

NAV and D365 Roadmap and New Ideas

In the last period, we used to have one slide with roadmap about future release of Dynamics NAV with few expected enhancements. But now, instead of this, we have new dedicated site for roadmap. You just need to run here, and you will open this site. Generally, when open it, you can see this is for Dynamics 365, but when you change to Business Edition and choose Dynamics 365 for Financials, you can see all new future features for both of products D365 for Financials and Dynamics NAV.

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But this is just to know what will be in a future. Of course, some strategic features will not be announce here and we need to wait to see them official release. But I am sure, the most of you want to be more engaged in this part “what will be in the future”. In the past (and now) we have a Connect site. This was a place where you could add new product suggestions. But generally it was for the current and past NAV versions and it was used mostly for some bugs and improvement ideas.

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Now we have something better. You just need to go to https://ideas.dynamics.com/ for all Dynamics 365 products or to https://ideas.dynamics.com/ideas/dynamics-financials for Dynamics 365 for Financials and as I already said for the Dynamics NAV (because they are the same in the basic). On this site, you can suggest new idea or vote for some of existing idea. This forum is very nice created and it is important that every day you can see current status of your suggestion.

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Of course if you want to suggest a new idea or to vote, you must be signed in, because it will not be a fair to put something as anonimus. But with all this organization, I’m really sure that we will get amazing products in the future.

The Future of NAV Business

Two weeks after Directions EMEA is finished, we finally got the newest release of NAV. Now we have NAV 2017 and we expect Dynamics 365 BE during the next year (I think on non-US market). We sow the AND story about NAV and Dynamics 365, but I still think NAV partners are on the very important crossroads. I don’t expect they need to choose what business they will need to continue, because I strongly believe we can continue with both of these products, but I’m sure partners have to change their approach to this business. And this is not connected with NAV or Dyn365; new approach must be used for both of them. They have to find the best possible way to transfer their business to cloud, they have to change the way of developing (extensions, events…) and so on.

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Because of that, I strongly recommend to all Dynamics partners to read the good story on MSDynamicsWorld about how Microsoft Dynamics NAV partners face crucial decisions on their future. This article can help to NAV partners how to focus thinking about their businesses. Early adopters of new business model will be in much better positions in the future and because of that it is very important not to become obsolete.