How to Configure Bricks – Madeira and NAV2017

I’ve got a few questions how to configure Bricks I already wrote on NAV 2017. Generally, Bricks are not something new. We already had a Bricks on NAV 2016, but we used them only in Phone Client. I already wrote how to configure Bricks on Phone Client here.

I don’t expect something special in NAV 2017 about Bricks. To open the Field Groups window, on Table Designer just choose View, and then choose Field Groups. In a table, we can see two Field Groups: DropDown and Brick. If Brick Field Group doesn’t exists, DropDown is interpreted as Brick.

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What is new here? News is that we can use Bricks in other clients. I still cannot speak more about it (it is still by NDA), but everything I mention is the same as on NAV 2016. And yes, if you want picture on item, you need add picture as part of Brick Field Group. About Project “Madeira” you cannot use Development Environment for customization and you can change it only using Extensions.

I hope, this is good enough. More about it when we get official release of NAV 2017.

Bricks in Project Madeira and NAV2017

Very often, using of standard lists in NAV were not so comfortable because of specific data sets. Now, we will get some new feature that all list pages can be showed as “bricks”. If you remember, we used bricks in NAV 2016 for Phone Client. But now, we can use this for all lists: Customers, Vendors, Bank Accounts, Chart of Accounts, Currencies, Items, all Journals… You just need to choose brick view:

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You can configure what you want to see on bricks and optimize space and readability for data that appears in these pages using a Brick Field Group. You can change importance of these data and their layout changing orders of them.

But if you choose Items, you can see more. Not only list and bricks, you can choose tiles as well. Difference is that you can put item picture on both bricks and tiles. Again, you can configure what you want to see by yourself:

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Directions 2016 NAV Conferences

In this moment, we have the final countdown until Dynamics NAV conference season will start. We have 47 days until the opening Directions NA and 64 days until the opening Directions EMEA this year.

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This year Direction NA will be held the first, but Directions EMEA will be only 17 days later and I’m sure we have something new on both of them. Currently we have published agenda only for Directions NA, but I’m pretty sure that agendas will be similar, maybe with only small changes.

I love these conferences and I’m sure you will find a lot of reasons to attend on one of them, depending where you actually live. I think that the most important reasons will be launching of NAV 2017 and Project “Madeira” as well as Dynamics 365. You will find a lot of sessions about news in these new products. You will also learn more about integration with other systems, about using of PowerShell, how to take advantage of using Managed Services, how to improve your knowledge in lot of different areas… Also, you will learn more about project management, user experience, get some real-life experience… You will enjoy in awesome Keynotes … and maybe the most important – meet new people. I think these kind of events are the best places for networking; people are the most important wealth… and you can find and meet a lot of them on these conferences because they are the biggest NAV conferences.

In the same time, you can attend Cloud Sure Step sessions or try to pass new NAV exams powered by Association of Dynamics Professionals. I advice you to try some of these exams; I had participation in some of them and I think they are very good way to prove your expertise.

And finally, I will be lecturer on both of these conferences and I hope I’ll meet a lot of you – amazing people. See you there:

Create an Invoice from Outlook Calendar in Project Madeira

I’ve already wrote about using integration of Outlook and Project Madeira. If you use Exchange Online, you can use a lot of automation. As I wrote in my last article, everything I used is based on Project “Madeira” currently demo features, but I expect we will have minimum the same in new NAV 2017. But OK, we will still wait with this until we get the official new release.

I older articles, I showed you how to use this kind of integration in emails, but now we can use some automation in Outlook Calendar as well. If we make an appointment to make some invoice for example, when we open this appointment we will notice Project “Madeira” button.

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Using this, system will as us what contact we want to use and when we choose one of them we will get all necessary information about him. Now, we can make new quote, invoice, order or credit memo for him if we want. We can add everything we want in this document without leaving the Outlook Calendar. When I finish, I can send this document on approval or just post or post and send.

On my first picture, I captured how it looks like in Outlook Online, but everything is a possible using desktop Outlook (as I noticed, you just must use Exchange Online). If we use desktop Outlook and open the same appointment, we can notice two buttons. The first is about Contact Insights and the second is intended for directly creating a new documents. You can type a new document directly in the right part of appointment or click on “Pop Out” button (you can use this in online and desktop versions as well) to get independent window for easier way of typing.

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And when you finish everything is the same as in online version. Now you can choose to work in Project “Madeira” or in NAV from email or from calendar and it will make your daily business faster for sure.

Item Attributes in NAV 2017

How many times you needed some additional attributes on item? And every time you added some new field or something… Now, we will have a small, but smart feature in new NAV2017 – “Item Attributes”. Well, I still cannot say it will be in new NAV for sure, because currently it is a part of Project “Madeira”. But the most of the new features in “Madeira” will be part of NAV2017 and my title is named as you read because of that.

What is Item Attributes? This is something similar to dimensions. We have one additional table with Item Attributes. You can create Attributes as you want. And for each assigned Attribute to Item, you can assign Item Attribute Value (again as you want). You can use a lot of different attributes and everything depends by your needs.

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Good thing is when you add your attributes and values to some item, you can see all of them in fact box in the right side of page, on both of them card or list. And even more, you can filter your items based on Item Attributes.

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You can choose different attributes and you can use standard filters when you want to use attribute values for filtering (you can easy use “Select More” for this purpose).

All these examples are made on Project “Madeira” and you can do it by yourself using Project “Madeira” demo instance. You can also find more about Item Attributes here.

Project Madeira with Desktop Outlook

In my few previous articles, I showed you how you can use Project “Madeira” with Outlook. But in all these posts, I used Outlook Online. You can also do everything the same in Desktop Outlook. You just must use Exchange Online.

Because of that, I want to show just some example in Desktop Outlook using Office 2016. You can use all examples I already showed. In this my small example, I got an email about some Invoice Issue from client.

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In this case, you just need to run “Desktop Links” add-in and Outlook will open your invoice in email body. For example, I’ll make an invoice correction and change discount fro 5% to 10% and re-post and re-send invoice to my customer.

You just need to choose Correct and system will make and post credit-memo, the same as invoice and create new invoice with the same data. You will change everything you want and choose “Post and Send”. System will post this invoice and create new email with this invoice in attachment as PDF.

But we have something more. In the right corner, we can find “Contact Insight” button and when we run it, we will get all information about this customer in the right pane. This pane is interactive and that means you can click on any data and you will get new information here.

Also, you can find “New” button and we can create all sales and purchase documents from this place. I think almost all functionalities in the Online and Desktop Outlook are mostly the same, but Desktop Outlook experience is even better.

Advanced Scenario with Project Madeira and Outlook

I think in my few previous posts, I’ve already showed some very interesting Project “Madeira” feature in collaboration with Office 365 and Outlook. Now, I will finish this small story with the some more advanced business scenario.

I got an email from my client where he asks an offer for some items. As I expect, because he is my old client, “Madeira” automatically recognized him and gave me possibility to see his company contact card or him as my customer. This second info is more useful for me.

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On this card, I can see his balance, past due balance, overdue as a chart and few interesting tiles with information about his existing quotes, orders, invoices, credit memos, posted documents… If I want to see details about his balance, I need just to click on amount and I’ll get all information from Customer Ledger Entry; again everything in mail Outlook client. I can see posted document from this entry or edit if I want it…

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And the same situation is if I click on amount in the chart. I also can use these tiles to see all documents with details from this default place.

OK, I decided I’ll give him an Offer. From this customer card, I can make new Sales Quote (I can make other sales document as well). As I expected, system noticed me that he has overdue balance, but I will live with this risk J. Now, I just need to fill what he wanted on quote and choose Send by email.

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System will automatically create new email with attached Quote as PDF and all necessary information in mail body. And I just need to click Send. When I get confirmation, I will continue with working making an Invoice and sending approval request. And after that I’ll choose to Post and Send this invoice.

As you saw, we can make almost all sales business processes without leaving our Outlook client. And this is not everything we can; this is only part of possibilities. But we can see all of these in only few months. I am really waiting to see this product in production environment.

Invoices in Project Madeira via Outlook

Few days ago, I wrote article about working with contacts in Project ‘Madeira’ via Outlook. Now,  want to show something more about integration with Office and Outlook.

What if you get an e-mail with invoice number in mail body? Outlook will underline this number and make link to your actual invoice in NAV if you just click on it. Beautiful.

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If invoice with this number doesn’t exist, system will offer you to search document in all your sales and purchase documents. You just need to choose type of documents, and you will get list of your documents as bricks. Impressive.

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But what when you find your documents? First, you can continue to work with this document in your mail body or you can choose to open it in new window for a better visibility. And then, you can choose a lot of actions, everything from your e-mail (you don’t need to open your Madeira client during all these actions).

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If I choose the first option (Send), system will just make a reply mail with this Invoice in PDF as attachment with the basic details about this invoice in a mail body.

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But you can make a different actions as well. Maybe you need to correct this posted document (system will automatically create and post Credit memo and create new document) or you want to create a Credit memo or change your payment service… Everything of this is possible, but only if this contact is connected with your customer.

There are still more possibilities, but in some other article… Currently we can say, Project ‘Madeira’ promises a lot.

New Extensions for Project Madeira

When I run Project ‘Madeira’ for the first time, I found only three extensions there:

  • QuickBooks Data Migration
  • PayPal Payments Standard
  • Envestnet Yodlee Bank Feeds

All of them were created by Microsoft. But now, we can find eight of them (one new from Microsoft and few of them by ChargeLogic and Sana Commerce).

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It looks nice to see new extensions here from other vendors. I hope we will have a hundreds of them in few months as well.

But I’m afraid about their visibility when we have a hundreds or thousands of them. I use brick view for the best visibility, and yes – search works fine, but I think we have to have some additional tags. Minimum I need is Category tag, because we will have a lot of completely different types of extensions (data migration, notifications, integrations, payment, some specific vertical or horizontal solutions, localisations,…). Also, it will be fine to have Market tab because some of extensions are for global market, but some of them will be only for some specific countries.

I expect to have some kind of rating as well. We will have a lot of similar extensions, and we need something for differentiation. I think these ideas can improve ‘Madeira’ experience. But it look it will be a great product.

Contacts in Project Madeira via Outlook Client

In the last few articles about Project ‘Madeira’, I wanted to show how to configure it and some basics about usage and limitations. Now, I want to show you how we can use Project ‘Madeira’ using our Outlook. First, just to know, to do it we need Exchange Online (I’m using O365).

In this example, I’ve got an e-mail from unknown person. If we use a small icon on the top on e-mail, system will as us what to do with this contact.

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If I choose to add this contact as a contact in my Project ‘Madeira’, I can associate this contact with some of the companies… And everything without leaving my Outlook. If we don’t know how to use some of the fields, we need just to click on this field caption and we will get a small help.

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Now if we want to edit this contact, we can do it using “Edit” button. Or if this is not so comfortable to you, you can choose “Pop Out” button to open this contact in independent window. We also can run some other processes, eg. creating opportunity, creating interaction, checking or creating a quote… or run statistic or send some of the reports (in file format you want).

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If you run e-mail from this person some other time, system will recognize her as a contact. If this contact is not connected with a company, system will offer you this possibility. And everything is a live with your ‘Madeira’ database. You don’t need to leave your Outlook page.