More truth about the future of NAV

After the first day of Directions NA, there are a lot of confusing posts about the future of Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 for Financials. I don’t know why, because Marko Perisic was clear about all details.

The first well known products are not canceled. This is just rebranding and it means we will still have products with the same features (and lot of new features) as old NAV (and Dynamics 365 for Financials). Now we will just have one common platform for both of these old products and with the same name – Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ (currently code name). We will have this product on cloud and on-prem (as old NAV). If partners want to deploy NAV on Azure, they will not use their own infrastructure and instead of that, they will use this product as SaaS. But what is the best for partners, they can make project based customizations on cloud as well as on-prem. And this is amazing.

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About other Apps, we can license Apps as we want to use and we will be in situation to make combination of Apps from old BE or EE solutions. And of course we will pay per feature and per named user. And I must to be honest, maybe we still don’t have all details about licensing and this is one of the most important reasons, why this product is not published just now. Product is already finished, but we need to wait the final adjustments about licensing. This will be on the first place, because Microsoft wants to encourage partners and clients to use cloud solution as more as possible. This is the most important strategy. But all clients can continue to use on-prem solution if they insist. But Microsoft will make much better offer for cloud solution. And we need to be patient to wait the final decision.

New product will have new modern user interface, almost the same as other D365 products and this will be very important for future customers, because they will have the same filling working in different Apps.

And yes, we need to wait until the spring for the new product, but I cannot see some specific issue, because we can continue to implement NAV. If we customize NAV 2017 using extensions and VS Code, it will be very easy to transform these implementations to new solution the next year.

And yes, we can continue to use CDS for integrations, PowerApps, Flow, PowerBI… All of these will be used with the new product as well. We can continue to publish Apps on AppSource, because this service will be continue to use and it will be much more improved. And one more yes, on the closing session, Marko announced that he and his team accepted the most important feedbacks from partners. This is encouraging message for all partners who are afraid from any reason.

Of course, partners will need to change their business models in some parts, more or less, but this is normal situation in whole business. Personally, I’m happy with all new announcements and I think R&D team made a good job.

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New UX in NAV (Dynamics 365 Tenerife)

After first Keynote on Directions NA, we got a very exciting news about rebranding of our products and about their common future as Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’. In my previous post, I wanted to announce only the most important news and later write a more detailed. But in a meantime, Waldo wrote a post with perfect explained all these details and I’ll just give you URL to this post instead of writing the same text.

Before I start with other exciting news from the second Keynote part, first I want to share details when we can expect new products:

  • Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ – In preview, but GA Spring 2018
  • Dynamics 365 for Sales – In preview, but GA Spring 2018
  • Dynamics 365 for Marketing – In preview

Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL will continue as for now with the same name and we will get new versions this year at Q4.

But now, what we have more about new future release. OK we will get a lot of new features, but on the first sight, new UX will be the first what we can see and just to say my personal opinion – It is the great work. We will get complete rendered web client (probably Tablet and Phone and the same time, I’m not sure). Now when you compare all Dynamics 365 clients, there are all almost the same. This is the point, we don’t want to speak about specific different solutions, we want to speak only about Dynamics 365 as a product; and of course, we will run only these Apps we need:

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Now, I can just share some first pictures of the new client to see how it looks like. When we run Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’, we can see new refreshed role center with very interesting ordered information:

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Then in further, when we slightly go down, we can see more tiles and Power BI charts:

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If we click on some tile, we can get very first sight to the most important information in beautiful interface:

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The list pages are very similar as in old client, but without fact boxes. These information will be available on a different place, but by my opinion on much better place:

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And on the end, cards are little bit different with the most important information on the top of card:

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I really like this new interface and I cannot wait to make more tests with this.

New NAV will be Dynamics 365 Tenerife

The first day of Direction NA has just started and Keynote has just finished. The event is the biggest ever with 774 attendees. We heard a lot of news about our product(s). The most important announcement is:

  • The future Dynamics NAV release will be Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ on-premises;
  • The future Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Business Edition release will be Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ on cloud.

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That means, we will continue with ‘AND’ story. The main goal will be ‘on cloud’, but if we need we can continue to work with ‘on prem’. But, both of these products will be the same – a full NAV.

But there are more news, especially about ‘on cloud’ story. In the future release, we can provide customer oriented customizations in our SaaS solution, we can run Sandbox environment, our services can be offered… All of this is very exciting and we can find a lot of opportunities, especially in integrations with other products.

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This is not all with details. This is just the first basic review of news. There will be more news soon.

My Dynamics lectures in Serbia this fall

Just before I go on a trip to Orlando (Directions NA 2017), I want to announce something to my countrymen in Serbia. I’ll have two sessions on Sinergija 2017 conference in Belgrade. Sinergija will be held at October 25th – 27th and detailed agenda is still not known.

But my sessions will be the following:

  • Is the new NAV actually Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’?
  • What is Dynamics 365 for Talent?

Sinergija17

You can register with early bird until the end of this day. If you want to attend, it is a good opportunity to register.

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.

Image Analyzer in NAV as Cognitive Service

It really sounds amazing. But if you were been at Microsoft Ignite and attended NAV/D365FOBE sessions, you already seen this service as something what we will have in the future. When I say future, I think on the future NAV version, but if we speak about D365 for Financials, you can test in now.

Now, just small introduction how it works. I’ll show this feature on Items and you will see it works fine. When you run Item Card page, you will see Analyze Picture on a Actions tab as on the following picture.

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When you start this action for the first time, you will get similar notifications as on the following screen and you just need to enable it (of course) if you want to use:

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Then, system will lead through enabling wizard. First you will see a small description about how system uses the Computer Vision API from Microsoft Cognitive Service, where you can find links with more information bout API and services… You just need to click on Next, then confirm that you understand terms of conditions and on the end – Finish (if you want to analyze this current picture, you need to check one field).

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And if you check this checkmark field, system will start with analyzing this picture. This is how it works for the first time. But you can click this Analyze Picture on each Item Card where you already have a picture.

But what if you don’t have picture? As soon as you finish with inserting picture, system will by default run this feature, and system will automatically analyze new picture. When system finish with analyzing of this picture, you will find what system recognize with confidence better then 80%.

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But you can find all detected attributes if you click on a View All Attributes. All attributes with not so good confidence will be painted in red.

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From this point, you can do a few things. First, you will see that system sometimes offer some specific option in Action to Perform. By default, system will mostly offer Ignore as option, but sometimes it is “Use as category” or “Use as attribute”. I think I don’t need to describe what it means :). Of course, you can change this option as you wish and it probably depends of what system recognized. You can also use “Add to the Item Description” for each of attributes and to create specific Item Description based on discovered attributes.

When you finish with everything you can confirm and than you need to finish with attributes. System will add as attributes and as category all attributes you decided.

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Now, I’ve showed how you can start with this feature and how to test it. But I wanted to test it little bit more. OK, it worked mostly nice with images we have in Cronus database (not with all, because you need to have clear enough pictures).

But what we will get in some production environment? I made a few tests taking the pictures for the same items from catalogue (ideal pictures) and made from my own (natural pictures). You can find 5 tests in the following charts:

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Now, you can compare these results. First, I didn’t expect good results from realistic photos, but I was really surprised. Sometimes, ideal pictures got better percentage on the most important attributes (but not so big difference), but system very often recognized better attributes on realistic photos and that means system can understand context of photos. And I got more attributes from natural photos, but of course I got a more noses in attributes list, and this is something I could expect because in real picture you don’t have only one thing on the photo.

But I can conclude that this feature is really powerful. Of course this is just first edition of this feature and this is not unmistakable tool, but it can be very helpful in the future.

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.