Directions US 2014 Final thoughts

It has been a week already since the latest Directions convention in the US has ended .. and only now I have the time to wrap it up.. .

This was a CRAZY busy convention for me. Too bad, because it leaves less time to really enjoy the sessions .. . En there were enough sessions to really enjoy .. enough additions .. enough of everything.

The setting

The venue was great. There are not a lot of places that can beat San Diego. Though, last time we were there, the committee had chosen a better hotel .. close to downtown San Diego. This time, a cab ride was needed. Though, not important for me personally .. as I was either in my room, preparing for one of my three sessions .. or at the convention itself.

The MVP Track

As mentioned in my previous post, this track was just really freaking great! Real-life people, working with real-life customers and talking about their real-life experiences .. and coming with real interesting ideas! No sales-fluff .. just “the way it is”. Then again, the official name was called “MVP Best Practices”.

I liked very much the sessions that I went to .. and can only recommend you to join the same MVP track in Poznan for Directions EMEA. :-).

As said, at Directions US, it could have been scheduled somewhat better. There were O365 sessions of MVP track and Microsoft track at the same time, .. In fact, the MVP session always had to compete with Microsoft tracks. And when people only have 1 chance in a year to listen to the Microsoft PM’s .. I can understand they take that chance.. .

I would have liked to see that MVP track together with the ISV track. The ones that don’t want to go to the ISV track, have a decent alternative. May be next year :-). One thing is for sure .. the MVP track is one to keep!

My Sessions

Yes, my sessions were also part of this MVP-track. Three sessions: one alone, one with Gary, and one with all MVP’s. First, I did my PowerShell session, where I tried to explain what that PowerShell fuss is all about. I started slow .. with the basics .. and ended with a demo of an App (yes, the tablet client) that we use to provision new tenants. It looked something like this:

Doens’t say much, I know, but the main idea was that you can use even NAV as a GUI on top of PowerShell. May be my scheme explains it somewhat better:

Under the surface lots of PowerShell that’s going on, which ends up in a provisioned database.

The demo, however didn’t go well .. and only that night after the session I figured out what I did wrong: I used the name “Direct US” as tenantid, and there can’t be a space in the tenantid .. . damn .. should have just taken a simple name…

Session No. 2: Luckily, I got the chance to redo my demo in my next presentation, which was lead by Gary. He did the blabla .. I did the boomboom. This session was about “App is the new RoleCenter”. A session about a few idea’s on how you can use this new Tablet Client .. And how it could be presented to the customer. Here’s one of the more popular slides we showed (disclaimer: this is a concept, an idea, not a Microsoft-way-of-thinking .. so don’t start to draw conclusions just yet!)

In that demo, where I focused on the app, not on the PowerShell, the provisioning-demo went well :-).

The third session was the “MythBusters” session, which is some kind of pre-cooked “ask the experts” session. With about 13 MVP’s, we discussed some myths that exist within the NAV landscape.

We didn’t always agree on all of the myths, but then again .. it clearly showed that everything doesn’t need to be black or white .. but can be gray as well :-).

That was the last session of the convention. Because I was preparing that day from 4am in the morning .. I literally fell asleep during the partner-event in the evening. This had nothing to do with the company I was with (in the contrary ;-)), or with the organization. I was simply flat out tired as hell .. . Nevertheless, let’s end this post with Captain Design Patterns and her groupies:

Next year Orlando!

Next year, it’s in Orlando again! That’s a much better time zone for me .. so I’m already looking forward!

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    • Dave Machanick on September 26, 2014 at 12:27 am
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    The workshops were fun and educational – otherwise I would have attended more of the MVP sessions.
    One question about the Myth Busters – why was C# mentioned but not Jscript? (Or is that for next year’s myth busters?)

  1. Oops .. I accidently called it “Directions 2015” .. which of course should have been “2014” :-).

    @Dave: it was really nice to see you again! No particular reason on the JScript .. . I know we had prepared about 30 Myths .. but only got to do 15 of them. I’m not sure, but I guess on the other 15 there was something about JScript..

  2. Interesting about the GUI on top of powershell! I have experimented with running the NAV cmdlets from NAV with a .Net wrapper but got stuck since several cmdlets require administrator priviliges. I never found a way around that problem since the client is not running with administrative priviliges. Did you solve the problem your did you do a workaround?

  3. Hello, I very much liked your Powershell session. It gave a good overview of all the possibilities.

    I believe you had an example in that session of a function that can handle applying the version tag to the new version when merging objects. Is that function available for download anywhere by any chance?


      • waldo on March 17, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      Would this be a solution?

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