Today was the day where we have been looking out for for months! Directions EMEA Key Note session .. and for months, this day was assumed to be THE day that the new version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV would be announced, with all its exciting new features both in the product and in the platform. We already knew it was going to be a new major release, called: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016!
It’s out now, we are able to blog about it, so this is my first attempt to share with you the things that caught my attention during this keynote session.
The intro of Directions EMEA 2015 was quite a show – a beautiful piece on an enormous pipe organ, and an amazing introduction video, introducing Directions EMEA chairman Christian Sega (Agiles) on stage. Apparently 1350 people, where of 425 first time attendees. That is amazing. Apparently I’m completely wrong about the city – it doesn’t hold back people to attend this great conference, full of workshops, hands on labs, round tables, sessions, and much more.. . Even over 100 Microsoft people are present here. That’s a great investment from Microsoft as well.. . My god.. Great job, guys!
At the end of Christian’s “saga” ;-), he already announced next year’s Directions EMEA location, which is going to be in Prague .. How great is that! It has been the best Directions EMEA yet, and we’re going back to that beautiful city. Great! Mark your calendar the 12th to 14th October 2016!
Next, Paul White’s turn, with quite a positive observation: We (as partners of Microsoft Dynamics NAV) have done our best year ever! Great going. Dynamics NAV is clearly still in a lift. Essentially, Paul confirmed that the message and focus is consistent and the same as the past years: In office 365, On Azure, With CRM! A message we should keep on repeating day after day .. .
Paul invites Marko on stage .. Because it’s time to talk about the star of this conference: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016.
Easy to use: with NAV2016, we take advantage of the entire windows 10 stack, on all devices: phone, tablet, desktop .. . Yes, you heard right … phone!
Easy to use
Microsoft has worked hard on the web client , improving more than 60 points .. Claus Busk shows us a few points:
- Scrolling down
- Cross column search
- Freeze panes
- “Show less” to hide fields in the web client in a card page works now as well
- Drop down search as you type
- Change company in the web client
- Switch company / language / time zone / …
And that were just a few improvements… . They are clearly aiming for full desktop capability in the web client.
The Universal app then .. It shows the very same as the web client. But when going into tablet mode, it will switch to tablet client – which now seems to be called “touch wide mode” (?). Claus attaches the keyboard again, and the app changes to the web client view. This is cool. The Universal app switches modes for most convenient working experience
Then, Claus shows the app on a windows pone. I have had the chance to play around with a pre-version, and I can say: it’s great. It reacts fast and is really user friendly, using the “real estate” very efficiently. As Marko says, It’s a full NAV experience .. On a phone for crying out loud! Integration with navigation functionality and on top of that – uploading a picture of an invoice to the incoming documents of NAV!
Power to support
Next, let’s take advantages of services out there. Talking about: CRM, Document mgt, E-everything and workflow.. . Yannick takes over to show us some of these new features.
He starts with the invoice that Claus just uploaded .. And he sends it to an OCR service. You read that right: out-of-the-box OCR capability, together with a basic document management system, guys! We could see it actually taken the amounts from the document from the OCR service.
So what if we don’t want that paper at all – then there is another service that NAV can do: sending electronic documents through the document exchange service, and having confirmations that it was actually delivered to the customer. I’m not exactly familiar with it, but sure is interesting to find out during this conference :-). Wow!
Next is workflows! You can set up a number of workflows out-of-the-box, and even fairly easy create new workflows from scratch. Partners can build their own workflows, customers can customize workflows, … possibilities seem to be endless :-).
Next, Claus and Yannick show the newly built CRM integration: we have now the ability to see data in CRM tables. I have been involved a bit in this, but quoting my fellow MVP Rene: it’s a Ferrari compared to what we had :-). As such, it’s all in C/AL, and you have all in control, and setting up an out-of-the-box integration, is a 10-minute job! Or as Marko says: it’s native CRM data, and NAV is using it as it was NAV data. Kind of like “linked tables”, but not really linked tables ;-). Even on top of that: there are add-ins in CRM that can show (for example) NAV accounting information .. How cool is that! It’s not mandatory to use, but obviously very cool to have!
Yannick mentioned just as a side not: NAV is now also able to pull in the Daily Exchange Rates.
On top of that, there are also some Finance Improvements and something that is called Power BI (you must have heard of that ;-)). What’s that all about?
Well, I’m not a Finance guy at all – so don’t really understand everything they were talking about .. But I saw “deferrals” (which deserved an applause – so I guess it’s a big deal). Next thing is PowerBI. They have created a “content pack”, which will give you a dashboard with sales information and financials information. Looks like there are a number of out-of-the-box reports that comes with Dynamics NAV now. Really looked cool!
I have been doing quite some Power BI workshops, and now, finally, there is a service to hoop up to, In PowerBI.com, there is a Dynamics NAV service you can use. So Dynamics NAV is finally supported by PowerBI! I didn’t see a data refresh, but I assume it’s native now as well (note: automatic data refresh hasn’t been possible so far)
Quick to implement
Now I was getting quite exciting. And I have reason to it, because it’s about a new platform feature “Extensions“. As such, it’s building functionality that are able to be installed on any NAV deployment, PER Tenant, without any conflict (without the need to upgrade). We, with Cloud Ready Software, have been privileged to build the demo-extension for this key note, being an Extension that adds “Rental” capabilities to any Dynamics NAV implementation.
If you want to know more, please come to our session tomorrow at 4:45 pm MVP08 “Extending Dynamics NAV”. We’ll dive into the Rental App, and talk to you about Best Practices on building Extensions for NAV. (I might repeat this message a few time – I’m quite excited over this new feature)
During the demo, Claus showed the new VisualStudio-like code designer in C/SIDE. FINALLY we have intellisense, code completion … it’s a treat, guys!
And then finally Marko confirmed – When is NAV 2016 available? TODAY, people!! (you might have figured that out from the title ;-))
So, very cool new exciting things to look out for! Yet again, as the 3rd year in a row, this must be the best release ever! How do they put so many new things in so little time? 😉
Too bad that the internet connection sucks (I won’t be able to put up this blog immediately after the session), but the Microsoft Product Managers did a good job working around this issue. Great key note!
As you might have figured – I wrote the blog during the session – so it’s “as is”, full of typo’s and may be some misinterpretations … , but it should give you an overview of the new exciting release.