Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – Attributes, Categories and Illustrated Item List

The current ERP release from Microsoft, Dynamics NAV 2017, includes several new features that make daily work significantly easier. Extremely useful functions are the new item attributes and categories, as well as an illustrated range overview.

Dynamics NAV 2017 gives the possibility to define own product attributes (e.g. colour or size) and assign them to the corresponding item, so the user is able to refine and structure his article range much more better. Therefore, depending on individual requirements, any number of attributes can be logged and used, even multiple allocations are no problem. Assigning the respective attributes helps the user to filter items based on their attributes, and to find and organize them more easily within the range. The well-arranged item structure makes product registration and the addition of items to sales orders easier.

Definition and allocation of attributes in Dynamics NAV 2017
Definition and allocation of attributes in Dynamics NAV 2017

 

Filtering of attributes in Dynamics NAV 2017
Filtering of attributes in Dynamics NAV 2017

Product categories also ensure a better hierarchical structuring of the items. While the previous version of the ERP system only offered one main and one hierarchical level, the Dynamics NAV 2017 version will enable multiple hierarchy levels to be added to the main hierarchy level, which can be defined specifically and in multiple languages. Items can be accordingly allocated to the respective categories. Finally, they will automatically inherit the attributes allocated to the category with and without values, which in turn ensures consistency across related items, saving considerable amounts of time during allocation.

Allocation of item categories in Dynamics NAV 2017
Allocation of item categories in Dynamics NAV 2017

In Dynamics NAV, the opportunity to equip items with suitable images enables a visually appealing illustration of the product range. Since the launch of the 2017 version, these can be displayed in different sizes within the item list, ensuring a particularly clear presentation, as can be found in online shops. The user is able to allocate the items better, saving time searching for certain products.

Item images in Dynamics NAV 2017
Item images in Dynamics NAV 2017

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Merry ChristmasIt’s hard to believe – in a few days this year will already come to an end. The team of prisma informatik wishes you peaceful holidays and starts into a short Christmas break.

Christmas is just around the corner – time to rest the work and look back on the exciting months lying behind us. For prisma informatik, 2016 has been a very special year, which was capped by our companies’ 10th anniversary and the opening of a further office in Isny ​​(Allgäu region).

We hope you had a successful year and would like to wish all our customers and business partners a Merry Christmas and a good start into a healthy new year. We say thank you for the good cooperation and your trust, looking forward to master new challenges and goals at your side in 2017.

Instead of the usual Christmas gifts, we donated to various social projects in Nuremberg this year.

See you in 2017

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – Deeper Office 365 integration

Microsoft’s goal while developing the new Dynamics NAV version 2017 has been connecting the two worlds of Dynamics NAV and Office 365 as closely as possible. The principal focus is the expanded interaction with Outlook.

An Outlook add-in offers the possibility to access the financial data or information of his business contacts and customers from Outlook and to produce and send quotes to them directly.

Outlook integration in Dynamics NAV 2017
Outlook integration in Dynamics NAV 2017

The mentioned functions are normal pages that can be expanded by developers at any time according to the requirements in each case.

Professional e-mail templates can be generated, containing images and invoice information with items, amounts, due dates and payment conditions. The templates can be used when sending e-mails to the customers.

Document layouts in Dynamics NAV 2017
Document layouts in Dynamics NAV 2017

The front pages of the e-mails are generated in RDLC or Word report layout using NAV Report and enable a uniform appearance of all e-mails with attached PDF documents. The distribution of company-wide standardized templates ensures consistent appearance towards the customer – regardless of the message sender and the recipient device. The opportunity to create different layouts for different occasions (e.g. seasonal business) provides for particular flexibility.

E-Mail with attached PDF invoice
E-Mail with attached PDF invoice

Optimal interaction through contact Synchronisation

In addition, Dynamics NAV 2017 allows the user to get the contacts from the ERP system synchronised with Office 365 by means of contact synchronisation without leaving the application. In this way, for example, contacts can be added and updated in Outlook and subsequently synchronised with Dynamics NAV 2017. The contact synchronisation can be performed not just manually, but also daily or weekly with the automatic background synchronisation. A contact filter in Dynamics NAV ensures that only the required contacts are synchronised.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – PayPal invoice link and upgrade of OCR service

Since end of October, the latest release of Microsoft’s ERP solution Dynamics NAV 2017 has been available. Many of the new features help to simplify users’ daily work with the system – including in financial accounting. Particularly significant new features include a new PayPal link in invoice documents and the upgrading of the OCR service which was introduced in the 2016 version.

In this age of online banking, along with PayPal, Microsoft is responding with a special innovation, offering the chance to insert a hyperlink for the online payment service into the invoice.

Invoice with PayPal link
Invoice with PayPal link

By clicking on this link, customers are forwarded directly to PayPal, allowing them to pay the respective invoice more conveniently and more quickly online. The necessary invoice information is transferred to PayPal by Dynamics NAV, so the customer has just to confirm the payment.

PayPal Login
PayPal Login

The link can also be attached subsequently to sales invoices that have already been booked. In addition, Dynamics NAV 2017 allows the user to flexibly configure which documents should contain a PayPal link. The link can be added to both individual invoices and all invoices as standard with the corresponding Settings.

Payments configuration
Payments configuration

Improvement of e-services

To simplify the completion of sales processes for users, the previous version of Dynamics NAV introduced a special OCR service. Along with the introduction of the PayPal invoice link, the OCR functionalities have now been upgraded.

With the text recognition service from Lexmark, incoming receipts in PDF format (scanned or received electronically) can be converted into a structure which is easily processed by the ERP system.

So far it has only been possible to transmit header data and invoice amounts via the OCR service to a partial extent. Dynamics NAV 2017 simplifies this process as the article and general ledger account lines are also extracted. Invoice capture with OCR can be seen to be especially valuable for repeat invoices, since items can be determined easily using cross-references (e.g. the manufacturer). In addition, the new visual Lexmark website helps with checking invoices as well as with recognizing creditors and items.

More information on the use of the OCR service in Dynamics NAV is available in our blog article “Incoming invoice process with OCR in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016” and in the following Video:

Lexmark Invoice Capture Service
Lexmark Invoice Capture Service

Creating and sharing reports with Qlik NPrinting

Appealing reports can be generated and automatically distributed quickly and easily using the Qlik NPrinting reporting platform – in various formats via different channels. The add-on sources the required data and analyses for the adaptable reports from QlikView and Qlik Sense.

Qlik NPrinting uses QlikView and Qlik Sense as a data source and therefore accesses patterns and QlikView or Qlik Sense elements which the required reports are finally based on. Thanks to complete Microsoft Office Integration suitable report templates can be created in the native Office environment.

Report Designer in Qlik NPrinting
Report Designer in Qlik NPrinting

The reports can be produced in various standard formats, such as PDF, Excel, Word, PowerPoint or HTML and distributed accordingly – at a scheduled time or whenever they are requested by individual users.

Final Report in Qlik NPrinting
Final Report in Qlik NPrinting

They are distributed, e.g. by email or a transfer drive, but mainly through a centralized distribution system, the web-based NPrinting NewsStand Portal, which ensures that the reports are reaching their user extremely easy and fast. The user can finally subscribe to the required reports from a computer or mobile end device or have the available reports displayed or download them. As a result, the correct information always reaches the right recipient at the required time.

Qlik NPrinting NewsStand
Qlik NPrinting NewsStand

Qlik NPrinting also guarantees optimized flexibility, control and security through multi-engine scalability. Role-based security at app level ensures at the same time that administrators, developers and recipients only receive access to information that they are authorized for and is relevant to them.

Would you also like to create, schedule and automatically distribute reports quickly and easily using Qlik NPrinting? Contact us or visit our website for more detailed information about Qlik NPrinting in combination with QlikView and Qlik Sense!

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 officially available

As announced a few weeks ago, Microsoft has now officially launched its latest release Dynamics NAV 2017 on the market. According to Microsoft, the new version of the ERP system puts the worlds of NAV and Office 365 closer together, enhances the platform in different areas and creates completely new opportunities with various apps and Extensions.

Dynamics NAV 2017 Features
Quelle: Microsoft

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017, users and developers have now the following new functions, enhancements and improvements available:

  • Linked directly to Office 365 for easier navigation between Dynamics NAV and Office applications, such as Outlook or Excel as well as Power BI integration
  • Numerous functional enhancements in Financial Management and E-Everything (e.g. improvement of OCR services, cash flow, financial reports, faster payment of invoices thanks to integrated links to payment services such as PayPal and simplified creation of account categories)
  • Integration of Cortana Intelligence for the specific analysis and use of business data and generation of intelligent forecasts and decision making – calculated by powerful machine learning
  • Enhanced user experience due to numerous web, app, and phone client improvements as well as Smart Notifications, which guide users through processes relevant to the context and an Assisted Setup Wizard, which supports the setting up and importing of data, besides other things
  • Improved CRM integration through simplified usage within Dynamics NAV and enhanced CRM functions
  • Simplified categorization, management and filtering of articles by allocating article attributes and enhancing sales documents
  • Many new options for users thanks to helpful extensions that are provided by the already rolled out AppSource (e.g. Quick Box and PayPal)
  • Numerous other new features, such as the integration of Power Apps to create and publish streamlined apps and Microsoft Flow to link various cloud-based data and services as well as many enhancements for developers (e.g. additional object types)

You will soon be able to obtain detailed information regarding the feature highlights mentioned and many other new functions in Dynamics NAV 2017 in our new Dynamics NAV 2017 blog series.

On November 1st, Microsoft also released its new cloud-based business solution Dynamics 365 on the basis of Dynamics NAV 2017 in North America and Canada. We will keep you informed about its content and differences to the “traditional” NAV.

Qlik Sense 3.1: Qlik publishes new release of its data visualisation software

Qlik Sense 3.1Business intelligence provider Qlik has brought the latest version of its data visualisation tool Qlik Sense onto the market providing users with numerous bug fixes, improvements and new functionalities.

The feature highlights of Qlik Sense 3.1 include:

  1. Drag & Drop Coloring of measures and dimensions
    The new version allows measures and dimensions to be colored conveniently by simply dragging the appropriate fields into the chart by drag & drop. Subsequently, the chart color is automatically configured on the basis of expression settings. This facilitates the process of using several colors within a chart to clearly distinguish the individual values.
  2. Geographic Data Profiling
    Qlik Sense 3.1 offers the chance to profile the available datasets according to geographical information (e.g. city and country names) and create a map with the required geographical points and polygon forms on the basis of the found data. Thus, it is no longer necessary to upload geographical data separately to generate a geographical visualisation
  3. Pivot Table Loading
    In addition, the release makes it easier for the user to load unstructured data such as pivot tables or crosstables. To this end, the “Unpivot” button in the table editor makes it possible to select individual columns, to transpose them into rows and rename the attributes and measures.
  4. Improved User Experience
    In Qlik Sense 3.1, a new style of theme can be chosen that changes the background color of a sheet quickly and easily and provides the sheet objects with borders. This gives the dashboard a classic and structured look to support, for example, an accurate adjustment of a charts size and Position.

In addition to the listed functions, Qlik Sense 3.1 also offers other expansions, such as an enhanced scripting editor, a keyword and phrase search when browsing through DataMarket packages, an improvement of the Data Storytelling design as well as numerous bug fixes.

There are also a few innovations for developers. For example, in the new, free development environment Qlik Playground, they can learn to use APIs and the associated Qlik Engine and experiment with them.

Watch the following video to get more information on the expanded functions in Qlik Sense 3.1:

Qlik Sense 3.1 - What's New

Fast And Simple Geo-Visualisation With Qlik Sense

Qlik Sense Geo-VisualisationIt is increasingly important to maintain a constant overview of company-relevant data, particularly in the time of big data, but that does not make it easier. As a result, modern business intelligence solutions have become indispensable for companies in making the respective information as clear and coherent as possible.

The data discovery software Qlik Sense with its integrated geo-functions allows data to be evaluated and displayed, even for different geographical zones. It can, for instance, show you which regions in Germany sell a product particularly well, or if you were able to increase turnover internationally with an individual product in the past year. Qlik Sense offers various possibilities to visually display the relevant data on a map, and allows analyses and comparisons to be carried out.

Qlik Sense Geo-Visualisation - Sales in Germany
Qlik Sense Geo-Visualisation – Sales in Germany

This makes it possible for regional sales figures to be pictured on a map in the form of different coloured areas. In addition, the respective data can also be displayed on uploaded maps as circles of various sizes. Qlik Sense offers a diverse range of interaction options. Map scaling can be carried out by swiping, panning or scrolling (depending on the device being used).

Qlik Sense Geo-Visualisation - Area and Point Visualisation
Qlik Sense Geo-Visualisation – Area and Point Visualisation

In addition, you can focus on a specific area in just a few clicks, letting you take a closer look at selected information. A number of different selection possibilities are available to the user (marking, clicking, lasso and legends selection) to limit the examined data.

The pre-integrated mapbox background function can be used for geo-visualisation in Qlik Sense. Users can also add maps from external providers. Aside from additional maps, these also offer other expansions for more complex geo-visualisations. You will receive an overview of possible functionalities of external providers in a separate blog.

“Internal Security” in ERP Systems

Internal security in ERP systemsMid-sized companies are being targeted these days by plenty of ads for “IT security in business”. Focus is on securing data and protecting the IT infrastructure against external attack. Daily headlines about hacker attacks are drawing attention to the vulnerability of one’s business at a fundamental level.

For an internal ERP system, however, the data security concept ought to give equal importance to how its user permissions are set up. Because of its complexity this issue is often neglected, although it holds a great potential for harm. Even disregarding any criminal intent of employees who might want to steal or manipulate sensitive data, it should be clear that sensible, role-based granting or limitation of access for individual users is a critically important administrative task.

Defining user rights helps, after all, to avoid errors and to increase data quality, since only entitled (= competent) users can perform certain transactions.

The ERP system Microsoft Dynamics NAV, for example, allows you to adapt which features will be available to a user depending on that user’s permission settings. This greatly improves usability, because each role in a company will only use a fraction of the functions of a typical ERP system. Therefore, many companies have adopted high compliance standards for data access, which have to be guaranteed by a sophisticated access concept.

A number of important updates in this vein have made their way into the NAV standard with the release of NAV Version 2016. Some of these solutions had already existed in partner solutions. Microsoft has now consolidated these into a new release. Unfortunately, they did little to announce these functions, and most of us have had to stumble upon these “hidden features” by accident.

To summarize the most important changes:

It is possible to define specific permission roles. These roles can be assigned to permission sets that precisely control access to a system object (table, table data, report etc.). This administrative level makes configuring new users much more efficient, by having preconfigured roles to choose from.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 user groups
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 user groups

Matrix views show quickly and clearly which users have been assigned to which groups.

Users ordered by user groups in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016
Users ordered by user groups in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016

The creation of permission sets has also been simplified. A “recording” mode now lets the authorization administrator select the necessary system objects by simply running a session and working with the system the way a given user will work with it in future. Thus, the system objects are logged and summarized in a permission set. A user assigned to that permission set will then have exactly those permissions (read, write, execute, delete) that the administrator accessed while recording the model use of the application.

User permissions in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016
User permissions in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016

“Project Madeira”: Improvements and new Features to the July update

In July, Microsoft released an update for its cloud-based solution “Project Madeira”. This offers the users some interesting new expansions in addition to a number of small improvements.

The innovations mostly affect the interaction between “Project Madeira” and Outlook, the improvement of the sales documents and the connection to Dynamics CRM.

New features in Microsoft Outlook

Outlook now is equipped with certain new functions. From an appointment in the Outlook calendar, you can directly open the “Project Madeira” add-in, for example, in order to get an overview over the customer associated to the respective meeting. It is even possible to create and send an invoice for the appointment – without leaving the application.

Microsoft Project Madeira new features in Outlook
Source: Microsoft

A further possibility is, to send e-mail attachments (e.g. invoices as a pdf file) directly from the Outlook add-in to the list of “Incoming Documents” in “Project Madeira”. Then they can be forwarded to an OCR service which converts the received information into a digitally useable format. The entire process is carried out in the Outlook add-in. By the way, the user will also be informed there as soon as a software update is available.

Expansion of sales and delivery documents

The sales documents in “Project Madeira” have been expanded with a number of important fields. The changes now allow information in relation to the transport service and the tracking number to be recorded, which allows a better traceability for the delivery of goods.

Microsoft Project Madeira expansion of sales and delivery documents
Source: Microsoft


Adding own article attributes

Inventory articles can now also be labelled with various characteristics. The user can define his own types of attributes (e.g. colour, country of manufacture or size) and add these to the articles in addition to the built-in item characteristics. The inventory can subsequently be filtered using the various attributes. This makes the search for specific articles easier for both the user and the customer.

Linking with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

“Project Madeira“ already contains basic customer relationship management and opportunity management. If the available functions are not enough, it is now possible – supported by a setup guide on the Business Manager homepage – to create a link to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM in order to use its comprehensive features (e.g. in the area of marketing and customer service). This means that data from “Project Madeira” and information from the CRM can be connected seamlessly.

Further innovations

Further additional expansions can be installed via the “Extension Management” webpage. These include the verification and correction of all addresses in “Project Madeira”, as well as a simplified migration of data (e.g. customers, vendors and items) from Opera or Sage to “Project Madeira”.

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