QlikView vs. Power BI

QlikView vs. Power BIThe products of provider Qlik have been among the market-leading solutions in the business intelligence sphere for years. With its analysis software Power BI, Microsoft would like to establish itself on the BI market as well. However, the product that is best suited to a company depends on the respective requirements placed to the tool. Qlik products and Power BI both come up with various advantages and disadvantages.

Although both solutions offer extensive opportunities for data assessment and generation of screenshots and dashboards, a closer look shows that there are significant differences.

Easy integration into the Microsoft environment

One of Power BI’s biggest strengths is its easy integration with other Microsoft products such as Dynamics NAV, Office 365 or SQL Server. If a company already works in a Microsoft environment, the necessary data sources (e.g. Excel tables or NAV data) can be connected particularly quickly and easily. In case of QlikView or Qlik Sense, integration with a source system such as Dynamics NAV is just as simple. The products also assimilate seamlessly into the Microsoft product portfolio. A connector such as prisma’s NAVdiscovery Toolbox can provide particular comfort while performing the connection.

Business Intelligence in the cloud – good or bad?

One should not be misled by the names given to the Power BI products. For instance, although there is a “Power BI Desktop”, this program edition is not suitable for professional use at companies due to its limitations with regard to deployment to other users and in capacity (1 GB). Rather, as a designer program, it can be used to create the assessments locally and publish them on Power BI, which is integrated in Office 365. Power BI is a purely cloud-based product and even the data to be analysed must be held available in a cloud storage space. However, the cloud-based technology of Power BI also gives rise to some advantages. For example, screenshots and dashboards created via the software’s mobile app can be shown directly on a mobile end device, allowing field service employees always to be kept up-to-date with the data.

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Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – Optimised CRM Integration

With Dynamics NAV 2017, Microsoft continues the improvement of CRM integration and user experience. In addition to the simplification of the setup process, the latest version of the ERP system also offers improvements in CRM use on the smartphone.

For instance, the basic CRM functions of the previous version have been fundamentally revised and expanded. With the linking of Dynamics NAV 2017 and Dynamics 365 for Sales (previously Dynamics CRM Online), for example, the user is now supported by a new assistant that leads him conveniently through setup and ensures seamless linking of Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 for Sales data. Moreover, by means of mapping and synchronisation it can be ensured that the data (e.g. prices and articles) in Dynamics 365 for Sales will always have the most current NAV status.

Mobile working with the CRM module within Dynamics NAV is also now even more pleasant thanks to Dynamics NAV 2017. For instance, customer relationships can be maintained more effectively in future from smartphones and some of the newly introduced expansions of the CRM role center can also be used on a mobile basis. The special CRM for smartphones includes contact management, various interactions and sales opportunities. In addition, all e-mails of the exchange server that belong to a contact can be journalized in Dynamics NAV.

Optimised CRM Integration on Smartphones
Optimised CRM Integration on Smartphones

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – improving the user experience

In addition to numerous functional innovations offered by the new version of the ERP system, many of the enhancements in Dynamics NAV 2017 also contribute to a more pleasant user experience. Highlights are the new smart notifications as well as a few improvements to the Web Client.

Users can now gain more benefit from non-invasive, intelligent messaging on their user interface that accompanies them through relevant work processes on a context-dependent basis. That means that the user receives information about certain situations and workflows without being disrupted or even blocked in the continuation of his current actions or tasks. This type of messaging supports new, less experienced users in particular in carrying out tasks intuitively without disrupting their workflow.

Smart notifications in Dynamics NAV 2017
Smart notifications in Dynamics NAV 2017

The messages appear at the top edge of the page in a messaging bar – with several notices at the same time in chronological order. The user can then decide whether he wants to discard the communication or choose one of the action options shown.

Improved user experience in the Web Client

The Web Client has also become a first-class client for desktop users. It meets the requirements of most users of an organisation, whether PC or Mac users. Thanks to the continuation of the improvements of Dynamics NAV 2016 with regard to simplicity, productivity and performance, Dynamics NAV 2017 optimises this experience even further – especially for first time users.

For example, new users can use assistants to learn new concepts, be guided by setups and installations or facilitate data input. In addition, revised tool tips display information and help on many fields and actions while the corresponding processes are worked on to the user. Moreover, the use of familiar function keys also helps to optimise workflows. For example, “ESC” can be pressed to end a page immediately or “F5” can be pressed to update data in the browser without having to reload the page completely.

In addition to the features described, Dynamics NAV 2017 also offers other improvements, such as the tap and hold action, brick layout and an optimised performance. It also supports more FactBoxes, iOS 9 and 10, Windows 10 Mobile and iPad Pro and offers much more.

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

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