Tag Archives: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – liquidity planning

Only companies that keep constant track of their funds can plan ahead and guarantee their capacity to pay. Here, constant monitoring of solvency development is particularly important. Microsoft Dynamics NAV offers the required tools.

Careful cash flow planning, also integrated into Microsoft Dynamics NAV, is necessary to correctly control and analyze cash flows in a company. This software draws all relevant information from various business areas (e.g. purchase and sales) and uses it as a basis for forecasts on all incomes and cost for a set period. One large advantage of cash flow planning is the inclusion of target figures such as posted orders. As the information used is real-time, it can be traded quickly as needed. This does not properly work in isolated financial accounting, as here only logged values are available.

Dynamics NAV 2017 Cash Flow
Cash Flow Planning in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017

With the 2017 version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, two new areas have been added to the cash flow functions – areas that also play an important role in planning:

  • The projects or project incomes
  • The VAT settlement (more detailed, the determination of VAT payable amounts)

It is now also possible to manually enter neutral incomes and cost. In this way, amounts outside of Dynamics NAV can be considered as well.

Dynamics NAV 2017 Cash Flow
Includable origin types in Cash Flow Planning

At first use of the cash flow tool, from version 2017 upwards, users are additionally assisted by a configuration assistant. This guides them through the necessary parameters, allowing users to define these by themselves.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – New Features for Developers

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017Since last October, users have been benefiting from the many new features introduced by the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. But there are also several enhancements for developers to discover in the 2017 version.

One of the most important changes is the expansion to options for creating extensions, whose basic functionality was introduced back in the 2016 release. Developers are now able to utilise the remaining object types (Reports, XMLPorts and Queries), which the extensions now usefully make available for creating more comprehensive solutions. Thanks to the new extensions, enhancements can now be built for Dynamics NAV without making changes to the platform’s standard objects. This simplifies the update process in particular, since the base system can be updated and the extension layer is then updated automatically from the service tier. Extensions can also be easily removed again without trace. In addition, extensions from NAV 2017 onwards can now include report templates, table content, permission sets, add-ins and much more besides.

In the next Dynamics NAV version (codename “Tenerife”), developers will also be able to draw on an in-client designer and the Visual Studio Code development platform for creating their extensions. Since last December, the new tools can already be tested by downloading a public Developer Preview.

With the new “application areas”, Dynamics NAV 2017 also makes things simpler for developers when modifying the user experience to the specific application requirements of the individual user. Administrators can now assign sets defined by a developer to application areas, so that the end users only see elements of the user interface that they actually require in order to complete their various tasks.

Optimise Business Processes with Machine Learning and Dynamics NAV 2017

Machine Learning with Dynamics NAV 2017The unstoppable progress of digital transformation not only changes the way of living and working of private individuals, but also presents big challenges to companies on a regular base. An efficient way of dealing with the increasingly rapid transformation are modern technologies and approaches such as machine learning.

In order to stay at the pulse of the times, executives should prepare themselves in time for the continuing digitalisation of the business world. This digitalisation also offers companies numerous advantages that not only facilitate administrative processes and general everyday operations, but also secure competitiveness in the long term. For example:

  • Creation of flexible work forms
  • Service optimisation through online support
  • Cross-location working
  • Streamlining administration
  • Outsourcing administrative processes

In order to strengthen or even improve ones’ own position in the competition, to increase productivity, quality and sales, and to save money by a more efficient use of resources, the use of machine learning is recommended. Machine learning is not a finished software product, but an individualisable learning and optimisation process. Using machine learning, algorithms are developed with the aim of analysing historical data automatically and identifying patterns therein. The results can finally be used as predictions and thus as a basis for future business decisions or to solve problems.

Efficient machine learning with Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Using Microsoft Azure Machine Learning in combination with the data source Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 is worthwhile for the introduction of machine learning into ones’ own company. The advantages for the companies include the following:

  • Assess the sales potential
    Efficient business management with the help of “learning” sales forecasts based on historical data.
  • Prompt overview of stock shortages
    Timely overview of inventory developments based on current stock bookings and dynamic sales forecasts.
  • Decision optimisation
    Realistic predictions as solid decision-making bases by means of various machine-learning algorithms and continuous result comparisons.
  • Transparency of predictive quality
    Evaluation of the calculated prediction results in everyday practice. Successive optimisation of prediction quality through exclusion or weighting of the predictions obtained.

Machine learning is used wherever large quantities of data are analysed and compactede into business or scientifically quantity and value indicators. According to experts, machine learning will be ready for the market and business-relevant across the board in two to five years. It is worth getting started with it now.

Get an overview over Microsoft Azure Machine Learning in the following video:

Microsoft Azure Machine Learning

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – Cortana Intelligence

Thanks to the option of expanding the NAV environment by means of various extensions, Dynamics NAV 2017 users can now also view sales and inventory development forecasts using machine learning.

Dynamics NAV can be expanded with an extension that gives the possibility to acquire knowledge of potential future sales from past data and a clear overview of expected stocks and sales development. Microsoft runs this extension under the name “Cortana Intelligence”. The Dynamics NAV extensions have no functional or content-related connection to the “Cortana Intelligence” concept in Power BI.

The system uses historical data for forecasts and helps the user to manage company stocks more efficient. This supports the supply management and ensures the customers satisfaction by guaranteeing that frequently purchased goods are consistently in stock.

Inventory Forecast in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017
Inventory Forecast in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017

In order to achieve optimal forecasts all the time, the extension uses a trained algorithm within the cloud service Azure Machine Learning, determines a corresponding result using the training data and finally issues this data to the user.

The performance range of the extension “Sales and Inventory Forecast” in Dynamics NAV 2017 covers the following functional areas on the base of historical data:

  • Forecast within the cash flow module
  • Inventory forecast and direct creation of purchase orders
  • Sales forecast

In addition to the existing functionality, Dynamics NAV 2017 also offers developers access to the trained algorithm within Azure Machine Learning. In this way, forecasts for the future can also be accessed on the base of further historical data.

Dynamics 365 for Financials: No New Dynamics NAV

In November last year, Microsoft launched its new cloud-based solution Dynamics 365 on the North American market. Release in four more European countries is planned for this year. The Business Edition of the product, which includes Dynamics 365 for Financials (Project Madeira), is based on Dynamics NAV, but varies from the ERP system in many aspects.

Microsoft Dynamics 365
Source: Microsoft

Although Dynamics 365 for Financials includes some of the functions of Dynamics NAV, it is not meant to and will not replace it – Dynamics NAV will be developed further in future as well. Unlike the latter, which can be run on-premise, via a private cloud or Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365 for Financials is a purely cloud-based solution. Since the features of the platform are reduced mainly to basic functionalities of the financial accounting areas, sales and purchasing, it is particularly suitable for small and medium-sized organisations. The simplified functional scope, the high user-friendliness of the intuitive application, as well as assistants and tutorials ensure comfortable acclimatisation and quick understanding in Dynamics 365 for Financials – especially for beginners. Dynamics NAV, on the other hand, comes up with far more extensive processes and additional modules (e.g. assets, production, service and project module), but is also more complex in use.

Comfortable platform expansion via apps and extensions

The flexible cloud platform Dynamics 365 for Financials enables to put the entire system individually together for oneself from various business apps and to adapt it to the requirements of the company, the industry or the role of the user. The corresponding applications can be obtained via Microsoft AppSource and can be supplied and used independently of each other.

For example, you can start with a few fundamental apps and add more as needs rise. The solution deployed includes only functionalities that are actually required in day-to-day operations. Thanks to this flexibility of Dynamics 365 for Financials and the opportunity to implement changes and expansions even without the help of the IT department, it is possible to react quickly and easily to the constantly changing market or company conditions.

Starting with the current 2017 version, the classic Dynamics NAV can also be expanded conveniently thanks to the extensions available. In addition, basic objects in NAV can be changed directly, thus allowing even the most customised adjustments. Updating the respective additional modules in Dynamics 365 for Financials and Dynamics NAV has different levels of difficulty. While Microsoft updates the applications acquired via the AppSource along with the basic application on a monthly basis automatically, extensions installed and basic objects adjusted in Dynamics NAV must always be migrated separately in the event of an update.

Continue reading Dynamics 365 for Financials: No New Dynamics NAV

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – Extensions

Since the publication of Dynamics NAV 2017, the NAV environment has been comprehensively expandable with additional modules or extensions. Partner solutions will also be made more and more available as extensions in future.

The extensions “PayPal Payments Standard” and “Sales and Inventory Forecast” are already included in Dynamics NAV 2017. The former can insert a PayPal payment link into the invoice document and the latter uses Cortana Intelligence for the targeted analysis of corporate data as well as for the subsequent creation of meaningful forecasts – calculated by means of p0werful machine learning. In Dynamics 365 for Financials, further modules can be installed directly via Microsoft AppSource. For Dynamics NAV, partners have the possibility to make the solutions available as a NAVX package to be installed locally.

NAV 2017 - Extensions
NAV 2017 – Extensions

As an additional layer, extensions contain all object changes, new objects and rights and can also include .NET add-ins and initial data, for example for set-up tables. This layer can be installed and activated without restarting the service tier. The service tier changes all relevant SQL tables upon activation and shows the extensions to the user.

The objective is to simplify the entire update process. The basic system can be updated and the extension layer is automatically also updated by the service tier. You can always stay up-to-date without dispensing individualisations, as long as the basic system maintains all references for the additional layer.

The enlargements of extensions are available in the developer environment both in the debugger and in the code coverage. It is also possible to remove extensions again residue-free. Thereby, all additional fields and table data will be removed.

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

 

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.