Did You Know…..

Did You Know?As part of our continuing effort to bring useful tidbits of information to those new to NAV, we at InterDyn BMI have created a subset to our Tips & Tricks Category called “Did You Know”. Unlike the Tips & Tricks that tell of handy tips and help teach end-users tricks within NAV,  this new blog contains quick information you may not find elsewhere in related Microsoft documentation. The information comes from real-life working experience. Please feel free to share something unique,  regardless of module, you may have discovered in NAV.

Here is our first post:

ITEM TRACKING

* When on a sales order, If you select an item tracking entries (aka serial number)  for an item then a bin code the serial number becomes un attached from the entry?

 

DIMENSIONS

* When on a journal page and enter dimensions for the account number then enter a balance account the dimension are blanked out?

 

SALES TAX

* Even if you company does not  have tax concerns, during the set up process you must enter a blank entry in the VAT posting set up with the type of sales tax?

 

RAPID START

* If you choose to “Apply” the package data without ‘Validating” first, partial data will be inserted in the table for the records  that contain errors.

 

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly…of Rapid Start

As I approached the new Dynamics NAV  2013 import tool called “Rapid Start” I felt a little like Clint Eastwood when he approach the outlaws in his famous westerns.

With no formal training I began to play and thus discovered quite a bit about how the functionality behaves.  Here is the Good the Bad and the Ugly of using the Rapid Start Tool, aka “RS”.

The GOOD: Rapid Start is a fabulous tool, easy to use (once you know the ins and outs) and is speedy for small import files. One of the best features is the ability to view import errors. Prior to RS a programmer would need to create an error log or exception report to show the reasons why the import failed.

In order to import data whether for one time use like data migration or periodically for on-going journal imports, packages can be created quickly, field’s values are validated and the data applied within minutes.

One of the best features of RS is it’s simplicity. This is a tool that all end users can quickly learn and has endless uses.

The BAD: Rapid Start has a few quirks, as I discovered through my many trial and errors. Some examples of these pesky traits would be when you click to “import from Excel” (from the package line) the window closes and you must go back and click again. This behavior is unusual but seems to happen the first or second time using the package only.

RS will let you import through excel and directly Apply the package but it is best not to. It is recommended to Validate the package first. This way you will not have chunks of data going into NAV at separate times. I found that it is much easier to reconcile if you validate the package as a whole, fix any errors and then Apply. Otherwise you can lose track of how many records actually were inserted if import is large. This leads me to the next area on concern. Rapid Start relies heavily on the Refresh option. I have found that when working with large import file the refresh rate is very slow and users may not see the true picture of the number of records in either the database or package or both. But give it time and eventually the tables will be updated.

The UGLY: Rapid Start has it definite limitations. It is NOT Rapid at all when files are large. You may ask “What is considered a large file”. The answer is not definable. It depends on the number of fields, the number of validated fields and the number of rows. Occasionally I receive the generic message “File is too large”.

I also ran into severe processing delays (and I define severe as hours) when files contained forty-eight fields and had fifty-five thousand rows. My solution was to splice apart the file into smaller files with less rows and ask the ERP Gods for more patience.

Additionally users may receive error messages stating that a table does not exist in the package config. table, or that is are locked by other users, if the import file being used came from a different package. I even experienced Excel being locked, even though Rapid Start package was cancelled or deleted. My only alternative was to open Task Manager and kill the Excel process.

Lastly, I ran into an import situation, where Microsoft could not even explain. My import file kept failing and presented a technical message regarding sql and code. The un-explainable error was finally resolved by creating the template again, cutting and pasting the data from the ‘bad file’ into the new template and then importing.

In summary, the 2013 Rapid Start tool does work well under certain conditions, but as the great actor once said  “Men must know their limitations”.

 

Push or Pull; It’s Your Choice

By now almost all users of Dynamics NAV are aware that NAV is integrated with Microsoft Excel. It has been this way for a while and with the newest release of 2013, or if you prefer NAV 7, this is even more true. There are more reports that can be sent to Excel and nearly every list page can push data out to Excel as well. But what if you had the need for users to be in an Excel worksheet and pull the data from NAV by using lookup list?  What if you required the user to input a certain value in an Excel field but needed NAV data validation when doing so?

Below is an easy “How-to” article to create endless Excel worksheets, using valid data from NAV tables.

Some simple but useful examples of worksheets that can be created using this information would be time entry, contact cross reference, and employee benefit tracking.

NAV into EXCEL

 

Company Defined Colors

Finally, users can now see what company they logged into when they open any RTC page is open. This neat ‘tool’ shows the user, in an assortment of colorful ways, what company and (or) database they are in according to predefined set-up ‘System Indicators’. This is very handy when an organization has 2 or more companies and the user must work in many of them at once and throughout the day.

Here is how it is done: Simply go to the System Indicator fast tab of “Company Information”. Depending upon the choice in the System Indicator field, default text will be populated, however users can define their own as well. The System Indicator Style field will determine the color of the verbiage displayed; for example 1 is RED, 2 is BLUE  and 9 is GRAY.

There are a few limitations to note: This feature is only available if the NAV installation is running R2 and there are only 9 colors to choose from.