Configurations of Profiles in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

Configurations of Profiles in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

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In NAV 2013, the out-of-the-box experience shows how RoleTailoring makes a difference.

All 21 pre-defined user profiles have been updated to include configuration of individual pages to fit the work of each user profile. This affects the list places in the navigation pane, all associated ribbons, and the majority of list places in the department
page.

Benefits for customers include:

  • Simplified appearance of the application.
  • Improved help for on-boarding users by presenting work tasks in a sequenced fashion.
  • Increased user productivity by promotion of relevant tasks and hiding less frequently used actions and fields.
  • Personalization of pages made easier because actions are grouped in domain groups (Warehouse, Service) that can be removed altogether if not relevant.

Benefits for partners and super users at customers include:

  • Better leverage and demonstration of the ribbon, its icons, the configuration and personalization story, the Quick Entry feature, the freeze pane, etc. Customer demos are made easier, and the demonstrations are more convincing because the pages look simpler and more focused.
  • Redundancy removed and a pattern established for partners, super users and end users. Future configuration work is easier because a better starting point is provided, which means less time for partner and power users to do a good job.
  • Less training is required with a Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 installation since the right information and actions are readily available.

Implementation

In order to understand how the final user interface has been built up for Microsoft Dynamics 2013 RTM, a short description of the three stages of the delivery is described below. The same sequencing is recommended for partners that want to integrate their solution in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013.

In summary, the 3 stages are:

  1. Changing page objects to reduce the amount of configuration needed.
  2. Establish a configuration baseline, which configures elements useful for every user profile.
  3. Finalize the RoleTailoring experience by configuring for the special needs per user profile.

Stage 1: Changes in the Page Object Actions (ActionItems, RelatedInfoItems, Reports)

The recommended changes are:

  • Break up “giant” ribbon groups (those with more than nine actions per group), using the Action Designer, into smaller groups that are organized by topic in a relevant way for the domain. In general, group the actions using additional relevant groups. Suggestions can be domain driven (Warehouse, Service, Resources, etc) or process driven (Documents, Print, History, etc.).

Example of a giant ribbon action group in the Navigate tab (the “Item” group has 22 actions/dropdowns):

Example of a “giant” ribbon action group (the “General” group has 20 reports):

  • No work is carried out in the Home tab
  • Create domain groups like “Release,” “Warehouse,” or process groups like “Documents”, “History”, “Send To” etc.

Examples of new action groups created to avoid Giant groups. This work is not carried into the Home tab. To promote action is considered as a configuration task.

  • Exploit the QuickEntry property

Example of a quick entry implementation on Sales Order page where only No.; Sell to Customer No.; Requested Delivery Date; and External Document No.; are "mandatory" to pause by or amend when using the Enter key. Skipping 6 fields in W1. In the following illustration, the QuickEntry property is set to FALSE on Sell-to-Customer Name. In general all fields that have a defaulting mechanism (the various dates on sales order) or are retreived by master record are skipped.

  • Sync help references with the new structure.
    • When assisting the users to find an action, the Help system was referring to generic places defined with the general groups like "General", "Functions", etc. When new groups were defined, these references needed to be updated.

Stage 2: Establish a Configuration Baseline with a New “Master Page” Concept

To provide the most flexibility in configuration, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 allows pages to be configured differently dependent on how a page is opened. For example, a list used for lookup can be configured differently from how the same list looks when opened as a listplace. Conversely, in cases where in fact the same configuration should be used regardless of where a page is opened from, it is necessary to duplicate the configuration.

Because this duplication was a frequent need during the work to configure W1, an internal tool was developed that included the concept of a "master page". A master page for each list and card page was crafted and duplicated in the Department page (and other places), so the user gets configured pages regardless of whether they come from the navigation pane or the Department page. The "configured" page included in Department was the one from the most predominant role - e.g.: the Sales Order list optimized for the Sales Order Processor is the "default" Sales Order list for all profiles when accessing the Department page. The Purchasing Agent optimized Purchase Order should be the one included in the Department page, the Finance pages optimized for the Accounting Manager are included in the Department page, etc.
 
The basic configuration of pages that was duplicated as described includes:

  • Improve the Home tab (the promoted commands):
    • Organizing the ribbon by either frequency of tasks or sequence of tasks.

Example on Sales order card page: Release and Posting are groups placed where frequency is the design criteria. Prepare, Order, and Documents reflects a sequence of activities.

On the Actions Tab, the positioning of the Posting group follows the sequence of tasks.

  • Implement a pattern for the generic groups - Print, Send To, View, and Show Attached. They are always in this order and at the right end of the ribbon in order to ease the retrieval and to focus the attention to the specific actions of the pages placed at the left.
  • Simplify the ribbon - remove Show as Chart when irrelevant, promote the few action in Navigate or Actions when possible, and remove redundant tabs.

As an example, see the following screenshots of the non-configured ribbon for the sales Journal List place Home and Action tabs:

The following is the configured ribbon for the same page (Sales Journal List place) without redundant Actions Tab and without the group "Show as Chart"

  • Establish a visible integration to Office (Send To Group with Excel on list and Email on card pages).

The integration to Office is included by default in the NAV Application menu:

Examples of integration to office - Excel for list, Email or Word for Document or Card page:

  • Implement Quick Entry functionality on all document pages (some are also implemented in the page object).
    • Not all page card were amended with the QuickEntry property on the page object directly, so the remainder were configured with the QuickEntry property at the FastTab customization.

You can select the "Customize FastTab" button on the Customize page, and then select Quick Entry for fields. You do not need to select Quick Entry for fields with the Importance set to "Additional." (The "Additional" fields are fields that are included when you click "Show more fields.")

 

  • Define Freeze pane on list and card page repeater.

Some pages like the Job Journal with integration to several application area and a complex functionality benefit greatly from a Freeze pane when working with the lines.

 

All list places on the Navigation pane have received a Freeze pane, usually with No. field. The description field is usually placed just after the freeze pane. Note: a quick way to see if a page has been configured is to see if there is a freeze pane defined or a promotion of a Send To group is created. These are two examples of improvements that are not defined out-of-the-box on the page object.

 

  • Add fields and list pages to navigation panes, role center ribbon, or as additional fields on repeaters. The need can originate from a wish to make the configuration
    more specific to the role. Or it can be because of the limitation of the web client to perform personalization, so critical fields for some functionality have been included. 
    • Creation of new tabs: The following is the Accounting Manager Role Center. To avoid giant groups and to make the Actions group more readable, several actions have been placed under new tabs. One example is the Setup tab. An analysis of what are the frequent Setup tasks of an accounting manager suggested that some VAT setup and some other general setup could be included. Since these additions were made at Configuration time, there are no actions in the page object that can be assigned an icon. This also demonstrates the current lack of ability to add an icon at the time of promoting an action to the Role Center ribbon.

 

Stage 3: Finalize the Role Tailoring experience

The third and final stage of RoleTailoring relates to the configuration one carries out for individual user profiles. Needless to say, this is when your knowledge about the roles and responsibilities of the individual user profiles come into play. Overall, this is how this stage of configuration was implemented in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013:

  • Perform page optimization on the baseline and only for the specific profile/role center. Two types of RoleTailoring take place:
    • Tailoring the common list or card pages for the specific role/profile. Example: Finance versus Supply Chain flavor on master data list and card.
    • Tailoring the pages depending on which functionality are used. Example: Remove posting group on sales order and promote “Create Warehouse Shipment” for a profiles using WMS, as warehousing processes require the user to release the order, the posting being delegated to the Warehouse Shipment document.

The following are three examples with Item card. Purchasing agent, including journals:

 

Warehouse responsible, excluding journals, bringing Bin Contents to a predominant place. Depending on the company flow, it can be simplified much more, for example, by removing reports and Requisition Worksheet.

 

Service Technician, excluding journals, add Service group. Requisition Worksheet is kept in case the technician has his own batch, where he can add missing parts for the consideration of the Purchasing agent.

 

The following are two examples with the Sales Order page. Sales personnel, Purchase and Finance:

 

Warehouse Responsible, location with WMS: Sales Order, no posting group, only Create Whse Shipment (the posting is done at the warehouse shipment):

 

The following are two examples with Customer page. Warehouse Responsible, location with WMS:

 

Service Technician:

 

  • Rearrangement of the sequence of fields on selected order pages.

Sales order line for a warehouse responsible:

 

Sales order Lines for a Purchasing agent:

 

  • Fine tune role centers by adding missing actions or list places.
    • In Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, all ledgers have been added as lists to the Department page History category. This allows the user to add the list to its navigation pane and to create specific views.

The following example is from the Accounting Manager profile where the vendor ledger entries has been added to the navigation pane and a view is created for purchase invoices due today.

 

  • Create correlations between Views and Ribbon.

On the Sales Invoices “Pending Approval” view (built up filtering on sales, invoices pending approval), the following actions are promoted: “Release,” “Cancel Approval,” and “Approvals.” The Posting group and the Reopen, Send
Approval Request etc., are not promoted because these actions are not relevant for the view.

 

On the subsequent “Approved” view, the "Reopen" action is promoted and the Posting group is added.

 

Issues to Note

  • Not subject to configuration. The following examples of RoleTailoring activities have not been carried out:
    • Promote charts to role centers
    • Promote relevant “all records” charts as FactBoxes on list or cards (FactBox charts do not listen to individual records)\
    • Customization of TastTabs
    • Customization of FactBoxes
    • Sequence of fact boxe
  • Non-configured profiles - Two new profiles have been added to the demo company: Rapid Start (both role center and profile) and Order Processor NC (Non-Configured). These profiles are not configured. The targeted user for the Rapid Start profile is a partner. The purpose of the Order Processor NC profile is to have a back-door to access the page object without configuration. The scenario for the non-configured order processor could be a simple wish to understand what is in the base object, or the applied configuration does not have an action that you quickly wants to use and you are not able to correct the currently applied configuration.
  • Emptying groups is different from removing. Note: This issue is also valid for tabs. Subsequent changes on page object will not appear on existing configurations if groups have been removed. If an administrator removes a whole group and his partner adds some actions in that group, the group will not “reappear” in the final UI. However, the added actions will be present in the personalization dialogues. If this is the desired behavior, the recommendation is not to remove whole groups, but only to empty them. The added action will then appear.
  • Shortcuts - A simple rule has been implemented: if the action is removed from the ribbon, then it’s not possible to invoke it, even if the keyboard short-cut is invoked. The only exception to this rule is Refresh (F5).  If some system action like Clear Filters (Ctrl+Shift+A) or Find (Ctrl+F) should be active but should take up real estate at the Home tab, then move these type of actions to a second tab.
  • Multi-language - The configuration for the North America (NA) build is multi-language enabled as all four languages are present in the configuration file (en-US, es-MX, en-CA and fr-CA). The caption will be shown depending on which language code is selected. This is the only “multi-language” capability out-of-the-box. If a Sales order processor working in Denmark on a Danish installation is German and wants to experience all the configured groups and tabs in German, after selecting the German language, she needs either to import the German version of the configuration file, or to configure or personalize all the captions that would be rendered in ENU.
  • Size - Each profile has an associated configuration file (XML format) of approximately 20 Mb, multiplied by 21 profiles per language version and by 15 countries (Canada counts for 2). This ends up with an impressive 0.6 GB. there is lot of handling associated with working with configurations and we are working on simplifying this.
  • Integration between configuration and security permissions - The configuration ability is not a security functionality. When an administrator removes items from the interface for simplicity reasons through the configuration, the personalization performed by users can bring them back. There is a functionality to exclude the ability to use the personalization by adding the command -disablepersonalization when starting the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client. You can read more about this on MSDN.
  • Help is available at MSDN - Check this link to bring you to the Profiles and Role Center topics.

Known Issues for Profiles or Limitations in the Configuration Capabilities

The following issues exist with the configured ribbons:

  • Only W1 has been configured. The changed local pages compared to W1 has not been configured.
  • The Purchase Orders list and task page on Finance roles does not have the action New. (Should only be for the list in navigation pane, but the Department page should have the configuration from the Purchasing agent.)
  • The Job Planning and Tasks lines do not have a freeze pane.
  • The correct caption for some promoted actions on configured profiles is missing.
  • Profiles on local versions contain promoted actions with labels such as "Action 12345". This occurs because of the difference between the profile for the W1 version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and the local profile. The pages in local versions can contain actions that have been deleted or promoted to another group. The instances are identified in the Deleted or Promoted Actions section, later in this document, with information about how resolve the differences. The workaround depends on the issue. You can either:
    • Personalize or configure the ribbon again.
    • Delete the configuration of the page (Departments, Administration, IT Administration, Data Deletion, Configuration and Personalization, Delete Profile Configuration). Then recreate the configuration manually.

The configuration capabilities are evolving with the following not currently available in the product:

  • Actions added to role centers (e.g. at local versions) do not have an icon assigned.
  • The toolbar above the grid of subpages (e.g. Sales Order lines) is not possible to configure or personalize.
  • It's not possible to add a FastTab to a Card page, nor is it possible to move or copy fields from one tab to another.

Deleted or Promoted Actions

The following table shows pages in the local version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, which contain actions that have been deleted or promoted to another group, with a recommendation for a possible resolution.

 

Version

Page

Action

Target

Resolution

DACH

9020 - Small Business Owner RC

Action10

Sales Order (42)

Delete the action or delete and move the duplicate action from the "New Document" group.

DACH

9020 - Small Business Owner RC

Action3

Purchase Order (50)

Delete the action or delete and move the duplicate action from the "New Document" group.

ES

43 - Sales Invoice

Action63

No target

Delete the action.

ES

44 - Sales Credit Memo

Action114

No target

Delete the action.

ES

507 - Blanket Sales Order

Action67

No target

Delete the action.

ES

509 - Blanket Purchase Order

Action69

No target

Delete the action.

ES

51 - Purchase Invoice

Action61

No target

Delete the action.

ES

52 - Purchase Credit Memo

Action53

No target

Delete the action.

ES

6630 - Sales Return Order

Action55

No target

Delete the action.

ES

6640 - Purchase Return Order

Action53

No target

Delete the action.

IN

132 - Posted Sales Invoice

Action58

No target

Delete the action.

IN

5743 - Posted Transfer Shipment

Action51

No target

Delete the action.

IT

9004 - Bookkeeper Role Center

Action8

Sales Invoice (43)

Replace caption with "Sales Invoice".

IT

9004 - Bookkeeper Role Center

Action556

Purchase Invoice (51)

Replace caption with "Purchase Invoice".

NA

16 - Chart of Accounts

Action1900670506

Detail Trial Balance (4)

Replace caption with "Detail Trial Balance"

NA

21 - Customer Card

Action190068113206

No target

Delete the action.

NA

27 - Vendor List

Action1905766406

Vendor List (27)

Payments on Hold (319)

NA

27 - Vendor List

Action1905685906

No target

Delete the action.

NA

370 - Bank Account Card

Action53

Bank Account Statement List (389)

Replace the caption with "Bank Account Statement List".

NA

371 - Bank Account List

Action7

Bank Account Statement List (389)

Replace the caption with "Bank Account Statement List"

NA

434 - Reminder

Action1906359306

Customer - Trial Balance (129)

Replace the icon with "Customer - Trial Balance"

NA

9004 - Bookkeeper Role Center

Action8

Sales Invoice (43)

Delete the action or delete and move the duplicate action from the "New Document" group.

NA

9004 - Bookkeeper Role Center

Action556

Purchase Invoice (51)

Delete the action or delete and move the duplicate action from the "New Document" group.

NA

9020 - Small Business Owner RC

Action10

Sales Order (42)

Delete the action or delete and move the duplicate action from the "New Document" group.

NA

9020 - Small Business Owner RC

Action3

Purchase Order (50

Delete the action or delete and move the duplicate action from the "New Document" group.

NL

9004 - Bookkeeper Role Center

Action8

Sales Invoice (43)

Replace the caption with "Sales Invoice".

NL

9004 - Bookkeeper Role Center

Action556

Purchase Invoice (51)

Replace the caption with "Purchase Invoice".

-Philippe Jacobsen

Senior Program Manager

pjacobse@microsoft.com

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