June, 2013

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    NAV Design Pattern of the Week: Blocked Entity

    • 3 Comments

    Describing design patterns is something that has been done for various programming languages and business areas over the years. As well, Microsoft Dynamics NAV developers are using recurring solutions to solve common problems which are specific to enterprise resource planning software and even more, they are specific to the NAV inner workings. We are giving a name and documenting some of those reusable paradigms. Although the solution offered does not pretend to be the only or the best one at all times, we hope it will provide a good start for more technical discussions, ideas and knowledge sharing. It also offers ready-made recipes which can be reused during implementations. 

    The Reusable Dynamics NAV Patterns is a joint initiative and I would like to thank the NAV partners who have been here at Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen for the NAV Patterns workshop: Eric Wauters, Gary Winter, Mark Brummel and Claus Lundstrøm. We are looking forward to see more NAV Patterns being published from their side. Furthermore, this is an open initiative to anyone who has documented design patterns which are specific to NAV, please reach back to us either by leaving a comment here, or by writing to us. This being said, find below the NAV design pattern of the week.

    Blocked Entity

    Meet the Pattern

    The Blocked Entity pattern is used when it is required to stop transactions for an entity (mostly master data), temporarily or permanently.

    Know the Pattern

    In this pattern, the business entity holds a state that controls if a given transaction is allowed. The state is used by the logic controlling transactions. The change of state could either be temporary or permanent.

    An example of a temporary halt is when a retail chain selling items has received lot of complaints about an item, and the company wants to stop all transactions, both purchase and sale, with that  item until the dealer has clarified the issue with his supplier and possibly received a replacement for the defective stock. Another common example is during counting the physical inventory using cycle counting where the counting is done in one section of a warehouse at a time, so that the regular operations can continue in the other parts of the warehouse. In these situations, it is necessary to block all transactions, such as picks and put-aways, for a bin while warehouse counting is in progress for that bin.

    In contrast, a permanent halt to transactions could be required when an item has become obsolete (or is about to become obsolete), and the company wants to stop further purchase or sale of the item. However, the company wants to maintain the transaction history of the item and, therefore, does not want to delete the item record.

    A simple design implementation of such requirements in Microsoft Dynamics NAV is to add a Blocked field in the entity table (and on the associated page). The implementation takes this state into the logic and checks for the value of this field in related transactions. For most simple scenarios, it is sufficient to have two states on the Blocked field, specifying whether it is allowed to perform transactions for the entity or not.

    In certain situations, however, there could be different levels of blocking. For example, the company could block all sales to a customer that has overdue payments, and the company does not want to allow transactions with this customer until the payments are received. In other situations, the customer may have raised objections about an invoice, and the company has decided not to generate new invoices for the customer until the issue has been resolved. However, the company does want to continue shipping goods to the customer so as not to impact the customer’s operations. In these scenarios, it may be necessary to have multiple states on the Blocked field depending on the level of restriction that is needed.

    Use the Pattern

    As mentioned in the previous section, there are two implementations of this pattern depending on business requirements: The 2-state Boolean field for simple implementations and the multi-state option field for more complex requirements. The implementation flow is similar for both patterns, except how the validation is implemented. The following discusses the two scenarios one by one.

    Boolean Implementation

    Add a Boolean field named Blocked in the table.

    In the relevant logic, add a condition to check the status of the Blocked flag. The cheapest way is to use a TESTFIELD:

    <rec variable>.TESTFIELD(Blocked,FALSE);

    Alternatively, you can throw a custom error message. However, you should only do that if the default error message thrown by TESTFIELD is not sufficient.

    Option-Field Implementation

    Add an option field named Blocked in the table. The option values will reflect the different blocked states required by the company.

    Add this field on the card page (or on the List page if the entity does not have a card). As with the Boolean implementation, the convention is to add this field in the right-hand column in the General FastTab of the card page.

    Implement a function in the table that takes the transaction context as input and evaluates the Blocked field to decide whether the transaction should be allowed or not. Optionally, the function can be responsible for notifying the user and bubble up an error message straight away.

    Example

    Boolean Implementation

     

    An example of the Boolean implementation on the Item card.

    In codeunit 22 – Item Jnl.-Post Line, the following lines of code have implemented a check based on the value of the Blocked field:

    IF NOT CalledFromAdjustment THEN

    Item.TESTFIELD(Blocked,FALSE);

    Option-Field Implementation

    An example of the option field implementation on the Customer card.

    The CheckBlockedCustOnDocs and CheckBlockedCustOnJnls functions in the Customer table are responsible for validating the Blocked state with respect to the input document type. These functions are invoked in several areas, such as posting routines, where a status check on the Blocked field is required. This is a good practice where the Blocked implementation gets more complex, as this encourages reuse and ensures uniformity of implementation.

    NAV Usages

    Entities where the Blocked Entity pattern has been implemented include:

    • Item
    • G/L Account
    • Customer
    • Vendor
    • Bin

     

    Best regards

    Bogdana Botez and the Reusable Dynamics NAV Patterns team

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 - Houston is expecting you!

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    The Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 in Houston, Texas is now only a few short weeks away. From July 7 to 11 we look forward to hosting more than 16,000 attendees from across the business, and from more than 150 countries around the globe. This year, we expect a record 20+ percent of attending
    partners to be from Microsoft Dynamics!

    And we have some fantastic business content lined up for you . You can start by joining Neil Holloway, CVP Microsoft Business Solutions, as he shares the Microsoft vision for the future of business solutions, highlights first-hand stories of partner business success, and charts the path toward the business opportunities of tomorrow in the Microsoft Dynamics Value Keynote: "Seeing the future: a dynamic vision for business solutions". Then it's down to business with a full track of Microsoft Dynamics NAV content.

    Get informed in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV: End-to-End Update session, with a comprehensive strategy, business and product update, and information on how the upcoming “Sicily” release will help you operate a true volume business in the SMB space by offering the power of a comprehensive business solution from Microsoft.

    Be inspired in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV: New opportunities to build your business session, where you can learn about the new opportunities you should consider as you look at your business planning for the next 12-24 months - including key topics such as RapidStart Services for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Windows Azure and Office 365.

    Then go deep on strategic business areas including How to sell Office 365 together with Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Heading into the Future with the Windows Azure Cloud. And each time you attend one of the sessions above, you have the chance to win fantastic prizes!

    Great sessions, valuable content, but just a small part of what the Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 has to offer. More than 450 inspiring and informative sessions await, from vision keynotes with top leadership including Steve Ballmer, Kevin Turner, and Jon Roskill, to value keynotes, breakout sessions, and interactive sessions from all areas of the business. You can also come and say hello in the Microsoft Dynamics area of the EXPO in the extensive Commons area that forms the heart of the whole event.

    Access the WPC Connect Session & Meeting Scheduler to plan which sessions you will attend and begin networking with others from across the world. Start the Conversation on WPC Connect​​​​, continue in Houston.

    Not registered for the event yet? There's no time to delay. You can still register for an essential conference and networking experience that will help you set your business agenda and plan your investments for the coming year.

    See you in Houston!

     

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Now Available – Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 on Windows Azure!

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    We are excited to announce that Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 is now available from partners in the cloud hosted on Windows Azure! This means that, starting today, Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers can take advantage of easy to use, quick to implement business solutions from Microsoft with the added benefit of knowing their solution is hosted on secure, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure from a trusted provider. Read more from Paul White here.

    Over the past several months we’ve been working closely with our first “go-live” customers and partners, as well as with the Windows Azure team, to develop guidance and tooling to ensure a great experience deploying on Azure. That work is now complete, and as you can read in this post from Kenneth Kryger Gram at our partner Abakion, the response has  been overwhelmingly positive.

    Next steps for you are to get ready for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 on Windows Azure. Go to PartnerSource and find training, documentation, “how-do-I” videos and more.

    Finally, you can download the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Feature Pack 1 here - all the tools you will need to deploy your solution on Windows Azure.

     

    Best regards

    The Microsoft Dynamics NAV team

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Update Rollup 3 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 has been released

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    Today we have released update rollup 3 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 (Build 34902).

    Update rollup 3 includes all application and platform hotfixes and regulatory features that have been released for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013. Local hotfixes for France and Italy have been added to update rollup 3 and the update rollups now include hotfixes that apply to all countries and hotfixes specific to the following local versions:

    • DE - Germany
    • DK - Denmark
    • FR - France
    • IT - Italy
    • NA – North America
    • NL - Netherlands
    • UK - United Kingdom

    Where to find update rollup 3

    You can download update rollup 3 from KB 2852685 - Update Rollup 3 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 (Build 34902).

    The hotfixes that have been released since update rollup 2 are listed in KB 2852685. For a full list of all hotfixes included in the update rollup, see the following CustomerSource and PartnerSource pages:

    CustomerSource:

    PartnerSource:

    More Information

    For more information about update rollups for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, see Announcement of new hotfix process for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013.

     

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Help Files for Finland

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    The Help files for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, Finland country version, are now available in Finnish. The Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Finland Help.zip contains the translated Application Help. You can download the updated .chm files at the Microsoft Download Center.

    Best regards

    The Microsoft Dynamics NAV team

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