Plataan - Microsoft Dynamics - Learning & Competence Management Vincent Bellefroid Koen Stox Steven Renders Conny Schuddinck Steffie Alexiou
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28/10/2011

Samenwerking KHLeuven en IT-sector leidt tot nieuw Postgraduaat Bedrijfsinformatisering

Heverlee, 25 oktober 2011.  De toenemende vraag van de bedrijfswereld naar mensen met expertise in ERP-software en het engagement van de KHLeuven om levenslang leren te bevorderen, heeft geleid tot een nieuwe samenwerking. Vanaf dit academiejaar resulteert dit partnership in een nieuw Postgraduaat Bedrijfsinformatisering via business- en ERP-software. Na deze opleiding zijn de afgestudeerden direct inzetbaar als ERP consultant.

Nu Enterprise Resource Planning niet meer enkel in multinationals gebruikt wordt maar ook zijn plaats heeft gevonden in middelgrote bedrijven en diverse organisaties, wordt de vraag naar professionals met brede ERP skills steeds groter. Bovendien ervaren werknemers ook steeds meer de behoefte om zich bij te scholen, waardoor de nood aan hogere opleidingen in combinatie met een job toeneemt. Daarom heeft de KHLeuven, departement Economisch Hoger Onderwijs, samen met ERP-bedrijven uit de SAP- en Microsoft Dynamics omgeving een tweejarig Postgraduaat uitgewerkt.
Volgens Koen Stox, zaakvoerder van Plataan en gastdocent in het programma, vult de opleiding een behoefte vanuit de bedrijfswereld, die tot nu toe nog nooit op een dergelijke manier werd georganiseerd door de onderwijswereld. Naast de technische ERP vakken besteedt dit postgraduaat immers ook aandacht aan zaken als change management, business intelligence, etc.

Maarten Engelen, student, is erg tevreden over de opleiding: ‘Als werknemer in een bedrijf, gespecialiseerd in enterprise content management, kom ik dagelijks in contact met ERP-projecten.  Deze opleiding is niet alleen gericht op de bits & bytes, maar leert je verder kijken dan de technische uitwerking van een project en geeft je inzicht in de bedrijfsprocessen van ondernemingen. Ook is het interessant dat studenten verschillende achtergronden hebben, waardoor je projecten ook vanuit een ander oogpunt leert bekijken.’

Het Postgraduaat Bedrijfsinformatisering via business- en ERP-software geeft naast een grondig inzicht in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, SAP, e.d. heel wat specifieke theorie rond change- en projectmanagement, ICT-architectuur en governance, alsook praktische training van sociale, communicatieve en andere professionele vaardigheden. De opleiding richt zich naar werknemers met een IT- en/of bedrijfsmanagement achtergrond of mensen die zich willen heroriënteren. De opleiding is gespreid over twee jaar op dinsdagavond en zaterdagvoormiddag en wordt volledig gegeven door gespecialiseerde gastdocenten uit de sector.

Meer info:  patricia.laenen@khleuven.be of Inge Verstraete op 0478 88 02 38 of 016 375 300 of http://www.khleuven.be/Studeren-aan-de-KHLeuven/Verder-studeren/Postgraduaten/Postgraduaat-bedrijfsinformatisering-via-business-en-ERP-software

Over de KHLeuven:

De Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven biedt professionele bacheloropleidingen aan in de studiegebieden onderwijs, handelswetenschappen en bedrijfskunde, gezondheidszorg, industriële wetenschappen & technologie en sociaal-agogisch werk.  Daarnaast organiseert de KHLeuven bachelor-na-bachelor-opleidingen, postgraduaten en permanente vorming. De KHLeuven biedt een stimulerende leeromgeving waar je een stevige theoretische basis krijgt maar waar je ook meteen beroepservaring kan opdoen in de praktijk. In het academiejaar 2011-2012 telt de hogeschool ongeveer 7.000 studenten. 

Over het departement Economisch Hoger Onderwijs (ECHO):

In de opleiding bedrijfsmanagement biedt ECHO de volgende afstudeerrichtingen aan: marketing, accountancy-fiscaliteit, financie- en verzekeringswezen en rechtspraktijk. De opleiding office management biedt volgende keuzes: bedrijfsvertaler-tolk, event- en projectmanagement, management assistant en medical management assistant. Binnen het gamma voortgezette opleidingen biedt ECHO de bachelor na bachelor advanced business management, het postgraduaat bedrijfsinformatisering via business en ERP-software en het postgraduaat fiscaliteit aan naast een ruim aanbod kortlopende seminaries onder de noemer permanente vorming en Fiscale club Leuven. In totaal telt het departement in 2011-2012 ongeveer 1.900 studenten.

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03/08/2011

Sure Step Adoption Program boosts profitability and increases customer satisfaction by 20 percent

Travi@ta increases customer satisfaction by 20% and boosts profitability with Sure Step. This Microsoft partner with a Gold Customer Relationship Management competency adopted the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology for delivering Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementations and communicating with customers, collaborating with Plataan, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Microsoft Certified Partner for Learning Solutions. With more than a year’s experience in practicing the Sure Step methodology, Travi@ta achieves outstanding customer satisfaction and generates revenue at better margins. With clear communications, careful expectation setting, and thorough documentation of agreements and project details, Travi@ta fully aligns sales and project delivery. In consequence, the number of satisfied customers has increased by almost 20 percent. Today, regular online and telephone surveys by independent research providers show that 95 percent of the company’s customers are delighted with Travi@ta and the relationship they have with the employees they interact with.

 CEO Claude Verschueren says, “The Sure Step methodology helps us ensure that our project delivery perfectly matches customer expectations. In addition, customers better understand what needs to happen at what point in software implementation projects and who is responsible for it. Following our adoption of the Sure Step methodology, all of our customers are satisfied and we can easily resolve the minor issues that still come up.”

 Travi@ta has also gained a better return on its efforts to develop and win new business. Firmly established goals and a shared understanding of software implementation parameters translate into better revenue margins. “We hardly ever provide free consulting anymore, and, in the few cases where we do, the customers do business with us instead of a competitor,” explains Verschueren.

The company continues to refine its adoption of Sure Step to refine software implementation processes and team collaboration. Recently, Travi@ta increased its Sure Step commitment to include the resources for upgrades to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. “Sure Step is a transformational opportunity that enables our entire team to develop more productive ways of working together and with our customers,” says Verschueren. “It also accelerates the adoption of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in customer businesses and helps customers realize a higher return on their technology investment.”

 

Read the full story: http://bit.ly/oj9lIR

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13/04/2011

The “hidden level” of RIM?

Maybe it's my shortsightedness?

I've been using the Data Migration tool of RIM for a long time and saw it getting better over the years.
Then there's also the Setup Master Templates tool in RIM, which is great to prepare templates for master data. But for me, the biggest advantage of the Setup Master Templates was that, by predefining values such as Posting Groups, you could help (new) users creating customers, vendors, items and/or contacts.

But for me, there was always something missing. I was looking for a relation between these two RIM tools. The power of the Data Migration tool, combined with the effectiveness of the Setup Master Templates.
This would allow me to ask my customers to prepare an Excel Migration file with simple data (they are able to provide) such as name, address, VAT number, etc., and then combine it with a predefined Setup Master Template with the more "complex" stuff such a posting groups.

So maybe it was my shortsightedness, because it has always been there…

By going to the Data Migration Page and using the Choose Columns function, you can add the column Data Template where you can choose an existing Data Template record.

In the example below a customer Data Template is linked to a migration record of the Customer table (Table 18).

Figure 1 - Migration Overview window

This will allow us to only include basic fields in the Excel migration file, easy to provide by a user. So we don't need to include here for example the Customer Posting Group because it will be assigned by the attached Data Template.

Figure 2 - Migration Fields Page

Now even someone shortsighted as me can fill in such a simple Excel file.

Figure 3 - Excel Migration file

Next we will import the Excel Migration file back into NAV.
This will create a Migration record with all the basic information we received from our customer. Because we combined the Migration Overview record with a Data Template, the values assigned to the Data Template (such as the Posting Groups) will be applied to the new customer record when we run the Apply Migration Data function.

The result will be a customer with all the required information, coming from both the Excel Migration file and the Data Template.

Figure 4 - Customer Card Page

So the benefits of working like that are the ease of use for the customer to provide their basic data, combined with the fact that the application consultant will be sure that important and critical NAV information is assigned completely and correctly to the different master data.

 

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02/02/2011

How to Disable Personalization in the RTC?

Almost every time when I deliver training on the Role Tailored Client and talk about the personalization features I get a question from a student: Is it possible to disable the "customize this page" feature for a page in the RTC?

My answer always is: "No, not to my knowledge." Until now that is…

I was thinking, maybe this could be an undocumented feature somehow? Let's try something. I already knew that you could start the Role Tailored Client from the command prompt and supply it with parameters.

And there was nothing in here about personalization. But let's try it anyway.

Let's see what happens?

Wow, it works J The Customize options are gone. Nice, not?

I also tried some other spelling variants like for example:

  • -disablepersonalisation
  • -disable personalization
  • -disablepersonalisation

but without success.

  • -disablepersonalization is the one.

Then I also tested it on a NAV 2009 SP1 version, but then this happens:

So it seems to be something that was added in NAV 2009 R2.

Then I thought, I must not be the only one that knows about this feature. So I went on the web and found that on the Mibuso forum, someone else also tumbled upon this feature. You can see the thread here: http://www.mibuso.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=45705

And it seems that using or / produces the same result. And as you can see, you can also use the parameter in the NAV 2009 R2 Shortcut.

Of course nothing prevents the user from removing this parameter J

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19/01/2011

The Chart Part .XSD file

As you all will probably know in Dynamics NAV 2009 there are 2 types of charts that a user can add to a page. By the way, if you don't know this, it might be a good opportunity to follow a training here J

So, there are Chart Parts and Chart Panes. What's the difference?

The Chart Pane

A Chart Pane is available on any List page. The user can click on the Customize button (right top of RTC) and select the "Chart Pane".

Then you can select a measure and one or two dimension fields, and so 'draw' your chart.

This Chart Pane is a part of the user's personalization settings, so when you restart the RTC the chart will be gone. This is not a bad thing, because the Chart is not filtered and might be causing negative effects on performance.

The Chart Part

A Chart Part is available on any Role Center page and on any page where it is foreseen by the developer. If there's a chart part available, then the user can add it via Customize This Page:

It's the Chart Part that this blog article is about.

Basically the Chart is coming out of the Chart table. To create a new Chart in the Chart table, an XML file has to be created and imported in this table. You can either create this .xml file manually using a text editor, or you can use the Chart Generator tool, which you can find and download on the "NAV Developer Team Blog" website.

So what's the problem?

Well, there's no documentation on how to create the XML file and all of the possibilities. Until now that is…

When Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 was released, I found something interesting on the product DVD: DVD_BUILD32012.zip\Documentation\Utility\ChartMetaData.xsd.

It seems to be the XML Schema for the Chart.xml object, interesting, not? I'm not going to copy/past the complete .xsd schema here, but just some interesting things I found in there.

First thing I noticed that you can provide a Key attribute to the Chart definition. This Key is then probably used for sorting, and might also produce better performance.

Secondly, the above screenshot shows that you can have 3 types of Charts: Column, Point and Line. And yes, it works, if you use Line this is what you get:

Then there the ChartMeasureOperator:

So here we have 2 new options: Relative and RelativePct, with results like this:

  • Relative:

  • RelativePct:

Relative can be used to compare values on a scale between 0 and 1, RelativePct will do the same on a scale between 0 and 100%.

Of course, the Charts are only as meaningful as the data they present, but I think this is an interesting peace of documentation that can be found now on the product DVD. There's no documentation about the .XSD file (although not to my knowledge), but at least we now have an .XSD file…

 

 

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14/12/2010

How to use the Document Outline window when designing reports in NAV 2009 and beyond

When designing a RDLC report design in Visual Studio there is an interesting window that can help during development. Especially when you are using multiple, nested controls. It is called the Document Outline window and can be opened like this:

The Document Outline window:

The example above is the Document Outline window for report 206, The Sales Invoice. As you can see in the Document Outline the report exists out of a Body and Header. The Body contains a List and the List contains a lot of tables and a textbox. And so on…

Not only can you clearly see the Outline of the report, you can also access properties of report elements. For example:

Another great use for the Document Outline window is when you nest controls and do not find them anymore, or cannot select them anymore or you don't know how it was done.

Let me give you an example. You have to debug a report developed by someone else. It is a report showing the Item Inventory by Location, by Item. You open the report in design and notice there's a matrix and in the matrix there's the Inventory and besides the Inventory, there's an image being shown:

How is that possible? How did they put the image inside the same textbox as the Inventory in the Matrix?

Well, let's open the Document Outline for this report, what do we see:

Inside the Matrix there's a Rectangle, and inside the Rectangle there's a Textbox and an image control. Cool!

Furthermore, when I select a control in the Document Outline, it also gets selected in the Report:

It is also very handy when controls are hidden behind each other. Personally, I think this Document Outline of great help when developing reports for the Role Tailored Client.

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17/11/2010

Printing any page in the RTC

Today an interesting feature of the Role Tailored Client came to my attention. Did you know that you can print a page in the RTC, without using report? Just open a page, for example the Chart of Accounts, then go to the Action menu, and look in the bottom for the Print command:

Then, in the window that opens you can select a printer. It can be for example an XPS writer or PDF writer, to generate a XPS or PDF file. Then open the XPS or PDF document:

We get a document with a table layout, with a title and page number / total pages header and this out of the box, for free, without having to develop a report. Nice, isn't it? There are even colors in the report, that's more than is possible in the Classical Client J

Here's an example of an Item card page:

We get a table for every tab in the page. Ok, the layout is not that super as it is with a RDLC report, but still, I think it's not bad…

Let's try it for a Document, for example a Posted Sales Invoice:

Result:

Wow, I can see the header tabs and lines and the rest, and this as a PDF, and I did not had to program anything. How cool is that?

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09/11/2010

The smallest new feature in the New Sure Step Content release

 
It has been a while since I posted a new blog entry, nearly a year to be honest. But I have a valid excuse; at least I think I have.  I wrote a book on Sure Step, which is an equivalent of a few thousand blog entries. So, this must be a valid excuse. Unfortunately, you can’t read those entries on this blog but they are bundled and available as a book in the PacktPub store: https://www.packtpub.com/microsoft-dynamics-sure-step-2010/book

Anyway, my last blog dated from 17 December 2009 and introduced Sure Step 2010. This blog introduces the new content update on Sure Step 2010: content version 3.2.5.0. For a general overview of what this version has to offer you, I refer you to the blog of Vjekoslav Babic : http://navigateintosuccess.com/blog/microsoft-dynamics-sure-step-2010-content-update

I want to concentrate now on only one of the new interesting content topics, probably the smallest new feature in this Sure Step version.

Did you know that there is something like a “Customer Readiness Assessment”? This is an online “Project Readiness Assessment” for the customer stakeholders about to start a ERP or CRM implementation or as Microsoft states it: “Project readiness – both from the customer and partner perspective - is one of the key ingredients to help ensure success of any ERP or CRM implementation.  To ensure this overall readiness, we have created the Microsoft Dynamics Project Readiness Assessment. This assessment has been designed to help identify and address the most critical factors that are likely to impact the success of your ERP or CRM implementation - before they become critical issues.

This assessment represents a means for Partners to help their Customers assess their readiness to launch a successful ERP or CRM project. To make customers aware that a project is something unique requiring good readiness and a solid approach in order to be successful.

Partners can invite their customers to take this assessment before starting the implementation, that means in the Diagnostics phase when you want to discuss and agree upon your approach. They will receive an invitation code by which they can take the assessment.

 9-11-2010 21-27-06

After taking the questions, they will have access to a dashboard explaining their readiness scores and telling them what they can do to improve their due diligence.

Now why do I tell you this? Well because the smallest new feature in this content release of Sure Step has a link to this customer readiness assessment

9-11-2010 21-07-49 

Right on top of the Diagnostics phase, in the Tools-Templates and Links section, you can find an email template that you can use to introduce your customer or prospect to the assessment. This email will explain what the assessment is, why it is important and where to find information on it. The email content looks like this:

9-11-2010 21-34-42 
It includes good links to create “project readiness awareness” like this one:

So that was the smallest new, but really valuable, new feature in this new sure step release. Next time, I will blog you on the new NAV specific content that has been made available in Sure Step. Stay tuned!.

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28/10/2010

Save View As… in the Classic Client

It's not that I don't like the RTC or that I want to favor the Classic Client, but in one of my trainings, a participant showed me a feature in the Classic Client I wasn't aware it exists. It's a feature which is doing almost exactly the same as the Save View As… function in the RoleTailored Client of NAV 2009 SP1.

If you place a filter on a form in the Classic Client, you can send the link to Shortcuts. This means that your filtered form is saved (as a link) in the Shortcuts menu where you can just go and use it without having to place the filter over and over again.. So it basically does the same as the Save View As… function.

An (easy) example:

Suppose I want to have an overview of my expenses of the most recent year.

  1. That's something that you could be doing by applying following filters (a simplified example based on Cronus International Ltd.):
  • Table Filter: 8110..8330
  • Flow Filter: 01/01/11..31/12/11

As a result you would get:

  1. Next step is saving the link to the Shortcuts menu. Do not use the right-click function on the Chart of Accounts item in the Navigation Pane, but we go to the File menu and select Send – Link to Shortcuts (Ctrl+Alt+S).

 

Next, you'll see that the filtered Chart of Accounts has been added in your Shortcuts Menu, where you can go and rename it.

 

So there you go. Just as in the RTC you have now a filtered view that you can use whenever you want.

Once again, RTC is the future for me, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover this feature in the Classic Client.

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15/07/2010

Dashboard Report in NAV 2009

For the Microsoft Powershot event, a couple of weeks ago, I delivered a session about how to create a dashboard report in NAV 2009. It was a very crowded session and afterwards I got a lot of requests to receive the .fob with the dashboard report. So here it is, but first some explanations about the 'features' of the report.

The report has 3 controls. On the first page there are two charts showing the top x customers and top x items. In the request page x can be selected by the user.

In the top x Items Chart, there also a calculated measure showing, plotted as a line, the Sales/Purchases percentage. Furthermore, if you click on an Item or on a Customer, the corresponding Item or Customer page will open. This has been achieved via an action in the chart with an expression:

To generate the bookmark, some C/AL code was added in the data item triggers:

For the bookmark to become available in the dataset of the report, you have to put it on a section:

Then, starting from the next page on the report, a matrix shows the Item Inventory by Location:

You can click on the description of an Item to open another report, showing the corresponding ledger entries. Also, you can click on the Inventory Quantity, to see the same report, but then filtered on Item and Location:

To create the link, you can use an expression like this:

In the matrix, the color of the Inventory Quantity changes, depending if it is equal, bigger or smaller than zero:

The same kind of expression us used to show a flag (green, orange, red), but the Inventory Quantity is compared with the Reorder point of the Item:

Voila, these are some of the KPI's in the report, the rest you have to discover yourself.

Would you like to know more about developing reports for the Role Tailored Client, then I would advise the following this training J

Report Design in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009

 

Download the report:

download report

 

 

 

 

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