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More about Group containers in NAV 2009

Something interesting about Group containers in Pages in Dynamics NAV 2009 came to my attention, and I thought why not share it?

When designing page objects in NAV 2009, you can use Group containers to group fields together. This way you can somehow control where fields should be shown on a page and you can group them together.

But a Group container also has some very interesting properties like for example: Visible and Enabled. Ok, that's not so special you might be thinking…

è But heres the clue: as from NAV 2009 these properties can be set as the result of an expression.

What does this mean?

You are now able to "play" with the visible and enabled property for a group container via C/AL code. This way you can enable or disable a group of fields in 1 go.

The following is valid for the Page properties:

  • Visible
  • Enabled
  • Editable

For example in the Customer Card Page:

Add a Group container around the fields Address and Address2:

Create a Global Boolean variable BAddressgroupVisible and assign it into the Visible property of the Group:

In the C/AL code, for example in the OnAfterGetRecord trigger add the following code:

Result: the fields are shown:

Now assign FALSE to the Boolean:

Result: the fields are not shown:

Very interesting, isn't it?

As you can see, you instead of using a Boolean variable, you could let it depend on a field from the table. As a consequence the fields will then be shown for some records and not for others.

There's a little trick you need to apply if you use a variable. In the properties of the variable you need to put the property IncludeInDataset to Yes:

If you don't do that then you will get the following error message at runtime:


Remark:

  • The IncludeInDataset property defines that the variable will be added to the DataSet of the Page.
  • The Visible and Enabled properties can only be set from fields contained in the DataSet of the Page.

Sure Step Spring Release 2009

Sure step spring-tiltshift

Last week a new version of Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step was released: Spring Release 2009.



This release made several new features available and simplified the "standard project type" within Sure Step.




The release notes are telling us following:

 What‘s new in the spring 2009 release of Sure Step?
With the spring 2009 release of Sure Step, both your presales and implementation consultants will find valuable new questionnaires, requirements gathering documents, fit gap analysis guidance, product-focused testing scripts, and a variety of new templates across all implementation phases. The updates, which are most valuable to you if you serve customers in the mid-market, include:

    • The “Standard” project type, which has been simplified, makes it easier for you to use Sure Step for the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics solutions for mid-market customers.
    • A view of “key deliverables” for each project enables you the ability to more quickly and easily adapt Sure Step to your existing Microsoft Dynamics practice.
    • A new search tool makes it easier for you to quickly find the right guidance for any implementation situation.
    • Role-tailored and product-specific guidance developed by several Microsoft partners provides you even more best practices that can be applied to your projects.
    • Improved product upgrade guidance helps you set the stage for successful technical upgrades to current and future Microsoft Dynamics releases.

I installed this new release last Friday, just before a Sure Step training that I delivered in Vilnius, Lithuania. What did I experience and learn from this release so far?

  1. Search functionality available. This is what we really needed. Same question in each training Sure Step training: "is search available". So, yes it is and it works pretty fine as well.
  2. Mapping between Diagnostic Phase and the Sales framework. Sure Step is also supporting Sales and driving towards successful sales by means of decision accelerators. A recurring question is how that these decision accelerators relate to the sales framework. In this release, we can find the answer illustrated by a simple diagram. Pretty nice.
  3. Simplified and rationalized “Standard Project Type”. Before this release the standard project type was nearly identical to the enterprise type of project. Then why have both project types if they are the same? This question is now addressed by simplifying the standard project type. This really makes sense and it is much more tuned with mid-market implementations. It makes the process also much more adoptable for most implementation partners. However in the rush to simplify and rationalize it, I am afraid that a few things in the client were neglected. I can see some inconsistencies and negligence. For instance in the table of content no phases are identified which results in a hard to comprehend list of items (in the diagram of the standard type the phases are identified) and there a few more surprising things. For instance, risk management still appears in the standard project type but no more issue management? I guess these things still need to be tuned. But let’s concentrate on the important thing: the standard project is now really a standard one and no longer the enterprise type and that is ok.
  4. New “working Deliverables”. In each Sure Step training we try to divide the document deliverables and tools into working and key deliverables. Working deliverables are those that can help consultants, developers, … to work in a much more efficient manner, to ramp up new hires and to standardize company quality. Key deliverables are customer facing deliverables, the end result of a process that needs validation. In the spring release I can see that more working deliverables became available. As an example, much more questionnaires (I really love these) and they are also much more tuned to the products and to role based principles. Good stuff that we like.
  5. Filter possibility. Not really certain about this one yet. Looks like great functionality that allows you to filter the deliverables of your projects. For instance if you want to see the key deliverables of a specific phase or the documents for technical audience or…the filters will help you. I do not seem to manage however to filter on documents of one project only, it looks like I also have other content in the result set. Anyway, could be me, need to investigate more.

So,  great new features and content in this release that I need to explore in greater depth in the upcoming days and weeks. And yes, some critical questions to pose…once I got the answers, I will blog about it.

PS: I forgot some things

  • The new spring release is also compliant with IE8. Previous version was not.

  • I also tried the updater first but that didn't work for me, I need to do a full new install. No worries you will not loose your existing projects.

  • For the NAV people: some fresh new NAV tools and templates were made available in this release

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