Plataan - Microsoft Dynamics - Learning & Competence Management Vincent Bellefroid Koen Stox Steven Renders Conny Schuddinck Steffie Alexiou
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Plataan believes in social media. As from the start of Plataan we started blogging ( It has been nearly 5 years now. We also created our Linkedin Group ( and a facebook Group.

Why? Because it is a great instrument to share information and knowledge, peer learning and to stay connected. That is what Plataan is all about.

To make it easier we have now one central place where you can follow it all. That's right, one place where we will tweet you to everything that is happening in the ERP, CRM, Sure Step, Plataan, Microsoft and Microsoft Dynamics world.

Follow us on twitter :


Plataan hits the news

Bart_clipDuring the last months Plataan was working hard on the development of Official Microsoft Courseware (MOC) for Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Implementation Methodology Version 2.

Plataan was granted this assignment by Microsoft Corporation, Redmond US. Plataan was also selected to deliver the train-the-trainer sessions for this courseware both in the US as EMEA.

The Belgian regional televison channel TVL made a newsitem on these assignments, broadcasted during evening news. You can watch it here.


MSDN evenings on Microsoft Dynamics NAV

2243574443_5e074e4fb1 In the past year and months, Plataan has been delivering MSDN evenings for Microsoft. In fact my colleague Steven Renders did deliver 7 evening sessions with success.

For those who were not able to attend the sessions or who want to review the slides again, we have them made available for download here below:

Download SQLPerformance.pdf

Download ReportingServicesPreview.pdf

Download BI_Preview.pdf

Download IW_Evening.pdf

Download Stylesheets.pdf

Download WebServices_preview.pdf

Download Upgrade.pdf

For questions, check us out or leave a comment on this blog.
If you want us to redeliver these trainings at your venue, do not hesitate to contact us. We can bring it in any way.

If you want to build further on your SQL Server skills, check out these new trainings (6 SQL Server titles!) we offer:


MCT Community Summit Berlin 2008 - Part 2


Today, day 2, I followed a couple of sessions. One of them was "Hosting Custom Web Services in Office Sharepoint Server 2007". We saw a demo on a Job Posting Sharepoint List. During this demo Tiffany Nguyen developped a webservice that returned the necessary information to an infopath form. Kind of intresting, but to be honest the demo that Roel and Steven prepared for integration between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Sharepoint was much more exciting. Some thing that I learned was that standard out of the box sharepoint has KPI possibilities and that Performance Point can be easily integrated into Sharepoint.

The next session "New features in SQL Server 2008 for Business Intelligence Developers" by Matthew Roche provided much more input. He explained and showed us many SQL 2008 enhancements like:

- Better data compression resulting in performance increase on SQL Server 2008
- Better backup compression
- small demo on how to change data capture (identify what records have changed in the source system)
- Optimized bitmap features
- Partition enhancements
-T-SQL enhancements

He continued with enhancements on the Integration Services like:

- New dataflow theading model
- VSTA for script tasks& component
- enhanced lookup transform
- enhanced ADO.Net support
- ....

A lot of improvements on the Analysis Services as well with focus on the performance enhancement.
He explained also some data mining enhancements like improved time series algorithms, new data mining add-ins for Microsoft Office systems and the integration with reporting services (SSRS on DMX).

The biggest changes and improvements however are located within the Reporting Services. He explained the changed architecture: a native HTTP.SYS/Custom CLR host (which you can run without IIS). Most impressive (so a very good argument in the market) were the rich visualization tools which looked really great.

After that I followed a session about "Silverlight Basics in Sharepoint". It was made clear what you can do with Silverlight and how to integrate this in Sharepoint. It enables you to build a rich, visually stunning and interactive end-user webexperience. In Visual Studio a Silverlight tab is available and you can easily integrate Silverlight into your development (you can even include webservices into your silverlight project).

What does all this do to a Microsoft Dynamics MCT? Well I am quite convinced that we need change. This message is stressed out through the whole convention. We as a Microsoft Dynamics community must embrase and use all the new features of traditional Microsoft technologies into our projects, as far as they can serve the enduser organisation.

From what I have seen there are many many possibilities to make better solutions for the enduser by implementing these new technologies. Sharepoint, SQL Server, Performance Point, Silverlight, ... they can all be deployed when necessary. It's time for the Dynamics world to embrase the future!

What a challenge for all Dynamics MCT's!


MCT Community Summit Berlin 2008 - Part 1


First report from your MCT reporter at the MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) Community Summit 2008 in Berlin. We are here with about 400 MCT’s, 400 people that spend their time in training other people on Microsoft technologies. Everybody in this conference is on daily basis active with getting the most in and out of their students ( or with the words of “top speaker” Richard Klees RIO: Result – Input – Output).

Our MCT efforts seem to have great effect on the efficiency of IT teams. Nearly 70% of all managers acknowledge the productivity increase because of certification and certified IT-teams are nearly 30% more efficient and productive than non-certified IT teams.  Imagine that in a Dynamics implementation…who doesn’t want to have that increase in his project?

Something that I didn’t know is that in Belgium we have 83 MCT’s for all Microsoft technologies. I really thought we were with much more. The Dutch have 311 MCT’s. Knowing that at Plataan we have nearly 4 MCT’s means that we have about 5% of all Belgium MCT’s working with us.

This first day started with a 45 minutes session on the Microsoft Global Product Vision by Frank Fisher.
The session started with a broad overview on the history of IT. Web 1.0 wave was discussed to get us to the point that we saw the difference with the current web 2.0 wave. Things like cheap technology, globalization and the internet were discussed. This leaded the session towards “green-it” (less power consuming IT infrastructure), Google (a corporate company founded on advertisement business model) and user generated content.

On his blog Frank Fisher writes this:

“In my opinion the definition of software platform is changing. While in the past software platform was first a collection of libraries, it evolved and added baseline service providers like databases or communication services. Today a software platform extends itself into the cloud (as Microsoft calls it). To all what we already have new services are added and extend what we have. Services like storage but also services like monetarization or a global identification system. Services that need extreme amounts of regularly updated data like mapping. Services that take the operation of common things like email into a central datacenter.”

Frank then headed towards the "Mashup" trend. He talked about it as a federation of enterprise and cloud services. You can have a server A generating specific services an a server B generating other services, a server C ... etc. A client can now take someting from the service from server A, passing it to server B, transforming it to server C etc.

As example he mentionned Popfly . Popfly is actually a showcase for silverlight but illustrates the mashup really well.

Popfly You can view a small funny video on what a mashup is actually doiing (and so for what you can use popfly).

Once you have discovered this, imagine what you can do with this as a front-end for sharepoint ...

Frank also positionned office as a "door in the cloud".

During this session became clear that Microsoft's vision on software is : S + S: Software + Services.
S+S is the strategy for MS.

More reports about this convention to come.


Technet Evening - SQL Performance tuning for Dynamics NAV

On thursday 29th November Microsoft Belgium organized a Technet Evening. The subject of this session was: SQL Performance tuning for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Speaker was Steven Renders. Steven is an experienced SQL Server consultant and MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) at Plataan.

The session was a great success. Steven received compliments from both attendees and from Microsoft.

Technet_sql_performance_017_2 Technet_sql_performance_002

Technet_sql_performance_003 Technet_sql_performance_006

Technet_sql_performance_012 Technet_sql_performance_016


If you want to know more about Microsoft Dynamics NAV and SQL Server:


EMEA MCT Community Summit

Mct_community_summitDedicated to bring the best possible training for our customers Plataan will be attending the EMEA MCT Community Summit (Berlin, Germany, January 14 - 16, 2008).

To bring the best possible training we need to have the latest information on Microsoft technology. One thing is sure, lots of information during the EMEA MCT Community summit :-)

Look at the breakout sessions:

Breakout Sessions January 15, 2008

IT Pro - Windows Server 2008


Windows Server 2008 Active Directory – The secret session!


Running virtualization on Windows Server 2008


Train-the-Trainer on Windows Server 2008 Active Directory courseware (ILT)


Train the Trainer on Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure and Security courseware (ILT)

IT Pro - Office Communication Server 2007


Introduction to implementation and architecture of Office Communication Server 2007


Train-the-Trainer on Office Communication Server 2007 courseware (ILT)

IT Pro – Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007


How to incorporate the SharePoint SDK into your classes (TTT)

IT Pro – SQL Server 2008


Train-the-Trainer on SQL Server 2008 courseware (ILT)


What’s new for Database Administrators

IT Pro – System Center Configuration Manager and Virtual Machine Manager



Developer – Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007


Adding Silverlight to your SharePoint Implementation


Building Web Services for your MOSS 2007 implementation

Developer – SQL Server 2008


What’s new in SQL Server 2008 for Database Developers


What’s new in SQL Server 2008 for Business Intelligence Developers

Developer - Visual Studio 2008


What’s new in Visual Studio 2008

Microsoft Business Solutions


Microsoft Business Solutions – Dynamics

Both audiences – Soft Skills


So you want to be a SQL MCT…

Breakout Sessions January 16, 2008

IT Pro - Windows Server 2008


Hack to the Future! – The Ultimate Windows Server 2008 Networking Vs Security Guide!


The Windows Server 2008 Application Platform – Technical Drilldown!


Train-the-Trainer on Windows Server 2008 Application Platform courseware (ILT)

IT Pro – Exchange Server 2007


Integrating Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging with OCS


Integrating Exchange Server 2007 SP1 into your Exchange classes

IT Pro - SQL 2008


Advanced Admininistration of SQL Server 2008


So you want to be a SQL MCT

Developer – Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2007


Notes from the field: Migration from SPS 2003 to MOSS 2007: for both Admininstrators and Developers (Co-presentation)

Developer – Visual Studio 2008


Advanced topic on Visual Studio 2008 (TBD)


Learn about LINQ and functional programming

Both audiences – Soft Skills


New Generation Courseware – See what’s coming up from Microsoft Learning


Demos are King – How to incorporate demonstration efficiently in your course deliveries


Virtualization – Tips and tricks on managing virtual machines in Microsoft Official Curriculum deliveries


Live from Convergence 2007: facts & figures on Dynamics NAV

You are a consultant or an account manager who from time to time has to deal with customers questioning the popularity of Dynamics NAV.

Or you are an end-user wandering how big Dynamics NAV really is…

Well, here are some simple facts and figures fresh from the general Dynamics NAV session on Convergence 2007 in Copenhagen:

-          There are more than 3.000 Dynamics NAV partners worldwide

-          There are more than 1.800 Channel Builder Solutions

-          There are more than 60.000 customers worldwide using Dynamics NAV

-          There are more than 1.000.000 users worldwide

-          Dynamics NAV has something more than 40 localized versions

-          Dynamics NAV is implemented in more than 150 countries

It’s of course obvious that these figures are constantly changing (yes, increasing).

So very brief, some figures that you can use to convince your customers. Or that you can use convincing yourself.


Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

Leadership_3 The Microsoft Dynamics NAV team blog is the blog of the official Microsoft Dynamics Product Team.
They develop the Microsoft Dynamics NAV product as we know it.

These guys/girls have a blog, were you can find intresting information.

Check it out

The Microsoft Dynamics NAV product team is primarily located on a leafy green campus (complete with ponds and big sculptures) in Vedbæk, a coastal town north of Copenhagen in Denmark.  We call our campus MDCC - Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen.


Belgian MSDN Evenings on Microsoft Dynamics NAV

As of October 2007 Microsoft is organising MSDN evenings on Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Microsoft selected Plataan to deliver content and presenter. Thanks to cooperation with Kurt Juveyns and Fotini Kaklamanou of Microsoft Belgium superb sessions will be delivered.

Here's an overview:

MSDN Evening: Microsoft® SQL Server™ Reporting Services and Style Sheets
Prepare your Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 solution for the reporting possibilities available in the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics NAV versions using SQL Server Reporting Services and Microsoft Office Style Sheets.

When: Wednesday 17 October 2007 -- 18:30 - 20:30
Where: Microsoft Belgium, Culliganlaan 1A, 1831 Diegem

Registration for members of the Microsoft Partner Program:
Registration for others:

MSDN Evening: Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 and Employee Portal in Microsoft Dynamics™ NAV
Learn about the MOSS2007 features you can integrate into your Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution, such as Business Data Catalog, E-Forms, Search possibilities and Workflow.

When: Wednesday 19 December 2007 -- 18:30 - 20:30
Where: Microsoft Belgium, Culliganlaan 1A, 1831 Diegem

Registration for members of the Microsoft Partner Program:
Registration for others:

MSDN Evening: Create and use Web Services in a Microsoft Dynamics™ NAV solution
Extend your Dynamics NAV solutions by integrating software as a service.  Using Web Services you have unlimited possibilities to do so.

When: Thursday 28 February 2008 -- 18:30 - 20:30
Where: Microsoft Belgium, Culliganlaan 1A, 1831 Diegem

Registration for members of the Microsoft Partner Program:
Registration for others:

The presenter at those MSDN Evenings will be Steven Renders. Steven is a Microsoft Certified Trainer in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. He has more than 10 years of business and technical experience. He joined the company Plataan in 2006 where he provides training and consultancy focused on Microsoft Dynamics NAV development, Microsoft SQL Server, Business Intelligence solutions, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, and Database Performance Tuning.

Check also:



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