Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to enable Windows Search Service on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2

By Default Help Server get installed to server machine if you install the complete server installation of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 or Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2, However in some cases during the help server installation, setup find that "Microsoft Search Service" is not available in the server and this result a error in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Help Server installation. 

What is the reason for this problem?
Microsoft Dynamics NAV Help Server use Microsoft Windows Search Service and on Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Search Service is not installed as a default feature. Therefore if you need to use this feature you need to install this manually. 

Lets see how to install Windows Search Service and fix this problem. 
How to install Windows Search Service on Windows Server 2012 R2

First open the Server Manager tool of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 and then click on the Manage and go to "Add Roles and Features". (Refer below image)

And it will open a "Add Roles and Features Wizard" window. (Refer following image)

This is the default screen unless if you didn't tick the "Skip this page by default". However just go through this page content or simply click "Next" button. 

Now we are in the "Installation Type" Page. (Refer the below image)

In this window select "Role-based or feature-based installation" option. As the name implies this will allow us to add the roles, role services and features. 
After selecting the option press "Next" button and it will navigate to the "Server Selection" page in the wizard. (Refer the below image)

In this page select the server that you want to install "Windows Search Service" feature. In my case I only have one server in the server pool and by default it was automatically get selected. 
After selecting the server from the server pool, click the "Next" button and it will navigate to "Server Roles" page. (Refer the below image)

We just have to skip this window because we are not going to install a server role and we want to install a server feature. Therefore press "Next" button in the bottom of the wizard and it will navigate the page to "Features" page. (Refer the below image) Finally we are there!!


In this window you can select the features that you want to install to the selected server. In this case we only want to install Windows Search Service. To install Windows Search Service, click on the related check box as shown in the above picture.  
After selecting the check box click "Next" button in the wizard to go to Confirmation page. 


In this page you need to confirm your selection to proceed with the installation.To confirm the Installation click "Install" button in the page and it will take few seconds to install the Windows Search Service.

After the installation is completed following window will appear and if it does not have any error messages then you have completed the installation properly. (Refer the below image)


Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara.

How to install NetFx3 on Windows Server 2012 R2 (Required by SQL Server 2012)

Today I was configuring a Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual machine to install Microsoft Dynamics NAV Server. Initial configuration setup went as planned and when I start the installation process of SQL Server 2012, following error pop up (after completing around 25%)  and it halt the Microsoft SQL Server installation process. 

What is the reason for this problem?

On Windows Server 2012 R2, .NET Framework 3.5 feature is not installed because it already have .NET Framework 4.5 installed as the default platform. If you want to have .NET Framework 3.5 then you should manually install it on the server. 

Lets see how to install NetFx3 and fix this problem. 
How to install NetFx3 on Windows Server 2012 R2

First open the Server Manager tool of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 and then click on the Manage and go to "Add Roles and Features". (Refer below image)

And it will open a "Add Roles and Features Wizard" window. (Refer following image)

This is the default screen unless if you didn't tick the "Skip this page by default". However just go through this page content or simply click "Next" button. 

Now we are in the "Installation Type" Page. (Refer the below image)

In this window select "Role-based or feature-based installation" option. As the name implies this will allow us to add the roles, role services and features. 
After selecting the option press "Next" button and it will navigate to the "Server Selection" page in the wizard. (Refer the below image)

In this page select the server that you want to install "NetFx3" feature. In my case I only have one server in the server pool and by default it was automatically get selected. 
After selecting the server from the server pool, click the "Next" button and it will navigate to "Server Roles" page. (Refer the below image)

We just have to skip this window because we are not going to install a server role and we want to install a server feature. Therefore press "Next" button in the bottom of the wizard and it will navigate the page to "Features" page. (Refer the below image) Finally we are there!!

In this window you can select the features that you want to install to the selected server. In this case we only want to install .NET Framework 3.5 Features. To install .NET Framework 3.5, click on the related check box as shown in the above picture.  
After selecting the check box click "Next" button in the wizard to go to Confirmation page. 

In this page you need to confirm your selection to proceed with the installation. Before doing that check the warning message that was popup in the top of the page. It says required source files are missing. If we proceed without doing anything it will rollback the installation and you have to start from scratch. To avoid that click on the "Specify an alternative source path" link on the bottom of the page and it will open another window. (Refer the below image)

In this window you need to specify "SxS" folder. This folder is available in the Windows Server 2012 R2 DVD or related ISO file. If you have a DVD insert it to your DVD-ROM and select the path. If it is a IOS file, mount the image and provide the proper folder path to this wizard. After path was properly entered to Path: in the window click "OK" button. Then click "Install" button in the page and it will take few seconds to install the .NET Framework 3.5
After the installation is completed following window will appear and if it does not have any error messages then you have completed the installation properly. (Refer the below image)


Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara.

Monday, September 29, 2014

How to use Dynamics NAV data in Excel to create a Dashboard

Many users are very familiar with Microsoft Excel and do most of their reporting and calculations using Microsoft Excel. Even some of the users create dashboards using Microsoft Excel. 
What if we can provide Microsoft Dynamics NAV data as a data source for those reporting ?? Can this be achieved without using any advance features ? Yes! 
Did you knew that Microsoft Excel add-on allow us to synchronize data without even logging in to Dynamics NAV. 
With this new functionality, users who does not have Dynamics NAV can access the Dynamics NAV data using Microsoft Excel. 
Most importantly uses does not required any additional knowledge on Dynamics NAV 2013.

Once the data table is created in Microsoft Excel, only thing user has to do is refresh the Microsoft Excel sheet with the use of Dynamics NAV add-on, and it will automatically fill the data sheet with the new data and time stamp will get registered in the Microsoft Excel sheet.

Lets see how to do this.. 

First contact a person with Microsoft Dynamics NAV access rights and knowledge in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. 

1. Go to any page that your data is available ( In this case I am using Customer Ledger Entry Page)
2. Click on the Send To Excel Button


3. This will open a excel file with all the selected data available in the database. ( Please refer bellow image)

4. In order to get the latest data go to "Dynamics NAV" toolbar in the ribbon and click "Refresh" button in the ribbon. This will check the data table with the database and all the new entries will be inserted into data table in the Microsoft Excel.


With the use of this option you can do very advance things. 
Following is a dashboard we created using this functionality. 
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Report Design Guidelines (2013)

Following are main guidelines in designing a report in Dynamics NAV 2013. By following a these guidelines following goals can be achieved.
  • Simple and clean
  • Easy to scan and read
  • Professional and consistent
There are three types of report templates in Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Document Report - Formal outgoing reports. (Sales Invoice, Order confirmations)
  • List Report - Internal reports what show data at one level with unique key tow by row. Reports are mainly used to view master data or transaction data. (Customer list, Vendor list)
  • Grouped List Report - Internal reports that show data grouped per key. Reports are combination of master data and other connected data. (Vendor wise ledger entry, Customer statistics)
Each of these have its own templates. 

Document Report

Following is a example of a document report.





List Report

Following is a example of a list report.




Group List Report
Following is a example of a group list report.



Report Elements and Properties
Use the following settings for report elements and properties when using the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Report Designer.
      
Element or property
Setting
Page Setup
A4 Portrait: Left 2 cm, Right 1 cm, Top 1 cm, Bottom 1 cm
A4 Landscape: Left 1 cm, Right 1 cm, Top 2 cm, Bottom 1 cm
Letter Portrait/Landscape: All margins 0.5 in
Tabloid Portrait/Landscape: All margins 0.5 in
Body Section Width
A4: Portrait 18x27.7 cm, Landscape 27.7x18 cm
Letter: Portrait 7.5x10 in, Landscape 10x7.5 in
Tabloid: 10x16 in, Landscape 16x10 in
Header/Footer Size
Varies depending on amount of content
Report Title in Header Section
Font: Segoe UI, 14 pt, Bold
Cell Height: 20 pt
Padding: Cell Padding, Left 5 pt, Right 5 pt, Top 0 pt, Bottom 0 pt
Text Alignment (document reports): Right
Text Alignment (other reports): Left
Headlines in Body Section
Font: Segoe UI, 8 pt, Bold
Cell Height: 10 pt
Padding: Cell Padding, Left 5 pt, Right 5 pt, Top 0 pt, Bottom 0 pt
All Other Text
Font: Segoe UI, 8 pt, Regular
Cell Height: 10 pt
Padding: Cell Padding, Left 5 pt, Right 5 pt, Top 0 pt, Bottom 0 pt
Spacing below Header Section
Height: 20 pt
Line Spacing
Placed in Grid: 10 pt spacing
Table Header
(Create as 4 rows)
Row 1: Caption in Bold
Row 2: Height 2.5 pt, Border Bottom, Black, Solid, Width 1 pt
Row 3: Height 2.5 pt
Row 4: First line in table
Tables Content
Cell Height: 10 pt
Cell Padding: Left 5 pt, Right 5 pt, Top 0 pt, Bottom 10 pt
Vertical Align for Cells: Top (Default)
If row below is indented: Add 10 pt to Left Padding
Cell Colors
List and Grouped List Reports: Alternate Background = mod 2, “WhiteSmoke”, “White”
Logo
Height: 40 pt
Spacing below Logo: 10 pt
Text Alignment
Numeric/decimal fields: Right
Text/Code fields: Left
Date/Time fields: Left
Link Color
Blue (no underline)
Chart
Palette: BrightPastel














  



Original Article :

Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara.

Friday, September 19, 2014

What is new in 2015 : Simplified UX

Sometimes users complain that Microsoft Dynamics NAV user interface is not much user friendly and it does not support the user tasks. However with the previous release (Dynamics NAV 2013, Dynamics NAV 2013 R2) Microsoft has focused lot about their UI design. In order to provide more user friendliness, Microsoft has introduce 4 new features in the Dynamics NAV 2015,

1. Mandatory fields
2. Auto-fill No field.
3. Totals on documents
4. UI Elements removal

These new features enables the user to read, navigate and make tasks easier and faster. 

Mandatory fields
Red asterisk mark will show in the each mandatory field. However we can mark all the fields using this functionality and this does not enforce any validation. That means user can still close the page without entering any values into these fields.



Auto-fill No field. 
On sales orders, which have multiple number series, the No. field is shown



On sales invoices, which only have one number series and Manual Nos. = False, the No. field is hidden. The Invoice number is still shown both in the window caption (top) and in the page caption so the user can still see the No. 




Totals on documents
It is now very easy to check if the document lines have been filled as expected and values are correct (Total and VAT amounts).

UI Elements removal
System will remove UI elements that are not in the users license or permission set. 



Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara. 

What is new in 2015 : Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Tablets

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 now working with iPad, Android, which allows users in small and midsize business to get access to the data they need from the device they prefer.  
With the fresh and modern interface, it provide the familiar RoleTailored experience so that users can get real work done at home, at work or on the go.
Customizing and role-tailoring customer's tablet experience becomes a very simple task.

Can this app customize?? Yes. Microsoft has provided the building blocks so that Microsoft Dynamics NAV partners can easily craft beautiful, role-tailored experience for tabs. Developers does not have to worry about the platform that this application will be used. Microsoft Dynamics for tablet is completely powered by Microsoft Dynamics NAV server. 

Can developer use GPS and Camera while developing new modules?
Microsoft Dynamics NAV will not provide an API for directly accessing GPS or Camera. However if developers wishing to take control of device hardware, will need to seek other alternatives outside of the Microsoft Dynamics Development Environment. 

How good it looks.. 




Supported Tablets



1. Tablets running Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows, or Android.
2. Devices with screen size 7” and upwards, and have optimized for 10” tablets.

Supported Browsers

1. Internet Explorer and Chrome for Windows


You can download the app from Windows Store, App Store or Google Play and then connect to your dynamics NAV 2015 Server. 


Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara. 

What is new in 2015 : Simplified Email with a Report Attachment

New feature will  enable user to send a attachment by email from Dynamics NAV. Out of the box this functionality is added to 15+ pages and action is promoted. Option is enabled to Sales Invoice, Sales Credit Memo, Sales Orders, Sales Quotes and also for posted documents. 
This uses report selection to look-up and generate the report and it will auto generates to-receipt, sender, attachment file name in the E- dialog. E-Mails are send using existing SMTP codeunit. If the SMTP is not configured or Outlook is not available, then the PDF will open instead.Mail


How it will look like.. 


Once the user click the E-Mail or Post and E-Mail action button depending on the page you are in, it will open a dialog box. This dialog box will enables the user to add the body of the E-Mail and send this directly using Dynamics NAV. If the user want to use their default mail program Microsoft Dynamics NAV will open the email in user's default mail program.











Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What is new in 2015 : Microsoft Word as a report layout option

Can a user design the report layout as he/she wants?? NO!. Now you can.. With the new Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 release, Microsoft has enabled the functionality. 

In previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, you can only design the report layout by using Visual Studio Report Designer or MS SQL Server Report Builder. But with the new version you can design the report using Microsoft Word 2013.


This is a a very impressive modification done by Microsoft. (However I have done this using a DLL file and please refer my previous blog posts.) 


With the new improvement, user can maintain few layouts for a one report. However there are few limitations are still there..


Limitations.


1. Not suitable for complex precision layout or very large documents

2. Conditions, for example, for visibility, are not supported.
3. Number formatting is limited to built-in Microsoft Dynamics NAV number formattings.

How it will look like..


How the report layout designer will look like






how the report will look like. 





Word report layouts are build on the world custom XML parts that will dynamically map a report dataset into a report at run-time. 


Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara.