Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dynamics NAV on Azure & Architecture

This is a part of "Azure with Dynamics NAV" blog post series. To read other posted blog post go to the main index or click on the Tag "Azure with Dynamics NAV".

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is hosted on Microsoft Azure as an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) till Dynamics NAV 2016 version and with the latest Dynamics NAV release you can host Dynamics NAV integrated with PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service). Deployment on Azure provides a comprehensive solution that meets the core business needs of the customer by enabling a secure, anywhere, anytime access to critical enterprise business resources.

Depending on the requirement,  deployment topology can be selected and each topology has its own advantages as well as the disadvantages. In this blog post I will be mainly looking at the main 3 topologies that can be used when hosting Dynamics NAV on Azure. 

Method 01 : All in one VM (Not recommended for production environment)

In this method we only use a one VM and in that particular VM we have installed "NAV Server, "NAV Web Server", "SQL Server" and "NAV Database". This is not recommended to used in the production environment. Therefore this model is only should used in the test scenarios. However if you are willing to use this topology you can still go ahead and use this without a issue. This support NAV 2013 and upward versions. If you want to setup the VM then watch the Ho do I video related to Dynamics NAV on one VM : Link

Method 02 : SQL Service and NAV DB moved to a separate VM 
In this method we have used two separate VMs and segregate the services accordingly. In the first server we have installed "NAV Server" and "NAV Web Server". In the other VM we have installed "SQL Server" and "NAV Database". This is the recommended topology for the production environment. This support NAV 2013 and upward versions, however it is tricky and bit complex when deploying NAV to Azure with this topology (Not my favorite).
If you want to setup the VM then watch the Ho do I video related to Dynamics NAV on two VM Link

Method 03 : SQL as a Service (Available with Dynamics NAV 2016)
In the method 03 we have used a new feature and this was introduced with Dynamics NAV 2016. Insted of using a second VM to install SQL Server and NAV Database we have use "SQL as a Service" and in that we have hosted our NAV Database. This is cost effective and easy to deploy. To check how this is cost effective comparing to other methods check my next blog post (So far my favorite). 

On how to deploy the Dynamics NAV with the use of SQL as a service you require to follow this blog series since I will be providing complete guide on this. 

Comparison of On-Premises vs Azure as a Infrastructure vs Azure as a Platform. 

As you see, when you select the last option (SQL as a Service) you move almost all the administration work to Azure. This will definitely help you to focus more on your business application and save money for your company and minimize the risk of maintaining everything by yourself. 

Please provide your feedback with a comment. 
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara

Introduction to Azure


Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure, created by Microsoft. Azure allows for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed and Microsoft partner hosted datacenters. 

Microsoft Azure provide the options of PaaS (Platform as a service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) services. Azure was first announced in the October 2008 and release on 1st of February 2010. Initially it was called as Windows Azure and later it was renamed to Microsoft Azure

Following are the main data centers for Azure
North America
Central US: Iowa
North-central US: Chicago, IL
South-central US: San Antonio, TX
West US: California
East US: Boydton, VA
East Canada: Toronto and Quebec City
South America
Brazil: São Paulo State
Europe
North Europe: Dublin, Ireland
West Europe: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Asia
China (North): Beijing
China (East): Shanghai
East Asia: Hong Kong
South East Asia: Singapore
South Asia: Mumbai, Pune
Japan
Japan East: Saitama
Japan West: Osaka
Oceania
Sydney, New South Wales
Melbourne, Victoria

Azure Service Model
Useage of Windows Azure resources grouped into a local units of billing called a subscription. Each subscription contain one ore many hosted services within Azure. These hosted services indicate which data center your application is hosted and the DNS prefix that will be used to access your hosted application.

A hosted service can contain up to two deployments
1. Staging Deployment
2. Production Deployment

Each of the deployment provides a DNS name used to access the services. Staging Deployment are assigned with a auto-generated DNS name where Production Deployment assign with a prefix DNS when creating the parent hosted service.

Communicating with Deployments
Once the deployment is completed DNS will be provided in the form of :
[dnsprefix].cloudapp.net 

Users can use this DNS name to access the Azure hosted applications directly.

How to Manage Azure Services?
Primary entry point to manage all Azure services is via the Windows Azure Management Portal. 'https://portal.azure.com/"
By using the portal you will be able to control all the hosted services related to Azure. 

How to create a Account?
Microsoft provide free trial account for the user to experience the Azure cloud environment and once the account is expired you can move into a selected subscription depending on your requirement. 

Check this info graphics to get a more clear idea about Azure. 

Original Link for higher resolutionDownload PDF File 

Please provide your feedback with a comment.
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara

Introduction to "Azure with Dynamics NAV" Blog Post Series

Azure with Dynamics NAV blog post series will provide most of the steps, tips and tricks that you will require when work together with Dynamics NAV and Azure. 

Azure with Dynamics NAV  blog post series will have following main topic (subjected to change and will update the links as for the progress)

1. Introduction to Azure
2. NAV on Azure & Architecture
3. Price Comparison
4. Creating a New Azure SQL Server
5. Creating a New Azure VM
6. Register IP Address on Azure VM
7. Deployment NAV 2016 Database on Azure SQL Server - Wizard
8. Deployment NAV 2016 Database on Azure SQL Server Creating BACPAC Files
9. Configure NAV 2016 Clients
10. Issues in Deployment Process


There will be a separate tag for this blog post series and that will be "Azure with Dynamics NAV"

I got the idea for doing a blog post series on "Azure with Dynamics NAV" after watching the presentation videos of Totovic. Thank you very much for all the info and support provided. 

Please provide your feedback with a comment.
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara

How to Transfer Local Computer Files to Azure VMs

Azure is the latest technology trend that is going around in the technical community and many developers have already started and starting to work with Azure. Once the first VM (Virtual Machine) is created, many people start to look for a option to transfer locally stored data and application setups to newly created VM. You will have no issue if you have setup a site-to-site VPN to your Azure. 
However many does not have the site-to-site VPN setup and in that case Azure VM does not allow you to access your local network or local machine. 

So what will be the solution for this? There are couple of solution for this and easiest one for me so far is using Remote Desktop Connections feature to share local drives with new Azure VM. 

Lets see how we can activate this feature. 

As the first step you need to go to Azure Management Portal and click on the Connect.

Once you click on the connect, it will download a Remote Desktop Connection file and you have to open it. It will have all the info you required to connect to your VM and in this blog post what we only interested in is in the "Local Resources" Tab. 

Click on the More button on the "Local Resources" Tab. It will display the Local devices and resource dialog. Expand the Drives node and select the drives that you want to access from your newly created VM and then click "OK" and connect to your VM. 

Once the Azure Remote Desktop Connection has opened you can use File Explorer in the VM to open the local drive and free drag-and-drop file between the local drive and the drives configured in the Azure VM

Addition to above method there are various methods and tools available to create a secure a pipe for data transfer between VM and local machine. 

Please provide your feedback with a comment.
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cumulative Update 3 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 has been released (Build 44365)

Cumulative Update 3 includes all application and platform hotfixes and regulatory features that have been released for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016.

The cumulative update is intended mainly for solutions that are experiencing the problems described in the Knowledge Base article linked to below. However, you are advised to always keep your solution updated with the latest cumulative update. If you are in doubt about whether this cumulative update addresses your specific problem, or if you want to confirm whether any special compatibility, installation, or download issues are associated with this cumulative update, support professionals in Customer Support Services are ready to help you. For more information, see http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/.

The cumulative update includes hotfixes that apply to all countries and hotfixes specific to the following local versions:
  • AU – Australia
  • AT – Austria
  • BE – Belgium
  • CH – Switzerland
  • CZ – Czech Republic
  • DE – Germany
  • DK – Denmark
  • ES – Spain
  • FI – Finland
  • FR – France
  • IS – Iceland
  • IT – Italy
  • NA – North America
  • NL – Netherlands
  • NO – Norway
  • NZ – New Zealand
  • RU – Russia
  • SE – Sweden
  • UK – United Kingdom
Where to find Cumulative Update 3
You can download the cumulative update from KB 3130298 – Cumulative Update 3 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 (Build 44365).

Warning
Before you install a cumulative update in a production environment, take the following precautions:
  1. Test the cumulative update in a non-production environment.
  2. Make a backup of the system or computer where the cumulative update is to be installed.
Additional Information
For information about how to install the cumulative update, see How to Install a Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 Cumulative Update.

For a list of all cumulative updates for this version, see Released Cumulative Updates for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016.

Please provide your feedback with a comment.
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Cumulative Update 34 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 has been released (Build 44364)

Cumulative Update 34 includes all application and platform hotfixes and regulatory features that have been released for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013.

The cumulative update is intended mainly for solutions that are experiencing the problems described in the Knowledge Base article linked to below. However, you are advised to always keep your solution updated with the latest cumulative update. If you are in doubt about whether this cumulative update addresses your specific problem, or if you want to confirm whether any special compatibility, installation, or download issues are associated with this cumulative update, support professionals in Customer Support Services are ready to help you. For more information, see http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/.

The cumulative update includes hotfixes that apply to all countries and hotfixes specific to the following local versions:
  • AU – Australia
  • AT – Austria
  • BE – Belgium
  • CH – Switzerland
  • DE – Germany
  • DK – Denmark
  • ES – Spain
  • FI – Finland
  • FR – France
  • IS – Iceland
  • IT – Italy
  • NA – North America
  • NL – Netherlands
  • NO – Norway
  • NZ – New Zealand
  • SE – Sweden
  • UK – United Kingdom
Where to find Cumulative Update 34
You can download the cumulative update from KB 3130279 – Cumulative Update 34 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 (Build 44364).

Warning
Before you install a cumulative update in a production environment, take the following precautions:
  1. Test the cumulative update in a non-production environment.
  2. Make a backup of the system or computer where the cumulative update is to be installed.
Additional Information
For a list of all cumulative updates for this version, see Released Cumulative Updates for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013.

For a list of all hotfixes included in cumulative updates for this version, see the following CustomerSource and PartnerSource pages:

CustomerSource:

PartnerSource:

Please provide your feedback with a comment.
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara

Cumulative Update 27 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 has been released (Build 44366)

Cumulative Update 27 includes all application and platform hotfixes and regulatory features that have been released for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2.

The cumulative update is intended mainly for solutions that are experiencing the problems described in the Knowledge Base article linked to below. However, you are advised to always keep your solution updated with the latest cumulative update. If you are in doubt about whether this cumulative update addresses your specific problem, or if you want to confirm whether any special compatibility, installation, or download issues are associated with this cumulative update, support professionals in Customer Support Services are ready to help you. For more information, see http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/.

The cumulative update includes hotfixes that apply to all countries and hotfixes specific to the following local versions:
  • AU – Australia
  • AT – Austria
  • BE – Belgium
  • CH – Switzerland
  • CZ – Czech Republic
  • DE – Germany
  • DK – Denmark
  • ES – Spain
  • FI – Finland
  • FR – France
  • IS – Iceland
  • IT – Italy
  • NA – North America
  • NL – Netherlands
  • NO – Norway
  • NZ – New Zealand
  • RU – Russia
  • SE – Sweden
  • UK – United Kingdom
Where to find Cumulative Update 27
You can download the cumulative update from KB 3130282 – Cumulative Update 27 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 (Build 44366).


Warning
Before you install a cumulative update in a production environment, take the following precautions:
  1. Test the cumulative update in a non-production environment.
  2. Make a backup of the system or computer where the cumulative update is to be installed.
Additional Information
For more information about cumulative updates for this version, see Announcement of update rollups for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2.

For a list of all cumulative updates for this version, see Released Cumulative Updates for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2.

For a list of all hotfixes included in cumulative updates for this version, see the following CustomerSource and PartnerSource pages:

CustomerSource:

PartnerSource

Please provide your feedback with a comment. 
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara

MVP Surprise Celebration at ZILLIONe

Thank you everyone (Ilamaran, Surath, Iyendra, Upeksha, Ashique,Danushka, Senera, Shehan, Kalpani Chanukah,Oshi Enrico) for organizing the surprise celebration.
It was truly a surprise and never expected it! 

Thank you very much!







Please provide your feedback with a comment. 
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

TODAY vs WORKDATE

What is the different between TODAY vs WORKDATE ? To find out the difference between the two options I have written a small codeunit and it only contain following two lines.
1:  MESSAGE('Work Date: %1',WORKDATE);  
2:  MESSAGE('Today : %1',TODAY);  
I first execute the codeunit and it gives me following values as output. 
No difference in the values and it gives me the current date as the output. So I went ahead and change the work date of the Dynamics NAV for particular session and then execute the codeunit for the second time. 

This time output messages got changed with the work date and today message box still provide me the server date. 

Summary : Dynamics NAV take the work date from the session work date and today is taken from the server date. 

Following is the MSDN definitions,
Today : Returns the current date set in the operating system. (You can only use the TODAY function to retrieve the current date from the operating system. You cannot use it to set the date in the operating system.)

Work Date : Sets and returns the work date for the current session. (This function returns the work date chosen using the Work Date option on the Tools menu. If the user did not choose a work date, the the current system date is returned.)

Please provide your feedback with a comment.
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara

Friday, January 1, 2016

Awarded as Microsoft MVP - 2016

Yesterday (01/01/2016) I received an e-mail from Microsoft mentioning I was awarded as 
Microsoft MVP for Business Solution Category 
(Microsoft Dynamics NAV)

It is one of the greatest achievement in my life and I want to thank all the people who helped me to achieve this dream. Thank you very much for all of my blog readers and specially to the people who given me the feedback on each and every post that I have posted in my blog. Those valuable feedback helped to become the person who I am today and it was really a privilege to be the part of the community and help you all. 

As I always believe, best way of learning is sharing the knowledge and helping each other. It allows us to see things differently and gain so much of knowledge we have never even able to get reading all the books around us. 

Therefore start contributing to the community by sharing your valuable knowledge and think it as a responsibility. You may think the knowledge you have is very small and people already know it, but I can tell you that small piece of knowledge you share today can be the founding stone for a huge concept that change the world tomorrow. 

Most of you have reached me via my E-Mail or through Dynamics NAV Community Forum and I will try my best to keep in touch with you all. Sorry if I have miss any of your e-mails, requests, SMS, feedback. (Please do buzz me all the time if I did miss to reply).

Finally I want to congratulate all fellow MVP's whose status is renewed or got selected for the first time just like me. 

I have long way to go and hope everyone will be with me till the end.. 

Confirmation E-Mail

Keep in Touch!

Please provide your feedback with a comment.
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara