Microsoft Convergence Europe 2014 Barcelona, 4-5-6 November. Day II

Ovidiu Teodorescu,

Correspondent, by your will: Microsoft Convergence Europe 2014

Microsoft Dynamics Nav: on Azure, in Office 365!

If yesterday I told you about Kirill's presentation and customer focus, today I want to talk about the wonderful things I've seen here about Microsoft Dynamics Nav.   

For some time (about a year ago), Microsoft talks about "Mobile First, Cloud First" on which is based its business development. And they are right. After all, mobility has changed our lives. Smart devices (phones or tablets) are influencing our activities in an overwhelming way. And as a proof that this is the direction that we are following, we can see that Azure makes services continuously (they announce 20 new services), Office 365 is improving more everyday (now available on all mobile devices) and OneDrive's capacity is increasing, new plans appear, and so on.   

But here's Microsoft Dynamics product family goes in this direction, as well and if we're talking about Nav, we can see that the 2015 version optimized its the code to run better in Azure (performance increase with 25% according to Microsoft) and has a tablet client. The tablet client from Microsoft was one of the most watched and tasted presentations because the demonstration was made on an Ipad. Seeing an Ipad on the screen at Convergence, it's some thing we did not even dreamed about two years ago.   

For this client, Microsoft thought about availability on all platforms, so it's available also in the Windows Store and the Apps Store or Google Play. And because they made it for every platform, it seems they have revolutionized something in their way of thinking: they brought functional designers. What I liked about these demonstrations is the ease to use of this customer. They assumed that if I keep the tablet in my hands, then I will work with my big fingers on it, and it has to give me the functionalities on areas that I can reach them. More than this ergonomy of the application, they have also simplified the introduction form. It's so simple and easy to use. And at the tablet client was added an entire ecosystem of using the Microsoft Dynamics Nav application.

Microsoft proposes several tablet uses scenarios in NAV 2015: sales agent, manager, mobile service representative and warehouse handler. Indeed, there are ambitious scenarios. So far I've tracked the first two and I see them well developed and easy to implement, but for the other two I'd better expect to see it implemented. And I'm waiting for something else, the smartphone client, because so far it just runs on tablet.  

Enough about NAV mobility, let's see what's behind the title of this article. 

Let's start with 'on Azure'. I was saying that they have already optimized the NAV code to run better in Azure. It made sense what they did as long as NAV 2013 has solved the biggest problems in Cloud and Internet: Architecture in 3 levels (so the NAV client, who actually transfers data over the Internet is very "easy") and activity stack (users are no longer blocked when they want to register documents). If this was implemented from NAV 2013, then for NAV 2015 they went to the code optimization. At the demo I saw: a server started (from 0) in 3 minutes! I did not expect that! It takes more than three minutes to start a physically server after you remove it from the box and instal its options. No, the one I saw yesterday was an Azure virtual server based on a template (so yes, it's a trick somewhere there, but the advantage is that you can use such tricks). It was functional in 3 minutes due to NAV ... That means performance! I will also come back soon with some graphs about NAV because in a discussion with a Microsoft employee at the booth I saw some charts about using NAV on a server with 4 cores and 7.6 Gb of memory simultaneously by 150 of concurrent users.  And they had a 95% response rate, that means 95% of the requests were secured by the server in due time. But the details of how to get to these performances I will tell you in another article.

Let's move on to the 'Office365' topic and see what Microsoft wants to say whit it. It's very simple, Microsoft Dynamics NAV is available in the O365 family and can be purchased alongside this package with a monthly subscription. But if it were just that, this subject would not be in this article. What's more, is that the login is integrated, it can access NAV, Word, Excel, Sites (like Sharepoint online) with the same login, and you do not have to log in every product.

Moreover for the fact that from Nav2013 we have a client on Sharepoint, you can create an integrated view in MySites where you have a part of the screen with dashboards (coming from the NAV), one with commands, or clients, or what operations you need to carry out (all of the NAV), another part of the screen will be occupied by the documents you work on (coming from Sharpoint), and at the end let's not forget about some graphics created in Power BI from O365 based on the NAV. Thus, an employee gets an integrated view on multiple functional areas from multiple applications on the same desktop. Everything in Azure and there's no need for 5 physical servers to do email as well, and NAV, and document server and backup server and I do not know what (for example Link server), but the functionalities delivered directly to the beneficiary.

That’s all for today, tomorrow I came back with the last day of Convergence.

Categories: Tech

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