Classic and Transform or develop directly in Role Tailored Client?

We are starting new development on a NAV 2009 addon (we do not have an historic version). It will require the use of automation objects, no immediate need for matrix forms.

What do you consifer the best strategy: develop first for the classic interface and use the transformation tool to move to the Role Tailored Client, or skip the forms and build the pages directly for the new client?

To me that depends on what you want. If you want your add-on to only be available for the RTC, then develop it only for the RTC. If you want to also provide it to customers who are on the classic client then you develop it for both clients.

Now then comes the matter of HOW. Do you use the transformation process for development or do you simply create everything from scratch? That depends on whether you already have the skills to transform or not, and whether you think either method is more efficient, and the effort to build that skill offsets the gain you get from that process.

Just know that automation behaves differently on the RTC, and there are no matrix forms.

For now you will need to develop both anyway. (Forms and Pages) so best idea would be to create the forms and transform them.

Please do note that automation is supported by middle tier and RTC, but events are not supported at all (not in middle tier and not in RTC).


You suggest that we need to develop both forms and pages. Are there compelling reasons to do that, other than that it will offer our clients the choice between using the old and the new client? I just build a page from scratch without an existing form.

Thanks for the remarks about the lack of support for events. Yet another reason to move towards the use of web services.

No that is not true. It totally depends on what you want. If you want to develop something for the RTC only, there is absolutely no reason at all to develop forms. None whatsoever.

I think the meaning is that if you want it to be a certifed Add-On then you will need to go down this path. I may be wrong but I thought now that all Add-Ons must support both clients.

Thanks, David.

As for now - nobody can say if the classic client will die within the next couple of years.

There are just too many limitations (no access on the screen layout, no event support for automation, etc.) in the RTC for now. Once this one has been overcome - it will be sufficient to just create pages.

When creating an AddOn you must keep in mind that it might not be the only one integarated in an end customer solution. They should all interact.

Just imagin you have to extend the item card and just do it in the RTC. As soon as a customer is forced by another AddOn to run the classic client, your customer will be forced to permanently change between the two clients.
It is a matter of comfort you want to provide to your customers.

Thanks for the replies so far.

I guess we will have to develop for both clients as we do want to get our addon certified. The consequence of this will be that all development should be done on the classic forms. When we make a change to an already transformed form, we must transform it again. Again, there are two strategies possible: develop everything as forms and transform all objects once (after code complete on the forms), or transform forms as we go.

Its a very interesting topic, and something that (as soon as I get time) I will blog about.

But the short answer, from my experience moving from Navision on DOS to Windows, is that it will be much better to maintain two completely separate development paths, one for Classic and one for RTC. And use a paper trail to document the changes made in each and how they integrate.

Of course every Add-on will be different, so there will be exceptions.

Always keep in mind that Programming is such a small part of the cost of building an addon, that it should be considered as trivial.

The Microsoft Dynamics® NAV 2009 Microsoft Dynamics ISV Software Solution Test Guidelines document (this is the test that is required for the Certified for Microsoft Dynamics program) states that “Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 includes two clients: the Classic client and the RoleTailored client. This document applies only to ISV solutions that target the RoleTailored client.”

This suggests to me that an addon solution that targets just the RTC can become certified. I have not seen anything in the materials for the Certified for Microsoft Dynamics program that would indicate that solutions must support both clients. If there is anything out there contrary to this I would appreciate a reference as this will impact my plans for upgrading our solution to NAV 2009.