Cool New 3.0 Feature

Send Short to Desktop. It looks like in 3.0 you will be able to open Navision to a specific form and a specific record by launching a specific URL. There seems to be a few details on when and where this will work, but at first glance it looks like a nice new feature. Jim Hollcraft NCSD, NCSP, MCSE, CNE, MCP, MST aka Skater http://drilldot.com Unauthorized Navision News

Does this mean that 3.0 is browser based or are you referring to the User Portal? I’m trying to find out everything I can about the 3.0 version. David Rochford Zesco Products 317-269-9300 x188 david@zesco.com

3.0 does not appear to be browser based. The UI looks about the same as 2.6. This feature will probably be in the base product. NB: Anything anyone posts about 3.0 right now is really just speculation (even if we are looking at beta code). Until the product is released, nothing is really for sure. Jim Hollcraft NCSD, NCSP, MCSE, CNE, MCP, MST aka Skater http://drilldot.com Unauthorized Navision News

From within Navision you can copy a shortcut, that you then can send by email to another Navision user in your company. And when openening this hyperlink, he will after logging in, be taken to the exact same form/record as when you created the shortcut/hyperlink. Soren Nielsen, moderator Integration/Developer NOLUG

I wrote a program to send links and open forms years ago. However if this pans out, I can gain back all of my objects! (To bad I can’t gain back the time!) Bill Benefiel Manager of Information Systems Overhead Door Company billb@ohdindy.com (317) 842-7444 ext 117

It looks like there is a lot of confusion between:

  • Navision Solutions 3.0
  • Navision Application Server
  • User Portal
    So let’s sort these things out. NF 3.0 is basically an enhanced NF 2.x. The layout has slightly changed (like between 1.3 and 2.0) but you still will have the look-and-feel of Navision. In short: NF 3.0 is NOT a browser based application. Besides some new application features (especially in contact management and production) there are some important technical changes. Such as the mentioned capabilities to start a form via URL, shortcuts, streams and longer stringsize (something around 1000) — NAS (Navision Application Server) is a separate product which enhances Navision Server to send and receive streams via Windows 2000 message queue: NAS listenes to his message queue, and processes incoming XML streams. Which streams are accepted, what format is being used and what action the contents of the streams should trigger is up to the programmer. I think I best explain that by having a look at the new codeunit 6702 (XML Request handler)

IF XMLDOM.FindNode(XMLin,'/Function/Name',Node) THEN
  CASE Node.text OF
    'CustomerTop10':
      GeneralReportMgt.CustomerTop10Report(XMLin,XMLout);
    'ItemTop10':
      GeneralReportMgt.ItemTop10Report(XMLin,XMLout);
  END;

In this example the dispatcher reacts on XML streams which contain a function/Name keyword “CustomerTop10”. If this keyword is found, procedure GeneralReportMgt.CustomerTop10Report will be started which starts the well known Customer Top-10 Report, saves it as html and sends the file via message queue back to the sender. The XML stream, NAS will process looks like this:


<?xml version="1.0"?>
<Function>
<Name>CustomerTop10</Name>
</Function>

Additional Tags for Datefilter or customer filter (or whatever you choose) can be contained in the stream. Same applies for the ‘Item Top 10 Report’. The NAS is not part of NF 3.0 but will require additional license which - as far as I heard - costs a hell lot of money (around US$7000, EUR 8000). — UP (User Portal) requires NAS as it makes use of the above mentioned feature to process XML. UP is basically a Navision-specific enhancement of Microsoft Dashboard. If you are interested, you might already have seen a UP implementation and have gotten an idea of the look-and-feel from the point of view of the end-user. The user might encounter the following situation: A web-form presents him with the option to enter a customer number, press a “go” button and receive a new page in his browser with the customer g/l entries listed in tabular form. What’s going on behind the scene? 1) the browser sends an xml file similar to the one above to the NAS such as:


<?xml version="1.0"?>
<Function>
<Name>CustomerGetGLList</Name>
<Custno>50010</Custno>
</Function>

  1. NAS receives this xml via message queue. Codeunit 6702 has been enhanced to react on Function/Name “CustomerGetGLList”, and starts a Dataport with filter CustomerNo.=50010 3) The Dataport creates the list of GL/Entries as XML (new file-type in NAS Dataports besides “variable” and “fixed”) and passes this XML back to codeunit 6702 which passes it back to the calling Codeunit 1 which puts it into the outbound message queue back via intranet or internet to the browser. 4) The browser receives the xml file, and with help of a predefined xsl style sheet translates the contents of the file to a html-table which is being displaied to the user. For the developer there is only very little work to do within Navision: Create a Dataport, and adapt CU 6702 to listen to a new function name. This work can usually be done within less than one hour. The bigger part of the work (especially for us who are not yet very fit with xml/xsl syntax) is to create 1) an asp script respectively style sheet which translates the customer number into the above mentioned xml file after user presses the “go” button. 2) the xsl style sheet needed to translate the xml-stream with the G/L entries to a html table. Personally I estimate that I would need about one to two days for the first implementation of such a request and a minimum of 4 hours for every following! In reality, if you have salespeople out who want to enter orders for their customers you can take at least one week off: They need a * customer-list * customer GL-Entries * List of orders * record an order and sales lines * lookup items Remember: Each of these functions require a separate set of inbound and outbound xls style sheets. I’m not pointing this out because I want to scare you away from UP or NAS but having talked with many developers I got the impression that many think that they can easily convert forms into UP pages without lot’s of work. This impression would be definitely wrong!. If you are interested, you can look at download which contains a 200line xsl sheet which converts a simple customer list into a html page. (Just to give an impression about the work waiting for you.) — About UP I also want to mention security issues: While a specific user usually has only limited rights to access Navision, the NAS has to be logged on as a user who has all rights all remote users have together. Say: You have sales-people, accountants, and purchase managers out there who want to access their respective data, NAS must have at least the right of all of these groups. In reality you would start NAS with the User SUPER or ADMINISTRATOR. If User “John” starts the UP start-page in his browser it will look like: http:// …blabla /Dashboard/Users/John/Startpage/ If he looks closer to the URL he will find his name “John” in it. Ok, let’s look what Mark was doing today: Simply change the URL to …/Mark/Startpage/ and he uses the UP from Mark … or SUPER or ADMINISTRATOR … ------- With best regards from Switzerland Marcus Fabian

Marcus, That is an excellent summary of new features. Thanks for taking the time to post it! Jim. Jim Hollcraft NCSD, NCSP, MCSE, CNE, MCP, MST aka Skater http://drilldot.com Unauthorized Navision News

Let me to continue the discussion… As far as I know, there are at least three types of NAS: WebShop uses “first-generation” NAS. It is a standard NF klient running a code wich pools (on-timer basis) the message queue and fullfils the requests. User portal has a “second generation” NAS: it is a special client, looks like a standard client, but has some more functionality: it can receive and send messages direcly to message queue. I think it works like this: The client receives a command from messge queue, he realise it (as like user make some action) and instead of showing the result on the screen, sends the content back to MQ. Using this principles the internet user can “work” with navision as like he has a genuine client installed. But… There must be set of web pages and a plenty of .asp code writen to make the funcionality “like” navision. In other words, there is a completly new user interface writen for specic “roles” in NF. E.g. “sales” can create, modify, delete orders, browse the customers etc, but only those functions which are “coded” into web pages (.asp). The other thing is - and at this point I disagree with Fabian - user portal uses “windows authentification” - it means only user authenticated on doamin controler can access the NF database via IE and only those functions which are assigned to his role. The biggest disadvantege of user portal NAS is, that it cannot handle the messages comming from C/AL code. E.g. to work as “sales” with user portal, you must turn off the credit and stock warnings… And you must start and end this NAS manualy. Commerce gateway uses the real NAS - it runs as service on W2K, and can communicate with both: the navision server and message queue. This NAS runs with W2K, NF26, but all the documentation (help) is written as for “Navision Solution”. The communication between NF and BizTalk is fully transparent for user, and without any manual intervention. I hope in future this NAS will repalce the two previous. Commerce portal should be the new wersion of WebShop using (hopefully) the same NAS as commerce gateway. With best regards JK

quote:


As far as I know, there are at least three types of NAS: WebShop uses “first-generation” NAS. It is a standard NF klient running a code wich pools (on-timer basis) the message queue and fullfils the requests. User portal has a “second generation” NAS: it is a special client, looks like a standard client, but has some more functionality:


No. It’s the same NAS in both cases. UP is simply an application which makes use of NAS’s XML processing feature.

quote:


I think it works like this: The client receives a command from messge queue, he realise it (as like user make some action) and instead of showing the result on the screen, sends the content back to MQ.


… as XML stream. Correct.

quote:


But… There must be set of web pages and a plenty of .asp code writen to make the funcionality “like” navision. In other words, there is a completly new user interface writen for specic “roles” in NF.


Exactly. You hit the point.

quote:


The other thing is - and at this point I disagree with Fabian - user portal uses “windows authentification” - it means only user authenticated on doamin controler can access the NF database via IE and only those functions which are assigned to his role.


The first part is correct, the second one wrong: Yes, John can only access the NF database if he can connect to his companies server (Windows authentication) but as soon as he’s in NAS he’s logged in as SUPER. NAS does not (yet) determine which right’s John has. Navision Server will fulfill all request from NAS according to the rights NAS has.

quote:


The biggest disadvantege of user portal NAS is, that it cannot handle the messages comming from C/AL code. E.g. to work as “sales” with user portal, you must turn off the credit and stock warnings…


Messages like error-messages are returned by NAS as XML files rather than being shown on the screen. However I don’t know how NAS would react if a form like the credit warning should be invoked.

quote:


Commerce gateway uses the real NAS - it runs as service on W2K,


Correct. This will be the NF 3.0 solution which will replace the NAS of 2.60D we currently use.

quote:


This NAS runs with W2K, NF26,


With NF3.0, not 2.6. Besides: W2K is a must for NAS. NAS won’t run on an NT Server.

quote:


The communication between NF and BizTalk is fully transparent for user, and without any manual intervention.


I agree with “without any manual intervention” but we should discuss the term “fully transparent”. Or are you massochistic?

quote:


Commerce portal should be the new wersion of WebShop using (hopefully) the same NAS as commerce gateway.


I’m quite sure about that. What sense would it make to develop a new NAS for every third-party application which might want to communicate with Navision? — Summary: NAS has a simple task: read the message queue, send messages to Navision for processing and sending the result back to the calling application. Fullstop. Current NAS (v2.60D) is a client application which looks like a Navision client. Next Generation (v3.0) will be a w2k service. I’m not sure but this might be the service called “Commerce gateway”. All this stuff we talked about requires ((NF 2.60D) or (NF3.0)) AND (Windows 2000 Server) AND (IIS) AND (Message Queue) ------- With best regards from Switzerland Marcus Fabian

Regarding sending the URL link: Actually, it won’t work if the latest versions of Outlook are used. A .url extension is a level 1 security violation in Outlook and it won’t accept it. Older versions (non-patched) will work just fine, but 2000 with the latest service pack and XP - forget it. Cool concept, but somebody is testing it with old Office code. Allen Beck President Beck Consulting Alameda, CA & Bellevue, WA allen@beckconsulting.com 800-456-8474

You can turn off this security in Office XP if you want to. If anyone wants the information I can find it again. Craig Bradney Technical Manager Navision Solutions & Services, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Email:cbradney@deloitte.com.au

Hi Craig. I’d definitely be interested. I haven’t had a chance to work with Office XP yet. Also because of the new license agreement - I refuse to purchase it and load it on my home computer.

quote:


I refuse to purchase it and load it on my home computer.


I agree with you. However, www.astalavista.com is your friend ------- With best regards from Switzerland Marcus Fabian

Regarding the ‘real’ NAS - yes, Commerce Portal does use a ‘REAL’ NAS which starts up as a service and does the ferrying of information. It even has a MMC-Style snap in for administration, so it is really a step toward a more real service. But architecture-wise it is still a special fin client and if needed, can be started from a normal client session, a la dispatcher. FYI, in Singapore we have had a ‘preview’ workshop of Commerce Portal a few weeks ago with a developer from DK. We got our hands on a beta CP version (v2.65). There are many creases to iron out, but I like it better than the Web shop already. It is here that we were able to see the ‘real’ NAS and a bunch of other services which replace and enhance the old MirrorJob & PictureReceiver etc. When the product is properly released I expect it to be quite nicer than the beta we saw.

this is getting phylo, lets just wait till attain comes out jeremy aka lanman lanmansg@hotmail.com life is better simplier

quote:


FYI, in Singapore we have had a ‘preview’ workshop of Commerce Portal […snip…] but I like it better than the Web shop already.


So can you clearify this to me: What exactly is the “Commerce Portal”? Is it User Portal, the new Version of NAS or the Navision Implementation of BizTalk Server? I would also be very much interested to learn, what you have seen at the show in Singapore. ------- With best regards from Switzerland Marcus Fabian

Let’s start a new thread on Commerce Portal. Navision US is running a major promotion until the end of the month to sell the product. Jim Hollcraft NCSD, NCSP, MCSE, CNE, MCP, MST aka Skater http://drilldot.com Unauthorized Navision News

As Marcus says, altavista.com is your friend. http://www.astalavista.com/security/windows/officexp2.shtml is the address regarding this attachment security. Of course, I take no responsiblity for what you may do with this information or its effects - Im just supplying a link that I stumbled across when looking at Office XP;s limitations. I think this one I will call a BUG - I see no reason for Microsoft to tell me what attachment names I may or may not use. If only we all used an object oriented object/file system like OS/2/eComStation and other operating systems have. No need for such trivialities as filename extensions! I think Ill put OS/2 on here and run Odin to convert Navision 2.6’s EXE into an OS/2 binary. BAH! Gone are the days of really useful technology. When will Windows catch up with such object technology??? Craig Bradney Technical Manager Navision Solutions & Services, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Email:cbradney@deloitte.com.au

Concerning Astalavista I was actually more thinking about a link like this one: http://m4.wtcracks.com/3psmkluKior0iL904SfdPKFdfdsFDkdKJkfdKQSN/m/Microsoft_Office_XP_Professional_Serial_by_Jallah.zip But the same disclaimers apply: Nobody isn’t responsible for nothing (oh, no, that’s a double negation). ------- With best regards from Switzerland Marcus Fabian