NAV 2009, Form Transformation and End User Page Modifications

I have found that the most efficient way to do development of pages for NAV 2009 is to create the forms and then use the form transformation tool to create the pages.

This has been successful on a number of projects and does not seem to add significant time to the development. The two alternatives are to develop just the pages and ignore the forms (this makes debugging more time consuming and testing more difficult - I think most people would agree), the other option is to do the development twice (I can’t think of a good reason for doing work twice, so this is a non-starter).

I am now hitting a problem with customers that want to modify their own Pages. Prior to NAV 2009, we had customers that wanted to use the Form Designer to add fields to pages - well now the end users can do this using personalisation, unless the field does not exist, in which case they need to do development on the Page object and add the field. Similarly if they want to add actions and reports, they need to use the development tools.

If we developed the Page by transforming from the Form and the customer goes in to the Page and edits it directly, we now have a problem. The next time we modify the form and send the customer a transformed page, we will overwrite their changes.

Our initial idea was to supply a document and the TIF input files allowing the clients to do their changes to the form and then do the transformation themselves. However we have found that the client’s license does not allow them to run the Form Transformation, nor does it allow them to import the Page in XML format.

The other option is to get them to send us the page and we have to reverse engineer their changes, apply them to the form and re-create the page, which is a pain to say the least.

How are other people getting around this issue?

I’m opening this up for general discussion, rather than seeking a specific solution.

Cheers,

Dave.

Dave,

We have run into this issue as well with our customers. The best solution we have come up with is to only transform the form to a page once. Any subsequent changes would be made to both the form and the page if there is a possibility they are out of synch. If they are in synch then you could run the transformation again. Most of the future changes to the form/page have not been heavy so it has not been that time consuming to apply the change to both the form and the page manually. It also keeps both the form and page in synch for debugging like you mentioned.

Brent

Hi Brent,

it’s good to hear someone elses experiences - I think we could work like that.

Cheers,

Dave.