Stupid Program

As I have worked a couple of years as an IT consultant, I have stumbled over some stupid Programs, but I must say Navision beats them ALL… the Client I have used the Navision 3.55, and an OS2 Server. the job for me was to sell them a new Server, and convert the database to it (Windows 2000). first of all I call Navision, and asks them what to do, and they are very helpfull, and tells me I better upgrade to ver. 3.56,and buy the win32 application “addon” - and there will be NO problems converting. Okay, that we do, and start by making a backup from the existing database (the file is 296MB) - I start to import it, and here it starts to go wrong. 1GHZ PC, ATA100 Harddisk, and anyway it takes over 5 hours for the program to come to the conclusion “not enough database memory”… (there was 14% free when exported) - Have to reassemble the old server, and go home to make a new try. - I was pissed!!. We then HAVE to upgrade (yes, upgrade, to beeing able to import a backup!!!) - and we upgrade from 730 MB to 830 MB. This time it then runs for over 8 hours !!, and ends up with same conclusion: not enough database memory. So the truth about Navision: You are NOT able to import your backup without having to pay a fortune… THAT SUCKS !!! Anyway, I am in no doubt when having to consult all my clients from this day forward: NEVER buy / use Navision… (but at least now it seems like Microsoft soon will come with a reasonable solution:)

First it has to be stated that Navision 3.5x is a very old DOS Character based version. I actually wonder that it runs under Win 2000. AFAIK this old version is not longer supported anyway. Thus comparing Navision 3.5 with the current Financials 2.60 is like comparing DOS with Win2k. Second: Yes, you are right, Backup/Restore is a memory consuming task as the db requires approximately it’s double size in order to be able to do a decent rollback in case something goes wrong. I don’^t know about prices form Nav 3.5x but for financials db-space is free (no matter whether you use 50 MByte or 32 GByte) and harddisk costs are of no concern to most companies. 3) If you judge an ERP software according to it’s Backup/Restore capabilities alone you must be a very narrow minded person. 4) Upgrades should acctually be performed by qualified personel from an NSC and not by end-users. 5) I’ve been working for 20 years now in IT business, 4 1/2 years with Navision and have stumbled over a lot of stupid programs as well. However I have also stumbled over a lot of stupid IT consultants. ------- With best regards from Switzerland Marcus Fabian Edited by - fabian on 2001 Apr 10 00:49:14

Sorry, but you are showing a quite strange attitude here. You were asked to update an outdated program, running on an outdated environment, without having any knowledge on the program at all. So you ran into troubles, which hardly can be called a surprise. You took the risk, and it didn’t work out the way you hoped. No problem - things like that do happen. But it’s rather short-sighted to blame the company or the product for something you did yourself. A much more professional advise to this customer would have been to change over to Navision Financials, to keep pace with developments and to get a full blown modern system. Which has been Win2K approved by Microsoft, by the way… John

Fabian & John, You’ve said it all, I totally agree with you and have nothing more to add. :slight_smile: Lars Strøm Valsted Head of Project and Analysis Columbus IT Partner A/S

Well… to start replying Marcus: 1. When I called Navision, they told me that it could run with no problems under the windows 2000, they never told me that the support for the product was over (even got us upgrading it to 3.56a) 2. When running backup’s there should be no limit in the database - Totally stupid way the program is made (even though in DOS) 3. I dont judge it alone by the backup, but in the backup case it is important you have a program that is stable, and that are able to be restored (without having to upgrade for a lot of money!!) 4. Why didnt they tell me at either Navision or ???(the NSC) ?? (bad consulting by them?) 5. Good we at least agree on one point :slight_smile: (even though you insult me) and John: The client that needed the advice to upgrade to the new Navision Financial was me, so bad consulting by Navision and ???(the NSC) I must say ?? - I was never told there could be problems like this, both companys were pleased just to sell me the upgrades !!! Both: Using the “Outdated” excuse I dont get… I would have had the problem even though running a single workstation with DOS only…

Angry I have worked with Navision for over 5 years. Quote: not enough database memory"… (there was 14% free when exported)?? 1. did you create a new database to do the restore? 2. What size did you make it, should be been at least 900mb? Restoring large backups could be a problem on older Versions, the database has to be 2 1/2 to 3 times the backup size as it writes the temporary files and keys to the database its self, so I think this might be your problem. The customer having to pay for space was not always happy, this is now corrected in the latest versions. So unless your licence allowed for the size of database you can not restore. If you have several companies you could try restoring a company at a time if you have limited space. Navision is a strong product with a good user base and you should not write it off so easy. i have not found a more mallable product with the nice look and feel of Navision. David Cox MindSource (UK) Limited Navision Solutions Partner Email: Web:

Angry, don’t try programing of Navision. It’s 100% dynamite for your head !!!

David: Yes, have created the new database (747521 Byte) - and when upgraded: 849921 Byte Yes, It is my problem that it has to be that much larger than the original… this means my client that had 14% free space when running normally (730MB) have to upgrade to somewhere near 1Gbyte to get the backup in again… You give all the advices that neither Navision or ???(the NSC) did give me, all they thought about was just to sell more upgrades…


Originally posted by Angry: You give all the advices that neither Navision or ???(the NSC) did give me, all they thought about was just to sell more upgrades…

Dear Angry, I’m actually surprised how calm and positivly people have reacted and answered. Because to me it was very difficult to read your email and not getting offended by it . Because it’s not really the program how is stupid. People are stupid. Navision 3.x (the DOS based program) was released in more or less the version you know in 1990. That’s 11 years ago. In 1995 Navision released a new Windows based system (Financials), but they didn’t disconnect the old version. Last year Navision Denmark (the Danish NTR/distributor) announced that they would stop supporting by the end of 2001. After that date you will not even be able to buy more database space or users etc. Like it or not. I think it’s an ok decision. 6 years in the computer industry is a lot. Would you ever think about running Windows 3.1 again? Navision’s and our (the NSC’s) problem is that we do not have many people left to support this old version. I think you experienced this problem! A lot of the companies who are running Navision 3.x do not require much support on a daily basis. Their system just keeps running - pure Duracell! Only once in a while they need help. I.e. if they like in your case need a new OS. But that’s not enough to keep support staff up to date with the program. In cases like this and after all the NTR’s (some countries stopped the support a few years back) have stopped supporting Navision 3.x then my best guess to where you can get support is here on where you still have active users and people who can still support it. But they are not many any more. I’m just a little surprised that this is already the case, because I know that they with Navision DK’s support have people (at least one) who actually know this program a lot. Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster Navision Online User Group

Admin: Well, if ppl gets offended about my mail, it is okay… (imagine how you would feel after the PC first time ran about 6 hours, and came out with reply “not enough database” - and second time, waiting over 8 hours, and same reply) I know the solution of my problem (pay more money) - So more a way to get out with my frustrations, than to get help here… I still think it is bad (stupid?) programming that makes you unable to import a backup, without having to upgrade the database to double size… but at least they now have come up with a new (and in my eyes - way expensive) solution… thx for showing me at least help can be found on the net ( and of course: Sorry to all the ppl I have offended - except the guy that programmed Navision 3.X :slight_smile:

Just one more thing. Can you still access the old database? If yes, then you might want to try to do a date compression, and clean up old entries. Depending on how old you customers installation is, then you would be able to free up a lot of space. Then create a new backup (and now much smaller backup) and restore the backup again. Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster Navision Online User Group

As a Navision programer of over 6 years (and it IT for over 15) I can tell you without reservation that Navision is one the best products (for accounting software) that I have ever used. It’s database speed is excelent and while limiting at times, the development environment provides very rapid development. Are there things I’d change if I could…? Sure. However, until GOD Himself writes the software it will not be perfect. Bottem line: Get a grip. Use this forum BEFORE trying something new. It will save you time and obvious frustration. Bill Benefiel Manager of Information Systems Overhead Door Company (317) 842-7444 ext 117

A restore didn’t usually take double the database space in my experience. But that would sure be safe. I think with double the available space you would always have enough. In practice, we found it very hard to predict how much space would be required for a restore. Our rule was to try a restore first before asking the customer to purchase more database space. I think that key reconstruction is much faster when you use the largest possible commit cache too. So multiple attempts were not as painful as it was in the first posting. Frankly, the 8 hours seems very long even without maximizing use of RAM, but we’ve never used IDE harddrives for servers. With 18GB, 10K, IBM Brand SCSI hard drives costing only $185USD, using faster hard drives is even easier today. We were also very careful to tell our customers about the database pricing parameter when we sold the software. Maybe the original poster was not present when the software was sold. The database pricing parameter is very unusual in ERP software so it may have been a suprise. Navision eliminated it when the SQL version was released because and at the same time raised the price for user sessions. I’ll bet the Navision server just kept working flawlessly for years. Maybe it was so reliable they nearly forgot it was even there. I wonder why the customer wanted to upgrade the server. Jim Hollcraft NCSD, NCSP, MCSE, CNE, MCP, MST aka Skater - Unauthorized Navision News

Most things already have been said about that issue. But one thing is left… The only reason why this customer had to buy more database ? Because the upgrade was performed by a person without the appropriate knowledge and without the appropriate equipment. Maybe Mr. angry covers his name because he knows that this thread will not increase his reputation. A database of that size could have been moved easily to my laptop. Then - with my NSC-licence - the database-size is increased and all needed steps can be performed. In the end the new Fin-database will be written back to the new server of my customer. That procedure is fully covered by Navision, as long as i do not provide the customer with my NSC-licence. And if my laptop is too slow, then i have the possibility to use a high-end portable to do that. So what ? Upgrading from 3.XX to Financials is not a rookies job. Basta.

Richard, You are right but I also think that there are cases when the newly restored database takes more space when it is finished than that original… When he had this problem the first time (or maybe even the 2nd) we didn’t think to use our perosnal licenses, but I think later we did. However, we then sometimes had to run key optimizations to try and reduce the size of the restored database before it would work with the customers license. This feels a little like clearing cobwebs in your mind. The discussion brings me back to all the fun we had introducing 3.x to the USA. I hope Angry apologizes. Maybe after he cools downs he’ll realize that his anger was misdirected and counter productive. Jim Hollcraft NCSD, NCSP, MCSE, CNE, MCP, MST aka Skater - Unauthorized Navision News

Hi Jim, i remember that discussions very well - and i don’t miss them :wink: Have a nice weekend Richard

Well, it seems that we’ve a problem… As long as i’ve read we have the following situation: 1) An IT consultant who’s job is SELLING a server and converting the Database to it, changing all the enviroment on an STABLE working system, finds an OLD non-approved y2k compliance program and decides after asking Navision (probably the question was something like “What to do to make my Navision 3.55 program to work on Win2K”) to continue with the OLD non-y2k program and update HIMSELF the program to a new version without knowing the application. 2) The IT consultant finds problems on restoring a backup of the company when upgrading and decides that as it’s a database space problem he has to upgrade the customer license (as he also don’t know how the program works or what else he can do). 3) The IT consultant, after loosing a lot of time and upgrading the license, finds that the backup space is not enought for the restoring… (this point is when the customer is becoming really angry as the IT consultant is asking him for more money for upgrading again the license after having the initial stimation totally overpassed)… 4) The IT consultant becomes angry and needs to relax… so goes to the forum and blame a product he really don’t know. After that previous introduction to the problem, what can i obtain? a) The IT Consultant work is mostly in this case a Commercial work… just selling servers and making the program the customer is using on the new server. b) The IT Consultant don’t really knows how to do his work, as instead of keeping the actual STABLE SOFTWARE configuration if possible (changing from OS/2 to Win2K seems a bad choice when it’s all working fine on OS/2… having a new machine doesn’t means you have to change the operating system in all cases… excepting if you’re not interested in anything else than also getting money for selling also a win2K server pack…or if there are really good reasons for changing to a new enviroment). c) If the enviroment is not changed, no changes on the customer program are needed, so your first question should have been if it was possible to have the new server running under OS/2. d) When asking Navision, probably you didn’t make the correct questions, so they didn’t gave you the answers you needed, but the ones you asked. e) You take a risk yourself as trying to upgrade by yourself a program you don’t know… if you’re having problems is not the programs fault… it’s your fault for not asking someone with experience enought on that program to do it. f) If i’m not wrong, Navision 3.55 and Navision 3.56 can work both with the same database (the upgrade was just program files changes), so you don’t need to make a backup of the database and restoring it, just copying the file should work (as i told at the start of this point … if i’m not wrong… i can’t remember… there is a lot of time i don’t play with navision 3.x). If i’m right, the only problem on upgrading from 3.55 to 3.56 is installing the correct executable files and changing the license… (not really too much). g) The time you spent and the upgrades you made probably costed more money to the customer than the price an NSC would have made you for doing that job… so… it’s worthy then doing it? h) In the worst of the cases, you can always export the objects to a file and export the data on navision 3.x to text files and import them again in an empty database, but it will also require a bit of time for making the dataports and so… and you’ll need someone with some knowledge of the program working. So if i were the customer and i were working for four/five years with a program in an enviroment without having problems (if they were having problems before this server upgrade they will have probably decided also to change the program), and the problems we’re having are on the change to a new enviroment caused by a bad work made by a “couple of years” IT consultant, i’ll probably continue with the program, but i won’t probably work anymore with that IT consultant company, as they have made a poorly work… Next time, ask professionals for doing the work you don’t know how to do instead of testing by yourself… specially when playing with the customer’s money. Regards from California. – Alfonso Pertierra Spain Western Computer Los Angeles, California