We noted in our prior post that Dynamics NAV 2017 debuted some new Outlook integration features with its new release of Oct. 24, 2016. We noted some of MSDynamicsWorld.com’s editor Jason Gumpert’s comments on those features, and today we’ll reprise his comments on the new NAV features that integrate with Excel and Office 365.
The new NAV add-in for Excel utilizes NAV 2017’s new support for something called OData Version 4 in its web services framework, Gumpert notes.
“NAV data can be imported to Excel for smarter, more granular, bi-directional work. In short, that means NAV data can be imported into Excel, edited while maintaining the integrity of non-editable fields (for example, a journal entry balance cannot be updated), and pushed back to NAV with rules intact.”
Development of NAV these days occurs largely in rapid-fire, typically two-week sprints, along the lines of the “agile” methodology in software development. In other words, frequent and quick new releases of updated features, as in contrast to the old once-a-year paradigms of the past. In fact, some of these new capabilities previewed at the NAV Directions conference in October in Phoenix were only days old. Even so, as Gumpert points out, some of the capabilities exhibited included:
- Understanding pre-set values like enforcing the selection of true or false for a field
- Improved interaction with the user due to its ability to pull all details of a field or table from NAV because it understands a data type
- Error handling when trying to publish data back to NAV. If something goes wrong, the issues are highlighted in the rows in Excel, such as an unacceptable field value.
One final new twist: NAV has a new tie-in with one of the newest Office 365 toolbox apps called Bookings. The app was developed outside of NAV, but it allows a business running NAV to identify services, work schedules and employees, and then allows customers of that business to book appointments for those services and workers. NAV then can synchronize those contacts with ones in NAV CRM and the services with those managed in NAV.
Future version are said to include the ability to then directly invoice those services from NAV based on the work performed.
Clearly, NAV continues to evolve, to the benefits of all its customers base of what is now an amazing 130,000 companies worldwide. If you are known by the company you keep, then NAV users can indeed consider themselves in good company, with a continually evolving product.