Decisions Spring 2013 Kicking-off Next Week

imageMake sure not to miss Decisions, the virtual conference about Microsoft Dynamics, by MSDynamicsWorld.com. It’s starting next Monday, and I hope you already have it in your calendar. It’s a four day conference, a day per Dynamics flavor (SL is the only one not being served). The best of all – it’s free! Be there.

The Microsoft Dynamics NAV day is on Wednesday, June 20, and it’s featuring a program manager from Microsoft, three MVPs, (at least) three book authors, and a team of seasoned professionals in a series of interesting presentations.

Just like the previous years, I’ll be speaking there myself, and if you would like to join me for an excursion into the world beyond ERP, where several disruptive trends are shaping the future of the IT, and consequently the ERP. I’ll take an angle at the challenges the present and the future bring, and how Microsoft Dynamics NAV faces them, copes with them, and plays along. I promise it’ll be time well spent.

The conference is virtual, so you can attend it in your slippers, I won’t mind. See you in the cloud!

Unlimited Text Length in NAV 2013

imageHave you noticed already that in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 the text variables can have unlimited length? That’s quite a leap ahead of the previous versions which couldn’t handle more than 1024 characters per variable. If you wanted to achieve bug-free code then, when you were assigning texts around, you had to concatenate the result down to the MAXSTRLEN of the target text.

Not anymore.

The trick is to simply not declare the Length property on text variables. If you declare a variable of type Text, and then leave the Length empty, it means – unlimited.

Don’t worry – you won’t kill NAV by eating up all the available memory. Underneath C/AL there is .NET now, and strings in .NET are of unlimited length, or better yet – unlimittable – length anyway. Strings will only make things slow if you stuff the revised version of King James’s Bible in them. In all practical situations, there will be absolutely no performance penalty of leaving Texts unlimited.

I don’t know about you, but from tomorrow morning, I won’t be setting Length to my Texts.

NAV 2013 beta mini-launch at Adriatics Community

Microsoft Comomunity CroatiaIf you want to learn more about the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, and you are from Zagreb, or don’t mind coming to it, the next community event of Microsoft Dynamics Community Adriatics will be fully dedicated to NAV 2013.

There are going to be two presentations. In the first one on the topic of “What’s new in application functionality”, hosted by Ivan Koletić, a member of Microsoft Dynamics NAV product team, who will give an overview of new application features in NAV 2013, and by now you should already know there are plenty.

The second presentation will be about “What’s new in technology”, and will be hosted by me. I won’t be doing any deep-dive this time, and I’ll provide a cloud-perspective overview of a myriad of architecture changes and technology improvements in NAV 2013.

Both of these presentations are merely going to be an introduction in the series of the presentations that will follow over the next several community events. It’s going to be an exciting summer and fall.

If you would like to attend, then please register your attendance (for free, of course) at the event homepage. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Generics in .NET Interop for NAV 2013

image.NET Framework is full of programming conceptual gems, that are now at the fingertips of us poor C/AL folks. One of those is generics. However, the C/AL support for generics at the first glance seems rather limited, and the help file says that you can’t specify data types, and that all generics will be instantiated with System.Object as their type. However, with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, there is a very simple way which allows you to use generics with other data types, as well. So, if .NET Framework Interoperability interests you a slightest bit, here’s a solution. The example below will be for the System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary<,>, and I will show how to use instances of the Dictionary<,> object with any desired data type, without having to pull in any external assemblies. Continue reading Generics in .NET Interop for NAV 2013