Definitely not normal

It all started with Waldo and his Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 is not a “normal” release … beware! post two weeks ago. Waldo did not complain (much Smile), he explained what R2 is and what it isn’t, and it turns out that it isn’t many of the things people hoped it was.

Then Luc followed with his Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 is … post, in which he again says NAV 2009 R2 is not normal.

I’m sorry to say, but I am definitely joining this “not normal” party, ‘cause there is something strange going on with NAV, and I believe there will soon be either a SP(how does NAV 2009 R2 SP1 sounds?), or a series of hotfixes.

Let’s be fair – it brings so many goodies that I simply love: support for remote users in RTC is a killer, .Net interop is amazing, I even love the small improvements they did to Web services layer, and tons of others.

So, what’s the problem with R2?

Well, for starters, it’s buggy. And the things I saw (which aren’t minor at all) are (or should be) all big enough so I really wonder how this thing was tested.

First thing that always bothers me is database creation options. Even though my Computer is installed with Croatian regional settings, and SQL Server has default collation set to Croatian, New Database dialog in NAV 2009 offers this:

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(that’s collation, and it defaults to Albanian)

Why collation defaults to Albanian beats me dead, other than because it is first (alphabetically) in the list of “compatible” languages. Even though Albanian and Croatian (and other seven languages in this collation group) obviously share the same Windows code page, their collations aren’t nearly the same.

Collation doesn’t only regulate how your åøæ or šđčćž will be displayed, but also your sort order. Every language has specific sorting rules, and in Croatian there are 8 letters with specific sorting rules. For example, lj and nj are a single letters and aren’t sorted between li and lk or ni and nk (as it will most likely be with Albanian collation). If you don’t pay close attention to your collation options, you get your database created with incorrect sorting functionality. So, this is major issue.

Then, NAV 2009 seems to talk well only with English regional settings, and when Croatian regional settings are configured on client computer you can’t run reports which have no layout, if they receive date filters. When you run such a report in RTC, this is what you get:

image

(please note the English language error in Croatian localized version)

But the problem is not that it’s in English. For all I care, it can be in Quechua. The problem is that it happens in the first place. Even though I at first thought this was an error in RTC, this is actually a problem in communication between RTC and Classic client – when running Classic client, RTC obviously passes the date as string, instead of date, and Classic doesn’t seem to care about regional settings (it never did, to be honest). But this small detail makes you unable to run dozens of reports. It’s a shame that nobody tested this.

Two weeks ago, at the What’s New training, the very first report a lady in the audience clicked returned this. Then every five following ones. This was so obvious that I can’t understand how somebody missed this – except, of course, if nobody actually tested Croatian localization under Croatian regional settings.

Which brings me to the topic of localization in general.

Whoever did translation, just a hint: Google Translate is okay for translating e-mails; for business software captions, a live person, preferably a native speaker, does a far better job.

I don’t know why some things which have always worked in one translation had to be retranslated, in a worse way. So, these are just some most prominent:

  • Prodajni nalog (Sales Order) is now translated mostly as Nalog za prodaju (Order for Sales, literally), even though it is still sometimes, but rarely Prodajni nalog. I don’t know what was wrong with Prodajni nalog, especially because there is Nabavni nalog (Purchase Order) and Servisni nalog (Service Order), instead of Nalog za nabavu (Order for purchase) and Nalog za servis (Order for service).
  • Even though there is Servisni nalog, there is no more Servisni artikl (Service Item). It was translated as Artikl za servis (Item for Service). This way, terminology is confusing, and inconsistent.
  • Prodajni nalog (Sales Order) is sometimes translated even as Nalog za kupca (literally Order for Customer). Ouch.
  • Odobrenje (Credit Memo) is sometimes translated as Odobravanje (literally, Approving). This is beyond confusing, this is plain wrong.
  • Ulazna pošta and Izlazna pošta (literally Incoming Mail and Outgoing Mail) are ridiculous. They stand for Inbox and Outbox for Intercompany transactions. This is crazy.
  • Sometimes, even grammar is wrong (e.g. Datum zadnje ažuriranja, cannot be illustrated in English, because there is no declension in English language).

The list can go on forever. There are so many inconsistencies, which have mostly been introduced by new translations for old terms. So now in the system there are sometimes old term, sometimes new term.

However, the true gem in translation is the ingenuity with which RTC terminology was translated:

  • FactBox is ČinjeničniOkvir. You can’t do this in Croatian language, because it looks grotesque. It is extra grotesque when you start putting it into cases, such as ČinjeničnogOkvira or ČinjeničneOkvire.
  • FastTab is BrzaKartica. Again, it declenses happily into BrzuKarticu or BrzeKartice and it makes my brain hurt.

But the one and only, the one translation to rule them all, is the unbeatable translation of the RoleTailored Client itself: Klijent IskrojeneUloge.

This sounds so nonsense even when not spelled the way it is.

So, yes, I agree – this release is not normal. It’s a flagship release, fantastic from functional perspective, but with such obvious bugs, and such a lousy (re)translation, it leaves me craving for hotfixes.

11 thoughts on “Definitely not normal”

  1. Just curious. No real reason. I think if they’d made such a mess of the localisation when you’d already head 2009 SP1 would have been shocking since so few objects changed. I know there’s no excuse for messing this up, but the fact that it was the first release on the new platform makes it a little more understandable (in a way).

  2. Hi Vjeko,

    regarding your Error-Message, did you check if the user protocollation is active? I had that same error on a customer database (on SP1 though) and that was the reason for it.

    Regards,
    Jan

    1. @Jan: no, this has nothing to do with “Register Time” setting in the User Setup. It is not switched on. This is definitely an issue with regional settings and default date format and communication between RTC and Classic.

  3. Regarding translation issues… You can also use this alias ipedrf@microsoft.com
    subject: Linguistic Quality Feedback on Regulatory Features
    to submit linguistic quality feedback.
    Make sure to include:
    Q1: Which language and version of the product are you working on?
    Q2: What is your role in your organization / company?
    Q3: Is the used terminology correct for your market/locale?
    Q4: Please include any other feedback you may have on the linguistic quality of the product.

  4. Hi Vjekoslav,

    I work on NAV here at Microsoft and we looked into the functional problems you identified.

    Regarding the problem with running reports. This occurs for regions that have date formats with a trailing period (e.g. “27.1.2011.”) which is used by Hungary, Croatia, and Serbia. It also only happens in combination with the CSIDE report viewer launched the RTC client, not the newer RDLC report viewer. Unfortunately this was caused by a late cycle regression after we had completed our test passes on these countries. Our automated test suites that we ran on our final builds didn’t hit this combination of regional setting and launching CSIDE report viewer so we didn’t catch it in time. It’s since been released as a hotfix (KB2500531 – which will be published soon). Again we apologize for letting this get out there.

    Regarding the default collation setting for creating a new database. From what we see this is the same behavior as NAV 5.0, and the default would be the first in the list. Maybe depending on the OS and SQL combination you now get Albanian in the list as well. I agree it does make more sense to have this default to your current setting. I’ll add a suggestion for this.

    Thanks for your feedback!
    – Rusty Miller

    1. Hi Rusty,

      Thanks a million for sharing this info, specifically about the hotfix. About the collation, I don’t remember having seen this on NAV 5.0, but I’ve seen some installation where it didn’t default to Albanian – so it definitely must be some combination of OS and SQL settings (which will probably be difficult to figure, because both OS and SQL are set correctly to Croatian).

      I’m really glad that Microsoft is keeping an eye on blogging community, and far more than that! Thanks!

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