Tag Archives: Mark Brummel

Excel Interoperability Woes in NAV 2013

Handling Excel files in NAV 2013 (including R2) is not as easy as it seems at first. The Excel Buffer table – an obvious choice of the old days – supports only Open XML format (*.xlsx), and Excel Interoperability implementation seems a bit buggy (check the comments in my old post about .NET interoperability: http://vjeko.com/blog/the-beauty-and-the-beast-nav-and-net). You can still use automation, but then you must handle everything, or at least most of it, on the client end. And, to make it all just a bit worse, none of these approaches, even when they work, will impress you with their speed. All in all, if you want to handle legacy Excel files (*.xls) you will have to make some compromises.

Last week, Mark asked me for a bit of help on a project where he had to import *.xls files into NAV 2013, and he hit all of the possible walls provided by the Excel Buffer, .NET Interoperability components for Excel, and automation walls possible.

When I gave Mark my solution, he said: you should blog about this. So, here I am, blogging about a simple way to read data from Excel, any version, lightning fast.

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Mark Brummel visits Microsoft Dynamics Community Adriatics

imageYesterday we had 5th meeting of Microsoft Dynamics Community Adriatics, and it was really special in two ways. For the first time we have had an international guest-presenter, and it was Mark Brummel, who I believe doesn’t require more of a special introduction here on this blog than he required yesterday at the community event.

Still, for those who don’t know him (yet), Mark is the author of a great NAV book, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Application Design, an active blogger, and also one of the few MVPs for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Mark talked yesterday about tips & tricks of NAV 2009 RTC, and even though it was the least favorable time to do a community event (right after Easter holidays, when most of Croatian people are still struggling with the idea of going back to office and doing some actual work), there were participants from almost all Croatian partner companies (and one from Slovenia, which is another specialty of yesterday’s event – we actually justified the title “Adriatics”).

Mark talked for over an hour, and people were not tired, and even though pizza was getting cold, people were still interested in listening to Mark, asking questions and participating in the discussion.

But that’s not it. Right now, as I am writing this blog, Mark is delivering a three-hour workshop about upgrading forms and classic reports to pages and RDLC reports, to a roomful of developers.

Mark, thanks a million for accepting our invitation, and for giving us two days of your valuable time! Your contribution to the community, not only here in Croatia, or Adriatics region (to be fair to Matej, who came from Slovenia), but also to the community in general, is simply huge. Dank je wel!

Two more Microsoft Dynamics NAV books

twomorebooksAs reported by Marq, two more Microsoft Dynamics NAV books have been published by PACKT this week: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 SP1 Programming Cookbook by Matt Traxinger and Microsoft Dynamics NAV Administration by Amit Sachdev and Sharan Oberoi. With Vincent’s and Chandru’s Sure Step book announced yesterday, this makes for three Microsoft Dynamics books in a single week. Three books a week, not a bad score. Congratulations guys!

I’m now going to pre-order my copies, and you should do the same. As Marq says, buy the books, enjoy the knowledge!

Last week, there were three Dynamics communities announced. This week, three books are announced. Do you see a trend here, or is it only me? What’s going to happen next week? I don’t even dare thinking…

Development Best Practices

image “Best practices” is one of those beloved and hated concepts. There are people who just embrace “best” practices for the sake of their bestness. And there are people who just shun them for the very same reason—those know-it-alls who have opinion on everything and know it better before even learning about it. What’s-best-for-you-is-not-best-for-me kind of people. Neither of approaches is actually, well, best.

For a best practice to be the best for you, you need to understand it, and if you find any pitfalls, improve it.

In two days I’m delivering the NAV Development Best Practices training for a service provider in Norway. They approached me two two months ago and asked if could do something like that. This brought to memory some good posts I made years ago, and here I bring the links. If you want me to share my best practices, this would be my starting point:

  • Code of Coding: emphasizes the need for understanding the effects of a change in code, and making others understand your intention
  • Code of coding 2: Documenting changes: about how to document different kind of changes in code, and also about the level of effect a specific type of change has in the long run
  • Code of coding 3: Die, hard(coding)!: about avoiding embedding output text into code
  • Code of coding 4: Die, hard(coding) 2: about avoiding embedding settings into code, with detailed explanation what exactly is wrong with it, and some good guidelines on how to detect less obvious cases of settings hardcoding
  • NeverENDing story: about a very bad example I once encountered, and how to avoid situations such as that
  • Featuritis Cure: now this one is definitely not a “best practice”, it’s about a situation when a developer pulled a prank on a customer so subtly that I just had to share it with the world. A far better cure for Featuritis (a dangerous and ugly disease indeed) is given by Mark Brummel, in his fantastic post Tip #20 – Save Report Usage. If you aren’t yet following Mark’s blog, now would be a good time to start.

If you are interested in development best practices, check these posts, and if you find them useful, then I’m happy. If you don’t, share your thoughts. Best practices develop over time, improving slowly, and gradually until one day they just become the norm.

A new book about Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Back in my time (now I feel old :)) if you wanted to read a book about Microsoft Dynamics NAV, you just couldn’t—there wasn’t any available. Today, if you want to learn about NAV, not only there are books about programming and implementing, but with new Mark Brummel’s book you can now learn about the most important aspect of Microsoft Dynamics NAV customization projects—the application design. The book hasn’t yet been published, but is already available for preorder through PACKT Publishing at the following link: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Application Design.

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