Architectures: Good, Bad and Ugly

Four months ago I attended a conference, where I had a chance to listen to Miha Kralj, an architect at Microsoft, talk about architectures. It was one of the best presentations I ever attended, and ever since I had this topic in queue, but never really had chance to write about it. Most of the stuff he talked about reminded me of some bad experiences about architectures on projects I’ve worked on. Most of stuff here is also not my original contribution to the universal pool of knowledge, and I reuse it with the permission of the author, so Miha, thanks! What I did, however, is that I applied general principles to specific Microsoft Dynamics NAV situations.

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Cut the (s)crap

[I had to edit this post on April 01, 2008. And no, it’s not April Fool’s Prank] 

Have you ever wondered how manufacturing scrap works? Or what it really is? It’s an interesting topic, and yet a very confusing one. It has caused so many headaches to the project team I worked on recently, because nobody really understood it. So, what is manufacturing scrap?

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Why are “mandatory” fields baaad?

Last time, I gave you a recipe on how to do a bad thing. If you really need to do something bad, I figure it’s better to do it the way that would hurt the least, or the way that isn’t so bad after all. I wouldn’t have dreamt of a comment on that blog post, but Ian came, and gave the perfect example which really explains why things like that *ARE* bad. Funny thing is, how many customers really go for such a requirement, and even funnier, how many consultancies give in. I gave in once, most of you probably did. But, why are mandatory fields so bad after all?

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Master data completeness validation

Microsoft Dynamics NAV has a very consistent user interface, that helps user get used to it pretty fast. Yet it has its own ways, that aren’t so intuitive to most of typical business application users. There is one specific feature which causes a lot of confusion, especially with those users only starting to use NAV. It’s the data persistence: as soon as you enter something in a form, it is automatically saved, you don’t need to press any Save button. Nor is there any Cancel button to forget the changes entered.

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Accounting vs. ERP: The saga continues

Running a business using only accounting data can be pretty much the same as driving a car using rear-view mirror only. The purpose of accounting is to provide accurate and reliable overview of financial situation to interested parties. What this financial overview consists of is the stuff that has happened in the past, in other words: history. However, there are many drivers of business success other than just history of events that contributed to wherever you are at the moment.

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