I had a dream: decoupled NAV
You know about PRS (Partner Ready Software), don’t you? It’s the initiative started by Mark Brummel, Eric Wauters (Waldo), and Gary Winter (not necessarily in this order), and then they decided to expand their team by one more member. I am not quite sure if this was a good move, but the time will tell. It always does.
The main goal of the initiative is to enable you to customize NAV in a repeatable way. Repeatability is kind of a buzzword, but PRS doesn’t just buzz the word. PRS believes repeatability is the key. Today maybe you don’t care about repeatability. In two years, or latest five, you’ll want to go back and rethink your angle. PRS wants you to rethink now.
One way of getting repeatable customizations is through patterns. There are patterns, all over NAV, that repeat, time after time, over and again. Agosto dopo agosto dopo agosto dopo agosto as Jovanotti would put it. Pun intended. When a pattern repeats itself, it’s repetition, not repeatability. There is a big difference between them, big as a house. To get repeatable, is to get rid of repetition. Instead of having essentially the same piece of code all over the place with a hint of Goldberg Variations, how about having it only once, in a single place?
Like, having one place where you assign a number from a number series to any master record, document, journal, you name it. Instead of at least—let me guess—120 different places in about as many objects. Then, if you want to customize one small aspect of it, you just touch that one single place. You can then repeat the same customization for hundreds of customers, not only surviving the version upgrade, but making it (the upgrade) an essential, non-disruptive, piece-of-cakeish part of your service offering. That’s the repeatability that PRS is all about.
But—there is always a but—the way NAV is today, we are a long way from this kind of repeatability. A long and painful way away.
That’s why I had a dream. I know it’s only a dream because to make NAV do what I am about to share here would be to downright rearchitect it from the core. But I’ll share it nonetheless. Keep reading.