Typically I’m not the one who is writing too much about “technical issues” in my blog. But that doesn’t mean that I’m never dealing with “technical issues” – in fact programming and other technical issues is what I’m doing more than 50% of daily working time. And while this blog post is more “technical” than normally, then it’s not really technical. It’s more about my experiences with NAV 2009 upgrades as seen on a little higher level.
Until recently then I have not been doing so much work on NAV 2009. Most of my client as a freelancer have older versions, and are very happy about it. But now I have just finished my first full Dynamics NAV 2009 upgrade. Before I have done one other NAV 2009, but to a client who didn’t want to use the RoleTailored Client. And right now I’m doing my second RTC upgrade. Not much for many of you, but surely enough to get the feeling of what this “NAV 2009” is all about!
On the surface, then a NAV 2009 upgrade isn’t that much different from any other Navision upgrade. And over the 20 years where I have been working with Navision then I surely have done my share of the upgrades. And until NAV 2009, then it has always been almost like riding a bicycle. Once you have learned, then you will always have it.
For Dynamics NAV 2009 then it was going great with the tables, forms, codeunits etc. All the object types that didn’t change too much from the previous versions. And when it came to the forms, then in both of the projects, I actually decided to create the new pages again using the page designer, instead of actually using the Page Transformation Tools. I did this basically because I’m a bit lazy of nature, and I estimated that it would take me much more time to setup and define the files for the Page Transformation Tool, than to manually upgrade the changed forms and to recreate the 10 new forms that the customer had in his database.
So I can’t even say how much it takes to use the Transformation Tools. At least there is a lot of documentation available regarding page transformation, so I am actually felt quite comfortable that it would not had been a problem, in case the client would have had a lot of new forms. But it is my own estimate that it would require at least 30-50 new forms, before it would be worth to start using the page transformation tool.
When it came to upgrading reports, then it was a much more troublesome. I actually never found any way to upgrade the RoleTailored Part of the reports. Yes, there sure is a function to “Create Layout Suggestion”. But if what you really just wanted to was to insert a few new fields in the standard NAV report, then this function should really not be used. The function deletes the existing layout, which in most cases means that all the optimization and layout improvements done manually by Microsoft will disappear.
Additionally most standard reports are loaded with small controls which are hidden when printed with the Classic Client, but used when printed in the RTC. That makes editing the reports even more difficult.
So my conclusion to this was that it was much easier to upgrade all the reports manually! Both in the Classic and in the RTC.
Upgrading documents like Invoices and Order Confirmations was an bigger task. I think I was reading somewhere on the internet, that one should estimate 8-16 hours on upgrading just one document. I was really laughing about that, until I was sitting there and doing it myself. The first Invoice took me almost 20 hours!!! And it wasn’t because Visual Studio was all new for me, as I have been using Visual Studio to maintain this website for years! My next document (a Order Confirmation with an almost identical header) took me almost 10 hours and the additional document reports all took between 6-10 hours.