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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:08 pm 
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Alex Chow wrote:
In order for partners like us to deliver the best solution, if technology is needed, it has to be easily implemented. I do realize the term "difficulty" is relative, however, comparing RDLC reporting to Jet Reports and/or Pivotier you don't have to be a programmer to see which one is more difficult to implement.

I'm all about learning new things. In this specific case, learning RDLC is like taking step backwards. I don't feel like learning RDLC will make me a better programmer or implementor. Furthermore, I don't believe learning the new RDLC will make our clients better off than they were yesterday.


Well said. :thumbsup:

with best regards

Jens


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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:09 pm 
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jglathe wrote:
Hi,
Yes that's true. But in my work experience, those decisions made are - to be polite - often not in the best interest of the company. That's what I learned over the last 20 or so years: Getting management informed is a tough job, it is an art form to present decision paths that work. Lots of the decision makers don't keep up to speed with changing technology, often they do fall for marketing hype and buzzwords, with sometimes fatal consequences. That's part of the reason why so many crap software installations are around. In this spirit, calling NAV 2009 RTC with RDLC as "fit for business" is ... well ... not what I'd call it. And I've done my share on pages and RDLC coding. Using it is an expensive decision in the long run, IMO.


=D> Very well written.

It's too bad that NAV will not go off of this RDLC BS. I still don't understand why the NAV we can go in the direction of using SSRS for native NAV reporting.

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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 5:37 pm
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Alex Chow wrote:
I'm all about learning new things. In this specific case, learning RDLC is like taking step backwards. I don't feel like learning RDLC will make me a better programmer or implementor. Furthermore, I don't believe learning the new RDLC will make our clients better off than they were yesterday.

I never said anything about RDLC in particular, whether this is "good" or "bad". All I said was that companies that DID invest in learning it, are in a MUCH better position with NAV 2013 than companies that did not. Companies that DID learn how it works will be better able to suit their customers' needs than companies that did not. It's up to anyone to decide HOW they want to serve their customers, but to just say "I dont need to learn that anymore" or "Its too difficult so I wont" is not helping anyone. Again, not specific to RDLC, but adopting new technologies in general.

My point was about not being willing to invest in new technologies, not about any particular specific tool. I think we DO agree, you just thought I meant something that I never said.

Now having said that.... refusing to learn this "RDLC BS" because for some reason you believe it is too difficult is indeed a mistake in my opinion. I don't care how many alternatives there are, it IS the reporting solution in NAV for now, and we DO need to know how to work with it. I just don't see how you are helping your customers by not learning how to use that. I guess that's something we'll never agree on, which is totally fine with me :mrgreen:

What I do agree with is that there should be a way to have SSRS reports within the context of the RTC, that should absolutely be available.

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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 1:47 pm 
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Late to the party, but I'll throw in my two cents.

A lot of this is a matter of perspective. Using reporting as the specific example, NAV developers complain about RDLC and designing reports in visual studio. If you had been doing BI reports in SSRS for 10 years and were forced to do NAV reports in the Classic designer you would sing a different tune. It is different for everyone, no matter which way you're moving. To generalize that, it's hard to move to new technologies. Doesn't matter what the technology is. Classic to RTC, QuickBooks to a real ERP, native to SQL, automatic transmission to stick shift, whatever. The new technology is not going away, there is a learning curve, deal with it or fall behind. It is the way of the world.

I understand the reservations, the thinking that clients will not be better off, but I disagree. Taking the ERP out of it, just talking about software in general, the most common type of complaint I hear is that "It's too hard to use." There can be many reasons for that, but that's it at the simplest level. So Microsoft develops a standard interface across the majority of its applications. NAV, CRM, Office, the programs that people use every day, all look and feel the same. We do the same thing in NAV every day by naming buttons properly, putting the correct shortcut keys on things, etc. It's design 101: standardize your application so the user can intuitively figure out something new based on something they've already done. Great move in my opinion.

Now that the front end is standardized, the back end needs to be. Common development tools, interfaces, databases across the product suites. That "should" force what is being developed by partners to be consistent with the look / feel of the other applications. At least if they care about designing a good add-on / app. I'm not saying everything has to fall in line perfectly, not the "my way or the highway" approach, but if you are designing a strong suite of tools this is part of it. There will be short term pain, but it is better in the long run.

The keyword for all of that that hasn't been outright stated is seamless. 10 years ago I don't think very many people thought that cell phones would be an integral part of most people's lives now, or that they would be powerful enough to do what they do. But people are joined at the hip with those things and the apps / software on them. While I enjoy the separation between work and home life, a lot of people don't. They want all of the information in one place, whether it be a Facebook feed, a Windows 8 desktop, or something else. That's where things are moving. It is where the next generation of work force, and to some extent current, will be. It could not be done on the technology that NAV was on.


I'll be honest, it semi-scares me when partners say they don't know the RTC or the new reporting yet. To use the old saying, that's just the tip of the iceberg. When NAV 2013 comes out, this will have been available for four years, plus beta testing time before that. So there's been almost half a decade to learn this stuff, and it seems like very few people have. I wonder if it's because no one thought it would be successful, no one had the time, no one cared, or something else? You can't hold on to the past forever; the change is already here and there's a ton more to come.

[/end rambling]

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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:23 pm 
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I think the new reporting is better than the old.
Now it is different and there is not a one for one correspondence, but overall you can do much more with the new, and we have a nice upgrade on the way for developers.
I have been in the business a long time, and I don't think punched cards and paper tape are coming back - and I am very grateful for that.
Every thing keeps changing and improving with a little Vista now and then to keep us humble.

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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:52 am 
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No Mattrax, the problem is not that it is too hard. The problem is after 5 years a company got its invoice right with 143 conditional footers, why should they be forced to redevelop it? What is the business advantage? It is like in Alice in Wonderland: running to just stay in one place.

A modern company is just using printable reports for documents and everything else is exported into Excel anyway for further processing, hence you only lose functionality with RDLC reports, like transheaders, you do not gain anything.

How the heck do you explain to a non-technical customer or boss that a new product is actually worse in some extent, that you lose functionality? It makes no sense - do you expect a new Opel Astra to be in any ways worse or less comfortable than one manufactured in 1995?


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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:27 pm 
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143 conditional footers??????
Maybe they should have found some other way to get what they needed - or look at whether they really needed it.

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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:53 pm 
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Miklos Hollender wrote:
do you expect a new Opel Astra to be in any ways worse or less comfortable than one manufactured in 1995?

Well, something like that happened to me. The newer (I got it in 2007-2008) version was less comfortable than the older (I got it in 2002) version. But the new version did have some improvements too.

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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Miklos Hollender wrote:
The problem is after 5 years a company got its invoice right with 143 conditional footers, why should they be forced to redevelop it? What is the business advantage? It is like in Alice in Wonderland: running to just stay in one place.


I can't argue that for specific reports, like a customer facing invoice, that it is a pain to redevelop the report. It's going to look exactly the same, there's no debate there. I think, however, that your focus is way too narrow. There are a handful of these types of document reports. They are significantly more other types of reports.

Miklos Hollender wrote:
A modern company is just using printable reports for documents and everything else is exported into Excel anyway for further processing


Excel is a great tool, one of my favorite and most used programs. And now I can export every report to Excel without writing custom Excel Buffer code on each one. I would say that these are primarily used by users in a finance department, though. Warehouse Managers, Salespeople, and plenty of other departments don't need to do that. I think a modern company uses the tools it has to its advantage, whatever they may be. Excel is a spreadsheet app primarily used for data analysis/manipulation, not a reporting tool. There is a difference.

I mean if Excel was supposed to be the reporting engine, it would have become the reporting engine a long time ago. You can create document "reports" in Excel if you want to, but people don't because that's not what it is good at. Classic example of not seeing the forest for the trees I think.

Miklos Hollender wrote:
How the heck do you explain to a non-technical customer or boss that a new product is actually worse in some extent, that you lose functionality? It makes no sense - do you expect a new Opel Astra to be in any ways worse or less comfortable than one manufactured in 1995?


I think it depends and I think the analogy is a bad one. Was the car totally redesigned? If so than my old ideas about what it is need to be redefined. Maybe people wanted more storage space so they sacrificed some leg space. Maybe they didn't need 8 cup holders in a 5 person car and added a center console. Point being, with a "new model" things change. You lose some things and you gain others. You can choose to go with that new model or you can choose to stay with what you have or go with something else. The same decisions you would make regardless of the new model type (Classic or RTC).


I'm genuinely interested, if you were in Microsoft's position, how would you have made a huge transition like this? Or would you not have done it at all?

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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:41 pm 
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matttrax wrote:
I'm genuinely interested, if you were in Microsoft's position, how would you have made a huge transition like this? Or would you not have done it at all?


Look at Jet Reports and Pivotier. See how they do it and either buy them or just copy it.

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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:14 pm 
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matttrax wrote:

Excel is a great tool, one of my favorite and most used programs. And now I can export every report to Excel without writing custom Excel Buffer code on each one. I would say that these are primarily used by users in a finance department, though. Warehouse Managers, Salespeople, and plenty of other departments don't need to do that.


On the low levels not, but on the high levels even much more than in finance. Finance is at least clear, if the balance of an account is 123 then it is 123. In sales, logistics etc. nothing is so fixed. A margin, a COGS or a stock quantity is whatever a manager deems realistic. A margin can be reduced because there are overheads associated with a customer, or stock can be increased because we know an important delivery arrived just not booked in yet etc.

matttrax wrote:
I think a modern company uses the tools it has to its advantage, whatever they may be. Excel is a spreadsheet app primarily used for data analysis/manipulation, not a reporting tool. There is a difference.

I mean if Excel was supposed to be the reporting engine, it would have become the reporting engine a long time ago.


It has always been a reporting engine in the sense that a report is not something an ERP software prints out. Only mid-level, not high-level. A high-level report is something a controller-type person writes manually in Excel combining data from many reports, multiple sources, multiple countries, manual adjustments etc. Then our job is to automatize it because to manually combine for example inventory levels in 8 countries in order to get a full picture to drive your purchasing decisions is a major pain.

matttrax wrote:

You can create document "reports" in Excel if you want to, but people don't because that's not what it is good at. Classic example of not seeing the forest for the trees I think.


Of course, that is not what I was saying. The opposite actually. The documents are about the only thing that need to come out of Navision's report designer because we need to know if an invoice was printed or not. This is why the bad report designer matters mostly for documents, as you don't really need to use it for anything but documents.

matttrax wrote:
I'm genuinely interested, if you were in Microsoft's position, how would you have made a huge transition like this? Or would you not have done it at all?


The basic minimum is that if they know the report designer in NAV6 sucks and in NAV7 won't, then keep the Classic in NAV7 so that companies can begin transitioning in NAV7 slowly and finish it by NAV8 when the Classic would be gone. So leave a easy-to-transition new version (NAV7) parallel with the old one, instead of having a hard-to-transition one (NAV6) parallelly and then kill it by the easy-to-transition one.

The absolutely ideal would have been to split the product into a NAV Classic and NAV RTC product lines and keep NAV Classic supported with the basic legal changes and bugfixes and nothing else for like 7 years more. So you only need to change if you really want the extra functionality.


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 Post subject: Re: Classic Reports Discontinued in NAV "7"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:28 pm 
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matttrax wrote:
I'll be honest, it semi-scares me when partners say they don't know the RTC or the new reporting yet. To use the old saying, that's just the tip of the iceberg. When NAV 2013 comes out, this will have been available for four years, plus beta testing time before that. So there's been almost half a decade to learn this stuff, and it seems like very few people have. I wonder if it's because no one thought it would be successful, no one had the time, no one cared, or something else? You can't hold on to the past forever; the change is already here and there's a ton more to come.


Learning it in the basic sense of getting a training and being able to do a basic report I think everybody done latest in 2010. I did in early 2010 I think. _Mastering_ with all the special tips and tricks to emulate TransHeaders and whatnot it I think not, at least I don't, because there is little incentive.

First of all there are more old projects going than new installations. At least I always seen this. It is much more interesting to work for customer who bought it at 3.01 and has a really high-level customization, almost like their own vertical add-on, than to do basic customization for new clients. More lucrative, too, with new clients there is always arguments of "why can't it do this do it for free for me", once a company spent 5 years and €200K they know they are going to pay for every further development, they have a highly trained staff who does not need to get introduced to the F8, you rarely need to do basic support, it is overall better.

Second it is fairly well-know that the No. 1 problem that makes RDLC suck - lack of hiearchy in data - will go away in NAV7 which again reduces the incentive to really figure out black magic tricks because you won't need them anyhow.

Thirdly people can very accurate sense when a product is mature or when it is more like a beta. And NAV6 is clearly more or less beta, it has nothing of the characteristics of mature products. This is OK, they have to start somewhere. The only problem is to cut off Classic too early. NAV6 was something to play with, to test, a nice concept, not a rounded off product.

I mean the lack of proper matrix boxes and their ridiculous replacement, I was looking at it and laughing loudly, you have a nice conceptual product, Microsoft, but is not even close to a finished, ready replacement for the Classic.

NAV7 will be probably a mature product, to start transitioning to. And by NAV8 they can kill Classic, that is fine.

They really don't understand that what made this product succesful back in like 2.6 was the ease and freedom of development. In every release they are taking part of that away. In every release more and more things we must say "can't do" or "would be hard and expensive". How long can it take until some more open product which like 3.7 was take over its market share because in that product, like in 3.7 if your client told you to make that field three times as high and bright purple you just did it, without having to give complicated technical excuses why you can't?


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