Textual Data Export by Configuration

An often by customers wanted feature is to get a data export to a text/csv file, which can then be edited in excel or text editor.

Yes, you can use Rapidstart Services. But with that feature you can only export data in excel format, not in text format. That’s ok for editing in Excel and reimport the changed data back to NAV. For data exchange scenarios you always need text format. An other point is, that it’s quite often said, Rapidstart Services are not that easy to use for end users and has a couple of bugs. I also read quite often that this feature is not recommended at all. So what else can a customer do? Contact the NAV partner, who then shall develope a new xmlport, report or codeunit to do that job. That’s the usual way.

The german localised version of Dynamics Nav contains a really nice feature, simply called “Data Exports”. You can find it in menu /Departments/Administration/Application Setup/Financial Management/General/Data Exports. This feature is mainly used to export business data for auditing purposes according the GDPdU (Process for data access and testability of digital documents).

With the feature “Data Exports” there is an additional way for these kind of issues, it is possible to export data to csv files without developing! Great thing. So let’s have a look, how we can use that.

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First we need at least one definition group. Then we define the according record definition (Button “Record Definitions”).

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Here we need values for Code, Description and Export Path. In that case i want to export Sales Orders. “DTD File Name” is a mandatory field. I checked the code. The file is not processed, using different kinds of dtd files does not change anything in the resulting export files. The name of the dtd file is simply written to the file index.xml, which contains the datastructure. To get the thing run we create an empty text file, call it empty.dtd and add only one line of text:

Save the text file and click on Button Import in menu tab “DTD File”, select file empty.dtd and click ok. After that the file is imported and the file’s name is set to column “DTD File Name”.

Now let’s define the table and the fields. For that select the record definition and click on “Record Source”.

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In the header area we set table no. to 36 (Sales Header) and the Key No. to 1 (Primary Key). Optional you can set the period field no., here to 19 (Order Date). In Column Table Filter you can set filters, if you do not want to export all records. Here i set the field to “Sales Header: Document Type=Order”, because i only want to export Sales Orders.

In the Fields Area we add the export fields by clicking on the Add Button. The key fields should be in first place. With MoveUp and MoveDown you can change the position of the fields. That’s all.

You can, if you wish, add more tables in the header area, you can set relationships, e.g. between Sales Header and Sales Line. But for now let’s run the thing. First we click Validate and get “The data export record source validated correctly.”, means all is ok.

So, after closing the page “Data Export Records Source” we are back in page “Data Export Records Definitions”. Here we click on Button Export in menu tab “Process”. Report 11015 “Export Business Data” is started:

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Here set start and end date. These fields are mandatory and are applied to the period field of the header line, in that case to field “Order Date”. After execution we get some files in the export path, subfolder SALESORDER.

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File empty.dtd is simply copied, file index.xml contains the data structure:

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and file SalesHeader.txt contains the exported data (csv format):

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There we are!
We got a csv export file without any development, only by configuration!

This can, as told before, extended by adding more lines in the header area of page “record source”:

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Here you can see 2 header lines “Sales Header” and “Sales Line”, which is indented and has a defined relationship shown in page relationship in the bottom right corner of the above screenshot. In that case you get 2 export files, one per table.

Important: If you are interested in that feature, you could download the german localised version. But … for that you need the according license!
Exporting the nav objects as text export and renumbering them to the 50000s object range is possible, but illegal! So if you like that kind of feature, try to redevelope that functionality. Do not copy these objects to your database, do not reuse the code. If you want to do that, please contact your Nav partner or Microsoft for license clarifcation. You could suggest to add that functionality to the W1 version.

For more details about that feature follow this.

cheers

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Differences between Dynamics NAV and AX

nax_and_axAn often asked question is: What are the differences between Dynamics Nav and AX?

In addition: There is a 3. ERP system provided by Microsoft, Dynamics GP, but this ERP system is only used in the US.

Dynamics Nav and AX are both used around the globe.Both were originally developed by danish companies, Navision and Damgaard (Axapta). The companies merged 2000 and were sold to Microsoft 2002. Microsoft rebranded both ERP systems: Axapta became Dynamics AX, Navision became Dynamics NAV. Both systems are quite successful.

From the historical view AX was mainly used for big companies and/or companies with many branches (sectors). NAV was meant for small and mid sized companies. Nowadays it does not matter, which ERP system you buy, if you do not have one. Both systems use sql server as database. Since vs. 2013 NAV can also be used in big companies with large amount of data, the data connector between Nav and Sql Server works fine since that version. NAV is in many ways easier to use and easier to install. One of the reasons, why NAV is more successful. The finance module is in NAV also better than that one of AX. AX is the choice, if you have many different branches in your company. Both systems can be customized, both can be extended with additional modules. For AX there is a quite long list of localised versions, that one of NAV is quite short. So maybe your country is not on the official list. But i’ve posted a list of localizations developed by nav partners. This list can also be helpful for you to find a capable partner.

A big point is the license model of Microsoft according both ERP systems. Depending on your needs the NAV license could be more expensive than that one of AX (perpetual license). For licensing best contact a partner for license/asset management, e.g. QBS.

Both systems are available in the cloud (azure), Nav earlier than AX. For both systems there are mobile solutions.

Critics about NAV may contain:

  • It’s slow: The windows client (RTC) is not very fast, the base tech (WPF) is too complex, so the rendering of the pages/windows lasts …. the client pcs should have a good graphics device. The number of (open) pages can be very big, because the handling was solved not very good, not very usable, means to navigate can be a challenge. Nav was fast till Nav 2009 Classic Client. There the client used simple windows forms (all was grey and white). The navigation was also better.
  • Reporting is slow and expensive: Customizing/adding classic reports was much easier than now using the sql reports. It’s right, the sql reports (rdlc) are no good tech, slow and the customization lasts about 3 times comparing to an old classic report. The new word reporting did not change the situation.

In general the best is to talk to NAV and AX partners in your region about the special needs of your company. Maybe a partner has a good branch solution and branch knowhow. Also check the terms and costs for customization and maintenance.

Additional postings:

cheers

Localisations for NAV

Localizations for specific countries are quite often an issue. Microsoft provides only a couple of localizations: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, India*, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia*, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States.

* The supported countries can differ between the Nav versions.

The complete lists you’ll find here.

For countries, where there is no localization, best start with Dynamics Nav W1 version. This is the base version of Dynamics Nav, contains no localization at all. So it can be used in every country, but needs a couple of customizations according to national laws, e.g. changes in the accounting/finance area, new and customized reports a.s.o. Additional you’ll may need a new language layer. For that look for a Nav partner located in your region, start with Pinpoint.

Following a list of Nav Partners, who have developed additional localizations. This list will be periodically updated:

Europe:

  • Slovenian Nav Partner Business Solutions d.o.o., also known for their great Permission & Role Wizard for Nav 2009, has developed Nav 2013 localizations for following countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo. Included are additional functionalities and tools. They provide the localizations in 3 packages: basic, extended, integrated. Maybe they also have developed localizations for the newer Nav versions. If you need it, contact them directly.
  • Adacta group: localization for Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro.
  • Effekt: located in Athens, developed greek localization at least for Nav 2013.
  • IT.integro: localization for Poland. thx to daniele rebussi for the hint.
  • Awara IT Solutions: localization for Russia, especially for the accounting/finance area.
  • Multisoft: localization for Hungary.
  • Alna: localization for Lithuania. Alna is active in Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.
  • EDPA: localization for Latvia
  • CDL.System: Czech localization
  • Autocont CZ a.s.: localizations for Czech Republic and Slovakia
  • Wbi: localization for Slovakia
  • Intelligent Systems: localization for Bulgaria
  • Team-Vision: localization for Bulgaria
  • Infotekas: localization for Turkey. Nav versions 2013 R2, 2015, 2016 in development.
  • Softstore / Link Consulting: localization for Portugal

Americas:

  • Cadia Consulting, located in Sao Paolo, developed a brazilian localization.
  • Master Consulting Group: localizations for LATAM, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia. They are also developing localizations for Chile and Panama.
  • Voxa: localization for Argentina
  • Grvppe: localization for Brazil

Asia:

  • PT SME Solution, located in Jakarta, Indonesia, developed an indonesian localization at least for Nav 2013.
  • PBC and Tectura Korea: localization for China.
  • PBC also developed a localization for Japan.
  • Ibizcs: localizations for Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and China. Provided Nav versions: Nav 2009, 2013, 2015.
  • Naviworld: localizations for Vietnam and Thailand.
  • Arvato Systems developed a localisation for China

For Nav Partners, who want to develop a localization, they can start with the Microsoft Dynamics Localization Portal – Microsoft Dynamics NAV. They will be assisted by Microsoft (documentations, country specific legal stuff, …).

cheers