New NAV2013 video reviewed: Clients First Finance New Features Dimensions

video3Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Finance New Features DIMENSIONS; Clients First (40:13)  This is one of the only comprehensive videos I’ve seen to date  that covers the redesigned NAV2013 dimensions.  It’s geared toward finance super users as well as developers and discusses in detail why Microsoft made the design changes to dimensions in NAV2013 as well as how the new functionality works. Important new information include the use of SQL for transformation of dimensions from old to new databases instead of the upgrade toolkit, coding changes to the update analysis dimension as well as to the close income statement, and coverage of known issues and work arounds for dimension limitations. The video is presented by Alessandro Vannini, Microsoft Escalation Engineer. The overall pace is pretty slow, but hang in there, the information is worth it! The demo picks up at 22:10 and shows some nice examples of using Ctrl-Alt-F1 to view the dimension sets on the page while still maintaining the end-user view of individual dimensions.

There are a whole lot of very technical NAV2013 videos out there made for programmers and NAV developers.  Videos geared toward the NAV end-user are a bit more difficult to find. I’ve added a new page to the blog so I can add videos I’ve found that I think are helpful. I’ll review each video I find personally and post some comments on each to make it easier for you to decide if you want to spend your time viewing it yourself.

Dynamics NAV Financials series on dimensions to be published in Spanish

I am pleased to announce that the recently published blog series 15 days of dimensions will be translated into Spanish and posted over the next few weeks on the blog TodoSobre Microsoft Dynamics NAV! As someone who believes strongly that NAV users need to help other NAV users by sharing our experiences in how to best use our ERP system of choice in our daily work lives, I could not be more excited at this international collaborative opportunity. Many thanks to Laura Nicolàs for reaching out and offering to do the work to translate the entries and make this material available on her blog.

Laura Nicolàs is a Dynamics NAV consultant with more than 9 years of experience. She has been very involved with the Spanish NAV community. She recently founded a new community focused on Dynamics NAV end users, named . She also blogs regularly at and at Laura is the author of the recently released book, Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, available from Packt Publishing.


Spots still available in classes next week on Financial Setups and Dimensions

openThere are still spots available in the classes I’m teaching on Financial Setups and Dimensions next week, on Wednesday, April 17th. Full class descriptions, and registration links are found on the NAVUG Academy site, or at the links below.  See you in class!

Financial Setups in NAV – 9:00am to 1:00pm ET

Get under the hood to understand the inner workings of Microsoft Dynamics NAV financial setups.  The class covers all the basics you need to understand how the financial management area can be configured.  Whether you’re new to NAV, a prospective customer deciding if NAV is the right fit for your company, a Controller or CFO who is new to a company already using NAV, or even an experienced NAV user who wants to know how to maximize your software, this class will get you the foundation you need to make important configuration decisions regarding your ERP software.  This course is open to any NAV user.

Focus on financial considerations like understanding and using posting groups, choosing dimensions, set up of master records for customers, vendors, and items, why number series are important, and what the options are for financial reporting.  Understand what options are available to you related to budgeting, intercompany transactions and consolidations, and month end close and get a tour of best practices related to journal entries, accounts payable, and accounts receivable.

Dimensions in Dynamics NAV – 2:00pm to 6:00pm ET

What are dimensions, and why do you want to use them?  How can you use dimensions to gain control, consistency, accuracy, and efficiency in your financial postings?  How can dimensions make your financial reporting not only flexible but powerful at the same time?  This course is open to any NAV user.

Using hands-on exercises in an online NAV database, try out different dimension configurations in multiple scenarios to really understand how they behave.  Get a chance to see how dimensions flow through your accounting system from beginning data entry to final financial statement production.  This class is your opportunity to finally understand dimensions in Microsoft Dynamics NAV and how they can help you and your business.

View Convergence 2013 session on Microsoft Dynamics NAV dimensions here

If you’ve enjoyed this month’s 15 days of NAV dimensions series, and would like to hear me speaking about dimensions, there is now a recording out on the Convergence website as well as on the Virtual Convergence website.

If you were a registered Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2013 attendee, log in to the Convergence site and bring up the Schedule Builder. From here you can view a recording of any session that was listed as a concurrent or deep dive session, and you can even re watch the keynote and general sessions! You can search by any number of methods for my session, which was called Tips & tricks for working with dimensions in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and ran on Thursday, March 21st at 2:30. Click the link to watch the session video.

virtualconvIf you were not able to attend Convergence this year, there is a Virtual Convergence that is available to the public. You’ll need to log in to register, but once there, you’ll have the same access as Convergence attendees to concurrent, deep dive, keynote, and general sessions. In order to find my session, search under the sessions menu, then Microsoft Dynamics NAV, then scroll down until you see the box that contains Tips & tricks for working with dimensions in Micro . . .dims virtual

There are a lot of great sessions out there available for one year past the close of Convergence 2013, so I bet these will only be out there until the end of February 2014. Take some time to explore what else is out there and share with your coworkers! This is a great way to get information into your company about the ERP you have all chosen to run your businesses.


Learning about NAV dimensions from Microsoft Dynamics Customer Source and MSDN (part 15 of 15)

There are some great resources out there to help you learn about dimensions in NAV. The first resource I always recommend to other NAV customers is CustomerSource!customer source2

Assuming you are already a Microsoft Dynamics NAV customer, and you’re current on your BREP (Business Ready Enhancement Plan), you need to go to CustomerSource to get access to e-learning modules and training manuals that are just waiting for you to find them. If you’ve never visited here before, start at this link for some simple instructions.

If you want to search on your own, here is the place to start.  On the left hand navigation bar, choose Documentation=>User Guides and then look for one of these two:

  • Overview of Training Manuals and Hands-On Labs for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009
  • Overview of Training Manuals for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0

Once you get to these pages, you can search through a number of menus to get to exactly the topics you need without using the clunky CustomerSource user guide drop down choices, which are difficult to use at best.

Another good source are the Learning Plans for each version.  On the left hand navigation bar, choose Training and Certification, then choose Learning Plans for Microsoft Dynamics from the main page. Choose your product and version, and you’ll have what you need.  The Learning Plan for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 is particularly good, providing links from the page directly to what you need. You will find sources for E-Learning, Instructor Led Training, and Training Materials.  The link to the Learning Plan for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 actually points to a PDF version of the NAV 2009 Learning Plan; it looks like the 5.0 plan has been removed.

If, because you’ve taken a look at the Learning Plans and you know the Course Number for the training materials you want to find; here’s another quick way to get at them.  At the top of the left hand navigation bar, there is a search box.  Simply type in the course number, for example, 80050, and you’ll be taken directly to those training materials which you can immediately download.

But wait just a darn minute, where’s the information for NAV2013? I can tell you I’m as disappointed as you are. CustomerSource has not updated an overview document or a learning plan on their site for NAV2013. There are many comprehensive manual like documents out there for NAV2013 but they are really hard to find, and can be difficult to tell the difference between a manual and a white paper, especially if you are a customer and don’t understand the structure of which manuals are available without a table of contents to work from. So, for you folks who are new to to NAV with NAV2013, I’m sending you to another source, the Microsoft Developers Network. Don’t be afraid, there’s plenty there that end users can use as well.

msdnFollow this path in the library: Servers and Enterprise Development=>Microsoft Dynamics=>Microsoft Dynamics NAV=>Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013.  There is lots of info here that will help you out, but if you need to get directly to dimensions, type this phrase into the search box: Set up dimensions to mark transactions. I’m using this source more and more often since I don’t have to mess around with any type of login or administration for my users, I can bookmark any page I want to get back to, and the search function is a world apart of improvement.

If you liked this post, check out the rest of our series, 15 Days of NAV Dimensions. Thanks for reading!

Add NAV dimensions as your business changes (part 14 of 15)

compassSetting up dimensions should not be something we exclusively do when we implement NAV for the first time at our businesses. Change is the norm in business, and I would be genuinely surprised to hear from anyone at this point that their business has not changed significantly in the last five years. So for finance and IT professionals, what changes when the business changes? Reporting requirements!

For NAV, that means opportunity for using dimensions differently or to add new dimensions. Hopefully you are happy with your global dimensions, the two most important dimensions for your company, and you’re ready to add some shortcut dimensions so you can expand your reporting capabilities. There are four main things you should keep in mind when adding a shortcut dimension.

1) Keep in mind timing and financial cutoff. If you choose to start collecting data on a new dimension today and today falls in the middle of a fiscal period, you’re going to create a disconnect in your financial data where you have data with the new dimension value and data with the blank dimension value in the same period. Don’t do it. Find out when the end of the fiscal period is, and start gathering the new data starting with the start of the new fiscal period. This doesn’t have to be the year-end, it could be a month, or whatever period you have at your company, but do take the time to plan this out, your finance department will thank you later.

2) Know that collecting a new dimension will not magically attach to your historic data. Assigning dimension data to your item or customer or vendor only begins the collection of that data on any new transactions generated since you assigned the dimension data. There is nothing out there that will magically attach this new requirement to old historic data. There are ways to go back and change the historic data, but this is generally beyond what you want to do manually. Involve someone experienced in SQL or call your partner for some help with this. And for goodness sakes, try this in a test system first. It’s always good to do a practice run on this kind of change, and should be mandatory if you’re planning to change a large amount of data. Remember that in many cases, it is perfectly ok to collect new data without catching up the history. Only you can decide what you need for your reporting.

3) Don’t abandon your pending data. Don’t forget there are things out there you created prior to assigning that new shortcut dimension. Sales orders, purchase orders, transfer orders and any other type of form that may be in process at the time you defined that new dimension will need to be caught up to the new requirements. If you forget this, NAV will remind you by throwing a dimension error when you, or your colleagues, try to post those documents to the system.

4) Consistency is the key. Make sure you set up this new dimension with the same level of consistency you’ve used with your other dimensions. Start with your master data, but follow through by adding the safety net of the chart of accounts, and remember to incorporate your choice of value postings.

Keep reading this month as we continue our series, 15 Days of NAV Dimensions.