Directions USA 2014 | Recap | NAV 2015 release thoughts


This year it was the USA to kick off Directions and therefor had the honors of the first deep dives in Dynamics NAV 2015.

NAV2015 was already glimpsed at at WPC. Waldo blogged about it.

This is the second yearly release after we had to wait for 4 years to get version 2013. At first I was sceptic about trying to release in 12 months afraid big changes were no longer possible, but I was wrong. Microsoft is extremely capable of puting in big new features within 12 months cycles. Look at the Tablet client or the new Merge scripts.

Another thing I was surprised about was version numbering. I had learned that within Microsoft new version numbering meant new certifications and new CFMD. This has also changed.

Certifications have been dropped, like also many people have blogged about. Personally I have only been “Navision” certified for version 2.01 back in 1999 once. After that I never got recertified, but I did write a whole bunch of the NAV 2013 exam questions. (sorry).

What I heard about CFMD for 2015, it will also be easier than 2013. If you have the 2013 stamp, the step to 2015 should no longer be that painfull. But again, this is only something I heard people talk about. Unconfirmed.

The yearly release cycle thing is something that is ambiguous too. Between 2013R2 and 2015 we already have seen at least two big features backported after they were finished. The merge commandlets and the company backup where both shipped as soon as they finished.

What I expect is that in the near future, even yearly releases will go away. Updating Dynamics NAV will be like loging into Facebook or Office 365. Once a new feature is complete it is shipped as a package and people will start using it. Version numbers will be less important.

This means for partners and customers it will be more important to stay current on montly rollups, since that is basically your “new version” each month where even new features will be shipped.

So enough already about NAV2015. I will blog more about that in detail if and when I find the time.

How was my Directions Experience.

It was awesome. It was the 10th annual event and my 8th. The only ones I missed were the first and the one that overlapped with my youngest daughters birth. Hey, a man has to have priorities.

This was my third time in San Diego and I decided to fly into Los Angeles first and look around a little. This is me at a “recognisable” part of the USA.

Hollywood

At Directions it is great meeting friends and catching up. For me it turned from a knowledge into a networking event.

MVP Track

This year we kicked off with the MVP Track, a whole track about real life experiences of MVP’s in certain area’s of the product. We had 10 sessions and I did one about breaking down the MiniApp (Microsoft Dynamics C5) into design patterns. All of the MVP’s did a great job at their area’s of expertise and it was great having 13 MVP’s at one event.

Hopefully each of them will blog about their session individually so I won’t recap all of them. Vjeko has already done so.

Design Patterns

What made me especially proud was the Design Patterns session by Bogdana Botez and Bogdan Sturzoiu from Microsoft.

Design Patterns were always my big passion in the NAV product since the day I first saw it. They were a forgotten treasure in NAV. Together with Partner Ready Software and Microsoft we  brought back the focus on patterns and make people aware to think about how they design their solutions.

The feedback I gave after the session is that for me it is so clear that Microsoft is improving the quality of the design they deliver since we started the patterns project. There is a difference between shipping software that works and software that is designed to be maintained.

Withing Microsoft they now apply; what you own you touch and leave code that you change in a better shape than how you found it when you started. That way we can slowly move to a better version of NAV for all of us.

Mythbusters

One of the cool sessions was the MVP mythbusters, were all the MVP’s gathered quotes and debated with the audience about if they were true or false.

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Here is a picture of the MVP’s together.

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From left to right:

Waldo (Eric Wauters), Gary Winter (front), Soren Klemmensen (back), Micheal Nielsen, Mark Brummel (me), Luc van Dyck, Arend Jan Kauffmann, Luc van Vugt, Vjeko Babic, Daniel Rimmelzwaan, Per Mogensen, Eric Hougaard, Alex Chow.

Missing on the picture: Rashed Ahmed.

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