December 2006 Entries

Happy New Year 2007

Another year is pretty much over, and a new one on the way.I will be out for 2 days, so I just want to take a second to wish everyone a wonderful Happy New Year. This 2006 was for me a good year and I wish that the next will be always better, for me and for you... :) Have a nice day and... enjoy the new year!

posted @ Saturday, December 30, 2006 12:21 PM | Feedback (0)

Upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista

I've received today the same question from friends: is it possible to upgrade my Windows XP machine to Windows Vista? Obviously... YES! But is it a good choice or it's better to start from a clean machine? I'm seeing that it's the first thing that makes people worried: too many times people doesn't go with Windows Vista because their machines have Windows XP installed (with lots of custom applications) and they're worried to loose al their data and (expecially) that the upgrade process to Vista will create a "dirty" installation. This is a false myth now... Windows Vista has a...

posted @ Saturday, December 30, 2006 11:27 AM | Feedback (3)

Microsoft CRM as a "building block"

Sometimes, when I'm doing a CRM presentation to my customers, I love to say them that CRM is a platform, not only an application. Microsoft CRM can be totally customized and extended with new custom applications based on its framework and you can build your own new functionality that meets your business needs directly using the CRM platform. There's a recent post by Arash Ghanaie that talks about it and here I want to put in evidence the key parts: This diagram simply depicts typical components that you see in a business application. How can you use the CRM platform? ...

posted @ Friday, December 29, 2006 2:55 PM | Feedback (0)

Microsoft CRM Custom Lookup: a solution

I've written in the past about what must be changed (or improved) in Microsoft CRM and one of the things I hate about it is the lookup feature: wonderful to have the ability to create a lookup field with just setting a relation, but why there's not an easy way to create a custom lookup (for example with filters)? It's a basic feature on every "serious" system. Today, browsing the CRM Sandbox page, I've found this wonderful post: Custom Lookup Dialog for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3 by Curt Spanburgh. The solution that Curt has given uses fetchXML queries: // Use additionalparams...

posted @ Friday, December 29, 2006 2:24 PM | Feedback (13)

Scalability: how eBay handles it

Today, thanks to a talk on our user group, I've discovered this great pdf about eBay's architecture, presented by Randy Shoup and Dan Pritchett at SD Forum 2006. The pdf gives a great overview on how eBay has evolved during the years, from a little application based on few Perl scripts to a big distributed application based on something like 15,000 application instances running in eight data centers. The presented statistics are incredible: 212,000,000 registered users 1 billion page views per day 26 billion SQL queries and updates per day Over 2 petabytes of data $1,590...

posted @ Friday, December 29, 2006 11:30 AM | Feedback (0)

Dynamics NAV: open the form associated to an entity

Frequently I'm involved on code-reviewing and optimization operations with customer's Dynamics NAV databases and, when I write code together with other developers, I see always that they access the Object Designer tool in order to remember what's the right form to call for displaying data related to a table (a Dynamics NAV entity). For example, if you make filters on the Customer table and you want to display the filtered data on a form, 99,9% of the times I see that a developer does the following: //We want to display all the Customers with a name that starts with 'M' Customer.SETFILTER(Customer.Name,'M*'); FORM.RUNMODAL(22,Customer); or Customer.SETFILTER(Customer.Name,'M*'); FORM.RUNMODAL(FORM::"Customer List",Customer); Many of the times...

posted @ Wednesday, December 27, 2006 2:38 PM | Feedback (0)

Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Certifications

I've just received this news via email and I want to share it for who's interested: Microsoft has announced (where????? ) new professional certifications for Microsoft Dynamics products: Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Specialist: this is a replacement of the Microsoft Business Solutions Certified Professional title. You will earn this title by passing a single certification exam for a Microsoft Dynamics or related business product. Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Professional: this is a replacement of the Microsoft Business Solutions Certified Master title. This is the premier certification for the Dynamics line and you'll earn this title by passing...

posted @ Tuesday, December 26, 2006 11:29 AM | Feedback (7)

Merry Christmas

And it's the time for a new Christmas day... This end of 2006 is for me a really hot period, but in these days it's the right time to "turn off" the mind from the work things and start relaxing. I want to wish you a wonderful Christmas day, for all my friends and for all who can read this message. Have a nice day...

posted @ Sunday, December 24, 2006 11:04 AM | Feedback (2)

Microsoft CRM Outlook Client Update

The new Outlook client for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 it's finally here. With this update, you can install and run Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients for Outlook on computers that run Windows Vista-based operating systems and/or Office 2007-based applications. A brief resume of the new features: Integration with the Office 2007 “Ribbon” menu SQL Express Edition 2005 SP1 Custom MAPI Store (instead of the old PST file) Inclusion of all the existing client hotfixes previously released Support for the new Windows Vista features, such as:o User Access Controlo GPO deploymentso Internet Explorer 7 Now the CRM is really ready...

posted @ Thursday, December 21, 2006 12:25 PM | Feedback (0)

Microsoft Dynamics Certified Master

With a big surprise, few minutes ago I've received from Microsoft the Microsoft Certified Master - Installation and Configuration for Microsoft Dynamics NAV award, the highest level for a Microsoft Business Solution (or MS Dynamics) certification. Wow... thanks a lot

posted @ Wednesday, December 20, 2006 8:55 AM | Feedback (0)

MS Exchange will be a key part of the future Microsoft Server Systems

This is the important news that comes out from the first "internal" betas of "Centro" and "Cougar", the future 64-bit server products of the Microsoft platform: finally, the new platforms will integrate together Exchange 2007, System Center Essentials, SQL Server 2005 and ISA Server (plus Windows Sharepoint Services on some versions). This is a great news: actually many Microsoft products have lots of benefits by using Exchange (I'm thinking for example on many of the Microsoft's ERP systems and CRM), but sometimes not all the customers has Exchange installed or are planning to install it (Exchange is always seen as a "mountain"...

posted @ Wednesday, December 20, 2006 6:22 AM | Feedback (0)

Visual Studio 2005 SP1 confusion

I don't know why this time Microsoft has generated this confusion to the users... As you know, Microsoft has release in these days Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 SP1, and I've received questions from friends about whick version to install if you have VS2005 Standard or Professional Edition (the most widespread). If you reach the separate SP1 download pages (maybe via a Google search), you're in confusion: whick is the right version? Visual Studio® 2005 Team Suite SP1 Visual Studio® 2005 Team Foundation Server SP1 Visual Studio® 2005 Express Editions SP1 The answer is on the VS2005 SP1 main page: Visual Studio...

posted @ Saturday, December 16, 2006 11:16 AM | Feedback (1)

ReportViewer: hacking the Redistributable version

I've always used the Microsoft ReportViewer control for many Windows Form project, but in these days I'm using the ReportViewer with Microsoft Dynamics NAV (I've a big project that involves advanced graphic reporting). One of my problem is to deploy the ReportViewer control on the customer's machine. Microsoft has made available a great ReportViewer Redistributable package, but it requires an administrative control of the machine (it's an MSI package that installs all the components in the GAC). What about if the customer doesn't have administrative privileges? Dennis J. Bottjer gives me the trick: Download Report Viewer Redistributable Use favorite...

posted @ Wednesday, December 13, 2006 6:10 PM | Feedback (1)

MBS President's Club Member 2006: we're here!

I've received this news only some days ago, but I'm pleased to announce that my company (EID, with our network NAVLAB) has officially earned from Microsoft the Microsoft Business Solutions 2006 President’s Club Members honour. President’s Club members are Microsoft's top value added resellers and independent software vendors (about 5% of all the MBS Partner around the world). The nomination was given us for the results of these years on both the commercial and technical aspects of our solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics products. Thanks, we're glad to be part of these top members...

posted @ Saturday, December 09, 2006 11:40 AM | Feedback (0)

Certification planning for .NET 3.0

Finally someone inside Microsoft has given us a first response on this topic: what's the roadmap about developer's certifications now that .NET 3.0 is alive? Tha main facts are these: They will plan to release between 2-3 Technology Specialist exams (each exam will yield a TS credential). They will not plan to change the professional level exams at this time (good). The new Microsoft certification's stragey is clear: "you're never "upgrading" your TS credentials, just achieving new ones". A great choice... Regarding the idea to group WF with WCF in one exam, I can't agree. Windows Workflow will be a new technology that is...

posted @ Friday, December 08, 2006 5:26 PM | Feedback (2)

Microsoft Dynamics NAV Gadgets for Vista

I've read on a forum that someone asked if someone has never developed Windows Vista Gadgets that can interact with Dynamics NAV data. Actually I've not seen any Vista gadget for this task (something will be ready with the NAV 5.1 version), but if you've time you can start your own Gadget creation, and here I want to leave you the ideas on how to do this task. Windows Vista Gadgets seems a really complicated technology but if you carefully analize how the standard Vista Gadgets are made, you discover that gadgets are really nothing more than HTML files...

posted @ Saturday, December 02, 2006 5:24 PM | Feedback (1)

File-based Workflow persistence service

I was talking exactly about this some days ago and, after a bit searching, here's the solution (thanks to Zhisheng Huang). Windows Workflow comes with SQL persistence as the way to persistence a workflow instance, but sometimes having a simple file-based persistence could be interesting. This solution does exactly this... To use it, simply add the service to the runtime.  FileWorkFlowPersistenceService fServ = new FileWorkFlowPersistenceService(".");workflowRuntime.AddService(fServ); UnloadOnIdle returns true always in the implementation. So you can see that the workflow is persisted after each call when it becomes idled if you hook up the appropriate event: workflowRuntime.WorkflowPersisted += delegate{       Console.WriteLine("Workflow...

posted @ Saturday, December 02, 2006 11:03 AM | Feedback (0)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Update for Vista and Office 2007 release date

Many of my customers are waiting a clear response on how will be available an update for Microsoft CRM 3.0 that will permit to use the application with the new Office 2007 and Vista environment. Today the response is coming: it is planned to be released at or around December 22nd. Remember that this update is: Client Only Includes Service Pack Roll Up Compatible with other supported versions of Windows and Office

posted @ Friday, December 01, 2006 11:52 AM | Feedback (0)