Directions EMEA 2015 | Recap

Back home at the office in Olst I am trying to wrap my head around what I learned in Mannheim this year. It is mind boggling.

The amount software improvements that Microsoft ships as NAV2016 is just amazing, especially if you consider the size if the team. They must be organised in a very efficient way.

As an MVP and enthousiast I’ve been part of the different early adoption programs in the last year and most things I knew would come. It was really hard to keep silent about these improvements. Especially things like the new code editor, FOREACH, events and other improvents that will make daily life of the developer more easy.

Azure Management Portal

What I did not knew about was the Azure Management Portal. This was quite a (nice) surprise. I watched the keynotes with Arend Jan Kauffmann and he told me he had heard about a “secret” project going on.


Honestly, the cloud is not my cup of tea. When joking I always tell people, “let me retire as a happy dinosaur“. Dinosaurs is how Microsoft refers people who don’t adopt cloud and multi tenancy. I can’t help I love doing one-off projects.

But if multi tenancy, repeatability and cloud is your thing, there has never been a better time to start. This portal makes azure as simple as it should be for NAV partners. No PowerShell, AzurePortal or other confusing settings, scripts and what else I forgot.


What amazed me most is that Microsoft did this while they were building NAV2016.

Visual Studio Inside NAV

Marko Peresic called the new editor Visual Studio inside NAV. I often get the question if we will ever move to VS. This is your answer. The editor we have is a full VS editor based on the AX VS editor without C/AL developers having to learn VS. This is also decided based on the feedback about C/AL developers doing RDLC in VS. It is hard to find people who find that fun.

Honestly I think they are far from ready, but it is a very good first step. It would be nice to have options available that we now only can do in PowerShell.

There is more!

There is another hidden gem in NAV2016 that was not covered well during the keynotes which is the new Testabilty Framework. Microsoft will now ship 1000nds of test routines with each release, cumulative update and localisation allowing us to run their automated tests after merging with PowerShell. This will make Quality Assurance much easier.


Back to Directions

I did not want to deep dive into NAV2016 in this post, which is hard because of the entousiasm.

With 1364 (give or take a few) attendees it was the biggest Dynamics NAV event ever! It was well organised too. Even though Germans are not particularly fond of Mannheim I thought the event location was very nice. The expo area was big enough, it was relatively easy to get beer and food, little harder to get coffee but definately easier than Poznan.

MVP Track

I tried to visit as many MVP sessions as I could and I really got the feeling we are putting a show on stage as a team. Many MVPs collaborated in their sessions, co-presenting or as pannelists. I think this is a great way of sharing our knowledge. Many sessions were focussed on things that are keeping us busy in our daily life but is not “new” enough for Microsoft to talk about. Things like JavaScript, Data Exchange, TFS, GIT and Web Services.


I had a great meeting with the organising committee to see if we can even improve on that next year.

Learning Dynamics NAV Patterns

I received 25 copies of my book just in time for Directions EMEA and returned almost empty handed. The reception was amazing. It was nice to see people so entousiastic after a winter of hard work and to see an old idea materialise. After finishing my 2013 book I swore never to do it again, but I am happy I did and getting all the support from Microsoft pushing me to do it.

Thomas Hejlsberg wrote the forword and even ended up signing one for his colleages from Fargo.


Next year…

Directions will be in Prague on October 12-14. Looking forward to seeing you there.


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