By Mark Brummel – Founder of NAV-Skills
Project “Madeira” is out now for about a week and my head does not stop spinning of exitement and opportunities.
I’ve been playing around with it, tested the wizards, broke it, fixed it and gave some of my feedback to Microsoft.
Because Project “Madeira” is based on NAV it is interesting to see so many familiar things in a new application. Even the demo data are the good old “olympic games” items but with new images.
Next Wednesday I will be moderating a Webinar in which we will demo “Madeira” and get the opinion some NAV and GP MVPs. Looking so much forward to that. We have sold out on the registration.
Navision | The Application outlives the database
This is a brainwave I had a few weeks ago when I read a story about how Dynamics got started.
The idea of Navision started with the C/Side database. When doing an internship at IBM the founders of Navision invented the SIFT technology that is the foundation of Project “Madeira”‘s application architecture. Master Data, Journals & Entries.
After getting the “ok” from IBM to take SIFT with them the guys quickly found out that it is hard to sell just a database (although Microsoft seems to do fine with SQL Server) so they decided to build an accounting package around it called PC Plus.
[Sidenote] I got an attendee in one of my Danish classes who started working with PC Plus 30 years ago.
Both the application and the database evolved and it was only a few releases of NAV ago that Microsoft dropped support and completely moved to SQL Server.
That means that yes, the application which was a side effect outlives the reason it was created, to sell the database.
“Madeira” | The Appication sells the platform
With project “Madeira” we seem to have an identical situation. The application is used to sell Office 365 and Azure. How cool is that.
Evolving DNA | Usability
I’ve always loved the simplicity of NAV, except for one major issue: usabilty. This is what Microsoft has now fixed with project “Madeira”. Wow!
If you look very carefully you can get a sneek preview of Madeira even in Dynamics NAV 2016. Simply fire up the Webclient with the Small Business Role Center. When you do this you will get the user interface Microsoft has created to replace Dynamics C5 in Denmark. For this project they have simplified NAV and introduced a wide range of new best practices (Design Patterns) that are a big part of what I teach in my Master Class
Cornerstones of “Madeira” architecture
In a lot of ways, the architecture of Madeira is different than NAV. In my workshops I always say to my students: “With Navision Simplicity was for the programmers, now we have to move it to the end-user”.
Reasoning is that in a modern environment there is no functional consultant. Inside “Madeira” a user must be able to fix their own issues.
From this perspetive TESTFIELD becomes an Anti-Pattern. Something we must avoid. It generates error messages a user cannot solve themselves.
Another Anti-Pattern I often talk about is “Posting”. This is a term that we use a lot in Dynamics NAV but it was invented by bookkeepers.
In a modern appliction I don’t “Post” a Sales Order. I “Ship” or “Invoice” it.
Project “Madeira” will be extensible and offer a range if vertical ISV solutions. This is yet another challenge on Solution Architects. With every decision we make we have to think: “Does it makes sense to allow extensibility here”. This is another area where Project “Madeira” is different from NAV. Dynamics NAV is “open code” and we can make raw source code modifications. This means that the model of the NAV application by nature is not extensible. This will change with Project “Madeira”.
Again here you can get a sneak preview of what to expect in Dynamics NAV 2016 where Microsoft has shipped a preview of Extensions so we can get used to the idea.
For me Project “Madeira” is Project “Wow” where simplicity is handed over to the user! Dynamics NAV DNA evolution.
Darwin was right, the strong parts survive.