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New book: Building ERP solutions with Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Today is THE DATE!

After 9 months of work, we’re ready to go: my new book Building ERP solutions with Microsoft Dynamics NAV (published by Packt Publishing) it’s officially available (eBook and printed version).

This book covers advanced topics related to implementing real world solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and external applications. Scope of this book is to describe in a practical way how to extend a Microsoft Dynamics NAV installation to the enterprise world. You will learn how an enterprise distributed architecture with NAV at the core could be implemented to satisfy practical needs and case studies.

The book is based on real world cases for every topic and every industry (sales, retail, manufacturing). Every chapter will guide you in step by step manner on how to efficiently solve a real world technical problem that you can frequently have on an NAV implementation. By the end of the book, developers will have the knowledge on how to efficiently solve certain scenarios and how could be the best architecture to propose to a customer.

This book is NOT a C/AL language programming guide. If this is your scope, on Packt Publishing website you can find many other great books strictly related to this topic. This book is for solution’s architects and advanced NAV developers. Here you will find:

  • All about how to use Microsoft Dynamics NAV web services in an advanced way
  • All about modern Microsoft Dynamics NAV integration with external applications
  • All about how to implement enterprise distributed solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV as “the ERP”
  • How to use Microsoft Azure cloud services for implementing scalable Microsoft Dynamics NAV solutions

Every chapter covers a real business scenario and we’ll go from the solution’s design to the final implementation in a step-by-step manner. All will be “practical” and easy to follow.

This is the official outline:

Chapter 1: Introducing Microsoft Dynamics NAV architectures
Chapter 2: Configuring NAV Web Services
Chapter 3: Creating an application using NAV Web Services
Chapter 4: Using NAV web services with Power BI
Chapter 5: Integrating NAV Web Services and External Applications
Chapter 6: Extending NAV pages with Control Addins
Chapter 7: Programming Universal Windows Apps with NAV and devices
Chapter 8: Exploring Microsoft Azure and its services
Chapter 9: Working with Azure App Service and NAV
Chapter 10: Implementing a message based architecture with Azure Service Bus and NAV

Requirements?

Basic knowledge of C/AL language, basic knowledge of C# language. All the other concepts will be explained in the book. We’ll go in-depth also regarding the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and its services.

Writing a technological book is not an easy task. For reaching this goal, I want to mention all the great Packt Publishing staff that has worked with me in these months. A special thanks also for my friend Duilio Tacconi (Microsoft) for his collabouration in this project as a reviewer. Thanks to all guys!

This book is dedicated to a special girl… 🙂

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You can find the book starting from today on the official Packt Publishing website or directly on Amazon website. Have a nice reading!

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New book: Building ERP solutions with Microsoft Dynamics NAV (ITA version)

Ebbene si… ora è ufficiale e possiamo divulgare al mondo la notizia 🙂

Dopo 9 mesi (praticamente un parto!) di lavoro impegnativo, finalmente ci siamo: il mio libro Building ERP solutions with Microsoft Dynamics NAV (edito da Packt Publishing) da oggi è ufficialmente ordinabile, sia in version eBook che in versione cartacea.

Questo libro è rivolto principalmente a developer / progettisti di soluzioni ERP basate su Microsoft Dynamics NAV ed è nato con un obiettivo principale: insegnare che una soluzione ERP enterprise richiede spesso complesse integrazioni con sistemi esterni ed estensioni del prodotto base e non tutte queste cose vanno risolte utilizzando il linguaggio interno (C/AL). Il C/AL è nato per gestire la logica di busines, fuori dalla “scatola magica” dell’ERP esiste un affascinante mondo di tecnologia che, propriamente conosciuto ed utilizzato, ci permette di costruire soluzioni robuste, affidabili e scalabili.

In questo libro NON troverete una guida al linguaggio C/AL. Per chi è alle prime armi e cerca una guida al linguaggio interno di Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Packt Publishing ha altri ottimi libri in catalogo. Quello che troverete qui è invece:

  • Di tutto e di più su come utilizzare i web services di Microsoft Dynamics NAV in modo avanzato
  • Di tutto e di più su come integrare soluzioni esterne con Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Di tutto e di più su come costruire ed implementare soluzioni enterprise distribuite basate su Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Come sfruttare servizi cloud (offerti dalla piattaforma Microsoft Azure) per implementare soluzioni Microsoft Dynamics NAV scalabili

Ogni capitolo del libro va a coprire NEL PRATICO uno scenario di business reale (scenario che sicuramente vi troverete a dover gestire in un progetto reale) e viene mostrato passo passo come risolvere il problema in modo efficiente e moderno. Questo libro vuole proprio essere un fedele compagno da avere di fianco a se sulla scrivania quando ci troviamo ad affrontare un problema di integrazione: seguendo i passi descritti, non sbaglierete.

Nel dettaglio, questo è l’indice di ciò che troverete:

Chapter 1: Introducing Microsoft Dynamics NAV architectures
Chapter 2: Configuring NAV Web Services
Chapter 3: Creating an application using NAV Web Services
Chapter 4: Using NAV web services with Power BI
Chapter 5: Integrating NAV Web Services and External Applications
Chapter 6: Extending NAV pages with Control Addins
Chapter 7: Programming Universal Windows Apps with NAV and devices
Chapter 8: Exploring Microsoft Azure and its services
Chapter 9: Working with Azure App Service and NAV
Chapter 10: Implementing a message based architecture with Azure Service Bus and NAV

Prerequisiti?

Conoscenza di base del linguaggio C/AL e del linguaggio C#. Tutto il resto (compresa la piattaforma Microsoft Azure ed i servizi cloud offerti) lo imparerete leggendo.

Scrivere un libro tecnologico non è per nulla facile. Per il compimento di questa “impresa”, voglio ringraziare tutto il fantastico staff di Packt Publishing che mi ha accompagnato in questi mesi di lavoro, voglio ringraziare l’amico Duilio Tacconi (Microsoft) per aver accettato di collaborare al progetto come reviewer ed ovviamente ringrazio me per averci creduto 🙂 La dedica però e tutta per qualcun’altro… 🙂

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Il libro vi aspetta, lo trovate sul sito ufficiale di Packt Publishing o direttamente sul sito di Amazon. Buona lettura!

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An idea/suggestion: NAV Windows Client via Azure RemoteApp

This is an idea that’s rolling on my mind from a lot of time… Why Microsoft not provides a deploy of the NAV Windows Client via Azure RemoteApp?

Azure RemoteApp is a wonderful service provided by the Azure platform that permits you to run Windows applications “as a service” and permits to access the published app anywhere and on any platform.

In these days for example I’ve played with RemoteApp and IE11 (Microsoft has published it on Azure) and I was able to run IE11 on my MacBook exactly as I was on my Windows machine.

Having the NAV Windows Client published as a RemoteApp on Azure will permit everyone to have a “cross platform” NAV desktop client. You could for example turn on your Mac, join the RemoteApp session, start the NAV Windows client and run it on Mac OS exactly like on Windows.

Sounds interesting? For me a lot…

SQL Server backup on cloud

In my daily work I see different types of Microsoft SQL Server installations and different types of IT managers that have their own backup and security policies. One of the security aspects that often is so poor is the backup conservation: backup on external discs, on tapes, on usb, on network folder and sometimes (ahimè yes…) on the same discs of the SQL Server machine.

Now we live in the cloud era, so why not using the cloud power for high availability and data recovery?

I see that not so many people knows that on SQL Server 2014 (but also on SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2) there are built-in features to automatically backup your database to Azure and use its BLOB storage to securely save your data (encrypted and compressed).

This feature is so easy to use and it’s the same as the standard backup on discs, just specify the Azure credentials and the Azure storage account:

In this way you can have an on-premise database that is securely backup on cloud. Storing your backups in Microsoft Azure Blob Storage provides an instant, highly available, and a durable archiving option and no problems on hardware management.

For more informations about this feature (that personally I recommend a lot!) you can check the official MSDN site.

 

Google BigQuery: and Microsoft?

Google BigQuery is really a fascinating technology for big data analysis. In short terms

BigQuery enables super-fast, SQL-like queries against append-only tables, using the processing power of Google’s infrastructure. Simply move your data into BigQuery and let us handle the hard work.

Via a command line, a web interface or a REST API you can upload your large dataset to Google datacenters and query it by using the power of Google’s cores.

But what about Microsoft? Is there something similar?

In my opinion, the best response is actually this:

Microsoft actually does not offer a real time big data query service like Google’s one but the Azure cloud platform (that I love) offers other alternatives.

Depending on your needs you could have at least two options:

  1. SQL Data Warehouse: A new Azure based data warehouse service that offers full SQL Server experience and can scale up to petabytes. This is the perfect answer if you have relational data and you need performances.
  2. HDInsight: A Windows Azure service that deploys and provisions Apache Hadoop clusters in the Azure cloud, providing a software framework designed to manage, analyze and report on big data. This is an interesting option if you have a large amount of data and you want to do calculations on a batch mode and store the aggregated result set elsewhere.

I think that Google BigQuery and Azure SQL Data Warehouse are actually the most interesting big data solutions.

Prices?

Obviously there are different prices for every services, but in summary there’s a main difference between the two platforms: With Google BigQuery you pay for the query you perform, with Azure you pay for the resources you allocate.