You may be found I published fewer articles in the last two to three months. I definitely didn’t lose my passion for Business Central or sharing interesting things, but I had to focus on my session at Directions EMEA 2022. It was a very special session for me, as I had never had such a long (110 minutes) session. I love to share what I know at conferences with my friends and to-be-friends, but to prepare materials and content for a such long session, I had to move my other plans further.
Now (22.11.2022) I’m already back in Brisbane, Qld, Australia and ready to share some of the biggest and the most interesting things in upcoming weeks. But first, let’s look back at what had happened at Directions EMEA.
Tuesday 08.11.2022 and the official beginning of the conference. First to meet many of my friends in the conference lobby, get the conference card & some beer to have something to drink when meeting all the other people.
But for me, the highlight of the first day was the night! My good friend Krzysztof Bialowas, Microsoft MVP hosted the 4th BCBeerinar Live with MVP edition (Hamburg) in pub Down Under Hamburg (really! coincidence? I don’t think so ;)). For me, this was one of the best times during the whole week, to chat with almost all MVPs who were attending Directions EMEA in an informal atmosphere of a small group of people.
There were so many sessions across all three days (Session Schedule – Day 1 | Directions 4 Partners) that it was really hard to decide what you want to see. The whole day started with the first Keynote (more than 3500 people! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!) where the Directions Team showed what’s new for this year and what’s the feature of this event. In the second part, Microsoft showed some of the latest news about Business Central and other related products (such as Power Platform, or even Shopify).
After the Keynote (and a few cups of coffee) sessions started, During all three days, there were usually more than 10 sessions at the same time, so I can describe only sessions I saw or heard from my friends.
MICROSOFT WORKSHOP: TROUBLESHOOTING PERFORMANCE IN BUSINESS CENTRAL ONLINE
I decided on this session because performance is one of the things I am into. My clients are usually middle-size companies with tens of millions of records in base tables, so knowing how to troubleshoot performance using the latest tools (or with tools that weren’t even released yet!) is a must. This session was one of the most interesting I ever attended as it was created more as a game – you got 7 samples and you had to analyse where the problems are.
TEST AUTOMATION STARTS IN THE REQUIREMENTS
Test Automation? It’s something all developers need to know. BUT! It’s not only about our developers, it is about the approach to testing and even creating requirements descriptions by consultants. And why I chose this session? Because Luc is the top expert for test automation in Business Central (and if you still do not have his book, book it today Automated Testing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Efficiently automate test cases for faster development cycles with less time needed for manual testing, 2nd Edition: Vugt, Luc van: 9781801816427: Amazon.com: Books)
MICROSOFT PRESENTS: PERMISSIONS REVISITED
Permissions, permissions, … the most annoying thing in NAV/Business Central for the last 20 years (and for me for the last 8 years – since I started with NAV/Business Central). You always had to define around 1000 tables and divide them based on user requirements… All projects I worked on were like this – we need to set the permissions at the beginning and then let’s hope it will work for the next few years. It was unmanageable!
With the last version of the Business Central (and with the next one that will be released next spring), there are a lot of changes that make it manageable – for example, you can define what should not be allowed to a specific user group (until now, you had to define what is allowed – which, in my opinion, is usually much harder)
MICROSOFT ROUNDTABLE: DEVOPS AND CI/CD
The roundtable is not a standard session, it’s usually a discussion with experts about a specific topic. This time with the biggest expert in DevOps and CI/CD processes for Business Central development. The assigned room for this session was too small for these three guys!
MICROSOFT PRESENTS: WHAT’S NEW AND BEST PRACTICES FOR BUSINESS CENTRAL APPS IN APPSOURCE
The last session of the day. Knowing the requirements for AppSource is something I really need to understand. I work as an independent solution architect, but I also work for some major Microsoft Partners and I am helping them bring their apps to Microsoft AppSource. Interesting session.
On day two there were again many interesting sessions (Session Schedule – Day 2| Directions 4 Partners).
SOLID PRINCIPLES FOR APP ARCHITECTURE IN BUSINESS CENTRAL
SOLID Principles – Single-responsibility principle, The Open–closed principle, The Liskov substitution principle, The Interface segregation principle and The Dependency inversion principle. Something all developers and solution architects should know. Usually, people know this term from other programming languages, but in NAV/Business Central it’s something new. Presented by @MVPKine (Kamil Sacek).
After this session, I and Kamil had to finish our joint session, so we, unfortunately, had to skip the next two sessions.
CONSULTANTS VS DEVELOPERS. STOP THAT FIGHT!
Kristen & Krzysztof, super funny session. Before the session, I ignored the second part of the headline – the session was for me just Consultants vs. Developers. I am kidding 😉 it was a really funny session and I hope that everyone found something which can be improved in their companies, because to teach consultants how to work with developers is almost (almost :D) as important as teaching developers how to work with consultants.
HOSTED BY MICROSOFT: ASK THE MVPS
There are around 30 people around the world, who are currently Microsft MVP for Business Applications & Business Central. 17 of them were at this conference. This session was about them – anyone, even if you do not know anybody – could ask them any question. I really regret I was able to see only the last 10 minutes. And who is the longest-active MVP in Business Central? My co-speaker and friend from Czechia – Kamil Sacek aka @MVPKine – MVP since 2005.
The picture below included the first year when they become Microsoft MVP. PS: @waldo & @MVPKine and even @vjeko, you should move much farther away from others :D.
MICROSOFT ROUNDTABLE: CONSULTANTS AND CITIZEN DEVELOPER ROLES IN BUSINESS CENTRAL CUSTOMIZATION
A similar session to the Kristens&Krzysztofs, but this time more serious. Really great to see the whole topic from a different angle.
The last day of the conference, but the most important day for me. My session was planned for Friday from 11:15 to 13:00. Yes, I had the longest session of my life – 110 minutes. I can’t provide any details of any session from Friday, as I had to finish preparing for my session.
It definitely wasn’t my first session, but it was definitely the most challenging. To create a session for 110 minutes, you have to really show the details of the topic and find a way how to engage the audience. And having the session in a room for more than 1500 people was another challenge.
But a few years ago, I found out, I really enjoy such events & atmospheres. I really hope that my & MVPKine’s session was interesting and that you enjoyed it. Firstly, I thought I won’t have content for more than 75 minutes! But during the session, I found out I have to even skip some parts to be able to finish within the allocated time. Such a great experience.
I definitely want to thank @MVPKine for being my co-speaker and helping me with preparation. It’s really huge pros to having such an experienced MVP by my side.
And that’s the end! I spent a few more days in Czechia to visit my friends & my family before returning back to Brisbane. I am really happy I am back in Australia (not only because of the weather!) with my wife and looking forward to the next conference.