This week we’ve been evaluating some new (to us) products that attach / work well with Navision / Dynamics NAV. The first is ZetaDocs. To date we’ve avoided looking at it too closely as the ‘old’ ZetaFax product was expensive and a pain to get working well; and the ‘new’ product only ever seemed to get mentioned in the same breath as SharePoint thus complicating what most users want to be a simple process. But it turns out that the basic connector now works very well with SMTP email so if you don’t mind having to think through your processes, we can now provide a product that can email any report from NAV so long as you can identify the email address to which the report needs to be sent. While Microsoft provides Outlook integration, it’s interesting that they also provide an SMTP client for their Service Management scheduling ‘stuff’; so ZetaDocs seems to be a sensible choice. Also, we’re getting familiar with aGiles Workflow. Now when we first set up TVision 10 years ago, I thought then that Workflow would be the only way that organisations could work on an Extranet basis. So we looked around and did some initial integration work with Navision v2. Well I wasn’t wrong re workflow and extranets. Neither have really taken off the way that was expected in 1999/2000. But undoubtedly most businesses probably have a number of processes which are not done often enough to be well known and yet if they’re not done properly cause a lot of pain and grief down the line when the mistake / error is spotted. It can also be useful for supervising e.g. Support or Help type facilities or Service environments where the essence of the business is responding quickly when ‘the cow has fallen into the ditch’ and we need to get the cow out. aGiles is a typical Navision product in that it seems to do what it does very well, has lots of options, isn’t terribly graphical but sometimes the process needs to conquer the form. We’ve always been reluctant to add unnecessary layers of complexity and many add-on products should be approached with caution: will they really meet the business need? will they be easy to maintain / upgrade? With Microsoft encouraging customers to look to add-ons, particularly for workflow where they’re still some way from determining how Windows Workflow Foundation will fit with the ERP products, it makes sense to look for an existing, proven solution. So we’re still maintaining the ‘it has to work well with NAV’ philosophy but extending the range of what we can offer within that framework. Richard