For Our NAV Users: Using NAV’s Search Filters Options

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Posted by: briansittley Comments: 0 0 Post Date: June 26, 2014

nav search filterOccasionally we focus a post on information helpful to our users of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, a powerful ERP application in which our firm happens to specialize – and today is one of those days as we wrap up the month of June.
In a recent blog article, the Microsoft Dynamics NAV team provides some tips we thought we’d share with our own NAV users.  For best effect, you can view their comments and screens here for full details.
Meanwhile, we’ll do a quick little recap here today.
The NAV ‘Quick Filter’ first appeared in NAV 2009 as a feature that would be integrated as a ‘filter pane’ on all NAV pages.  Here the user could enter an option as plain text or compose a more advanced filter.
So for example, a user looking for a contact in the contact list starting with “Man” could simply type “man” in the search field, and instantly get a list view of only companies starting with those characters in the name.  Behind the scenes, NAV modifies your search string to ensure that the results include any name that starts with either Man or man.  That behind the scenes action added an “@” symbol at the front and an asterisk “*” at the rear to request all records that started with the characters man and were case INsensitive.
The blog gives additional examples of how this originally worked including:

Se @se* All records that start with the string se and case insensitive.
Man* Starts with Man and case sensitive All records that start with the string Man
‘man’ An exact string and case sensitive All records that match man exactly
*1 Ends with 1 All records that end with 1
@*man Ends with and case insensitive All records that end with man
@man* Starts with and case insensitive All records that start with man

But now, in the latest version, NAV 2013 R2, the NAV team made a slight change.  They recognized that users thought of the quick filter as a search field, so they modified its behavior to act as “contains” instead of “starts with.”  The result is that it will now return all names that not only start with but also contain the string you requested.  So in our “man” example above, it would return not only Manchester or Manley, but say, Foreman and Adams Manufacturing.
Note that this is true as of the latest NAV update (consult your reseller), but the point is, users now have the best and easiest search tool for quick lookups ever available to them – one more inclusive than ever before.
These small, subtle but often important enhancements to software usability help to keep making work go faster and easier, for time required to perform tasks to grow shorter, and for companies to become just a little bit more incrementally productive across all its users, as ERP continues to evolve in power, functionality and utility.
As with all changes, some commenters liked these changes, some did not.  That’s the world of software.

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