(and work with the people that deal with them)
Don’t panic. Unless you should panic. Then by all means, panic. Take a breath, then think about what you were doing. Were you doing anything unusual? If it’s something you don’t think you can fix, try and leave everything as it is. Treat it like a crime scene. Don’t tamper with/destroy the evidence. Document it. Get a screenshot or use Ctrl+C to copy the error message. Take note of who, what, when and where. Was it you or someone else? What were you trying to do? When did it happen? Where were you in the system? After answering these questions, it’s time to put on the detective hat. In this blog, we’ll cover how to read NAV error messages, the basic tools to help you solve this error, and how to work efficiently with the people you call for help.
If you need immediate assistance because you are experiencing a data disaster, get on the phone and call your Microsoft Dynamics NAV partner now.
How to read NAV error messages:
Uh-oh, there’s a pop-up that keeps you from doing what you wanted to do. It has a bunch of unfriendly text and maybe some code and now you’re irritated. But this error message isn’t militant. Its purpose is to help you understand what went wrong. If you know how to understand them, these error messages contain valuable information. Here’s a quick example of how to break down a common error in Microsoft Dynamics NAV:
- Field: Tax Group Code
- Error: must have a value
- Table: Sales Line
- Keys: Document Type=Order, Document No.=1002, Line No.=10000
- Why: It cannot be zero or empty
***Pro Tip: Pay special attention to any fields like “Line No.” or “Entry No.” If these are 0, you will probably want to call your Microsoft Dynamics NAV partner.
Other tools: Utilizing the event log
Windows has an Event Viewer where you can find error messages generated by applications, including NAV. Some errors will generate entries here with additional information.
Tap into your co-workers
If you have more than one user using NAV, you may have a potential solution living in the head of the person next to you. The key to tapping into this is to foster a culture of communication. Not just when a problem comes up, but in everyday business. Many times, we will discover solutions to problems at our weekly lunch meeting. Sometimes, one of us will overhear someone talking about a problem that we know the solution to. If you have a productivity tool like Slack or Microsoft Teams, it makes it easier to pose a question to a group. These tools have all the benefits of email such as customizing recipients of the message, with the added benefit of seeing when others ask questions. This helps when you come across a familiar error someone else solved last week. Just hit the search. Platforms like this also have a more casual feel than a stress-inducing staff@ email. In other words, if you want to know how to read NAV error messages or solve problems more quickly, you often don’t have to look any further than your coworkers.
Let me Google that for you …
Wouldn’t it be nice to put “Professional Googler” on your LinkedIn? Sounds facetious, but it’s true sometimes. There’s too much in this world for any one person to know, and the Internet does a great job of compiling all that information. Sites like mibuso.com and navug.com tend to yield helpful results; however, you need to be careful. It can be tough to tell when certain recommendations don’t apply to your situation. That is time you’ll never get back. Some are just dangerous.
Contact your software Microsoft Dynamics NAV partner
They are called your partner for a reason! Any good partner will stand by you in both a big crisis and a time-intensive error. Partners with deep expertise spend their entire careers dedicated to the product you’re using and how it interfaces in your business and businesses like yours. They might not have seen your exact error message before, but they know how to read NAC error messages and they’ve seen errors like it and will make the best use of your time and money when troubleshooting.
Get the most from your partner
Sometimes, there’s no time for troubleshooting on your own. There are errors and then there are critical errors. When you need help right away, use the phone.
What is critical?
- Work has stopped for one or more users and no work can continue until the error is resolved.
- The error will cause you to miss an important deadline.
- The error does not occur often, the conditions that cause the error are rare and the error is very disruptive.
Using e-mail or the ticketing system is cost effective when used correctly and often allows partners to get to your problem faster than requesting a phone call.
When Microsoft Dynamics NAV partners receive an email or ticket with the necessary information, it can be routed based on availability and expertise. Sometimes, the consultant you are used to dealing with isn’t the best person to solve the problem you are currently experiencing.
Different partners have different ways of submitting tickets, but a good strategy is to remember to include the main support email on any questions. Add firstname.lastname@example.org on any support requests.
Avoid unhelpful requests
SOS emails with no information require a follow-up email or call before consultants can even start work on the problem. Depending on when this email was sent, it could delay the resolution by hours or even days.
Good requests get faster help
With precise details and some additional context about the error, a consultant can begin to diagnose the problem and suggest a sequence of steps. What’s great about this email is that it gives the specific order number as well as the action that triggered the error.
Better requests get the best help
For the fastest, most accurate help with how to read NAV error messages, context WITH the error message AND next steps allows a consultant not only to diagnose the issue, and suggest steps, but also to take action. This version of the email contains the following winning formula:
- A more specific description of what was going on (shipping the order vs. posting it)
- The exact error message
- The urgency of the problem
- The order status and permission to post it (or not)
*A note about screenshots:
When sending screenshots, it’s often convenient to use a tool like the snipping tool that comes with Windows to capture a portion of the screen. In some cases, having a screenshot of the entire screen has allowed consultants to solve a problem that they might not have been able to solve if they just received the error message.
Unlike the screenshot in the previous email, this screenshot contains information in the background, like a document number, screen title, user, date and time.
Realistic expectations from your software partner
Consultants and support personnel solve problems every day, but many customers have processes that are unique. The team member servicing your request may have had limited involvement in creating those processes. So, while exhausting, it is sometimes necessary to explain how to use your system.
Walking a team member through the process step by step can be beneficial and can best equip them to solve your issue accurately.
Make the most of your time and money
Consultants and support staff are users, too. They understand the frustration of using computers and software. They’d rather that you don’t spend your money on fixing issues in the system because it’s less productive for everyone. Ultimately, they want the time and money to go towards new solutions that make your system more effective.
Still panicking? Take those necessary breaths and just reach out to us. We’re here to keep you moving forward.