In this blog I’d like to talk about using custom shortcuts for accessing different instances of Dynamics NAV with Windows Client.
An option to connect directly to a specific instance of NAV could be very useful in a development setting, where developers need to constantly switch between development, UAT and demo databases. But this would also be useful for end-customers hosting more than one copy of NAV, e.g. Production and UAT.
This subject isn’t new, and the need to quickly open one specific NAV database out of many hosted in your environment always existed. If you are working with NAV for a while, you might remember those cheeky-named *.zup files. Once properly configured, they were the way to quickly switch between databases – both native and SQL.
With the introduction of Dynamics NAV Windows client (formerly RTC), the *.zup files became only relevant for NAV development environment. For the Windows client itself, we need to use a command line switch called “settings”.
The “settings” switch takes one parameter: a full path to a Dynamics NAV config file. To obtain a copy of the config file, we can just take the original config file created by NAV Setup in the default location at %AppData%:
|%AppData%\Microsoft\Microsoft Dynamics NAV\110\ClientUserSettings.config|
Grab a copy of that file and place it in your desired location. It could be placed in the same %AppData% folder, just name it differently:
Note the full file name and its location since you’ll need them later.
In my example, I am adding an -UAT suffix to the file name since I am preparing a shortcut pointing straight to our UAT NAV instance.
Now create a new shortcut for UAT. For that, go to the following location in your %ProgramData% folder:
Locate the existing Dynamics NAV shortcut and copy it to create a UAT link:
What’s left is to right-click the newly created shortcut, chose to view its properties and edit the “Target” field to point to the config file prepared earlier. In my case, the full target expression looks as follows:
|“C:\Program Files (x86)|
\Microsoft Dynamics NAV\110\RoleTailored Client
\Microsoft Dynamics NAV\110\ClientUserSettingsUAT.config”
Save the updated shortcut and use it at least once to connect to the desired NAV instance (e.g. UAT). Once this is done, launching NAV with the new shortcut will connect you straight to the database used last.
Use the steps above to create as many shortcuts as required, all pointing directly to your specific NAV instances.
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Written by Yuriy Halenko, Dynamics NAV Analyst