Wait, what database am I in?

Do you have a test database for your Dynamics NAV deployment?  You should!

If you already have a Test (or Dev) environment, are you utilizing the System Indicator feature within the Dyanmics NAV client?  You should!

Have you ever posted a test transaction to see how something would work only to realize a split second too late that you were in your production/live system?  I have! (And if you’re being honest, you probably have too!)

In the old days (pre-2009 RTC) we used to go through the process of renaming each of the companies within our Test and Dev databases (typically prefixing the Company Name with “TEST” or “DEV“).  This would work but could be time consuming and honestly wasn’t the most overt way to indicated the database/company you were working within.

When Microsoft released the Role Tailored Client for version 2009 (now known as the Windows Client) a little used feature was introduced – System Indicator.

The System Indicator allows you to display the Company, the Database, the Company and Database or even Custom Text right within the NAV Client, visible at all times (and even visible using Windows Peek).  Additionally it allows you to choose Indicator Styles (Coloring options for the Indicator).

As a Consultant who accesses many different deployments of NAV this is my plead to you – please review this feature and implement it within your organization ASAP.

How does it work?

From the Dynamics NAV Company Information page, in the System Indicator fast tab you can control everything.

The System Indicator value determines “What” is shown.  The System Indicator Text gives you a preview of the values that will be displayed (this is not editable unless you select “Custom Text” as your Indicator value).

The System Indicator Style option determines “How” it looks when displayed.

The colorization of the Styles are as follows:

When utilized, both the NAV Role Center as well as all Pages you may open will display the System Indicator.

Below are a few examples to indicate my TEST Database:

To indicate my LIVE Database:

My Company Information looks like this for the LIVE Database setup:

The Dynamics NAV System Indicator is extremely useful in preventing transactions within the incorrect environment and should be implemented 100% of the time.  This is the first thing done in all of my deployments after the databases are established.  To make this task even easier I have created a function to allow this assignment within all Companies in each Database (as the System Indicator is Company specific).

If you are not using the NAV System Indicator, you should be!  As someone who often accesses client databases for support, I implore you to either turn this feature on, or ask me for help doing so.  Preventing errant entries can be invaluable (to the extent that in my prior life as a NAV end-user, I, on more than one occasion, have been guilty of “testing” in my “live” system…by accident).

Never wonder “What database am I in?” again!

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