Azure IoT Hub and Power BI Streaming dataflows

Ok time for some serious Prototyping today. Based on the announcement stated below I had the perfect use case to finally test some of the functionality provided by Azure IoT Hub and Power BI Streaming dataflows.

Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium now available in public preview | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Some time ago I bought this cool DevKit after I had attended a Microsoft workshop in Munich.

An all-in-one IoT kit built for the cloud (

The walkthrough in this article is very precise.

Connect an MXCHIP AZ3166 to Azure IoT Hub quickstart | Microsoft Docs

I was able to successfully install all the required software on my local machine. Same is true for the Azure part and so I ended up with this – A piece of hardware sending real time data to my Azure IotT Hub. How cool is that.

The Power BI part was the last thing to do. Again, I followed this well written article.

Streaming dataflows (preview) – Power BI | Microsoft Docs

Et voila I ended up with data which went all the way from my local machine to Azure from there to Power BI and back to my local Power BI Designer. I am still very impressed with the result. For me it was so much fun to glue all this stuff together. This really made me smile for the rest of the day.

Back on track – my learning journey

The first half year was very challenging for me. After a as always to short vacation I’m ready to start learning again.

Today I took another Fundamentals exam. Some questions are pretty basic some not. Nevertheless I like to take such exams mainly to get a feeling what is expected from new candidates in a certain field.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals – Credly

Apart from that I will spend 3 days to refresh my DAX skills. I will attend the Mastering DAX Workshop offered by I know some of their video courses and the are brilliant. So I’m really looking forward to meet these experts in person.

Mastering DAX Workshop – Amsterdam – September 30-October 2, 2021 – SQLBI

Microsoft Exam DA-100

In 2018 I passed the MCSA BI Reporting exam which is no longer available.

So time to renew the Power BI part of this certification which nowadays seems to be Exam DA-100.

To pass the exam you should have spent some time with Power BI. As I’m more interested in data design, connectors and other technical stuff behind the scenes the exam was a bit of a challenge for me. Nevertheless it worked out…

Moving From C/AL to AL – Chapter 2

My programming career began a long time ago. Back then a wise guy gave me a copy of Visual Basic 6 Pro. Since then I have come a long way. Although I want to make clear that I’m neither a hardcore programmer nor a extraordinary talented geek. My goal was always to get the job done.

So after many years of programming in Visual Basic and even VBA I got in touch with Microsoft Dynamics Attain 3.60. My first impression of the C/SIDE programming environment was the feeling of a cutdown version of the Visual Basic IDE. So I felt immediately at home. And C/SIDE was very efficient for my requirements. But of course also a bit boring too. Soon I was playing with com-add-ins again and later there came .net interop. And this felt good. Besides of NAV I invested quite some time into SSIS and there I really liked the script task the most. You had the full power of the .net framework but in a simple and cut down environment. Visual Studio always seemed a bit overwhelming to me. The following years I lost a bit of my coding hunger. I was more interested in things like SQL, Database Design and later the Power Platform rise really got me excited.

Then a few years ago suddenly Microsoft NAV or BC began to change. Suddenly we had a solid three tier architecture. We were confronted with extensions V1 and V2. This got my attention but I was not totally on fire. But this has changed in the last few months.

I did spend some time with Visual Studio Code and my verdict was – Yes, I like it.

I did spend some time with AL and the new concept of extensions and yes again, I like it.

The cloud, Azure functions, the Azure Stack itself, yes once more, I like it.

Now I’m again on fire. I feel excited as there are some many new things to learn.

Sure not all I easy or straightforward. A lot of things feel much harder to achieve now with regard to the new boundaries and Microsoft’s cloud first strategy. Nevertheless I’m willing to follow this path. I like the concept of bringing different pieces of software together. Running an Azure function from NAV BC to create a word or excel file seems pretty crazy but nevertheless I like it. I almost feel young again. Is this a midlife crisis – maybe but for me it feels right and that’s what counts. You should love the work you do. And you should never loose your hunger to learn new things. So yes I’m ready for the challenge. Let the games begin.

Moving From C/AL to AL

Finally I was able to attend a two days online training in order to get a solid introduction into AL Programming.

I can highly recommend this course to any C/AL developer who want’s to get started with AL quickly.

The intend of this post is not to go into the details of this training. Rather I want to point out the my top take-aways:

1. Be prepared for the cloud (NAV BC SaaS). A lot if smart people mention this as the first rule whenever you have to make a decision.

2. Get yourself trained on the concept of Microservices as this is probably also a very good approach for extension design.

3. Learn about the Power Platform. The connection between NAV BC and the Power Platform is getting better and better. So you should at least consider using the Power Platform in certain cases.

4. Get familiar with Azure and Azure functions. My feeling is that you will need them more and more.

5. When redesigning any NAV C/AL solution in AL think not about coding challenges in the first place. Redesigning the solution is the real challenge.

6. Just because it is possible doesn’t mean you should do it.



Direct Query for Power BI (Preview)

I like this explanation very much. Alberto Ferrari is really good at describing complex topics in an entertaining way. I see a lot of potential in this feature and not just for large enterprises.
I like the idea of keeping the data in the cloud and only enriching it with new data and measures. And the new concept of chaining datatasets is also very exciting.
And this is probably the first time I’ve heard anyone talk about DirectQuery without making a disgusted face.

DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services (preview) | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

New composite models in Power BI: A milestone in Business Intelligence – SQLBI

PowerApps – Manage Azure Resources

This looks like a perfect real-world scenario for me. In the last few months I have moved a lot of my personal resources to Azure. Inspired by this article I will try to build an Azure Management Tool with PowerApps

BC Month End with Power Automate

Josh Anglesea

A month end procedure is a regular topic to be covered when implementing finance with D365 BC. Some finance systems throw a user into a defined routine but with D365 BC it’s much more simplistic. To remove the need for users to be experts wouldn’t a defined routine be useful?

Here is the goal: Create a Power Automate flow that will handle the month end procedure in BC with minimal user input. Principal thing here is that month end is routine so why not have something to cater for it. Caveat here being that job knowledge makes up for a big portion of this finance process so not all of it can be catered for. The scope is laid out in the next paragraph.

So what makes up a month end in BC and what is the scope of this procedure?:

  • User setup – change the allow from and…

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