NAVCore Live Links Control Add-in

The Live Links control is an add-in for enhancing NAV's Record Links, supporting on premise versions of NAV 2015 and up. It comes with a built-in tool to allow you to easily add or remove it from any page that support links in NAV.

With this control:
  • You can drag and drop files from the Windows File Explorer or Outlook directly into NAV.
  • You can instantly preview popular document types such as Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, Open Office Documents, Images, etc.
  • You can manually or automatically convert popular document types to PDF, even Outlook MSG & EML files.
  • You can merge multiple document types to PDF, including Outlook MSG & EML files.
  • You can print or export reports and related attachments together.
  • Outlook message attachments and ZIP file contents are automatically extracted for you.
  • Files are copied to a temporary workspace so you can modify, convert, merge without having to worry about the originals. Chosen files are saved to a predefined path that you can dynamically set based on page content while the rest are discarded.
Initial Setup

Before using the control, it must have some basic configurations setup.
Open the configuration window by selecting the "Show Configuration" from the Setup menu on the control.

Aside from the Global Control Settings, the configuration settings are tied specifically to the page you're on. To save time use the "Copy Configuration" option to copy applicable values from other, configured pages. All settings from the Global and Company configuration sets, including Page Fields (if it exists), will be copied over.

Show Configuration Zoom In
The options on this page are divided into 2 different areas, Page and Global Control Settings.
The Page Settings are further divided into 3 different Configuration Sets:
  • Global
    Applies to everyone and is the only set that will display all page fields, regardless of visibility.
  • Company
    Applies to everyone within the company. This setting is optional and will only display page fields that are chosen (Visible is checked) from the Global setting. Any changes here will override the Global setting.
  • User
    Applies to the current user only and will override both the Global and Company settings, however, it does have some limitations. Users cannot set or change the Save to Path or Report Selections, these settings are derived from the Global or Company setting. Similar to the Company, only chosen fields from the Global settings are listed under the page fields.
Page Fields

This section will list all the fields from the page's source table when the Global Configuration Set is chosen, otherwise, it will only list the chosen fields from the Global Configuration Set. Choose the fields you want to be Visible to the user when the document viewer is shown. If Editable is checked, the user can update the field's content directly from the document viewer.

NOTE: Only the Global and Company Set can modify the Editable option.

File / Link

This field is optional and by default, will use the file's name as the description but you can override it with a value formulated from the filename, current date, and page fields that has the Visible setting checked.

Save to Path
When files are dragged and dropped onto the control, they're copied to a temporary workspace. When the document viewer is shown, you will have the option to click Save, whereby, only the selected files are copied to this path. If the document viewer is not shown, all files that were added will be saved to this path. If the path does not exist, it will be created. If a file with the same name already exists in the path, the new file will have a number appended, in numerical order, to make it unique but the description will remain the same.
For Local Networks, we recommend that you use a shared network path that all authorized users have access to.
We also recommend that you use a UNC path, such as \\shares\folder as opposed to mapped drives like S:\folder. This will help prevent errors for users who have different drive mappings or don't have mapped drives.
PDF Conversion

Here, you can set the default page size and margins of documents that are converted to PDF. Please note that this does not apply to the Snapshot, which is defined in the report itself.

Page Size
Select from a list of page sizes to convert the document to.
This value is in inches and applies to all margins of the page.
Auto convert supported file types to PDF
If this option is checked, when files are dropped, the control will attempt to convert all supported file types to PDF.
The supported file types/extensions are: DOC, DOCM, DOCX, DOT, DOTM, DOTX, EPUB, ODT, RTF, TXT, XML, EML, MSG, HTML, XLS, XLSX, EMF, WMF, BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, TIF, TIFF
Auto convert email to PDF
If this option is checked, when emails from Outlook are dropped, the control will attempt to convert the message to PDF.
NOTE: This will convert the message itself to PDF but not its attachments. If the message contain attachments, they will be listed separately and the conversion is handled by the "file types" option.

This gives you the option to create a PDF report snapshot of the record for historical reference. This is especially useful given the way records are converted from, for example, a Sales Order to a Sales Invoice as opposed to having 2 records for checks and balance, or for historical comparison.

Report Selection
This sets the report to use when creating a snapshot. It is also used for selecting the email body, when sending emails. If the selection has multiple report associations, it will result in multiple snapshots but a count of the snapshots will be appended to help differentiate.
Report Override
We recommend that you use the Report Selection feature to set the report, however, if you need the Snapshot to be from a specific Report ID, you can enter that value here and it will override the report that's defined by the selection.
The report Output Filename is an optional field that allows you to predefine a name for the output. If this is not set, the control will attempt to give it a name based on the record's key values.

To use the snapshot feature, just click on the control's Snap menu option and the report will be automatically generated and added as a link. You can take as many snapshots as you need.

Optionally set the email address to use as the From address. Please note, the support for this option depends on your organization's email setup.
Email To
Choose from Customer, Vendor, or Address.
  • When choosing Customer or Vendor, you'll have the option to choose the corresponding field in the record, that points to the Customer or Vendor to retrieve the email address from.
  • When choosing Address, enter a fixed email address you want the email to go to.
CC and BCC
This is a fixed email address that's the same as the CC / BCC in an email.
By default, the page's key values will be used for the subject but you can override it with a fixed or formulated value.
Always Attach
This is an optional attachment that will always be attached to the email. It is useful for attaching terms or similar documents to all outgoing emails.
Global Control Settings

Unlike the other settings, which is specific to each page, the settings in this area are applicable to all pages that contain the Live Links control.

  • FactBox Preferred Height
    Use this setting to set the height of the control.
  • Show document viewer when adding new documents
    When checked, each time a document is added, the document viewer will automatically show to allow users to review, verify, and optionally select the documents to save. This is especially useful when attaching multiple documents from zip or email attachments.
    NOTE: This option is available only under the Professional and Enterprise editions.
    In order to merge documents into a single PDF, this option will need to be checked.
  • Try printing with PDF converter first, then default application
    When checked, the control will attempt to print attachments by using the PDF converter first, if it can't then it will try using the default application for the document type, where applicable. When using the default application to print, the application may load and show up in the background. To improve performance, you may want to try checking this option.
    NOTE: This option is available only under the Basic, Professional, and Enterprise editions.
  • Enable support error logging
    When checked, errors will be logged to a text file that can be easily forwarded to your internal IT Support department or NAVCore's Help Desk for resolution. Regardless if checked or not, errors are always logged under the Windows Event Logs.
Storage Technology
  • Local Network or Drives
    Save files to the local network drives. This option requires that the user must have read/write access to the network path or read-only access if using the server context to save files, which means the account that the NAV Service Tier uses must have read/write access to the network path.
  • SharePoint
    Save files to SharePoint using a secure username and password. With this option, the NAV user doesn't necessarily need read nor write access, unless they want to open the link directly. The built-in document viewer will provide the mechanism needed for accessing the document.
  • Azure
    Save files to Azure File Service folders using a connection string, which provides all the necessary information. With this option, the NAV user doesn't necessarily need read nor write access, unless they want to open the link directly. The built-in document viewer will provide the mechanism needed for accessing the document.
NOTE: The document viewer is available only under the Professional and Enterprise editions.
Configuration Zoom In
Formula Wizard

Use the Formula Wizard to formulate a value for the associated text box.

Choose from the following options
  • Date
    Use this to add the current date. If you don't see the format that you need, then choose individual formats to combine and create the equivalent.
  • File
    Use this to add values related to the file, such as filename, extension, counts, etc.
  • Field Value
    Use this to add values from existing fields on the record.
    Note: This list is drawn from the Page Fields that has the Visible option checked.

The folder icon is visible only when applicable.

Formula Wizard Zoom In
Document Prefixes

Use the Document Prefixes to help determine file contents without having to open it. It can also be used for automatically selecting files during the Export and Printing process.

You can set the document prefix either from the document viewer or from the Set Document Prefix, context menu. When chosen, it will merely add a prefix, using the values you've defined, to the document's description field.

You can manage the document prefixes by choosing the "Document Prefixes" menu option from the Setup menu.

Choose from the following Levels
  • Global
    Available to everyone.
  • Company
    Available to everyone within the company only.
Document Prefixes Zoom In
Document Viewer
The Live Links control comes with a built-in viewer that supports many popular document types. If the file type is supported, the viewer will load and display it. Depending on the storage technology setting, when the Local Network or Drives is chosen, the files will be loaded directly from the path, else, the files will be downloaded to a temporary folder for the viewer to access and discarded when the viewer is closed.
Note: The document viewer will display only for the Professional or Enterprise editions.
Adding Documents

There are two ways you can add documents to the control.
#1 Drag and drop a file from File Explorer or Outlook onto any area of the control or the viewer, when it's being displayed.
#2 Click on the Add menu option, browse for and select the file.

Page Fields

This area will list the fields that were selected from the configuration. Based on the Editable checkbox, users may or may not be able to edit the field's content. In addition, the page must support the Edit option. The ability to set page field values directly from the viewer is especially useful for recording external document numbers, information, etc., while viewing the document.

Temporary Workspace

Files that are initially added or dropped onto the control are copied to a temporary workspace for you to review prior to accepting. If you need to edit the document, click on the open with button to open it in the default application used by your device. After making and saving your changes, close the application, switch back to the viewer and click the Reload Document button, which replaced the Open with button, and your document will be reloaded for your review. You do not have to worry about the originals since you're working with a temporary copy.

You can convert documents to PDF by clicking on the PDF button. All the checked documents will be converted, if the document type is supported.

You can also merge the documents into a single PDF. Each document that is checked will be given a number. The documents will be merged in this order, if needed, you can change the order by directly modifying this value. The documents do not need to be in PDF format in order to merge, however, conversion must be supported for the document type.

All documents that are in the temporary workspace will be checked by default. Review each document as needed and uncheck items you do not wish to keep. Once you are satisfied, click on the Save button and each checked item will be copied to the folder defined by the "Save to Path" under the page's configuration and a link to the item will be created under the Links list. Items that are not checked will be discarded.

Adding Documents Zoom In
Context Menu

Instead of having to scroll back and forth to see related information about the document, which you may not always need, we chose to leave those information under a context menu instead. This way, we can give you more information about the document, without cluttering your display. This also gave us the ability to pack even more functionality for managing or working with the documents.

The context menu gives you all related information about the document and additional actions. Click anywhere on the description to bring up the menu. Each menu item performs a specific action, grayed-out text are informational only.

Context Menu Zoom In
Deleting a Link

Unlike the standard link deletion operation, which only deletes the link, this operation will also delete the corresponding file, to keep your files and links in sync. In addition, only the original user who added the document or users with the "NAVCORE-USER-ADV" permission set, may delete the link, which provides an extra level of security to protect documents from being accidentally deleted by novice users.

ConfirmDelete Zoom In
Email reports as PDF, including linked documents.
NOTE: NAV 2016 and 2017 can only attach 1 document at a time. When more than 1 document exists, the files will be merged into a single ZIP file, for emailing.

NAV 2018: This version supports attaching up to 5 documents. When more than 5 document exists, the files will be merged into a single ZIP file, for emailing. Please note, as of this writing, there's also a bug, that will allow sending up to 5 documents when sending via SMTP but not when sending via Outlook. Please see our tutorial on how to fix this bug, or download the fix in the form of a fob file. Customers who do not have the object modification license should download the fob file instead.
  • Selected Document
    When this option is chosen, the document that's currently selected in the parent page will be selected.
  • All Documents
    When this option is chosen, the listed documents will be selected.
  • Document Prefixes
    When this option is chosen, only the documents that have the corresponding document prefix, that's checked, will be selected.
  • Merge and append output as a single PDF.
    When checked, all outputs will be merged into a single PDF (if document format is supported), before being attached to the email. This option is especially useful for NAV 2016 and 2017, where only 1 attachment per email is supported.
  • Report Only
    Visible only when there's a report association. Click this to email the report only.
  • Report and Links
    Visible only when there's a report association. Click this to email the report and the selected links.
  • Links Only
    Click this to email the selected links only.
Email Zoom In

Export reports directly to PDF, including linked documents to a folder you specify. Automatically choose documents by the Document Prefixes or All Documents. Your choices will be remembered the next time you export.

  • Clear contents of export folder before exporting
    As the setting implies, when exporting and this option is checked, the contents of the chosen folder will be deleted, therefore, you must be extra careful in choosing your export folder.
  • Merge and append exported links
    When checked, everything that gets exported will be merged into a single PDF output. Depending on the options chosen, the order in which the output is merged is report then links, in no particular order.
  • Report Only
    Visible only when there's a report association. Click this to export the report only.
  • Report and Links
    Visible only when there's a report association. Click this to export the report and the selected links.
  • Links Only
    Click this to export the selected links only.
Export Zoom In

Send reports and linked documents to the same or different printers at the same time. Automatically choose documents by the Document Prefixes or All Documents. Your choices will be remembered the next time you print.

Do you have a need to print reports, such as Invoices, on colored paper, and attachments or supporting documents on white papers? If so, you can take advantage of this control's unique dual printing feature to print everything at once. Even better, if you have a printer that supports printing from multiple trays, then setup 2 separate printers on your computer, pointing to the same printer, but each with its own preference. Set 1 to print from the manual feed tray and load the specific color paper in that tray. Set the other to print from the automatic feed tray and load the other color papers. Specify which printer the report should print to and which the Links (Documents) should print to. When you print from this control, while everything is being sent to the same printer, because of the difference in preference, you can now print everything on the same printer but with different color paper outputs.

  • Report Only
    Visible only when there's a report association. Click this to print the report only.
  • Report and Links
    Visible only when there's a report association. Click this to print the report and the selected links.
  • Links Only
    Click this to print the selected links only.
Print Zoom In
Page Manager

Use this tool to easily add or remove the add-in from pages in NAV. To run, simply run the "NAVCore Live Links FactBox" page directly from the NAV Development Environment. When the page runs, you'll be presented with a Live Links button. Click on the button to open this tool.

  • Backup Folder
    For your protection, choose a secure folder where the object can be exported and saved, in case you ever need to restore it to its original state.
  • Database Name
    This value is automatically populated based on the database that's opened by the development environment.
  • Database Server
    To obtain this value, go to the development environment and choose the menu option File > Database > Information.
  • finsql.exe
    This is the NAV Development environment executable. This is needed for exporting and importing the object after it's been modified.
  • Add FactBox
    Click this button to add the add-in to the selected page. Note:This operation will generate a text export of the selected page under the Backup Folder.
  • Remove FactBox
    Click this button to remove the add-in from the selected page.
    Note: This will remove the add-in but leave other modifications intact. Use this option if you've made modifications to the page after the add-in has been added, in order to retain your modifications.
  • Restore Original
    Click this button to restore the page to its original form.
    Note: This relies on the export generated by the Add FactBox function, therefore, it's available only if the function was used when adding the add-in and the original backup file exists.

    Important: This operation cannot be undone. Only use it if you're absolutely certain there were no modifications after the FactBox was added.
Page Manager Zoom In
Installation Steps
  • Step 1. Download the Control Add-in Objects
    Download the edition that matches your NAV version, and the Object ID range that's not being used in your system. Please select only 1 Object ID range; it must be the same for the Table, Page, and Report.
  • Step 2. Importing NAVCore Objects
    Run the NAV Development Environment and initiate an Import.
    IMPORTANT: Never delete existing objects. If upgrading, when prompted, use the default option chosen by NAV, which is to merge with the existing Table while replacing the Page and Report objects.
    Step 1
    Step 1-2
    Step 1-2-2
    Step 1-3
    Step 1-4
    Step 1-5
  • Step 3. Run the NAVCore Live Links Install to add the Control Add-in into NAV.
    NOTE: The FactBox page must be in compiled state before you can run it. If not, you must manually copy the contents of the installation zip file to the proper Add-in folder before you can compile and run it. The table and report object does not require the zip contents but will need to be in compiled state before you can run it.
    Step 2
    When prompted, click Yes.
    Step 2-2
    Browse to and select the file.
    Step 2-3
    If installation succeeds, you should see this.
    Step 2-4
  • Step 4. Run the NAVCore Live Links FactBox.
    The first time you run this, NAV will look for the Control Add-in objects on the client PC and if it doesn't find it, NAV will copy the contents of the to the appropriate folder.

    If everything succeeds, you should see this, which indicates the control was successfully installed. Click the Live Links button to open the Page Manager. Add the control to the pages you desire.
    Step 2-5