With the new Server Administration Tool for NAV 2013, adding a Service Tier is ridiculously easy.
In the good old Navision days, setting up multiple databases was a piece of cake. Every developer, tech support person, consultant, CFO, or resident ‘computer guy’ with just a little bit of technical skills wouldn’t break a sweat to create a new database for testing purposes, for training, or development. When NAV 2009 came out, things became a heck of a lot more difficult as the new RTC setup required you to also set up a Service Tier. Although there is a large number of blogs, forum posts and other online content available to help and guide you through this process, it remained painfully difficult and complex. In a 75 step process you better not skip crucial step number 32, which you didn’t realize until after irreversible step 58, and you had to uninstall everything, wipe clean the server, and start all the way from scratch. I don’t think it will be a surprise to hear that only the truly geeky NAV professionals enjoyed installing the service tier, and the complaints were always very loud when I listened to people at events like Convergence.
Lucky for us, the NAV team at Microsoft cares a great deal about the users, and it was very important for them to provide a set of tools that is easy to use, not just for technical people but also for admin type people. At the heart of it all is a set of PowerShell commands. These commands can be used separately in a PowerShell Session, and they can be scripted for unattended installation and scheduled maintenance purposes. For people that do not like to write “code-like” commands, there is also a new Windows Management Console snap-in for managing Server Instances. To start the Management Console, click on Start, Run, enter “MMC” and click OK. The NAV Server Management Tool can be added there.
The online help has a lot of information about the Server Administration Tool, which can be found by clicking this link.
When I needed to set up a worldwide NAV 2013 database, I decided to add this under a new Service Tier instance in my existing VM (in which I had a US database already installed), and record my progress to share with you. This video was not scripted ahead of time, I just recorded myself as I went along. It did go wrong along the way, and I had to do some troubleshooting to make it work right. See if you can find the mistake that I did not catch until after I was done editing wink. I hope that you will enjoy this video, and maybe even gather enough courage to try setting up multiple instances of the Service Tier.
First published June 4, 2012