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Many of you that have installed Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 have for sure noticed that the quick filter behavior has been redesigned in this release and that is why, in this post, we will go through all the changes and the intention behind them.

 

So let’s start with a bit of history; the first version of the quick filter was released in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Windows client, where we replaced the filter window available in the development environment with a filter pane integrated on all Microsoft Dynamics NAV pages. Here the user both has the option of entering filter criteria as plain text and the ability of composing an advanced filter. If you would like to quickly search for a certain record, the recommended practice is to use the quick filter.

Let’s say, for example, that we want to find a contact in the contact list starting with “Man”. We can construct the filter by selecting the Name field and entering the text “man” in the search field.

Notice that all the contacts starting with “man” now appear in the results list. How is this working? Whatever we add to this filter will be internally translated to a string by adding ‘@’ in front and ‘*’ in the end. So our filter string ‘man’ becomes ‘@man*’ and the Windows client filters for any contact name that starts with “man” in upper or lower case.  

The following table illustrates more Quick Filter search examples in Microsoft Dynamic NAV 2013.

Search Criteria

Interpreted as…

Returns…

Man

@man*

All records that start with the string man and case insensitive.

Se

@se*

All records that start with the string se and case insensitive.

Man*

Starts with Man and case sensitive

All records that start with the string Man

‘man’

An exact string and case sensitive

All records that match man exactly

*1

Ends with 1

All records that end with 1

@*man

Ends with and case insensitive

All records that end with man

@man*

Starts with and case insensitive

All records that start with man

As part of our development process we regularly perform usability studies and some of them showed the users instinctively thought of the quick filter as a search field and that is why we decided to modify the quick filter behavior to a “contains” rather than a “starts with”. So what does this mean?

Let’s construct the same filter in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2. Notice that the search results list includes contact names which start with “Man” and even have “Man” in the middle of the name. 

What has changed? The entered filter will be translated to a string by adding ‘@*’ in front and ‘*’ in the end. So our filter string ‘man’ becomes ‘@*man*’ and the Windows client filters for any contact name that contains “man” in upper or lower case.  

To start with in the RTM version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 we have considered the simple user approach where the special characters in the filter criteria are ignored. However, in the Cumulative Update 13 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, we have refined the user experience and now respect the entered filter criteria.

The following table illustrates the Quick Filter search examples for the Cumulative Update 13 and later for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013.

Search Criteria

Interpreted as…

Returns…

Man

@*man*

All records that contain the string man and case insensitive.

Se

@*se*

All records that contain the string se and case insensitive.

Man*

Starts with Man and case sensitive

All records that start with the string Man

‘man’

An exact string and case sensitive

All records that match man exactly

*1

Ends with 1

All records that end with 1

@*man

Ends with and case insensitive

All records that end with man

@man*

Starts with and case insensitive

All records that start with man

We encourage you to check out the Cumulative Update 13 and we hope that this blog demystifies some of the behavioral differences of the quick filter across Microsoft Dynamics NAV product versions.

We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!