How does Navision and Business Notification know what to notify users about and when to do it? The answer to this is that something needs to happen in Navision and something needs to happen in Business Notification.
Navision supports Business Notification by providing business entities and events. (For a more detailed explanation of how Navision supports Business Notification, click here.) A business entity is, for example, a sales order or a bill of materials (BOM). Each business entity has one or more events attached. Events for a sales order could be "Order amount more than 10,000" or "Customer credit limit exceeded." For a BOM, events could be "BOM changed" or "BOM status changed."
When something happens in Navision that causes an event (for example, a sales order is saved that has an order amount larger than 10,000), a document is sent to Business Notification. This document contains data from the business entity. For the "Order amount more than 10,000" event for a sales order this data would probably include the identification of the sales order as well as the order amount.
Business Notification will read the document and all users that have subscribed to this event on this business entity will receive a notification in the form of an e-mail message. The data in the document can be merged into the e-mail message, so the notification does not just tell the recipient that something has happened: it can inform the recipient of the e-mail message exactly what has happened.
The installation guide on the distribution CD describes what and how to install Business Notification. In brief, Business Notification consists of two major components:
The client-side Business Notification Manager (which includes the Business Notification Designer). The Business Notification Manager is installed by the Navision installer. The client-side component can be installed on multiple machines. The Navision client must be running locally before the Business Notification Manager is started.
The server-side Business Notification component is installed separately. This component runs as a service and will be set to start automatically when the operating system starts. Normally, there is only one instance of this component running, just like you normally only have one instance of the Navision database server running.
The diagram below illustrates the components:
On each client, the following are needed:
A Navision 4.0 client that connects to the Navision database server
The Business Notification client (the Manager and the Designer)
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
On the server side, the following is needed:
A Navision database server
A Business Notification server
A SQL Server
An SMTP server, or a relay to one
An Internet Information Server
The four machines shown in the diagram should be thought of as virtual servers in the sense that they do not need different, physical machines. All server-side components can run on one machine, or they can run on several machines, depending on the pre-existing setup, specific deployment requirements and so on.