Getting Started with Microsoft Project "Madeira" - Part 1

Curiosity is definitely something in my DNA and with all the buzz surrounding Microsoft Project "Madeira", I thought I would take some time to walk you through getting started.

"Madeira", besides being a Portuguese archipielago in the North Atlantic ocean, happens to be an Microsoft's first attempt at a true Azure-based SaaS ERP built on the Dynamics NAV platform - for more information, read MVP Aleksandar Totovic - Project Madeira - Preview article.

Project "Madeira" is still in preview mode so you can try it out for free if you are already a Microsoft Office 365 or Azure subscriber, by going to As is customary with most Microsoft product landing pages, you get quite the enticing visual that just makes you want to click on that Try the preview button.

Project "Madeira" landing page

After clicking on the Try the preview button, you are taken to a Sign up page where you are asked for your organizational account credentials, be that the one you use to access Office 365 or Microsoft Azure.

Preview Sign Up page

Your credentials are first looked up to make sure you are already a subscriber to previous Microsoft services (Office 365, Azure). If you are you can continue with the sign in process. Assuming you are not, I am not sure what options you will be presented with, so you can chime in the comments section of this article to let me know how the process continued for you.

NOTE TO SELF: turn off Windows notifications prior to capturing screenshots.

Sign In page
Here's where things get a little "weird". After clicking the Sign In option in the previous page, the site goes through a series of validations, asking to confirm your credentials at least 3 times more that I counted. For an instance, I thought it was something related to my browser (Microsoft Edge), but turned out not to be.

Finally, I was presented with a Start page.

Start Page

Clicking on Start, took me to the Sign in page once again -- didn't I agree to sign in previously? Of course, by clicking Start you are agreeing to Microsoft's Terms and Conditions which you probably did not read anyways.

Office Online Validation page

Once I selected my account to sign in, Project "Madeira" began preparing my company's workspace and completing some setup tasks.

Project "Madeira" prep page
When the setup was completed, I was presented with a big blue screen with white letters letting me know I was in Project "Madeira"... not sure why this is necessary, but I went along with it all.

Project "Madeira" wait page

Finally, I arrived at the Welcome page. After clicking on the Get Started button, I was taken through a mini tour of where things are and what some of the navigation options are.

Project "Madeira" Welcome page - Get Started

Once all the little popups indicating where things were had gone from the screen, I was left with this beautiful desktop. Now to tell you the truth, I felt right at home with this as the layout, while based on Dynamics NAV, feels very close to that of Dynamics GP's web client.

Cronus US - Sample Company

All in all, the sign up process was pretty straight forward and predictable -- except for some of the multiple credential validation windows I had to click through. I guess, there's always room for improvement. I also have to give Microsoft credit for the uber clean user interface. If you are familiar with Dynamics GP's web client or Microsoft CRM, this should be fairly simple to navigate.

Tomorrow, I will continue with some of the functional aspects of the application by looking at the navigation bar and where to find each module and some of the traditional functions you would come to expect from an ERP application.

For other takes on Project "Madeira" check these resources out:

MVP Mark Polino - Microsoft's Project "Madeira"
MVP Aleksandar Totovic - Project Madeira - Preview
ERP Software Blog - The first 21 things we know about Microsoft Project "Madeira"

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP


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