Whether you are a current Dynamics 365 Business Central user or looking to see what’s new in the platform on your journey to familiar and functional small business ERP, we are excited to share with you some of the enhancements introduced in the April 2019 release of the application.
In our last blog on the topic, we discussed how Dynamics 365 is changing the way companies receive updates, resulting in something we call “evergreen ERP.” Rather than seemingly random updates and limited support schedules, Dynamics 365 remains new no matter how long you use it. As Microsoft has made changes to the update schedule, the company has officially moved to twice-yearly releases in April and September.
Twice-yearly releases allow for more well-planned and feature-rich improvements, with the April 2019 update bringing the following improvements:
Business User Improvements
Business users in need of productivity have received a wide range of improvements, ranging from application enhancements to easier search and navigation, more keyboard shortcuts, and more.
One of the biggest areas of improvement is to the application itself, including the following:
- Longer Names and Descriptions: You can now enter up to 100 characters in all Descriptionand Name fields across Business Central.
- Better Structure for Inventory Counting: The Physical Inventory Orderand Physical Inventory Recording pages increase productivity and address gaps in the existing functionality.
- Add Multiple Items to a Sales or Purchase Document: You can now select multiple items at once from the items list to add to sales or purchase documents. On any sales or purchase document, choose the Select Itemsline action.
- Sales Quote Validity Policy: You can now set date formula in the Quote Validity Calculationfield on the Sales & Receivables Setup page that will be used to calculate the Quote Valid Until Date field on sales quotes.
- Skip Prompt to Create Item: When you enter an item that does not exist on a document line, you are prompted to either create a new item card or select an existing item. In some cases, such as when importing many new items, this prompt blocks the process. You now have the option to skip the prompt.
- Copy Customer Dimensions to Jobs Created for Customer: When a job is created and a customer is assigned to the job, default dimension values from the customer are copied to the job.
- Customer, Vendor, and Item Templates: You can now copy existing data templates when you create new ones.
- Merge Duplicate Customers, Vendors, Contacts: When a duplicate customer, vendor, or contact record is created by mistake, you can now merge such duplicate records to a single record, given that you have the MERGE DUPLICATES permission set.
- SWIFT Code Lookup: You can now keep a list of SWIFT codes for banks that you work with and use it on pages where you use bank accounts.
- Ensure Approval Users are Set Up to Run Approval Workflows: A check is added to ensure that the user is set up on the Approval Userspage before they can initiate an approval workflow.
- Schedule Background Jobs Using a Date Formula: You can now schedule background jobs or reports by defining a date formula, meaning a relative date, instead of defining a fixed day.
- Set Default Ship to Address: Customers can have multiple addresses but they usually have a central warehouse that goods must be shipped to. You can now define a customer’s default ship-to address in the Ship-to Codefield on the customer card.
- Change Descriptions on G/L Entries: If you entered the wrong description during posting or if you just need to change a description on an earlier G/L entry, you can now edit the Descriptionfield on the General Ledger Entries page to overwrite the original posting description.
There are a wide range of additional enhancements and features in the April 2019 update, all of which you can view here.
Developers have a new, simple and intuitive model to build custom list views in Visual Studio Code for the modern clients. Not only does it empower developers to create alternate views of a list with each their own custom column layout, but the new views also overcome most of the shortcomings with the earlier model.
Accelerate repetitive entry of records with the powerful Quick Entry feature for the desktop browser and Windows desktop app. Quick Entry is a powerful and simple feature that provides an alternate path through editable fields on a page. It changes the behavior of the Enter key to be different from the Tab key, moving the focus to the next Quick Entry field across the page and skipping over non-essential fields.
Improved All-Product Navigation
Finding the features in the product easily is essential for all users. So is getting an overview of what’s in the product. For the April ’19 update, Microsoft is making it easier to find functionality by providing a full overview of features in the product based on the content of RoleCenters. This makes it much easier for our customers to navigate and find the right features in the product while also giving an overview of RoleCenters and their content. As a supplement to using the current RoleCenters navigation bar, the command bar, or Tell-Me searches, this new overview brings the actions or modules you need and use closer to you so that you can stay focused and productive.
- Focus Mode
- Notes and Links
- New Keyboard Shortcuts
- AutoSave Indicator
- Personalization Enhancements
In addition to the improvements for business users, administrators gained a few enhancements ranging from increased customization to lifecycle management improvements.
- Business Central and D365 for Sales Integration Improvement: As an increasing number of Business Central users use Dynamics 365 for Sales, the Business Central integration with Dynamics 365 for Sales has to deliver reliable synchronization, improved sales order integration, and shared AI insights with Dynamics 365 for Sales. See more here.
- Organizational Theme: Office 365 administrators can now change the default theme of the header by specifying a company logo and background color that match company brand.
- Application Lifecycle Management Enhancements: A major improvement in the April 19 release, BC admins get a lot more flexibility, ability to preview and test, take advantage of extension management and more. See what’s new here.
- Enhancements to the Intelligent Cloud: The Intelligent cloud offers across the board enhancements for a wide range of Dynamics applications. View these improvements here.
Self-Help and Support Features
Find the information you need faster and more easily with a range of self-help and support enhancements in Dynamics 365 Business Central.
- Simplified Help and Support Experience: Users will now find links to self-help content and documentation, commonly requested troubleshooting information to self-diagnose or hand over to Support, seek advice from the community, or post new ideas. Administrators can configure a single support email address for the customer’s organization that allows any user to contact their IT administrator or supporting partner to receive support.
- Page Inspection: Troubleshooting errors in business data or feature configuration often requires an additional level of insight beyond what is shown on the page. Power users and support staff can now inspect any page (or the page parts within a page), revealing the entire contents of the current record including fields that are not shown on the page.
See more about each of these features here.
In addition to the wide range of enhancements, developers have new features available to them.
- Designer Enhancements: The Designer accompanies Visual Studio Code and is a convenient way for developers to test and rapidly adjust visual content on page objects. Developers have access to a range of tools including Designing Actions, Quick Entry, field importance, list views, and the navigation bar. See the entire list of improvements here.
- Visual Studio Code and AL: The April ’19 release focuses on preparing to move the base application and country modifications from C/AL to AL, on optimizations for working with large projects (such as the base app on AL), as well as on additional productivity features addressing feedback from internal and external developers.
- Standard Web API No Longer in Beta: The standard web API is moving out of beta. The API has been in beta while evolving based on feedback from the partner community. This release integrates final improvements and several new entities in the API as version 1.0.
Dynamics 365 Business Central Coming in April 2019
As mentioned above, Microsoft releases Business Central on a twice-yearly update schedule—April and October. These backward compatible updates ensure you are always on the latest version of the Dynamics 365 Business Central platform without breaking an integration or undoing a customization.
Dynamics 365 Business Central and ICS: Your Partners for Success
Do you need assistance from a partner that understands your business processes and can help you get Dynamics 365 to fit your business? ICS provides professional services for Dynamics 365 that include:
- Integrations & Workflows
- Custom Development
- Business Process Re-engineering