Ever since Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central was launched back in 2018, Microsoft has released product updates for the ERP software on a regular twice-yearly basis.
With each update, Microsoft has incorporated the feedback of end users like yourself into new features and functionalities for Business Central, all in a continuous effort to serve your needs better.
See Our Definitive Guide To Microsoft Dynamics 365 And How Business Central Fits Within Microsoft's Suite Of Business Solutions
The 2023 Release Wave 1 update, the first of two major updates for Business Central this year, will bring significant improvements to key features and functionalities in the cloud ERP software, which will help users do even more.
These include enhancements to the intercompany features as part of improved support for users managing multiple companies, more seamless onboarding experiences, automation of regulatory tasks, and investments into the productivity of your developers and consultants, among many other improvements.
Improving the usability of Business Central remains a key focus for Microsoft, and this update will also introduce several enhancements for this purpose.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the 2023 Release 1 update for Business Central, which will be rolled out progressively from April 2023 through to September 2023.
Note: This post was originally published in April 2020, and was updated to reflect the changes that came with the latest updates from Microsoft in January 2023.
1. Enhanced User Experiences
2023 Release Wave 1 sees enhancements that boost efficiency when users work with actions and lists of records. It will also empower users to personalise the fields on a page by choosing from existing table fields, which reduces the time and effort of optimising their workspace.
Add Existing Table Fields To Optimise Your Pages
You can now add table fields to personalise your workspace without resorting to extensions. Source: Microsoft
All table fields have now been unlocked so that users like yourself can personalise your workspace by adding them to your pages, without the need for extensions. This allows customers to self-serve and reduce time to value while cutting implementation costs, freeing up developers to focus on higher-value work.
You can now do the following from the Business Central web client:
- Add fields to card pages, lists, and most other page types.
- Choose from existing fields on the source table that powers that page, including fields from table extensions.
- Drag and drop fields or columns into place, adjusting the content around them for an optimal experience.
- Apply customizations for themselves or for anyone in a specific role.
- Understand which fields are hidden on the page and which fields can be newly added from the table.
- Apply the change for themselves or for anyone in a specific role.
Using The Keyboard To Access Actions And Navigation Menu More Efficiently
Business Central now adopts key tips from Microsoft 365. Source: Microsoft
Business Central now adopts the access key feature which has long been a feature of Microsoft 365 applications, such as Excel and word, to boost efficiency for keyboard users.
When pressing the Alt key in the Business Central web client, the following features become available:
- Key tips are revealed alongside UI elements that indicate the next keystroke.
- Sequences of keystrokes can be used to navigate the user interface and activate UI elements, without leaving your current focused element.
- Actions become reachable, regardless of whether they are assigned a specific shortcut key.
- Access keys will be available for actions in the action bar and links in the navigation menu for users who experience Business Central in English.
Optimised Action Bar
Tailor the Action Bar to best suit your preferences. Source: Microsoft
First introduced in the 2022 Release Wave 2 update, the Modern Action Bar has been tweaked based on user feedback to reduce the number of clicks to reach actions that users use most often, and make relevant actions more discoverable.
It can also now be tailored to fit your needs on document lines, to give you more opportunities to work in Business Central in ways that suit you best. Choose Personalise on the Settings menu in the upper right corner, and then make your changes.
2. Modernised Financial And Operations Processes
For 2023 Release Wave 1, Microsoft continues to modernise the financial and operational processes in Business Central to give you more advanced features that help you grow your business.
Accounting Processes For Multiple Companies
When it comes to financial management, Microsoft is working to make it easier to manage accounting tasks for multiple companies in an intercompany setup. This includes improving the Intercompany Postings feature so that it’s easier to set up, get a better overview, and make the intercompany transaction processes more seamless and flexible.
Here’s how intercompany posting has been improved:
- Manage your intercompany setup on one page that includes intercompany partners, an intercompany chart of accounts, and intercompany dimensions.
- Handle bank transactions on the IC General Journals page.
- End-to-end flows are improved so that duplicated data doesn't require manual attention in the 'no-changes' cases.
- The experience when working with the intercompany inbox and outbox is smoother and Role Center cues are added to give an overview.
- IC general journals are included on the G/L Register page.
Accounting Period-end Processes And Analysis
You can add data to analytics using Statistical Accounts, in addition to dimensions. This lets you enter numerical data for general ledger (G/L) transactions that you can use for analysis.
The G/L Settlement allows you to apply G/L entries during reconciliation tasks, making it easier to get an overview of progress in the period-end process. This is especially useful for businesses with a high transaction volume.
Inventory And Warehouse Scenarios
There are now new filters available for when you're creating inventory put-away, pick and movement documents. Source: Microsoft
Microsoft continues to work on various aspects of Business Central’s inventory features. This include improving the set-up and demo data that’s provided, making the configuration of inventory features simpler, and building out warehouse and item tracking capabilities.
With 2023 Release Wave 1, Microsoft has added more filters to the Create Inventory Put-away/Pick/Mvt batch job. Now, you can filter by location, item, job task, and production line order. This lets you be more specific when you create inventory pick and put-away documents for your warehouse team.
You can also filter source document lines by date.
- Purchase orders and purchase return orders: The Planned Receipt Dateof the purchase line.
- Sales orders and sales return orders: The Shipment Dateof the sales line.
- Job usage: The Planning Dateof the job planning line.
- Outbound transfer orders: The Shipment Dateof the transfer line.
- Inbound transfer orders: The Receipt Dateof the transfer line.
- Production output: The Due Dateof the production order line.
- Production consumption: The Due Dateof the production order component line.
- Assembly consumption: The Due Dateof the assembly line.
Improvements To The Shopify Connector
The Shopify Connector will become extensible. Source: Microsoft
The Shopify Connector, which had previously been non-extensible, will become open for extensibility for specific scenarios based on feedback from customers and partners.
Returns and refunds recorded in Shopify are imported to Business Central when orders a synchronised. Source: Microsoft
Microsoft has also improved the synchronisation of data between the Shopify Connector and Business Central. Now, all returns and refunds that are recorded in Shopify Admin or Shopify POS will be imported to Business Central when you synchronise orders.
3. Investment In Modern Development Tools
Since moving Business Central entirely to Visual Studio Code in the first half of 2021, Microsoft has continued investing in modern development tools to enhance the productivity of your developers.
For the 2023 Release Wave 1 update, Microsoft continues their investment in the improvement of the Visual Studio Code experience by adding visual abstractions on top of AL code, better compiler resource management for your developers, and providing new options for AppSource publishers.
Introduction Of AL Explorer And AL Home
The AL Explorer offers a powerful tool for pro developers and technical consultants. Source: Microsoft
With 2023 Release Wave 1, Microsoft introduces the AL Explorer; a powerful tool in the hands of professional developers and technical consultants. It allows both types of users to explore, navigate, and better understand objects in extensions.
This increases the daily productivity for developers and allowing consultants to understand high-level structures of extensions so that they can specify new features, or do light troubleshooting.
AL Home offers users to keep up-to-date with the latest developments for AL Visual Studio Code. Source: Microsoft
A new AL Home startup page is also introduced with this update, and it introduces a new communication channel through which Business Central R&D can efficiently share news, best practices, upcoming events, urgent information and status, learning content, and more to all users of the AL Visual Code extension.
Improved Compiler Resource Handling And Faster Code Analysers
2023 Release Wave 1 will bring improvements to the performance of the compiler and code analyser framework, as well as optimise inefficient code analyser rules. This will eliminate reduced responsiveness and delayed results, boosting the productivity of your developers.
AppSource App Previews For ISVs
AppSource ISVs can now test and collect early feedback from select customers. Source: Microsoft
AppSource ISVs will now be able to keep new versions of their apps in preview mode when uploading them to AppSource. This will generate a link to the preview app that includes a custom “flightcode”, which publishers can then send to select customers.
This allows publishers to organise private previews of new versions of their apps with these customers, and gather early feedback from them.
4. Increased Productivity With Microsoft 365
With 2023 Release Wave 1, Microsoft builds upon the integration of Business Central with Microsoft Teams to help you achieve broader access to data across your business.
Adding Business Central cards in Teams chat is now easier than ever. Source: Microsoft
By sharing Business Central records as cards in Teams, you get added context to every conversation and enable your people to make data-drive decisions.
However, including a card in a chat message required multiple steps, slowing down the pace of communication. This update brings multiple enhancements that make this process easier than before.
- When Business Central users share a message that includes a Business Central card, the card itself now doesn't require additional sign-in prompts and simply uses the current identity signed in to Teams to also sign in to Business Central.
- Cards with a thumbnail image now consume less vertical space, allowing more surrounding content to show in the Teams chat or compose area. The card layout has been redesigned so that thumbnails are shown in a smaller size alongside fields.
- Access denied errors, such as missing permissions to a record or environment, are more seamlessly integrated into the Teams experience.
5. Improvements To The Onboarding Experience
Onboarding has been a consistent focus of Microsoft for past Release Wave updates. For 2023 Release Wave 1, the focus is on updating many standard tooltips to help users self-learn and achieve a better understanding of how to use Business Central.
New tooltips help self-learners get a grasp on using Business Central much quicker. Source: Microsoft
The content of tooltips will be updated to help ensure that you can complete the tasks that the fields are part of. Their look and feel has also been modernised, to make them easier to use.
The tooltips that users like yourself read most often have also been updated with improved information, and applies the new abilities to display multiple paragraphs and apply italic and bold font styles.
This makes for an improved reading experience, and is intended to make it easier for you to digest information about fields in the context of the task at hand.
6. New Governance And Administration Tools
With 2023 Release Wave 1, Microsoft will provide your administrators with additional capabilities for driving self-service and automation.
These include new settings for managing apps from the admin centre, improvements to the cloud migration page to create a better overview of the status of data migrations, the ability to include or exclude any table as part of a cloud migration, and enabling the process of transferring a Business Central environment to a different Azure AD tenant as a self-service scenario.
7. Improvements To Power Platform Integration
Last but not least, 2023 Release Wave 1 will build upon previous work to further improve the way that Business Central integrates with Microsoft Power Platform.
New Approval Workflow Experience With Power Automate Templates
Power Automate templates are now available to make workflow approval easier. Source: Microsoft
It will become easier to set up approval workflows with Power Automate, with the following options being introduced:
- Define workflows tied to a selected Business Central environment and company.
- Approve documents using mobile devices.
- Approve documents using Microsoft Teams.
- Support a chain of approvers and additional input.
More Sample Power Automate Templates And Power Apps
New sample Power Apps have been added to the samples gallery, which is accessible via GitHub, to demonstrate how to access data in Business Central as well as fufill business scenarios using Power Apps.
Several new templates for instant Power Automate flows have also been added to the flow template gallery. This makes it easier for you to start building your own automation flows, based on the samples provided within Business Central.
Questions About 2023 Release Wave 1 For Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?
The 2023 Release Wave 1 update for Business Central brings many new enhancements to the cloud ERP software, building upon the improvements already introduced in 2022.
These will improve the user experience in various ways, such as intercompany management, onboarding, compliance with regulatory requirements, and usability amongst others.
For a detailed list of changes that are coming with this update, here are the release notes for 2023 Release Wave 1 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Otherwise, if you’d like to learn more about Business Central and what it can do for your business, click the image below to learn more about the cloud-based ERP software from one of the big brand names in computing today.
Highlights Of 2022 Release Wave 1
The 2022 Release Wave 2 update, the second of two major updates for Business Central this year, will bring new features that help new and existing users achieve productive usage of the ERP software.
These included easy access to the right apps to facilitate onboarding, and improved tooltips to help end users become familiar with using Business Central effectively.
The update will also improve the usability of Business Central by making it easier to navigate its menus, and improve upon Power Automate.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the 2022 Release Wave 2 update for Business Central, which will be rolled out progressively from October 2022 through to March 2023.
Note: This post was originally published in April 2020, and was updated to reflect the changes that came with the latest updates from Microsoft in July 2022.
1. Improvements To The Onboarding Experience
Microsoft has consistently pushed out upgrades to the onboarding experience for Business Central end users in previous updates, but is especially focusing on it with the 2022 Release Wave 2 update.
These are some of the improvements to onboarding that are coming with this release;
Users Can Now Easily Access Setup Pages For New Apps
Previously, end users of Business Central found it difficult to figure out how to find the setup page of an app they had just downloaded and installed from AppSource.
Now, they can use a new action to run an app’s setup page directly from the Extensions Management page.
To enable this, the app developers must use a new app.json property to specify the setup page ID of their app, so that end users can be brought to the setup page when running the new action
Making It Easier For Users To Find Apps That Connect To Core Services
Business Central users can now easily discover and install third-party apps that connect to external business productivity services, such as banks.
This is enabled by AppSource, and it also provides an additional layer of app suggestions that allow end users like yourself to filter by category to make finding the app you need easier.
Do You Know AppSource Is The One Benefit Of Microsoft Business Central Everyone Overlooks? Find Out What It Can Do For You Here.
Ease of Installation And Setup Of New Apps
In earlier versions of Business Central, end users like yourself were first guided to initiate the installation of a new app. They were then expected to remember to go to the Extensions Management page, and find the Deployment Status subpage to find information about the installation status.
This was not user-friendly, and caused friction in the user experience. With 2022 Release Wave 2, the app installation guide has been improved to provide a smoother app installation experience.
You can now choose to wait for the installation of the app, and subsequently initiate the setup page that comes with the app.
Improved Clarity With New Field Descriptions
The field descriptions (or tooltips) in every page on Business Central serve as a first layer of self-help for end users like yourself.
With 2022 Release Wave 2, these tooltips have been improved for essential and sensitive fields to make it easier to learn how to use Business Central.
Based on analysis of how these tooltips were used in previous Release Waves, Microsoft has improved and clarified the text to make the descriptions easier to understand.
2. Updates To Most Popular Requests For Improvements By End Users
Microsoft will deliver updates based on the most popular requests for improvements by end users like yourself, with the 2022 Release Wave 2 update.
These are as follows;
Better Bank Reconciliation For Cheques
This update introduces better matching rules to improve the speed with which bank reconciliation is done; Business Central will now match cheque entries from the bank based on information from the cheque ledger.
This provides a higher degree of match confidence compared to using information only from the bank ledger.
Extended Text Functionality For VAT Clauses
An extended text feature has been implemented on VAT clauses, so that end users can enter longer text if it’s required by the country they’re operating in.
Financial Reporting Replaces Account Schedules
The account schedules capability has been renamed to Financial Reporting, to make it easier for new users to get started with Business Central.
You can search for Financial Reporting in the in-product search field, as well as links from some Home pages. Clicking on the link will take you to the Financial Reports page (which was the Overview page in previous Release Waves), where you’ll find your list of financial reports.
Account schedules will also now be known as Row Definitions, and column layouts have been renamed to Column Definitions.
New VAT Date Field On Document And Entries
To meet requirements in certain countries, end users can now opt to report VAT statements and returns based on the new VAT Date instead of the Posting Date.
Reverse Payment Reconciliation Journal Entries
On the Payment Reconciliation Journal page, you can now set up the journal to use a specific number series. This makes it easier for you to identify any entries that were posted through the journal.
You can also reverse any entries that were posted through the Payment Reconciliation Journal from the G/: Register page.
Using Multiple Remit-to Addresses For Vendors
You can now set up multiple mailing addresses for each of your vendors, making it easier to choose the correct location to send payments to your vendors on an invoice-by-invoice basis.
This increases your flexibility and options when paying invoices from your vendors, who may be operating out of multiple locations.
3. Increased Productivity With Microsoft 365
With 2022 Release Wave 2, Microsoft gives your administrators more control over OneDrive and Excel, while your end users benefit from enhancements to report layouts and how they can edit data in Excel.
Configuring OneDrive Integration
Configure OneDrive integration; Source: Microsoft (2022)
Your administrators can access the OneDrive Setup guide in Business Central, to specify which capabilities can connect to OneDrive for Business.
They can choose between enabling one, both, or none of the system and application integrations to OneDrive. If you’re using Business Central on-premises, the setup guide will also include configuring the connection to OneDrive.
The setup guide can also detect if your Business Central environment has been set up to use the legacy OneDrive or SharePoint integration, and help you switch to the newer OneDrive integration.
As part of this change, Microsoft has also announced the depreciation of the legacy SharePoint connector Setup page, as well as SharePoint integration capabilities.
OneDrive For Business Can Enhance Collaboration In Your Business. Find Out How Here
Editing In Excel Enabled For Delegated Administrators
You can delegate administrators to be able to use the Excel add-in like any other user in the customer’s Azure Active Directory organisation.
The Edit in Excel system action opens the add-ion, although your administrators can also create new datasets in Excel directly.
This allows your administrators to provide bulk data support – such as correcting data entry mistakes, importing tables from legacy systems, and making data adjustments – that data upgrade scripts cannot accomplish.
4. Improvements To Reporting
The 2022 Release Wave 1 update introduced Excel layouts for reports. For 2022 Release Wave 2, additional improvements are scheduled for this new feature.
New Excel Report Datasets
The new report datasets introduced with this update are dedicated for Excel reporting. They are based on the following data:
- General ledger data, including budgets and global dimensions
- Customer and vendor ledger entries
Run And Send Reports From The Request Page
End users like yourself can now run a report and send it directly to the report inbox. This lets you keep working, and pick up the report from the report inbox at your leisure after it has been completed.
To do this, you can select the Send to Inbox action on the request page.
Choose The Report Layout On The Request Page
Your end users can now use a dropdown menu on the request page to choose from a list of available report layouts for a report.
This gives your business the option to retain multiple layouts for the same report dataset, and use different layouts for different purposes, especially for Excel layouts.
5. Enhanced User Experiences
Business Central users will benefit from improved usability, accessibility, performance and stability with the 2022 Release Wave 2 update, whether they connect to the ERP software through the desktop app, browser, or a mobile device.
Legacy List Views Have Been Hidden
Legacy views are list views that developers created in previous versions of Business Central, and placed on the role centre page.
Currently, these legacy views are displayed side by side with modern views directly on the list page. But beginning with the next product update (2023 Release Wave 1), Business Central will no longer support legacy views.
However, you can opt to bring forward this change with this update by enabling Legacy list views are hidden in the Feature Management page.
New UI Design Elements
The Web Client for Business Central will be updated with new UI design elements across different application pages and system controls.
More details will be available as we get closer to the launch date for 2022 Release Wave 2.
Switching Companies Across Environments
Switching companies across environments; Source: Microsoft (2022)
With 2022 Release Wave 2, Business Central will now support the organisation of multiple companies across environments.
This will make it easier for you to get an overview of the companies and environments you have access to, and to switch contexts rapidly.
Some of the new features that enable this include:
- Visual cues in the app bar to help you quickly understand which company and environment you’re working in
- A new company switcher pane that you can activate from anywhere in Business Central, either from the app bar or through a keyboard shortcut
- A search tool for companies you have access to, grouped by environment including production and sandbox environments within your organisation
- The ability to switch companies in the current browser tab, or open the selected company in a new tab
6. New Governance and Administration Tools
With 2022 Release Wave 2, Microsoft provides your administrators and IT professionals with a set of administrative and governance capabilities to help them set up, secure, manage, govern, and monitor your customer environments.
Better Communications As Administrator
Microsoft has moved to the Microsoft 365 Message Centre and Service Health Dashboard as the primary channels for communicating with administrators.
This gives them more proactive communications with 2022 Release Wave 2, with more types of communications being added to these channels.
The notification recipient feature from the Business Central admin centre will be retired as part of this change.
Increased Visibility Into Outages
Microsoft will more proactively inform business users and administrators whenever they’ve declared an outage that affects their environments.
You’ll see outage details when your sign-in attempt fails, and your administrators will see a notice in the Business Central administration centre.
Restore Deleted Environments
Sometimes, environments can be deleted by mistake. With 2022 Release Wave 2, Business Central will put environments into a soft-deleted state for 7 days after they have been deleted by a user.
During this time, administrators can restore the deleted environment in the admin centre without needing assistance from Microsoft support.
Use Service-to-service Authentication With Admin API
Microsoft will add service-to-servce (S2S) authentication for the Business Central administration centre API. This lets administrators run lifecycle operations across all environments in all Azure AD tenants in one go, without having to re-authenticate for each tenant.
7. Investment In Modern Development Tools
Since moving Business Central entirely to Visual Studio Code in the first half of 2021, Microsoft has continued investing in modern development tools to enhance the productivity of your developers.
The 2022 Release Wave 2 update continues this investment by adding visual abstractions on top of AL code for better and more efficient management of AL objects across projects and workspaces.
Promoted Action Groups And Action References
With this update, Microsoft is adding a new promoted action model to replace the old way of promoting actions by setting a property that pointed to predefined action categories.
Pages and page extensions now contain a new action group for promoted actions. You can personalise your user experience by promoting actions yourselves.
Use ByRef, XmlPort parameters in OData
Your developers can now use ByRef and XmlPort references in OData unbound actions; this was not supposed before the current release.
This helps your developers find better parity with the SOAP stack for OData, and make migration from SOAP easier.
Access Database Row Version From AL Code
Your developers and administrators can now access the rowversion data from AL code. They can then add the rowversion field to indexes, or use it to query most recent changes to the database.
Write Faster Upgrade Code
The update brings a new language construct that your developers can use to write faster upgrade code, when they want to move to a field from one table to another.
This allows your developers to copy the data from the old field to the new field in a set-based manner without the need to write a loop.
8. Improvements To Power Platform Integrations
2022 Release Wave 2 will build upon previous work to further improve the way that Business Central integrates with Microsoft Power Platform.
This includes improvements to Power BI integration, as well as the Power Automate connector and the Automate action. It connects Business Central and Power Automate with a modern toolset that empowers your developers to easily extend and connect Business Central with other systems.
New to Power Automate? Watch this 1.5 min introduction by Microsoft. Source: Power Automate
Personalise And Design The Automate Action Group In The Web Client
Business Central now adds the new Automate action group in the action bar. The actions in this group relies on personalization or designer, allowing them to be moved, promoted or hidden.
This gives your users freedom and flexibility in designing and adjusting their workspace, which is essential for productivity in the cloud.
Power Apps And Power Automate Support For Document Attachments
The new capability of the Power Automate connector allows for easy access to document attachments, related record media, and other data linked to business records.
This opens up Power Automate or Power Apps to support additional scenarios where rich external data is entered into Business Central.
Show Or Hide Power BI Parts On Lists
In previous Release Waves, whether the Power BI part was shown on lists depended on the Show/Hide Power BI Reports action on the page, as well as personalization of the page’s FactBox.
With 2022 Release Wave 2, this was removed, and the visibility of the Power BI part now wholly replies on user personalization.
Dimensions With Power BI
With 2022 Release Wave 2, the standard Power BI apps in AppSource can now demonstrate the use of dimensional data.
Questions About 2022 Release Wave 2 For Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?
The 2022 Release Wave 2 update for Business Central brings many new improvements to the ERP software, building on what was already established in the first half of 2022.
The new features and functionalities that will be rolling out with this Release Wave will enhance onboarding and user experiences, as well as Business Central’s intregration with other Microsoft products such as Office 365 and Power Automate.
For a detailed list of changes that are coming with this update, here are the release notes for 2022 Release Wave 2 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.