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.
The 2022 Release Wave 1 update, the first of two major updates for Business Central this year, will bring new improvements to get new and existing users achieve productive usage of the ERP software more quickly than before.
These include expanding the capabilities of the Help pane to make it the go-to resource for the onboarding process, and more focus on easing navigation in menus amongst other enhnacements.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the 2022 Release Wave 1 update for Business Central, which will be rolled out progressively from April to September 2022.
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 2022.
1. Updates To Most Popular Requests For Improvement By End Users
2022 Release Wave 1 will see Microsoft deliver improvements to several features of Business Central, based on feedback by end users such as yourself.
These enhancements will centre mainly on the ERP software’s finance and supply chain capabilities. One such improvement will be to the deferrals functionality of Business Central, which gives your accountants more control over when your personnel gets to post deferrals for revenues and expenses.
Overview of Deferral Schedule Feature; Source: Microsoft
With the update, you can now define periods during which deferrals can be posted for specific users on the G/L Setup Page. Your end users will also be able to enter dates in the Allow Deferral Posting From and Allow Deferral Posting To fields in their User Page.
Another highly-requested enhancement that will come in 2022 Release Wave 1 is the ability to set default dimensions for a location on the Location Card page. You’ll be able to do this by choosing Location, and then Dimensions.
After this, when you specify the aforementioned on a line, it will automatically copy the location’s default dimensions to your journals and documents, greatly automating the process and minimising the risk of manual data entry errors.
The 2022 Release Wave 1 update will also bring several improvements to the supply chain capabilities of Business Central. A prominent new feature is the addition of support for inventory pick and warehouse pick operations for jobs, with the addition of the Require Pick field on the Location Card page.
This ensures that you can ensure an effective flow through your warehouses, as well as organise and maintain your inventory through Business Central.
2. Providing A Seamless Service To End Users
Every small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) expects a dependable service and platform that they can trust to run their business on, regardless of the industry they operate in. To that effect, Microsoft always strive to improve the performance of Business Central with every Release Wave.
For the 2022 Release Wave 1 update, Microsoft introduces Dynamics Management Views (DMVx), which are in-client pages which your developers and administrators can use to obtain insights into the performance of your business’s database.
Business Central will also make a subset of these DMVs available as virtual tables, which allows you to access your business data using AL code.
Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) of underlying Business Central database; Source: demiliani
In addition, Business Central will log more events into partner telemetry with the updates, such as database deadlocks, error dialogues, and even the act of enabling detailed telemetry.
This helps your partners or support employees get insights into which AL code paths caused database deadlocks and error situations, and makes troubleshooting much easier.
3. Improved Integration With Microsoft 365
Building upon the improvements from the previous product update, Microsoft is introducing enhancements to the efficiency of collaborative business processes in Microsoft Teams, along with improvements to the Excel and Outlook add-ins for Business Central.
When a link from the Web Client for Business Central is shared to Microsoft Teams (through either the Share feature or by copying and pasting a hyperlink), Teams will automatically display a preview of the link as a compact card.
In addition, cards in Teams will be enhanced as follows:
- The details window now shows more fields and actions at once by occupying more space on the screen.
- You can now open the full Business Central experience from the Details
As for the Outlook add-in for Business Central, it will now offer you the option of copying email attachments to the record displayed in the add-in.
This enables Business Central to help you save time, by quickly connecting these email attachments to the business record they relate to without having to leave Outlook.
4. Investments 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 1 update introduces AL-Go for GitHub to Business Central. Your partners will be able to set up continuous integration and continuous delivery (CD/CI) without the need for prior knowledge of pipelines, Docker, or Powershell.
Other development tools that this update will introduce to Business Central include an in-client AL performance profiler to help your developers capture user flow from, and view high-level information about time spent in the Web Client.
These, and other investments, should make the AL language even stronger than before, and provider your developers with a better experience.
5. Improvements To Power Platform Integration
2022 Release Wave 1 will see improvements in the Power Automate capabilities of Business Central, which will make it easier to set up workflows for the specific needs of your business.
These include the following enhancements to the Power Automate and Power Apps connector:
- Support for finding data, filtering, and sorting
- Support for adding related records (data from both header and lines of document)
- Improved reliability
- Potential removal of the Preview
With this, it will be much easier for your end users to use Power Automate, Power Apps and Power BI with Business Central, enabling them to be more productive and self-sufficient with the Power Platform on the ERP software.
6. Improvements To The Onboarding Experience
Onboarding has been a consistent focus of Microsoft for past Release Wave updates. For 2022 Release Wave 1, the focus is on providing people-centric experience to make onboarding for new users to Business Central even easier than ever.
This will be delivered by means of the new and modern Help pane, similar to the experience in other products by Microsoft. It will now serve context-aware links to guidance and learning. This will help flatten the learning curve for new users to the ERP software.
2022 Release Wave 1 will also expand a guided tour with more steps to highlight where new users can find settings and options for personalization in the Settings menu, and also adds a Role Explorer tour to show users how to navigate the Role Centre.
Questions About 2022 Release Wave 1 For Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?
The 2022 Release Wave 2 product update for Business Central introduces new enhancements and improvements that build on what was already implemented in the second half of 2021.
The new features and functionalities slated to be introduced with this Release Wave are focused on making the user experience much smoother for new and experienced end users alike, and improve productivity levels accordingly.
For a detailed list of changes that are coming with this update, here are the release notes for 2022 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 2021 Release Wave 2
The 2021 Release Wave 2 update, the second of two major updates for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for this year, will bring to the table several new features that will be released in stages over six months, from October 2021 to March 2022.
For this release, Microsoft is investing in further capabilities that help customers like yourself- whether you’re a new or existing customer of the ERP software – achieve productive usage as quickly as possible.
Further investment is also being made in integrating Business Central with other components of the Microsoft 365 suite, including Excel and Microsoft Teams.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights that the 2021 Release Wave 2 update will bring to end users of Business Central like yourself over the next six months, starting from October 2021.
1. Improvements To Bank And Payment Reconciliation
The 2021 Release Wave 2 product update for Business Central will delvier new features that were most popularly requested by end users of the ERP software like yourself, including further enhancements to features that assist with onboarding new users in your organisation.
Bank and payment reconciliation features have been improved to assist end users like yourself better, and provide you with more information in the process. For one, the Payment Reconciliation Journal has been improved with the following capabilities:
- Separate number series.
- Posting preview.
- Ability to reverse the G/L register posted through the Payment Reconciliation Journal.
The Bank Reconciliation page has also been enhanced with the following capabilities:
- Bank ledger entries are now filtered so only ledger entries after the statement's ending date are displayed, making it simpler to get an overview.
- The layout of the test report has been cleaned up, making it simpler to read. The report will also use the statement date as a filter for the G/L account as well as the bank account, so that the focus is on the period being reconciled.
- When applying auto-matching, you can decide to not overwrite any of the already matched entries, or to overwrite all.
- Many-to-one matching is now possible so many bank statement lines can be matched against one bank ledger entry. This will support scenarios such as a bank statement splitting up sales into payment methods for which you only posted one bank ledger entry.
- When you transfer differences to be posted in a general journal, the entries will be auto-matched when you return to the bank reconciliation, reducing the redundant manual step.
2. Improvements To Customisation Of Various Pages In Business Central
Every business and end user needs different types of information to effectively carry out their business processes. This means that being able to drag fields or columns from a list to certain pages in Business Central is a powerful tool for tailoring these pages such that you get the information you need.
In 2021 Release Wave 2, Microsoft has included additional fields and columns to choose from on multiple pages in Business Central. These include:
The Balance at Date and Balance at Date (LCY) columns in the Bank Accounts page.
The External Document No. column to the General Journals and Recurring General Journals pages.
And the Transfer Order Receipt and Shipment Quantities fields to the Item Card page, just to name a few of many new fields and columns that you’ll be able to find in various pages within Business Central.
3. Improvements To The Onboarding Experience
In the previous update, Microsoft introduced educational tours that you could use to guide your end users through the use of Business Central. However, these tours were limited to pages and controls that are defined by the AL language.
With the 2021 Release Wave 2 update, Microsoft has expanded the use of these tours so that can also include teaching tips that are defined by the platform to call out system controls, such as the top navigation bar and sorting and filtering controls.
In addition, these tours can provide your end users an introduction to and better understanding of the home page as a concept, and allow them to learn the basics of Business Central’s user interface.
4. Improved Integration With Microsoft 365
Building upon the integrations introduced in the previous product update, Microsoft is introducing the following improvements to the Business Central app for Microsoft Teams in the 2021 Release Wave 2 update:
- New sign-up experience for users who are installing the app but don't have a Business Central subscription. Users will be redirected to a page where they can read about and sign up for a trial subscription.
- Improved search term capabilities, like multiple word search and special characters, for looking up contacts.
The web client for Business Central will also include a new action to share a record link to Microsoft Teams. This allows you to type a message, choose recipients such as team members, groups or channels, and send your message with a link to the record stored in Business Central.
The new product update will also include enhancements to working with the Excel add-in for Business Central. For example, you will be able to export lists that are embedded in a part on a page to Excel.
The Open in Excel action downloads a static copy of your list as an Excel file, applying your filters and sort order just as shown on screen.
You’ll also be able to export report data to Excel from a report request page. The Excel file generated will only include the raw data, but not the report layout.
You can enable either of the Excel-related enhancements ahead of time in the current Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1 build. Both will be automatically enabled on all environments, starting with the release of the 2021 Release Wave 2 product update.
5. Improvements To The Web Client
The 2021 Release Wave 2 update will include enhancements to the Business Central web client based on feedback from Microsoft’s numerous community channels, to improve performance and usability.
These include various performance optimisations that benefit the Business Central client, as well as other clients – resulting in quicker-loading pages, more efficient resource usage on client devices, and other improvements.
Another enhancement specifically for Business Central Online will make it such that when vertical screen space is reduced, the header along the top of the client will automatically resize to a compact, 8-pixel height. This frees up more space in the client for data on the screen, and improves the usability of the client in general.
The Role Explorer window will also feature new, easy-to-discover actions that let you filter Role Explorer to show only reports, or only administration areas. You’ll be able to switch back in order to get an overview of all pages again.
This feature will work seamlessly whether you’re exploring only your role or all roles, using the Find option, or expanding and collapsing content in the window.
Questions About 2021 Release Wave 2 For Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?
The 2021 Release Wave 2 update for Business Central brings to the table various enhancements that have long been requested by end users of the ERP software.
These improvements can be seen in Business Central across the board, covering features and functionalities from financial reconciliation and report customisation, to onboarding and further integration with Microsoft 365.
For a detailed list of the changes that are coming with this latest update, here are the release notes on the 2021 Release Wave 2 update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
If you’d like to know 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.