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What To Expect From The Latest Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Update: 2022 Release Wave 2

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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 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_Microsoft

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 Environment_Microsoft 2022Switching 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.

 

 


 

Highlights Of 2022 Release Wave 1

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.

 

Take A Look At Our Definitive Cheat Sheet To The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Product Line, And Find Out How Business Central Fits Within Microsoft's Suite Of Business Solutions.

 

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.

deferrals-new-option (1) (1)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.

bcappinsights2022wave1previewsignal (1) (1)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 1 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.

 

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