What To Expect From The Latest Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Update: 2020 Release Wave 2

Kyle Lim
02-Oct-2020 16:59:03

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 October 2020.

Ever since its initial launch in 2018, Microsoft has been regularly releasing updates for Business Central twice a year. Each update has implemented new features and functionalities based on feedback, to expand its capabilities for Business Central users and developers.

The 2020 Release Wave 2 update, the second major update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for the year, goes live this month. It brings to the table a number of features that will be released over the next six months, from October 2020 through to March 2021.

For 2020 Release Wave 2, Microsoft is moving to deliver a world-class service that meets the demands of a rapidly-growing customer base. These include improved overall performance, optimised handling of file storage, as well as features that were most requested by Business Central users.

It also includes a deeper integration with Microsoft Teams that will further enhance the collaborative efforts of your workforce, by enabling the ability to access data from the ERP software through the collaboration platform.

 

See How You Can Enhance Collaborative Effort In Your Workforce With Microsoft Teams Here.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights that users of Business Central like yourself will get over the next six months with the 2020 Release Wave 2 update.

 

1. Improvements to Productivity Features

To build on the improvements to productivity features that came with the Wave 1 update, Microsoft has shifted its focus towards maturing the reliability and usability of its existing productivity features with the 2020 Release Wave 2 update.

For example, ensuring that the Modern Client is accessible for its users has always been a priority, and this update builds on it with various improvements to the accessibility of the client for low-vision users.

Reduced Width
Overview of Reduced Width. Source: Microsoft

These include several changes that improves the user experience for those accessing the Business Central clients with limited screen spaces, such as making the navigation menu and contextual notifications more responsive to reduced screen widths, among other feature updates.

 

2. Integration With Microsoft Teams

With the increase in the number of people working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft Teams has become a popular platform for enabling collaboration between team members in the past few months.

With 2020 Release Wave 2, Microsoft has further enhanced the functionality of the collaboration platform by enabling integration of Business Central with Microsoft Teams. Users will now be able to import data from Business Central into Teams conversations, enabling quicker decision-making as a team.

 

If You Need Some Tips On Achieving A Better Remote Working Experience With Microsoft Teams, Click Here.

 

3. Improvements to Productivity Features

Building on their initiative to add new features to Business Central by popular demand, Microsoft continues to improve on the ERP software by releasing multiple features that were requested by customers and users in the product ideas portal.

CDS Resolve Synch ConflictsData Synch Errors

Overview of CDS Resolve Synch Conflicts and Data Synch Errors. Source: Microsoft

One of the features from the portal that the 2020 Release Wave 2 Update addresses are data conflicts that occur in the Common Data Service (CDS) due to business applications exchanging data on an ongoing basis through Business Central. These CDS conflicts will now be automatically resolved based on business rules that were put in place beforehand, eliminating the need for manual intervention.

Features and functionalities which received the most feedback from users, such as email capabilities, are also being enhanced with the Wave 2 update.

 

4. Enhancements To Service Quality

Every business demands that their enterprise software offers a dependable service and platform on which they can rely on when managing their operations, no matter which industry they operate in. To that effect, Microsoft has committed to further enhancing the service quality of Business Central in 2020 Release Wave 2, building on the improvements of the previous Wave 1 update.

If you implemented Business Central through partners such as AFON, 2020 Release Wave 2 comes with improved telemetry visibility for your partners through Azure Insights, in areas such as long-running AL execution, outgoing web service requests, and web service key authentication. This increased flow of telemetry will help partners like us assist in monitoring your digital environments for performance issues, and proactively prevent them from cropping up and interfering in your business operations.

 

5. Investments in Modern Developer Tools

Having completed the move of Business Central entirely to Visual Studio Code, Microsoft continues to invest in the latest tools aimed at enhancing the productivity for developers.

For example. AppSource apps will now be able to store their secrets in the Azure Key Vault with the arrival of 2020 Release Wave 2. This gives app developers the option to create their secrets in the Azure Key Vault account created in their own subscription, which will not be accessible by any other apps installed on the same environment.

2020 Release Wave 2 also introduces the Business Central Performance Toolkit, which will help your developers track and compare the performance between the different builds of their apps, and make sure that changes in code will not negatively impact the performance of your Business Central solution.

 

6. Transitioning From Dynamics On-Premise To Business Central Online

Last but not least, Microsoft continues to encourage existing users of their on-premise ERP solutions to make the transition to the cloud-based Business Central. Building on from the Wave 1 update earlier this year, the 2020 Release Wave 2 update adds support for migration from a broader set of Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV versions.

With Wave 2, your check books and open purchase orders stored in Dynamics GP will now be migrated to Business Central, allowing you to see them in the cloud ERP software after migration, and reducing the amount of manual setup needed.

If you’re currently using Business Central on-premises 14.x or 15.x and are planning to migrate to the cloud-hosted version of Business Central, you’ll now get support for the migration process with Wave 2 as well.

 

Questions About Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central's 2020 Release Wave 2?

2020 Release Wave 2 is an update for Business Central that, in many respects, builds on the enhancements that were introduced with the Wave 1 update earlier in the year.

Along with enhancements to productivity features, developer tools and migration support, the standout highlight of the Wave 2 update is probably the integration with Microsoft Teams, which promises to further enhance collaborative efforts by enabling Teams users to import organizational data from Business Central while carrying out online work meetings.

To get a full list of the changes that the latest release brings to the table, take a look at Microsoft’s notes on the 2020 Release Wave 2 update.

Otherwise, if you’d like to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 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.

 

get my free guide now

 

Highlights of 2020 Release Wave 1

Ever since its initial launch in 2018, Microsoft has been regularly releasing updates for Business Central twice a year. Each update has implemented new features and functionalities based on feedback, to expand its capabilities for Business Central users and developers.

This time around, the 2020 Release Wave 1 update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will be going live today, 1st April 2020. Early Access to the update has been available since February.

 

 

For 2020 Release Wave 1, Microsoft will focus on meeting the demands of a growing user base for its ERP software by implementing upgrades to service fundamentals, enhancing productivity tools, and introducing some of the most-requested features by the users of Business Central.

In addition, this update also brings improvements to the migration tools that assist users of Microsoft’s on-premise ERP solutions to Business Central as well.

Let’s look at some of the highlights that the 2020 Release Wave 1 update has in store for users of Business Central like yourself.

 

1. Improvements to Business Central's Service Fundamentals

Every business demands that their enterprise software performs well in supporting their processes, works reliable, and is easily scalable with the growth of the organisation. To that effect, the 2020 Release Wave 1 is focused on enhancements to service quality and availability. You will also see the results of Microsoft’s big investment into improving the service security of Business Central.

Because partners like AFON are a crucial component of the Business Central ecosystem, this update will give partners access to telemetry visibility through Azure Insights, allowing us at AFON to monitor the performance of your Business Central software through an Application Performance Management (APM) service.

Azure Insights

To enable your Dynamics 365 Business Central tenant sending telemetry data to Application Insights, click on Enable Application Insights and insert the relative Instrumentation Key. Source: Stefano Demiliani


With this, we can be more proactive at preventing any performance issues that may be caused by web service requests and reports from happening in the first place, and keep your business operations running smoothly without a hiccup.

Microsoft has also delivered improvements to integration with the Common Data Service (CDS), which has also been heavily requested by partners. With the 2020 Release Wave 1, Business Central will now allow for the creation of CDS tables and table extensions, allowing for any custom attribute to be synchronized when you develop an extension that integrates with the CDS.

 

2. Improvements to Business Central's Productivity Features

Your end users must be able to work effectively with Business Central to realise its potential to improve the overall productivity of your business. The 2020 Release Wave 1 will bring improvements to several features that enable and promote productivity in your workforce.

The Modern Client will offer an enhanced user experience with an optimised page layout, improves the load times for complex pages, and allows advanced users to customise more of the user interface without needing to code for it.

Modern Client Features

Bookmark a link to any page in Business Central, and add the link to the navigation menu of your Home page. Source: Jatin Patel


Another improvement that the update will bring is the introduction of auto-insertion of recurring sales and purchase order lines, a functionality which has often been requested by users of Business Central. Recurring sales or purchase lines will now be automatically inserted into documents that are set up for the customer or the vendor.

If there are multiple recurring sales or purchase lines, you will be notified of such and given the choice of which line to insert into the document. Otherwise, these recurring sales/purchase lines will be inserted automatically.

Sales And Purchase LinesMultiple items selection. Source: Code the Coffee

 

3. Improvements Requested By Business Central Customers And Users

Microsoft continues to actively solicit feedback from Business Central users, and acting on them to further improve the ERP software. In addition to implementing multiple features that were chosen from the product ideas portal, other features and functionalities which have received a significant amount of feedback from users are being enhanced.

One example of this is bank reconciliation; the Bank Account Reconciliation page now comes with more space for data, giving you a better overview and understanding of the bank statement lines and the related bank account ledger entries.

It also provides a Bank Reconciliation Report which identifies both ongoing and posted bank reconciliations and statements, which helps you pinpoint if there are any missing payments or suspicious transactions caused by errors more efficiently and promptly than before.

Bank-Account-Reconciliation2

To reconcile bank accounts without simultaneously applying payments, use the global search for Bank Account Reconciliation. Source: Crestwood

 

4. Transitioning From Business Central's On-Premises To The Cloud

Microsoft has been encouraging customers of their on-premise ERP solutions – such as Microsoft Dynamics GP, SL and NAV – to transition into cloud-hosted Business Central. To that effect, 2020 Release Wave 1 delivers enhancements to several migration tools.

If you’re using on-premise Business Central and have upgraded to the 2019 Release Wave 2 update, you can migrate directly to the cloud-hosted version with the 2020 Release Wave 1 update, without having to carry out an upgrade on-premises beforehand.

If you’re using Microsoft Dynamics GP instead, Microsoft has implemented enhanced migration tools for the following;

  • Dynamics GP Chart of Accounts
  • All or only Active customer and vendor records
  • Dynamics GP Inventory data

With these enhancements, 2020 Release Wave 1 greatly simplifies the migration process for users of Microsoft on-premise ERP software, making it easier for them to make the transition to the cloud-hosted version of Business Central.

 

Questions About Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central’s 2020 Release Wave 1?

The 2020 Release Wave 1 update for Business Central continues where the previous update left off, delivering much-needed enhancements to various features and functionalities which are heavily informed by user feedback.

With the addition of new migration tools and improvements delivered to existing ones, Microsoft has also signalled its intent to encourage users of its various on-premise ERP offerings to make the move to the cloud-based Business Central.

For the full details of what this latest release entails, head to Microsoft's notes on the 2020 Release Wave 1 update.

Otherwise, if you'd like to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 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.

get my free guide now

Subscribe by Email

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think