Dynamics 365 Business Central is a comprehensive business application solution that is designed and optimized for small and midsized organizations. For 2021 release wave 2, Business Central investments center on helping users get to productive usage faster, whether they are new or existing customers. Microsoft expands the built-in tours to cover more standard entities for better onboarding of additional business roles. They continue the Better with Microsoft 365 investment by bringing further capabilities to the Business Central and Teams experience
Some examples of Microsoft’s investments in various areas:
Administration: In 2021 release wave 2, Business Central delivers new capabilities to simplify and improve how the partners administer tenants. Administrators enjoy new experiences for managing licenses and permissions.
Application: You can now get better explanations and guidance on errors that are caused by problems in posting setup and dimensions. Improvements to reporting, bank reconciliation, and supply chain capabilities will also help customers be more productive.
Better with Microsoft 365: Share a record from the browser client in Microsoft Teams.
Governance and administration: This wave adds more operations in the Operation log section of the Business Central admin center.
Modern clients: There are improvements in the discoverability of reports across departments by applying a filter to the links that are shown in the Role Explorer.
Onboarding: Built-in tours cover more standard entities to support the onboarding of more business roles. A new help pane will help users get unblocked faster when they experience an issue.
Service and platform: Microsoft continues the effort to improve the performance of Business Central.
This topic lists features that are planned to release from October 2021 through March 2022. Because this topic lists features that may not have released yet, delivery timelines may change and projected functionality may not be released. For more information, go to Microsoft policy.
With Business Central 2021 release wave 2, this will deliver updates in some of the most requested areas for improvement, such as the finance and supply chain areas.
Use new templates with same flexibility as configuration templates
You can now use the capabilities of configuration templates with the new templates for customers, vendors, items, and employees. These include the ability to add any field, and to save and apply templates from customer, vendor, item, and employee lists.
For example, you can use personalization on the Customer Template page to add a Credit limit field to a template.
You can then use the Apply template action to apply the new customer template to one or more customers.
You can also save a specific customer, vendor, item, or employee record as a template by using the Save as Template action.
Configuration templates are still available to help with developer, data migration, and integration scenarios; however, Microsoft recommends using the new customer, vendor, item, and employee templates instead.
Our developer documentation explains how to extend the new templates, and sample code shows how to keep master data and templates synchronized.
Account schedules – Budget Name filter for columns and more templates added
To help users get off to a good start when using account schedules to create custom G/L reports, they added several new templates for account schedules. The ANALYSIS, REVENUE, and CASHFLOW account schedules are now available in demonstration and trial (setup data only) companies. The new account schedules are mapped to the chart of accounts that can be used for product demonstrations, but they can easily be adapted to any chart of accounts.
For Column Layout, there’s a new Budget Name field so that you can filter on a specific budget (or budgets) for that column. This way, you create account schedules that report on actual versus budget figures for both a budget and a forecast (which is a second budget).
Add additional columns through personalization in various pages to gain more insight
Different businesses and users need different information to complete business processes. Personalization is a powerful tool that lets people tailor the information that pages contain by dragging fields or columns from a list to the page. Based on feedback from the community, Microsoft added more fields and columns to choose from on several pages.
Get Receipt Lines page
You can add the Order No., Vendor Order No., Vendor Shipment No., Vendor Item No., and Item Reference No. columns to the Get Receipt Lines page.
Get Shipment Lines page
You can add the Order No., External Document No., and Your Reference columns to the Get Shipment Lines page.
Bank Accounts page
The Bank Accounts page contains the Balance at Date and Balance at Date (LCY) columns.
Chart of Accounts and G/L Account Card pages
You can add the No. 2 column for alternative accounts to the Chart of Accounts page, and as a field on the G/L Account Card page.
General Journals and Recurring General Journal pages
You can add the External Document No. column to the General Journals and Recurring General Journals pages.
Sales, purchase, and archive documents
You can add the Unit Gross Weight, Unit Net Weight, Unit Volume, and Units per Parcel columns to pages for the following documents:
Sales documents and sales archive documents such as blanket orders, quotes, orders, return orders, and more.
Purchase documents and purchase archive documents such as blanket orders, quotes, orders, return orders, and more.
Sales shipment report data set.
You can add the Expected Receipt Date field to the Purchase Quotes, Purchase Quote Archives, and Purchase Orders pages.
Additionally, you can add fields related to jobs, such as Job No., Job Task No., Job Planning Line No., and more.
Item Card page
You can add the Transfer Order Receipt and Shipment Quantities fields to the Item Card page.
Description 2 fields
You can add the Description 2 field to all sales, service, purchase drafts, and posted and archived document lines.
Name 2 fields
You can add the Name 2 field to the Contact Card and list pages, Contact Company Details page, and the Resource Card and list pages.
External Document No. field
You can now add External Document No. field to the Aged Accounts Receivable report’s Word layout.
Contact Job Title
You can add the Contact Job Title field to the Contact Card and list pages, Contact Company Details page, and the Resource Card and list pages.
Source Type and Source No.
You can add the Source Type and Source No. fields to the General Ledger Entries page. Filtering General Ledger Entries by, for example, Source Type Vendor and specific Vendor No. in the Source No. field, gives you a list of entries to be used in expenses by vendor analysis.
Add non-inventory items on requisition and planning worksheets
Some businesses use requisition or planning worksheets to enter information about the items they want to order, and then create orders for the items all in one go. Enabling the worksheets to handle both physical inventory items, such as chairs, and non-inventory items, such as services, gives businesses a unified procurement process.
You can process non-inventory lines in much the same way as other types of items. If you use requisition and planning worksheets as the starting point for purchase orders in your procurement process, you can manually enter lines for non-inventory items on the worksheets. Then, when you create your purchase orders, the non-inventory items will be included. This allows you to use same procurement process for inventoriable and non-inventoriable items.
Bank and payment reconciliations
Bank and payment reconciliations are key processes for all businesses by providing an overview of whether the cash flow is accurate, and that all transactions have been accounted for. In this release wave, they make it more efficient to use those features, assisting the user, and give more information during the process.
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 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, the user can decide to not overwrite any of the already matched entries, or to overwrite all.
- Many-to-1 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.
Chart of Accounts Overview page – aligning columns with Chart of Accounts page
The Chart of Accounts page displays accounts in a hierarchical list that offers fast access to the key information for each account. However, the list is static, and if you have a lot of accounts you might have to do a bit of scrolling to view information for different accounts. If you just want a quick overview of the basics, such as net changes and balances, the Chart of Accounts Overview page is a useful alternative. The column layout on the page is now the same as you’ll find on the Chart of Accounts page (there are just fewer of them), so you won’t have to reorient yourself, and you can expand or collapse the hierarchical levels to condense the view.
Couple records between Business Central and Dataverse (and apps for Dataverse) in bulk
When you couple the records that you want to synchronize data for in each application-for example, a customer in Business Central and an account in Dataverse-you can filter and choose the data to synchronize using the new Coupled in Dataverse column. To match and couple selected records between Business Central and Dataverse or Dynamics 365 Sales, you use the Match-Based Coupling action.
The Select Coupling Criteria page allows you to select the fields to match by choosing the Match on this Field column. You can also set a Matching Priority for fields, and specify whether you want Business Central to create new records when a match isn’t found by turning on the Create New If Unable to Find a Match toggle.
Rather than writing custom business logic in a per-tenant extension to define how to match and couple records between Business Central and Dataverse or Dynamics 365 Sales, you can define the fields to match on the Integration Field Mapping page for entire mapping.
Business Central will use those settings to automatically match and couple records. Additionally, this also makes it easier to migrate data from Business Central (on-premises) to Business Central online.
Default line type in the sales and purchase documents
Sales and purchase documents can contain different types of lines, such as G/L Account, Item, Resource, or Fixed Asset. In this release you can select the default line type that will be suggested when you create new documents. You can specify the default type for sales on the Sales & Receivable Setup page, and for purchases on the Purchase & Payables Setup page, in the Document Default Line Type field. Afterward, the first line on the document will always use the default type that you specified, and you can start working with lines by selecting values in the No. field. Of course, you can change the type on the line if needed. If you do, the next lines that you create will use type from the previous line. The default value affects only the first line.
Edit in Excel in recurring general journals and intercompany general journals
One of the reasons the Edit in Excel feature in Business Central is so popular is that it provides a fast way to enter data. For example, you can use templates for journals, make quick bulk edits, and so on. Businesses can now use the feature to speed up data entry on recurring general journals and intercompany G/L journals.
The Edit in Excel feature has been around for a while on pages where businesses often bulk-edit data, but to extend its availability even further, it has been added it to the following pages:
- Recurring general journals
- Intercompany general journals
Enable or disable Item References from Inventory Setup
To help people focus on their work, Microsoft reduced the number of fields and actions that are displayed by hiding the related features until an administrator enables them. This feature introduces that for item references.
This is the last step in the journey to replace Item Cross-References with Item References, which started a year ago to address one of the top-voted suggestions Write longer item references. To avoid disruption for users and partners, these two features coexisted and Item References was controlled by a feature switch on the Feature Management page. In this release, Item References will be the only option.
What this means for you
- If you use cross references, Microsoft will convert existing cross references to item references. There is full parity between features and the only change is the name of the controls. Instead of “cross references,” you’ll see “item references.”
- If you don’t use cross references, the related controls are not shown on the Item Card, Vendor Card, and Customer Card pages, and from sales and purchase documents. If you decide to use Item References, your administrator can easily activate the feature by turning on the Use Item References toggle on the Inventory Setup page.
For more information, see Use Item References.
Improved user experience to keep posting setup and dimension issues from going wrong
Posting groups and dimensions can be difficult concepts to understand. It’s best to set up posting groups and dimensions up front. However, many companies do that as they go and resolve issues as they arise. Additional tools that support learning by capitalizing on concrete examples-for example, when documents are using posting groups that are not set up correctly or have incorrect dimensions or dimension values. Accountants, controllers, and finance people know how specific transactions need to be posted, and guidance when things go wrong with posting setups and dimensions will make it easier to resolve issues.
Product telemetry shows that posting groups and dimensions errors are typically caused by incorrect setup. Micrisoft has made changes to clarify the errors and provide guidance on how to resolve them. You can now investigate issues with posting setups on the Error Messages page across the application:
- The Description column shows details about the error.
- The Source and Source Field Name columns point to the posting setup page where the error occurred, and link to a page where you can resolve the issue. This requires the user to have permissions to do so.
- The Support URL column provides a link to a troubleshooting guide.
Additionally, for dimension issues the Error Messages page provides a link in the Context column that opens a page where you can fix the issues in the document. This also requires that the user has permissions to do so.
Integrate Business Central and Microsoft Dataverse with more efficient synchronization of multiple records
When users select multiple records, such as hundreds of customers or contacts, Business Central creates a single synchronization job per batch of selected records. This greatly reduces the load on the task scheduler that runs the background jobs, and makes it easier for users to stay below the limits for queue entries. This new way of synchronizing batches of selected records also considers Dataverse request limits by ensuring that the batches are processed in smaller sizes.
Item variant code on demand forecasts
Accurate demand forecasting gives businesses valuable insight into their position in the market, which helps decision makers shape their strategies for pricing, business growth, and market potential. The ability to include the right level of detail on item variants in demand forecasts unlocks planning capabilities and reduces lead times for companies that don’t have an inflow of sales orders and manage many nearly identical items.
Item variants are a great way to keep your list of items under control, especially if you have a large number of items that are almost identical and vary, for example, only in color. Rather than setting up each variant as a separate item, you can set up one item and then specify the various colors as variants of the item.
In this release, you can register anticipated demand not only with respect to locations and dates, but with item variants as well. This unlocks planning capabilities for companies that don’t have a steady inflow of sales orders, and operate using large lists of almost identical items.
You can now include item variants in demand forcasts. If you search for Demand Forecast you’ll find a new Demand Forecast Entries result. They added the Variant Code field to the Demand Forecast Entries page, and you can create entries directly, or use the Edit in Excel action for bulk editing. The only setup required for using item variants in demand forecasting is that you turn on the Use Forecast by Variant toggle on the Manufacturing Setup page to plan each variant individually.
Keep track of historical IBAN number when vendor bank account number changes
Changing the IBAN on vendor bank accounts that have already been transacted with can cause historical credit transfer register entries to appear as missing because Business Central cannot find the IBAN for the entries.
You can now safely change IBAN numbers on vendor bank accounts without it affecting your historical credit transfer register entries. Credit transfer register entries now store the Recipient IBAN, Recepient Bank Account No. that were specified in the Vendor Bank Account and Recipient Name fields on the Vendor card when the entries are created.
List of trusted apps
Customers can more easily find and install relevant third-party add-ons to help support the business needs.
With a large number of apps available on AppSource, and with business continuity in mind, customers might not want to install an app directly from AppSource until they know the app won’t interfere with their business. With this release wave, partners can preload a list of apps into the customer’s Business Central to help the customer choose apps that are relevant for their business, industry, and growth. By proxy of the partner, customers can safely install apps that have been preselected for them.
Locations for non-inventory items
Now you can track statistics for non-inventory items by location, in the same way as inventoriable items or resources. This gives you better insight into, for example, the location for which a service was purchased.
Based on your feedback, Microsoft has aligned service items and non-inventory items with other types, such as G/L accounts, item charges, and fixed assets. You can now specify a location for these types of items in supported transactions, and the location will be copied in the item ledger, values, and job ledger entries. This is useful for reporting purposes and cases when there is one document, such as a purchase order, with multiple non-inventory items meant for different locations.
More control over address information data entry
Typically, businesses use an external service that was built to validate address information in their country or region. When you need to update address information, the structured approach that these services use may not always be what’s right for some scenarios. Therefore, Business Central now offers a more flexible means of entering address details.
You can set the Require Country/Region Code in Address by selecting this field on the General Ledger Setup page. When this field is selected, because the address format is related to the selected Country/Region, changes to Country/Region Code field on addresses for customers, contacts, or vendors will reset the values in other address fields.
More control over currency exchange rate adjustment
When companies operate in multiple countries or regions, it’s important that they can do business and run financial reports in more than one currency. Because exchange rates often change, businesses must periodically update the rates in Business Central. This feature update gives accountants more control over how they adjust exchange rates.
You can now run exchange rates adjustments only for selected customers, vendors, or bank accounts using the Adjust Exchange Rates batch job, where you simply select whether to adjust exchange only for a customer or bank account, and then use the filter options to select the specific customers, vendors, or bank accounts for which to adjust exchange rates.
New automation API to create user groups
This contributes to decreasing the total onboarding time of new customers and takes away manual labor on the partner side.
The new API plays a part in the initial deployment of a customer environment together with the other Automation APIs that allow for a scripted creation of the environment, company, application of configuration packages, user permissions, and more.
Posting Preview can now show G/L and VAT entries in hierarchical view and is easily extensible
When posting journals or documents with a large number of entries, accountants want to make sure that the posting will be correct beforehand. Previewing the posting helps prevent the need for corrections, making accountants more productive.
You can enable the new way of showing Posting Preview by choosing Extended in the Posting Preview Type field on the General Ledger Setup page.
When the extended posting preview is turned on, you can choose to preview a posting using the Preview Posting action (or the Ctrl+Alt+F9 keyboard shortcut)—for example, on a payment journal. On the Posting Preview page, you can choose Show Hierarchical View to group the entries.
Partners can easily extend the posting preview either by adding types of ledger entries that are relevant for their industry, or by modifying the way entries are grouped.
Production BOMs and routes on stockkeeping units in planning scenarios
Many businesses use stockkeeping units (SKUs) in their inventory management processes. Because SKUs often contain important information about the items, they’re also valuable in production processes. You can leverage the information from SKUs by assigning them to production bills of material (BOMs) androutes. Additionally, it’s easy to update the BOM and route on SKUs. You can simply specify a BOM and route on an item and they will be assigned to the SKU.
Microsoft has increased the number of business processes that take into account the values in the Production BOM and Production Routing fields defined on SKUs. These include the following processes:
- Capable-to-promise called from sales orders.
- Planning worksheet, including the Calculate Net Change Plan, Calculate Regenerative Plan, and Get Action Messages actions.
- Order planning.
By default, the Production BOM and Production Routing fields are available on SKUs.
Remove obsolete reports 204, 205, 206, and 207
Microsoft removed several reports in favor of newer versions. Enjoy modern report layouts that are easier to customize and faster to generate by using the reports that are based on layouts from Microsoft Word. Your external-facing documents, such as invoices and orders, will benefit from the switch.
Before 2021 release wave 1, Microsoft announced that they were planning to replace several reports with newer versions, and now it’s time for the final cleanup. The 2021 release wave 1 was the last release in which the following reports were available.
Deprecated report Recommended report
204 Sales – Quote 1304 Sales – Quote
205 Order Confirmation 1305 Sales – Confirmation
206 Sales – Invoice 1306 Sales – Invoice
207 Sales – Credit Memo 1307 Sales – Credit Memo
If you still use one or more of the deprecated reports, now is the time to take the following actions:
- Start using the recommended reports. These support Word layouts.
- Clone the deprecated reports to a custom range, and switch to the cloned reports.
How to check if your company uses old reports
Report Selections – Sales
Search for Report Selection – Sales and check which reports are configured to be used for Quote, Order, and Credit Memo.
Customer report layouts
Inspect the content of the Custom Report Selection table (object ID 9657). For more information, see View a table object directly from the client.
Once you know which customers use these reports, you can replace them on the Document Layout page for each affected customer, or you can use configuration packages to update in bulk.
Rounding for base unit of measure
You can assign a base unit of measure to items, but sometimes items serve more than one purpose and are sold, received, or consumed in different measures in sales, purchase, and production processes. That means it’s important to be able to handle items in alternate units of measure, depending on the process, and accurately convert those measures to the base unit of measure.
You can specify a rounding precision for base units of measure to guide users on what to enter for a given business process, and reduce rounding issues when using alternate units of measure.
When an item serves different purposes, you can set up alternate units of measure for it. The base unit of measure for the item defines how you store it, and the alternate units of measure define how you handle it in purchase, production, or sales documents. For example, you may buy the item on pallets and only use single pieces in production.
When you use alternate units of measure, the value in the Qty. per Unit of Measure field helps calculate the quantity in base unit of measure, which can lead to rounding issues.
For example, you’re receiving 1 box that contains 6 items from your supplier. When the items arrive at the warehouse, you discover that 1 of the 6 items is missing. You decide not to post the receipt of 1 box, but to change quantity to 5/6 pieces instead. That will be converted to a receipt of 4.99998 pieces. To receive a whole number, the Quantity Rounding Precision field lets you specify a value that will, for example, convert the quantity to 5 pieces.
Support alternative units of measure in warehouse documents for items that are tracked by serial numbers
Alternative units of measures for inventory pick and inventory put-away are now supported for items with serial number tracking.
In this release, Microsoft connected the dots between the features for tracking items, assigning alternative units of measure, and basic warehouse management so that they support inventory picks and inventory put-ways for items that are tracked by their serial numbers. The following scenario illustrates the new capability:
- Create an Item Tracking Code and enable both SN Specific Tracking and SN Warehouse Specific Tracking. For more information, see Track Items with Serial, Lot, and Package Numbers.
- Create a new item and assign the item tracking code to it. Also create an alternative unit of measure for the item. For more information, see To set up multiple item units of measure.
- Create and release purchase order for location that requires put-away.
- Create inventory put-away.
Business Central creates inventory put-aways and automatically splits the line from the purchase order into multiple lines so that a warehouse employee can enter serial numbers for the items. Business Central will also split source documents when creating the pick. In previous versions, these scenarios worked only for base units of measure.
Tour of Business Central to help users get to know the basics
Since 2021 release wave 1, Microsoft and the partner community have provided educational tours to guide users through the application. But until now, the tours were limited to pages and controls that are defined by the AL language. With 2021 release wave 2, Microsoft expands the use of these tours to include teaching tips that are defined by the platform to call out system controls, such as the top navigation bar and controls for sorting and filtering. These tours can provide an introduction to a better understanding of the home page. In all, users can more easily learn the basics of the Business Central user interface.
Unlock timesheets in Business Central using assisted setup and data entry on mobile devices
Getting to that first time sheet entry should be as painless as possible. Many employees use time sheets, and as the time sheet administrator or manager, you want to make sure that Business Central has you covered when you create time sheets for the first time, or you add an employee or resource to record the time spent on tasks.
A busy professional on the road using mobile devices (Android or iOS) needs to be able to provide time sheet entries in an easy and productive way while on the go.
You can now use the Set Up Time Sheets assisted setup guide to help you set up time sheets and specify the participants in the process. Participants include the time sheet administrator, the employees or resources who register time, and the approvers.
Self-service activities on role centers, such as the Team Member home page, have now been updated to include the Open Current Time Sheet action that takes the user to the latest time sheet in their Open Time Sheets page.
The Time Sheet page is now more focused to allow users to name a particular time sheet as they want, making the caption more prominent and showing key information about the time sheet. The page now clearly indicates units of measure together with totals.
The Time Sheet page has been converted from a worksheet to a document page, which makes it available on Business Central mobile devices (Android or IOS).
Mobile users can now add time-related entries to register time spent on tasks. They are no longer blocked by having to switch to a complex user interface on a desktop device. Users now have access to a simplified version of the experience designed for mobile.
Use multiple units of measure when synchronizing items and resources to Dynamics 365 Sales
Businesses often track inventory for items in one unit of measure, such as pieces, but due to different market needs they may sell the items in several different units of measure, such as boxes or containers. Integration between Business Central and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales now allows these services to exchange information about items in multiple units of measure.
When you enable the Feature Update: Multiple Units of Measure Synchronization with Dynamics 365 Sales feature in Feature Management, Business Central will create unit groups for items and resources through the data update process.
You can now view two new integration table mappings for Item Units of Measure (ITEM-UOM) and Resource Units Of Measure (RESOURCE-UOM).
Item or resource unit groups automatically generate sets of units of measure for items and resources that match the units in Dynamics 365 Sales. On the Item Unit Group List or Resource Unit Group List pages, you can view coupled unit groups by choosing the Unit Group action, you can synchronize unit group data by using the Synchronize action, and couple or delete unit groups by choosing Coupling, Set up coupling or Delete coupling.
From the Item Units of Measure and Resource Units of Measure pages, for each units of measure in a unit group, you can now view the coupled unit by choosing the Unit action, use the Synchronize action to synchronize unit data, or couple or delete a coupling by choosing Coupling, Set up coupling or Delete coupling.
Send mail from entities using Word templates as body or attachment
Within Business Central, the user can communicate via emails with the relevant business parties and generate these mails in a structured and professional way using Word templates to combine the Word text with information from Business Central.
The Send Email action is now available on the Business Central entities that have an email address, such as customers, contacts, vendors, salesperson/purchasers, employee, users, and bank accounts pages. You can now compose and send emails from any page that displays the entity. When you do, Business Central keeps the link between the entity to which the email is sent and the email itself, giving you a record of the emails that were sent to each entity.
When you compose an email for an entity—for example, on the Vendor Card page—you can use Word templates to apply standard and personalized content to the business communication, without having to re-enter the content. The Word template will create the content of the email, and can personalize it by using the mail merge features in Word to add data from the entity in Business Central.
Additionally, you can attach the finished document to the email. Attaching the document provides additional flexibility, because the auto-generated content from the template speeds up the process of creating the email, while allowing you to manually personalize the content of the message.
Customer Consent capabilities for all features that exchange data with third-party services
All features that exchange data with third-party services, such as government reporting, have an Enable toggle and a consent dialog that must be viewed before the customer can use the feature. This gives the administrator better control of the data exchange from Business Central to third-party entities.
Business Central capabilities enable companies to seamlessly integrate with other parties to achieve business goals or statutory obligations.
In the setup pages for each feature that exchanges data from Business Central to another service, a message will inform the user that the data might be shared with third-party systems and flow outside of the organization’s selected geographic boundaries. The message will provide options to turn on or turn off the feature, so that the user can control the data share.
The following features are in scope for the consent capabilities:
- AMC Banking Fundamentals EU VAT Reg. No. Validation Service
- OCR Services PayPal Payments Standard
- Electronic Invoicing – Tradeshift
- Envestnet Yodlee Bank Feeds Service
More educational app tours for standard roles
Businesses want to onboard new employees quickly and efficiently, and one of the ways that Business Central supports that is by offering in-product tours that point out the information and tools that people need in their business role. In this release, Microsoft added tours to even more areas of the application.
With 2021 release wave 1, Business Central started surfacing extensible in-product tours that help users understand important concepts and business entities. In 2021 release wave 2, Microsoft expanded support for onboarding business roles by adding built-in tours that cover even more standard entities. The new tours will reduce friction in the learning and startup phase, and can be viewed or revisited on demand.
Delegated admin can create job queue entries and request approval by a licensed user
The delegated admin role enables Microsoft partners to set up and manage certain aspects of Business Central on behalf of their customers. The role is, however, limited in some ways. Among these limitations is the ability to create job queue entries and set them as ready to run for customers. Job queue entries are important tools for setting up and configuring Business Central tenants. Delegated admins can create job queue entries and request approval from a licensed user.
Business Central provides the delegated admin role so that people who are not employed by the customer, typically Microsoft partners, can set up and configure business processes for the customers. The delegated admin role is not, however, a licensed user in Business Central, and often is only assigned temporarily, so there are some limitations to what they can do. For example, delegated admins cannot set up tasks that might be run after the delegated admin relationship has been revoked, such as job queue entries.
That has been problematic because job queue entries are useful tools for running setup and configuration processes in Business Central, and delegated admins need to be able to create and run them in their customer’s tenant. In this release, delegated admins can create job queue entries and set them as ready to run. Then, a licensed user from the customer can start the job queue entry to complete the process that the delegated admin created.
Better with Microsoft 365
In Business Central 2021 release wave 2, Microsoft invested in better integration with Excel. Also, improve support for collaborative business processes in Teams so you can bring Business Central pages into a Teams channel.
Enhancements to Microsoft Teams integration
The Business Central app for Microsoft Teams connects Teams to your business data, so you can quickly share details with your team, connect with your business contacts, and respond faster to inquiries.
The 2021 release wave 2 includes the following improvements to the Business Central app for Teams:
Users in the Business Central clients have a new wizard that guides them through installing the Business Central app for Teams.
The wizard that helps users install the Teams app.
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.
In addition, you have new ways of sharing data between Business Central and Teams. For more information, see the following related feature: Share a record link to Microsoft Teams
Centralized Deployment of Office add-ins
The security of your business data is important to us. Administrators are in control of how Office add-ins for Business Central are deployed to individuals, groups, or the entire organization, by using best-of-breed compliance and policy settings in Microsoft 365.
When getting started with Business Central, assisted setup wizards guide administrators through the process of configuring the Business Central Office add-ins. Deployment wizards are now easily discoverable in the** Assisted Setup** page, or in the role explorer under Administration.
The new Centralized Deployment assisted setup guides administrators through the manual task of configuring Microsoft 365 to deploy add-ins to select users within the organization, or when individual acquisition from the Office Store has been turned off.
To experience the assisted setup for Excel, sign in to your online Business Central environment, then search for ‘Excel Add-in Centralized Deployment’ or simply navigate to this link.
The Centralized Deployment assisted setup for Outlook add-ins replaces the earlier Business Inbox setup wizard. The new assisted setup will walk administrators through the manual task of configuring Microsoft 365 or Exchange Server to deploy add-ins to select users within the organization.
To support improved security in Exchange and take advantage of custom Exchange policy, the assisted setup no longer automates deployment by using legacy basic authentication.
To experience the assisted setup for Outlook, sign in to your online Business Central environment, then search for ‘Outlook Add-in Centralized Deployment’ or simply navigate to this link.
App for Teams
A new Centralized Deployment assisted setup guides administrators through the manual task of configuring Teams admin center to deploy the Business Central app for Microsoft Teams to all users or select users within the organization.
To experience the assisted setup for Teams, sign in to your online Business Central environment, then search for ‘Teams App Centralized Deployment’ or simply navigate to this link.
Enhancements to the Outlook add-in
Set up your business inbox in Outlook to respond faster to inquiries from your customers, vendors, and prospects.
Using the add-ins
The 2021 release wave 2 includes various functional improvements:
- You can use the add-ins with companies that have symbols or non-English characters in the company name.
- When viewing an email from a vendor, you can use the Send to Incoming Documents action from the Contact Insights pane to register an incoming document record in Business Central with the email attachments.
- The Aged Accounts Receivable chart is available again in the Contact Insights pane.
- The sample email that helps you get started with Outlook add-ins has been refreshed.
- A simplified wizard guides individual users through installing Outlook add-ins. Automated installation of the add-ins for Business Central online now uses the more secure OAuth 2.0 that replaces legacy basic authentication.
To try it out, search for the Get the Outlook Add-in page, or sign in to your Business Central online environment and navigate to https://businesscentral.dynamics.com/?page=1832.
The 2021 release wave 2 includes various technical improvements for deploying and using Outlook add-ins:
- An assisted setup wizard guides administrators through configuring Microsoft 365 for centralized deployment of the Outlook add-in to individuals, groups, or everyone within their organization. For more information, see the Centralized Deployment release plan. To try it out, search for the Outlook Add-in Centralized Deployment page, or sign in to your Business Central online environment and navigate to https://businesscentral.dynamics.com/?page=1831.
- The Office Add-in Management page has been renamed to Outlook Add-in management, focusing exclusively on Outlook add-ins.
- With the introduction of OAuth 2.0, the Outlook add-ins now fully support multi-factor authentication if that has been configured in the Microsoft 365 admin center.
Update to minimum requirements
In the 2021 release wave 2, version 19 of Business Central, the Outlook add-ins require the Outlook client to be version 2012 or later, and will also require that the WebView2 component is installed to the relevant devices. Users of Outlook clients that don’t meet the minimum requirements might not be able to sign in to the add-in from version 19 and later.
For more tips and tricks to help you get an optimal experience with Outlook, see Optimizing Outlook for Your Business Inbox.
About the legacy Outlook synchronization capability
In this release wave, Microsoft deprecated the legacy Outlook synchronization feature. The Business Central components for Outlook can no longer be installed from the installer for Business Central (on-premises), and the feature can’t be accessed from Business Central.
Enhancements to working with Microsoft Excel
For many of our customers, Microsoft Excel remains the app of choice for quick data analysis, sharing tabular data, bulk correcting, or entering records. Business Central continues to mature Excel-related features for exporting to Excel and working with the Excel add-in, making them more easily discoverable and reachable through the new Share menu.
A new home for Open in Excel and Edit in Excel
The 2021 release wave 2 introduces the Share icon and menu in which users will find the Open in Excel and Edit in Excel actions. This applies to list pages, such as the Items list, and also to list parts that display a full menu, such as the Lines part on a sales order.
Downloading embedded lists to Excel (Open in Excel action)
Lists that are embedded in a part on a page can now be exported to Excel. For example, you can export sales lines on a sales order, list parts on the Role Center, or lists in the FactBox pane. Similar to full-page lists, 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 can enable this feature ahead of time as early as Business Central 2021 release wave 1 (update 18.3). Starting in Business Central 2021 release wave 2 (update 19.0), this is enabled on all environments.
Exporting reports to Excel
From a report request page, users can export report data to Excel. The Excel file will only include the raw data, not the report layout. For more information, see the related release plan: Save report dataset to Excel from the request page.
You can enable this feature ahead of time as early as Business Central 2021 release wave 1 (update 18.3). Starting in Business Central 2021 release wave 2 (update 19.0), this is enabled on all environments.
- The captions of columns in Excel now match the captions shown in the web client and are displayed in the user’s current language.
- When using Open in Excel or Edit in Excel features, the name of the exported file has been simplified to match the name of the page.
- The Excel add-in now includes more detailed error messages to help troubleshoot issues faster.
Update to minimum requirements
In 2021 release wave 2, the Excel add-in supports Excel clients that are version 2012 or later. Users of Excel clients that don’t meet the minimum requirements may still be able to sign in to the add-in after their Business Central environment is upgraded to version 19, but Microsoft cannot guarantee that this will remain possible in the future.
AL access to viewing and sharing files in OneDrive
Bring the best of Microsoft’s business and productivity suites together to view and edit files, or initiate collaborative, review, and sharing activities directly from Business Central. Users benefit from a familiar file viewing and sharing experience, and reduce the need to download files to their device.
Business application features that store, manage, or present files can now be enhanced with actions to view a file in the browser, or share the file with others, by integrating with OneDrive for Business.
Available with version 19.0
- New AL objects in the system and base application that integrate with OneDrive. Developers have to write only minimal code when they need to open a Business Central file in the browser. This copies the file from Business Central to OneDrive, then opens the file using the native web applications for Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, or with OneDrive’s file viewer for all other files such as PDFs. This functionality is intended for interactive scenarios where users initiate the action during their session, and not for automating file transfer.
- A documented AL code pattern and guidelines that developers can apply to any page or process used to represent files. This pattern consists of a Download action and Open in OneDrive action that developers can apply consistently across their extensions. For an example of this pattern applied in the business application, see the Attachments FactBox.
Available later this wave
- Developers will be able to implement a third action, Share, that displays the standard Microsoft 365 file sharing window, directly within Business Central. The Share window allows users to share a link with others, email a link, or attach a copy of the file to an email.
- Improvements to the end-user sign-in experience when using OneDrive from Business Central, reducing the number of windows required to handle identity and consent.
- Variations to the AL methods will be made available that give more granular control over where and how the file is copied to OneDrive before it is opened or shared.
Share a record link to Microsoft Teams
Users save time and benefit from reduced app switching when they can initiate collaborative tasks directly from Business Central.
The Business Central web client includes a new action to share to Microsoft Teams. This action allows users to type a message, choose recipients such as team members, groups or channels, and send their message with a link to the Business Central record.
Users can share to Teams from most collection or details pages in Business Central. For example, you can share a link to a filtered view of your records.
Similar to the Business Central app for Teams, the Share to Teams action in the web client is only available to Business Central online users.
Try it out
To experience sharing your favourite product or service with your coworkers, sign in to your online Business Central environment and go to an Item card, then use the Share icon at the top of the page.