Dynamics 365 Business Central Roadmap

Directions NA has just started this year. Unfortunately, this year I have to miss this event, but thanks to my friends I can share some information. This time, I’ll share only the future roadmap for Dynamics 365 Business Central:

Business Central Roadmap

Also, something new is that from the next year, Directions will held during the spring and the next year it will be in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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My Dynamics Events Sessions – Fall 2018

For all of you who want to see what I prepared for this year conference season, I can share that I’ll have sessions on two conferences this fall.

First, I’ll be on BCUG/NAVUG Summit at Phoenix, AZ, US and after that I’ll be on Directions EMEA in the Hague. On both of these conferences, I’ll have the similar sessions – How and Why You Should Combine ‘Dynamics 365 for Talent’ with ‘Dynamics 365 Business Central’ / ‘Dynamics NAV’. But the first one will be more how you can do it if you are user, a the second one how you can do it as partner and how you can make this as a model for the future implementations.

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I already know terms, and it will be Wednesday, October 17 at 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM at BCUG/NAVUG Summit and Wednesday, October 31 at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM at Directions EMEA. If you like this topic or think this topic can be interesting, join me there.

Dynamics 365 Business Central October release

Long time no see. I’m currently on vacation and finally found some time for writing. I don’t know if you already read Business Applications Release Notes – October ’18. If you are, don’t read this article :). But if you didn’t already read, you can get some basic overview what we will get in October.

First one technical news, from October we can use Business Central, on-cloud, on-prem and in hybrid deployments. And even more, you can use existing Dynamics NAV on-prem solution in hybrid model connecting to the cloud through Business Central. In both of cases, using Business Central or NAV on-prem, you can have your tenant on a cloud, where your data will be replicated. If you decide in one moment to continue only with cloud, it will be very easy task for you. But it is important to know, in this scenario you need to have all your customizations based on extensions. Actually you can have code customizations as well, but in this case your system will temporarily disconnected from cloud. If you refactor your code to extensions, you can be connected again.

OK, now there are some very important improvements on a Web Client, all of us expected. One of them is Advanced filtering and to be precisely Limit Totals feature. This feature is very important for regular usage of system and finally we got it on Web Client. Now we can use one of the most popular features in filtering in Dynamics NAV where we can filter aggregated values from another tables. And even more, we’ve got some new filtering shortcuts. There is not new filter pane added to the side of our lists which allows us to:

  • Get an overview of the currently applied filters, and see if they were set by you, by a filtered view, or by the application itself.
  • Add as many filtered columns as you like by typing to quickly search for more fields on the source table.
  • Get assistance with specifying filter values using lookups or the field’s data type.
  • Create complex filters using operators, ranges, variables, and shorthand.
  • Filter to the current cell value in the list.

There is now improvement in search where the Search field replaces the Search for Page or Report field. We can use it to find objects such as pages and reports, but also to find actions and product documentation, but R&D team also improved the logic behind the search with much better results.

One of the “small” improvement is continued modernizing of user experience. If you saw some pictures from the previous Directions, you could find some differences between those pictures and Web Client in already available Business Central. But now all those features are here in October release:

CustomerCard D365BC.png

As you can find in original documentation: “Now users get a more streamlined navigation with the back button displayed prominently on the left of the page and with special dynamic system commands occupying the middle section. These elements move the navigation closer to users, allowing them to stay focused on the data and task at hand.” There will be improved already amazing PowerBI embed experience and lot of other different news (I mentioned only few of them).

But one of the biggest improvement is in development area and it was maybe one of the biggest blockers in development with extensions. This feature now enable enums (options) from the base application as well as create new, extensible enums in your extensions.

Now you can extend even more in you extension as for example Report data sets and Field groups. As new feature, their is now Event discoverability and of course, there are a lot of new events added to system.

And these are not only improvement in development. There are Debugger, IntelliSense and Translation enhancements, .NET Interop, Working with permissions, OData-bound actions in AL and lot of “small” Visual Studio Code AL Extension enhancements.

If you want to find all details, you can go to the official Microsoft page: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/October18/dynamics365-business-central/

Summit EMEA 2019

Summit EMEA 2018 in Dublin has just finished yesterday and I still try to count all impressions. It was the great one with 221 sessions and now we can start to think about the next year Summit.

Only one part was missing – NAVUG part of the Summit and I really hope that we will have NAVUG Summit in EMEA the next year, especially because now NAV (of course Business Central) is a very important part of Dynamics 365 family. Before that I’m happy to see all UG’s in Phoenix later this year.

And now, where will Summit EMEA be the next year?

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Currently we have four options to choose: Amsterdam, Barcelona, London or Nice. If you want to give your vote, it is not too late and you can do it here. The last time when I checked results, it was like that:

Screenshot_20180426-141350

Anyway, see you in one of the these four cities the next year.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Licensing

As we already had insight in Dynamics 365 Business Central and this solution will be available in only three days, it is a moment to get more information about licensing. In this post I’ll show only the basic important topics regarding licensing.

As we already know, there are three licensing types Premium, Essential and Team Members. Premium and Essential will provide full access to solution, but not to the same level of features. Essential has most of the future, but not Manufacturing and Service Management (this is included in Premium package). And very important thing is that we cannot use a mix of these two user types. You must choose what level of features you need and all full users must use the same license type.

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As a Team Member, you can do the following:

  • Read anything within Dynamics 365 Business Central
  • Update existing data and entries in Dynamics 365 Business Central – existing data are records like customer, vendor or item records which are already created. Entries means entries on which it is specifically allowed from an accounting perspective to update specific information. (e.g. due date on customer ledger entries)
  • Approve or reject tasks in all workflows assigned to a user
  • Create, edit, delete a quote
  • Create, edit, delete personal information
  • Enter a time sheet for Jobs
  • Use PowerApps for Dynamics 365

And more, it is important to know that the minimum number of full users is 1 and w don’t have a maximum number of users (you can register number of users you need). But keep in mind, we are talking about named users, not concurrent.

And Dynamics 365 Business Central Essential, Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium and Dynamics 365 Business Central Team Members also includes the PowerApps for Dynamics 365 Applications license.

Dynamics 365 Business Central users are not provided with any standalone or general-purpose Power BI license or use rights, but this subscription includes an option to embed Power BI content as a product feature but require users to subscribe to Power BI separately to configure access to this content.

And with a question what we have more included, this is important table:

D365BC environment

Customers who wish to expand beyond the default subscription capacity included in Dynamics 365 Business Central will need to have a separate Azure subscription.

But on the end as very important: please do not use this article as license manual. If you need more details for licensing of real or potential customers, please use an official Dynamics 365 Business central Licensing Guide.

Personalization vs Design in D365 Business Central

I’ve just finished with my presentation on eXtreme 365 about new in Dynamics 365 Business Central and I want to continue my texts about new solution, because I’ve already wrote about some basic expressions.

With Dynamics 365 Business Central we’ve got some new features for customizations and “customizations”. Previously, you could use Design mode as In-App Designer to make some basic customizations or to download it as extension code, open in Visual Studio Code and continue with development. But now we have personalization as well and I want just to show what is basic difference.

When you run standard environment, you can see only ‘Personalize’ in settings.

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But if you run sandbox environment, you can see both ‘Personalize’ and ‘Design’ options in settings.

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If you choose ‘Personalize’ options, you will get something similar as the following picture:

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You will see red frame and that means you can personalize your page or pages. You can move or hide some parts. But you can also add new fields (existing fields from table), or set new place for Freeze Pane. What is else new? If you run list page, you can stretch your columns. You can do it in all pages where you want and when you finish and click on Done, system will collect all your personalization and you can continue to use them.

But if you run ‘Design’, you will get the similar screen, but this time with purple frames.

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Generally, you can do more or less the similar things with Design feature as with Personalize. But this time when you finish everything you planned you will create Extension. When you finish everything and click on Stop Design, you need to fill Extension Name and Publisher and save it. And if you plan to add some bigger changes, you can choose do mark Download Code field and then you will download AL code which can be opened with VS Code and add more seriously customization.

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Anyway, when you use Design mode, everything you done will be showed and installed extension:

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And on the end I would like to add some conclusion. These conclusions are based on advice from some my friends and readers and I think they are in right, because it will be more clear.

Personalization is, as stated, a personal affair. Any changes I make are applicable only to me. This is of course a highly valuable feature in production environments (what you called “standard environment”) to have my workspace optimized just right for how I work.

Designing, on the other hand, applies to all users on that environment. It is intended for Developers or power users to create lightweight extensions that will ultimately be used by all in the organization. The extension produced by the Designer could be edited and enriched further in Visual Studio code where the possibilities are endless (through AL code). Eventually, that extension could be submitted to AppSource for distribution at scale, or it could be imported into a customer’s production environment to customize D365 Business Central.
Since Designing is a technical and mostly dev-focused activity, we don’t enable it in production environments. That is also why Designing gives you a few more features, such as being able to preview your creation as it would appear on a tablet or phone.