Editing PowerBI Reports in Business Central

Having embed PowerBI in Business Central is well known fact, but recently in Fall ’18 release, Microsoft made it even better because now you have already added PowerBI reports on all pages where they were planned to be. OK, it is nice to have and it can be time saver, because you don’t need to waste your time to add reports to page-by-page.

But what if you are not satisfy with it how these reports looks like? If you want to change something? Previously it was locked, but now… Now it looks amazing. You don’t need to leave your Business Central environment… everything you need, you will find in your Web Client (of course I’m speaking about cloud version 🙂 ).

Let’s show… Find some PowerBI report and choose Manage Reports command.

When you run this command, you will open PowerBI Management in Business Central (PowerBI Designer) and you can design your reports.

You can change your existed reports or eventually add new tab with new charts… you can do as you want.

When you finish, you just need to save it or to save this new report as a copy (if you want to keep original).

When you close it and open this report in Business Central, you will see that now you have your new report. Simply, right? Amazing job!

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eXtreme 365 in Austin and Business Central

After amazing conference in The Hague this fall – Directions EMEA, we have two another great events until the end of this year. First in Europe, NAV TechDays will come in November 22-23 and after that we will go to US on eXtreme 365, December 2-6, Austin Texas.

eXtreme365Austin

This event was dominantly Dynamics CRM conference for a years, but in a last few years, we have more and more topics in ERP area as well. And now it is Dynamic 365 conference and it is very important because we have more and more partners from CRM world who want to start ERP practice as well.

This time we will have a lot of interesting content there and I’ll provide six sessions about Dynamics 365 Business Central, each in 75 minutes (7,5 hours in total – not so bad).

For beginning, I’ll have session in two parts: BC02/BC03 – An Introduction to Business Central. It will be workshop for all newbies in NAV/Business Central.

After that, you can find the following sessions (two of them will be provided together with my friend and colleague Dejan Pervulov, PTA in Microsoft):

If you are in Austin in the beginning of December, come to see this great conference.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Updated Roadmap

A few days ago, after the first day and first keynote of Directions NA, I’ve posted Business Central roadmap. But now after this event has finished, we can find updated roadmap for our NAV successor – Dynamics 365 Business Central and it looks very interesting:

D365BC Roadmap

I’ll wait Directions EMEA to collect all information and write more detailed about this, but from my point of few, big changes are coming in two years and this is the last moment to change some old habits and to continue our journey in modern business applications.

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.

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.

NAVUGDirections.PNG

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/

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.

Capture1.PNG

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.

Capture4.PNG

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.

Capture5.PNG

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

Capture6

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.