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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Roadmap

In my previous text, I’ve mentioned I’ll continue with first impressions about Dynamics 365 Business Central. But I’ll continue this text the next week, when I finish my presentation with this topic at eXtreme 365 in Dubrovnik.

This time, I’ve just wanted to show more details about Dynamics 365 Business Central roadmap. When we compare this roadmap, there is just a small difference in comparison with the last one shown on Directions NA and EMEA the last year (OK, except new name).

D365BC roadmap.PNGIn the previous roadmap, we had Dynamics NAV 2018R2 planed for this spring, but now we can see it will not be published with its name. We can see that we will get Dynamics NAV 2018 updates (personally, I think it is much better).

And as we could hear, in the future we will get small updates every month and bigger package two times per year. If you want to find more about each planned feature, you can go here.

Run D365 Business Central for the first time

When you run your Dynamics 365 Business Central for the first time, you will see new refreshed Web Client. Well, I think we will get some more small features soon (but just small polishing). Anyway, everything is easy for navigate and everything is exactly where you expect to be. And everything works very smoothly. I think the first what we can see are the messages in the left part of screen, with the most important information (the first will be “Good afternoon…”, but after that information).

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Now we have a main menu on the top of the screen. Depends what we choose, we will get submenu just below the first row. Again, depends of the number of commands, we will get just one or more rows.

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But we also have a lot of the most important actions on the right side of the page. Then we can see information and tiles in the activities and there are ordered noticeable. If you click on ‘See more’ or on some tile, you will open additional information (the same thing s with the large message on the left top part of screen).

We can also find “Product videos” and “Get started” links. On “Product videos”, you can find a few interesting videos about product, but more interesting is “Get started”. OK, we can find some educated videos again, but we have something more interesting – Role Centers link. With this, we can Explore different business roles features.

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If you run it, you will get new window where you can choose all available role centers as an option and see what features are covered with each of them as the main menu structure (for each of them, you will see small tooltips with the basic information). And even more, if you click on Continue, you can change your role center; and again you don’t need to make logout/login, because system will change your role center automatically.

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Of course, you can change your role center using ‘My Settings’, but guess… you will run the same page as I already showed. Really good user experience.

Then, when you run some page, from menu… for example customer, you can choose if you want to unpin the top menu… just to get little more space. Of course, you can chose the view type and so. But everything is so modern and provides really good experience.

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OK, this is just beginning. This is still not even the first impression. But I don’t like to write so big texts. I’ll continue soon with more details.

D365 Tenerife is Dynamics 365 Business Central

I didn’t plan to write this article before keynote on Directions ASIA, but two days before it, it is announced – new SaaS solution, previously known as code name Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ is named as Dynamics 365 Business Central. This news is published today by Alysa Taylor (General Manager, Business Apps & Strategy) here in blog.

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Dynamics 365 Business Central (it is interesting that only this solution hasn’t ‘for’ in its name) will be available in first 14 countries from April 2nd and it will continue one of the most successful customer base with more than 160.000 customers. This solution also has new refreshed Web Client and many other interesting features.

If you want to find more information, you can run official D365BC page, where you can find new licensing model and new prices as well.

We will have two different packages of features with different price range:

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I will try not to copy already published blog and wait on another news in next two days. And just not to forget, Dynamics 365 Business Central has new logo:

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