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/

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More truth about the future of NAV

After the first day of Directions NA, there are a lot of confusing posts about the future of Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 for Financials. I don’t know why, because Marko Perisic was clear about all details.

The first well known products are not canceled. This is just rebranding and it means we will still have products with the same features (and lot of new features) as old NAV (and Dynamics 365 for Financials). Now we will just have one common platform for both of these old products and with the same name – Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ (currently code name). We will have this product on cloud and on-prem (as old NAV). If partners want to deploy NAV on Azure, they will not use their own infrastructure and instead of that, they will use this product as SaaS. But what is the best for partners, they can make project based customizations on cloud as well as on-prem. And this is amazing.

NewD365

About other Apps, we can license Apps as we want to use and we will be in situation to make combination of Apps from old BE or EE solutions. And of course we will pay per feature and per named user. And I must to be honest, maybe we still don’t have all details about licensing and this is one of the most important reasons, why this product is not published just now. Product is already finished, but we need to wait the final adjustments about licensing. This will be on the first place, because Microsoft wants to encourage partners and clients to use cloud solution as more as possible. This is the most important strategy. But all clients can continue to use on-prem solution if they insist. But Microsoft will make much better offer for cloud solution. And we need to be patient to wait the final decision.

New product will have new modern user interface, almost the same as other D365 products and this will be very important for future customers, because they will have the same filling working in different Apps.

And yes, we need to wait until the spring for the new product, but I cannot see some specific issue, because we can continue to implement NAV. If we customize NAV 2017 using extensions and VS Code, it will be very easy to transform these implementations to new solution the next year.

And yes, we can continue to use CDS for integrations, PowerApps, Flow, PowerBI… All of these will be used with the new product as well. We can continue to publish Apps on AppSource, because this service will be continue to use and it will be much more improved. And one more yes, on the closing session, Marko announced that he and his team accepted the most important feedbacks from partners. This is encouraging message for all partners who are afraid from any reason.

Of course, partners will need to change their business models in some parts, more or less, but this is normal situation in whole business. Personally, I’m happy with all new announcements and I think R&D team made a good job.

In-Client Designer in Dynamics NAV – June Update

To continue yesterday’s article about In-client Designer in Dynamics NAV as I promised. If you want to check these features from this year June update, you need to deploy Azure virtual machine from the following link: http://aka.ms/navdeveloperpreview.

One of the biggest feature is possibility to customize Role Center. Now, we can reposition or hide Cue  or Cue group on Role Center. And not only on Role Center, we can also do it on any page where we have cues.

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What is more new in In-client designer? When we want to finish our customization, system will ask us for our Extension Name and Publisher as well.

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When we save it, system will download it as a zipped VS Code:

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Of course, we have a lot more features and improvements, but they are mostly related to VS Code. In some new articles, I’ll show more about it.

NAV TechDays 2016 Presentations

NAV TechDays 2016 has just finished a few days ago. Unfortunately, I missed it this year. I wanted to be there with you in Antwerp and I already announced session with Steven Renders about Power BI, but I had to cancel my attendance. I know, Steven perfect prepared this session without me because he is an expert for this topic.

OK, life goes on. I really hope I missed only this year and I’ll be there the next year. Now, all sessions are already published and I want to have all of them on the one place. There are all of them:

The Power of Power BI and Dynamics NAV by Steven Renders

Office 365 for NAV Techies by Arend-Jan Kauffmann

Best Practices in Developing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 Extensions by Waldo

Real Life Source Code Management by Soren Klemmensen

Modern Developer Tools for Dynamics 365 and on premise NAV by Michael Hammond & Esben Nyhuus Kristoffersen

Bad Habits of NAV Developers by Waldo, Vjeko Babic and Gary Winter

Migrating to Events by Gunnar Gestsson

Building Cool Experience with NAV Everywhere by Horina Serbanescu, Eygo Kawatani and Andrea Tino

Design Patterns in NAV 2017 by Anders Larsen & Nikola Kukrika

JavaScript Architecture – Turning Pain Into Gain by Vjeko Babic

Get Some Smartness into Dynamics NAV / 365 with Notifications and Cortana Intelligence by Klaus Marius Hansen & Jesper Schulz-Wedde

Building the Dynamics 365 for Finacials Services by Kamil Koclega & Constantin Daniil

Enjoy…

New Extensions for Project Madeira

When I run Project ‘Madeira’ for the first time, I found only three extensions there:

  • QuickBooks Data Migration
  • PayPal Payments Standard
  • Envestnet Yodlee Bank Feeds

All of them were created by Microsoft. But now, we can find eight of them (one new from Microsoft and few of them by ChargeLogic and Sana Commerce).

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It looks nice to see new extensions here from other vendors. I hope we will have a hundreds of them in few months as well.

But I’m afraid about their visibility when we have a hundreds or thousands of them. I use brick view for the best visibility, and yes – search works fine, but I think we have to have some additional tags. Minimum I need is Category tag, because we will have a lot of completely different types of extensions (data migration, notifications, integrations, payment, some specific vertical or horizontal solutions, localisations,…). Also, it will be fine to have Market tab because some of extensions are for global market, but some of them will be only for some specific countries.

I expect to have some kind of rating as well. We will have a lot of similar extensions, and we need something for differentiation. I think these ideas can improve ‘Madeira’ experience. But it look it will be a great product.

Project Madeira – Data Migration

As you already used wizard to make some primary configuration, you can continue with using of few another wizards to finish complete setup of your company. You can find a small Assisted Setup to see what you need to finish.

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When you open a Migrate Business Data, you will continue with the wizard. And first, you can see what extensions you already have. Yes, you hear fine; you can use different extensions as apps. By default, you have three of them: Envestnet Yodlee Bank Feeds, PayPal Payments Standard and QuickBooks Data Migration (just click on Open Extension Management and you will see). It looks fine:

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Then, you can choose to import from Excel or from QuickBooks (because you have an extension). Than, you can download all templates and fill them. When you fill them, you need to configure Settings to set default templates and import this Excel file after that.

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You will see the numbers of your main data (Customers, Vendors and Items) and if this is correct, just apply them. If you have errors, you can see them with all details. On the end, you need to finish process and import is completed.

It is easy, but I think it will not be possible to be finished without some support from partners. Client without standard NAV knowledge will not be in situation to import and configure everything they need. This is still job for partners.