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.

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My Session(s) on eXtreme 365 Conference

This year I’ll start with my sessions little bit earlier then usually. My first conference where I’ll have a lecture will be eXtreme in Dubrovnik. In a past, this conference was mainly for the Dynamics CRM solutions, but from the 2017., we have not only CRM, but AX, NAV… as well.

So, this year I’ll be there with minimum one session. I’ll speak about Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ (and NAV as well) in a real world of integrations using Flow and CDS. I hope it will be interesting. If I’ll have more lectures, I’ll announce it here as well.

In a mean time, you can go and check more details about eXtreme 365 conference here, and I recommend to register if this is suitable for you.

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Dynamics ERP and CRM Continue Together

I didn’t write a blog for a while, but these few days I’m on eXtreme 365 conference and I decided to share some observation. For some time, since there is a Dynamics 365 product family, we created a closer collaboration between ERP and CRM products. Generally, it was mostly based on technology.

But now, I see the next steps. First, more and more ERP partners try to learn more about CRM and the same situation is with CRM partners and ERP knowledge. Now, I’m at eXtreme 365 conference that was originally CRM conference, but from this year this is not only CRM conference. We have a lot of sessions about D365 for Financials, D365 for Operations, Common Data Service, PowerApps, Flow… And as I see, there are some NAV partners (and MVP’s as well J). Also, I saw announcement for Directions this year and there is a same situation, this will not be only NAV event and we will have CRM sessions as well.

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This is very important, because all of use started with thinking that we need to continue with both products together. And this is a huge opportunity for partners. This is opportunity for upselling and if they know both products they will be better on a market.

And about a conference. Great conference and great opportunity for networking. This is the first time I’m on some big conference that was not originally NAV conference and this is the great opportunity to see some new people, sometimes with different attitude. I also met some friends from a NAV world here and I can say this is a great mixture. I’m expecting something similar on Directions as well.

OK, in some next posts I’ll write more about some news with these products, but for sure we can expect more and more news in this world in next few months.