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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NAV 2018 Web Client Improvements

With new Dynamics 2018, there is a lot of improvement in a Web Client. One of the first improvements is availability of Print Preview for non-Internet Explorer browsers (Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Safari). In these cases, the Preview button didn’t appear on the request pages of reports. Now it exists.

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We have possibilities to change size of previewed document, use “select text” or “pan the document”, as well as download document or print it from preview.

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On the other side, now we can use Web Client as tool for user personalization. Of course, when we change something, it can be viewed in Windows Client as well, but place for configuration is Web Client.

I think that Web Client is good enough and it can be used as the main client (as we have in Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’); of course, some of the features are still better in Windows Client, but this client can be used in regular daily business (I know some of my colleagues will not agree with me, but I think this is more related with our habits). But I expect more and more new features in Web Client (we already saw future UX on Directions).

In some features, I more prefer Web Client in comparison with Windows Client (example is Ribbon on documents, where we have all actions for lines in the main ribbon).

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OK, there is a still some limitations and you can find them on the following links for both, NAV 2018 and NAV 2017.

Browser Limitations with the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Web Client:

·        Dynamics NAV 2018

·        Dynamics NAV 2017

Feature Limitations of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Web Client:

·        Dynamics NAV 2018

·        Dynamics NAV 2017

New UX in NAV (Dynamics 365 Tenerife)

After first Keynote on Directions NA, we got a very exciting news about rebranding of our products and about their common future as Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’. In my previous post, I wanted to announce only the most important news and later write a more detailed. But in a meantime, Waldo wrote a post with perfect explained all these details and I’ll just give you URL to this post instead of writing the same text.

Before I start with other exciting news from the second Keynote part, first I want to share details when we can expect new products:

  • Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ – In preview, but GA Spring 2018
  • Dynamics 365 for Sales – In preview, but GA Spring 2018
  • Dynamics 365 for Marketing – In preview

Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL will continue as for now with the same name and we will get new versions this year at Q4.

But now, what we have more about new future release. OK we will get a lot of new features, but on the first sight, new UX will be the first what we can see and just to say my personal opinion – It is the great work. We will get complete rendered web client (probably Tablet and Phone and the same time, I’m not sure). Now when you compare all Dynamics 365 clients, there are all almost the same. This is the point, we don’t want to speak about specific different solutions, we want to speak only about Dynamics 365 as a product; and of course, we will run only these Apps we need:

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Now, I can just share some first pictures of the new client to see how it looks like. When we run Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’, we can see new refreshed role center with very interesting ordered information:

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Then in further, when we slightly go down, we can see more tiles and Power BI charts:

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If we click on some tile, we can get very first sight to the most important information in beautiful interface:

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The list pages are very similar as in old client, but without fact boxes. These information will be available on a different place, but by my opinion on much better place:

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And on the end, cards are little bit different with the most important information on the top of card:

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I really like this new interface and I cannot wait to make more tests with this.

NAV 2016 Web/Tablet Client – Multi Company and Language

One of the lacks in old Web Client was impossibility to change companies and/or languages. It was pretty inconvenient for using. Answers from Microsoft were that we have to use different Web Server Instances. But, imagine we have 10 companies and we need 3 languages. What the final number of Web Server Instances will be necessary?

I suppose my customers will survive this issue on Web Client, but imagine one manager who manage 10 companies and uses Tablet Client. We cannot expect from on manager to change instances for each of his companies.

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But, as I said, it was a problem. Only, it was. Finally we have got a solution for our wishes. Microsoft is listening us. We got everything we ask and more. Now it is now possible to dynamically switch the language, region, time zone, company, and work date of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Web Client. As I said, it is more then we ask. But, the best is we can use it on Tablet and Phone Client as well.

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For the most changes, we just need to set changes and sign out and sign in again to have the change take effect. We can change it using “My Settings” command. These settings are now removed from the Web.config file and it is now part of Web Client user configuration.

NAV 2016 Web/Tablet Client – Freeze Pane

In Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 Web and Tablet Client, we can use Freeze Pane. We cannot configure it in Web Client, but we can use it here. If you want to configure Freeze Pane, you have to do it in Windows Client.

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If you do not specify Freeze Pane, system will froze the first columns by default in Web and Tablet Client. Web Client is not so clear as Windows Client and this small feature is the important to make Web Client more used.

NAV 2016 Web/Tablet Client – Hiding/Showing Columns

Web Client in NAV 2015 was really good, but it still needed some small improvements. I was in situation to provide only Web Client to one my small client. So it was my research, whether it is possible to use only Web Client.

My conclusion was that it is possible. When you don’t know for Windows Client, Web Client is just fine. Maybe it is not the most comfortable, but it is fine (especially for smaller clients). But if you now for something better (Windows Client) then Web Client has a lot of small limitations.

Now, with new NAV (2016) release, Microsoft has improved lot of them and I can notice that Web Client is better than Windows Client in some points. One of the biggest lacks was impossibility to hide and show columns.

Now, we can do it very easy. By my opinion, it is better made in comparison with Windows Client. You just need to press right-click on heading and choose Hide Column or Choose Column.

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If you want to choose Choose Column, you will open something very similar as in old Classic Client and choose what field you want to display. I just love this small feature. It is easy and fast way to choose columns. The setting will be saved for the next time you use NAV.

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OK, unfortunately it still have some limitations. Columns are added based on the same order, as they are specified on the page; they cannot be reordered. And to not forget, the same feature is on Tablet Client as well and you can see it is very similar.

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And finally, these are not the only improvements on Web and Tablet Clients. We have a lot of them and I will show some of them in future posts in few following days.