Starting from today, Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Wave 2 (version 19) is available and all new customers will automatically get the latest builds of version 19 when creating a new tenant. On-premises product download links will be available on Partner Business Central later today on the following link: https://businesscenter.mbs.microsoft.com/#contentdetail/Dyn365BizCentralOnPrem_2021wave2
In the latest weeks we talked about new features (hidden or not) introduced in this new release. In the category of the “hidden” features for version 19 there’s a new one: the possibility for partners to preload a list of apps into the customer’s Business Central to help the customer choose apps that are relevant for their business, industry, and growth. By proxy of the partner, customers can safely install apps that have been preselected for them.
NOTE: this is only a list of apps recommended by the partner, apps are not preinstalled into the customer’s environment.
How this new feature works?
In Dynamics 365 Business Central, you have a new Microsoft’s extension installed as default called Recommended Apps:
This extension adds a set of features for managing the list of trusted apps by the partner. This list must be pre-populated via AL code and for this task you need to use the new Recommended Apps codeunit, that contains a set of methods for managing the app list.
To insert a recommended app, you need to use the following method:
procedure InsertApp(Id: Guid, SortingId: Integer, Name: Text, Publisher: Text, "Short Description": Text, "Long Description": Text, "Recommended By": Enum "App Recommended By", AppSourceURL: Text): Boolean
You can add a list of trusted apps with the following AL code:
In this sample I’m pre-populating the trusted app list with two AppSource apps. Please note that the url (mandatory) is the app url as listed from the AppSource portal.
Another extremely important thing to remember is that, in order to have this code working, you need to enable outgoing HTTP calls for the Recommended Apps extension:
If this flag is enabled and you execute the above code, the Recommended Apps list is populated with your AppSource apps. But how can your customer see that list?
For this, there’s a new Recommended Apps list page, only available through the Search functionality at the moment:
Through this list your customer can select an app, see the details that you have prepared for him and then it can click on the AppSource link in order to directly install the app:
No more searching on the AppSource portal and more immediate to install the relevant app for the customer’s business.
Do you think it will be useful for your customer experience? I think so…