Microsoft has officially unveiled today the Dynamics 365 and industry clouds release plan for the 2022 release wave 1. The release contains hundreds of new features across the entire Dynamics 365 stack of applications, but here I want to focus on the list of planned improvements for Dynamics 365 Business Central 2022 Release Wave 1. As usual, there are investments on different areas and I will try to summarize them here.
Modern client improvements
- Copy link option introduced in the Share menu.
- The new PWA app (installable from the browser) now replaces the Windows desktop app (UWP). The PWA-based desktop app will be in the Microsoft Store and will be installable on SaaS and on-premise platforms.
- Usability improvements on page navigation.
- Blocking deletion of G/L accounts: A new field, Block Deletion of G/L Accounts, is added to the General Ledger Setup page. The field acts as an extra validation when a user tries to delete an account where there are ledger entries after the date that is specified in the Check G/L Acc. Deletion After field.
- Sell-to and Ship-to added to the Jobs page in order to support projects where the party that is receiving a service is different from the party that is paying the bill.
- Improvements on bank reconciliation process.
- Added the possibility to set default bank accounts on sales and service documents for companies, and for individual currencies, by choosing Default Bank Account from the list of company bank accounts on the Company Information and Currencies pages.
- Fixed Quantity option in the calculation formula in Product Bills of Materials
- Added the possibility to preview the effect that an exchange rate adjustment will have on posting before you actually post by choosing Preview on the Adjust Exchange Rates report request page.
- Added the possibility to manually map payment terms, freight terms, shipping methods, and shipping agents between Business Central and Dataverse.
- Added more control over deferrals posting (you can define periods during which you allow people to post deferrals for specific users).
- New UI for entering demand forecasts to add support for Variant Code and other improvements.
- Improved Payment Reconciliation Journal.
- Possibility to use different G/L accounts for payables and receivables transactions by specifying the posting groups to allow as substitutes.
- New Report Selections for Jobs page that lets users specify which report object will be used to print job quotes if you use the Jobs module to manage your projects.
- Possibility to set default dimensions for a location on the Location Card page
- Support for Inventory Pick and Warehouse pick operations for jobs.
- Release of the Shopify connector (announced months ago, now it’s finally ready for the masses).
- Possibility to synchronize sales quotes and orders between Business Central and Dynamics 365 Sales in both directions.
- Demo data and tools for Manufacturing: new extension that you can install on any environment for showing manufacturing demos on Cronus or My Company companies.
- New capabilities for financial reporting with account schedules.
- Possibility to use Excel to design layouts for reports. This is personally one of the feature I love more, because it’s very easy to use and powerful also for the end user.
- To create an Excel layout from scratch, open the report request page, and then run the report with the option Excel document (data only). The report generates an Excel file with sample data and the fields that are available in the report definition. Then you add your layout to additional tabs in the generated Excel file.
- To test the layout, simply import it as a custom layout in Business Central. After the system has validated that the layout is valid for use, you can now go to the request page and run the report with your new layout.
Microsoft 365 integration
- Improvements to the Business Central integration in Teams, expecially on the “Details” page for a shared content and the possibility to pin a card as a new tab in Teams.
- Outlook add-in: Add attachments from emails directly to Business Central documents (option to take all or selected attachments sent by the external customer via email and directly add them to Business Central records (as attached documents for contacts, customers, and so on).
- Auto-deploy dependent projects in workspace: deploying an AL project in a Visual Studio Code workspace will traverse the project dependency graph in the workspace and install any required projects if these are not already deployed to the NST server.
- In-client performance profiler: new app page that can be reached on its own or from the Help & Support page. It will contain actions to start and stop the capture of a user flow, monitoring the data and download the snapshot for sharing it with developers or technical support.
- AL-Go for Github: set of GitHub templates and actions for PTE or AppSource apps, which can be used to setup and maintain professional DevOps processes for your Business Central AL projects in Github.
- Added the possibility to export a report dataset to XML.
- New permission sets capabilities: now admin users can leverage the permission sets and group them based on a tenant’s needs, visualize which permission sets are included in a given set, include others, and fine tune them as needed. It will be also possible to subtract permissions with a permission set scope. A sneak preview of the UI is the following:
Administration and Service + Platform area
- The Update users from Microsoft 365 process now queries only those users that have a valid Business Central license assigned (much more faster).
- Business Central security administrators can define which permission sets or user groups are assigned by default to a user when they sign up. Specifying which permission sets or user groups are relevant for a license or plan helps the administrator ensure that the user has the right access from the start
- Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) of the underlying Business Central database exposed to partners. Now the Business Central platform will make data from a subset of these DMVs available as virtual tables, so that their data can be accessed from AL code. There will be available also pages on top of these tables checking these views data without having to write code.
- Telemetry: Session.LogMessage now will emit also the company name as a custom dimension on every call.
- Telemetry: if an error message is shown to the user, the Business Central server will log calls to the ERROR method to partner telemetry.
- Telemetry: the Business Central platform will now emit a pseudo user ID to telemetry signals for support engineers in order to quickly identify which data in telemetry corresponds to a particular user. The pseudo user ID is a new field on the User Card that can be changed over time.
- Telemetry: The actions of enabling or disabling detailed telemetry are now logged
- Telemetry: If a database deadlock occurs, the Business Central server will now log an event to partner telemetry.
Power Platform integration
- New capabilites added to the Power Automate and Power Apps connector, like support for filering, sorting and finding data, support for adding related records (headera nd lines on documents), improved reliability.
- Business Central virtual tables will now emit data change events, just as the native tables do. This enables Power Automate triggers to execute when data changes for a virtual table.
Business Central improves the onboarding experience of new customers on every release wave. Here you will found:
- New and modern Help pane (similar to the experience in other Microsoft offerings) with context-aware links from Microsoft and from Partners (they will be able to configure their content to be available in the Help page).
- Guided tour that helps users find settings and personalization tools + new role center tours.
- Support for rich text in teaching tips and tours: you will be able to mark up rich text in the teaching tips to provide even clearer descriptions or to add links to other in-app entities.
As you can see, there are lots of improvements on different areas. You will find more detailed informations about these in the upcoming weeks/months.
Please remember that general availability will start from April 1, 2022 but expect to have a public preview in March.