Dynamics 365 Business Central: handling a checklist for your apps

One of the onboarding features available in Dynamics 365 Business Central is the possibility to assign a checklist of tasks to a role in order to help users to complete setups or other configuration quickly and without forgotting things:

When the user hits Get started on their Home page (role center), a checklist is revealed inside the banner. The checklist provides users with an overview of their onboarding activities, while allowing them to learn and explore at their own pace. A checklist is made of a serie of tasks. You can customize these tasks by going to the Checklist Administration page:

Here you can see a list of pre-defined tasks assigned to particular profiles and you can also create your own custom tasks by going on New|Create checklist item. Here for example I can define that my BUSINESS MANAGER EVALUATION profile needs to start the Assisted Setup for setting up an approval workflow to manage inventory items:

and I can also create a manual task for checking the post codes:

All these tasks can be selected from a pre-defined serie of tasks from a page called Guided Experience Item List.

When assigned, these tasks are visible in my role center checklist:

You can also assign a value in the Order ID field for showing the checklist’s tasks in the order you want.

The Guided Experience Item table has a field called Type that determines the type of each task you can create. Possible values are:

  • Assisted Setup: all assisted setup wizards.
  • Manual Setup: all manual setups pages.
  • Learn: Records of type Learn point to an external URL.
  • Tour: Records of type Tour point to a tour of the role center. At the time of writing this post, these can only be added by Microsoft in the Business Central platform but things could change in the future.
  • Spotlight Tour: Records of type Spotlight Tour point to a special kind of tour where Business Central opens a page in a special mode that suppresses other tours and shines a bright spotlight on core capabilities, such as Open in Excel or Share to Teams
  • Video: Records of type Video enables the user to watch a video provided by a custom URL.
  • Application Feature: Records of type Application Feature enables a checklist task to open any page inside Business Central. Similar to Manual Setup this opens a page and will display a page tour if any is defined.

How can you create new checklist items via code?

Creating checklist items via code could be useful to enhance the onboarding experience of your apps and giving to your users a predefined set of tasks for their checklists or directly to create a checklist for a particular role.

Once an element exists in the Guided Experience Item table, it can be added to any checklists.

To create an item into the Guided Experience Item table, you can use the Guided Experience codeunit as follows:

Here I’m creating 2 tasks, one is a manuale setup for Jobs and the other is a Video task. Best way is to do this via an Install codeunit in your app, but this code can also be triggered manually if needed.

When executed, the above code creates the following items into the Checklist Administration page:

As said before, you can now use these tasks on every checklist you want.

How to create a checklist programmatically?

When you have created checklist items and added them to the Guided Experience Item table, you can also create a checklist for a particular profile via AL code. To do that, you can do like in the following code:

Here I’m adding two new tasks into the checklist for the BUSINESS MANAGER EVALUATION role. The result is the following:

The previously created tasks are now automatically added also in the checklist.

Are checklists useful? I think that in many scenarios they can help a user to be confident with the system and with the tasks that pertains to its role.

Personal recommendations:

  • don’t abuse of checklists
  • don’t create too long checklists
  • use valuable descriptions for every task
  • Use Learn and Video tasks for redirecting to external helps or trainings

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