Dynamics 365 Business Central 2023 Wave 1 release plans pillars

As on every wave period, Microsoft yesterday released the plans for 2023 Wave 1 wave for its Dynamics 365 and Power Platform products. Here are the links to the release plans. The PDF copies are available to download in each release plan when you access these links:

Before start talking about our favourite products, the first news that you will immediately see is that now we have a Dynamics 365 and Power Platfrom Release Planner portal where you can filter, sort, search, pin and share links and more. And the new Release Planner is a Power Pages website… cool isn’t it?

But let’s talks about the product now.

Dynamics 365 Business Central 2023 Wave 1: what’s planned

Here is a list of the main improvements. Please remember that the list is not complete and more features will be added and detailed in the next weeks.

User experience
  • Modern Action Bar improvements (keystrokes, actions more visible, possibility to personalize actions on the subpart in the content area etc.)
  • Actionable error messages: some error messages can contain actions to save time on correcting mistakes:
  • Drag and drop files onto the file upload dialog: the file upload dialog in Business Central has been enhanced with a clear drop area where users can drag and drop a single file and a user can choose between dragging a file or using the traditional file picker:
Application
  • When you post item journals, you can now renumber the document numbers to be sequentially ordinated with a single click
  • Preview item journals before posting to avoid mistakes
  • Possibility to undo transfer shipments
  • Possibilty to preview the effect that an exchange rate adjustment will have on posting before you actually post.
  • Possibility to post payable and receivable transactions to a different general ledger (G/L) account than the one that is specified on the customer or vendor posting group.
  • You can configure full or partial deductions for combinations of VAT posting groups on the VAT Posting Setup.
  • Business Central now makes it easy to move one company’s setup to another company in the same environment. You can also synchronize master data between the companies:
    • You can define the tables and fields to synchronize. For more control over the synchronization, you can filter on table records. You can also set up more advanced synchronization couplings.
    • Changes in the main company are immediately pulled to the receiving companies by the job queue.
    • Users in the receiving company can review synchronization logs.
  • You can now start extending the Shopify connector (finally!). Don’t expect full extensibility at the moment, but in the next wave this connector will expose events. I remember that the Shopify connector source is located on Github here and you can suggest events too.
  • The Shopify connector now supports the recorded returns and refunds import in Business Central when you synchronize orders.
  • Users will be able to add table fields (all fields) to pages without creating pageextensions objects (and this is where I would like a better control, like for example exposing only fields where DataClassification = CustomerContent and not all).
  • Added a new mode on list pages to enable users to analyze and pivot data directly in the client. Very new powerful feature for analyzing data, expect more news on that in the near future. Kennie shared a public screen (GIF) on that here if you’re interested:
Teams and Power Platform integration
  • Improvements on how a card appears on Microsoft Teams when shared.
  • When you share a record on Teams as a card, administrators can now control the appearance of this card details by using a switch on the card settings for hiding the record summary shown on the card.
  • Several actions linked to workflow approvals and Power Automate have been improved with additional support for selecting one of many templates for each document type.
  • The way the Power Automate connector communicates with the Business Central API layer is improved in order to support processing large datasets or triggering automation when multiple rows have been updated.
  • Support for dynamic environment and company in the Power Platform connector
  • Support of business events in Dataverse connector (very powerful feature, personally top requested from a long time):
    • you can now create a flow by using the Dataverse connector and use the When an action is performed trigger to select the Dynamics 365 Business Central catalog, a category (for example Quote-to-Cash) and and action/business event on that category (for example OnSalesInvoicePosted), so that the flow will be triggered whenever a sales invoice is posted:
  • Added two new actions in the Business Central connector for Power Automate to support links or adaptive cards on Teams:
    • Get URL: generates a web client url to a Business Central record
    • Get Adaptive Card: Creates an adaptive card for a provided URL. The card is delivered as a payload to be used with a Teams connector or elsewhere.
Administration
  • New experience for updating apps in an environment: from Admin Center you will be able to specify when updates for apps can be installed automatically, or to update all apps that have available updates in one go.
  • Improvements on cloud migration, with the possibility to include/exclude certain tables and a better status overview.
  • Possibility to transfer a Business Central environment to a different Azure AD tenant by yourself: Internal administrators can request an environment transfer from the source tenant, then accept the transfer from the target tenant.

and the NST will run on .NET 6 now 🙂

Development
  • New AL Explorer tool for developers and consultants to explore, navigate, and better understand objects in extensions, including object details, dependencies, and extension points, without looking at the code. It also empowers technical consultants to perform mock-ups and light modifications to Business Central without having to work directly in code. You can bookmark frequently used objects and also immediately inspect events, APIs and extensible enums (filters as tabs):
  • New AL Home startup page introduced as a new communication channel to all users of the AL language extension in Visual Studio Code.
  • Support to attach the standard AL debugger to either an existing running session or to the next session for the specific user. In both cases, this is set up by defining a session ID or user ID in the launch.json configuration file for publish and debug. And you will be able to connect to S2S API sessions too.
  • You will be able to specify Title and custom actions to error dialogs via code:
    • New Title property on error dialogs
    • New AddAction method on the ErrorInfo object to add actions
  • Possibility to control database locking behavior. Now AL developers can now explicitly control the database isolation level on individual reads on a record instance by using a new ReadIsolation method (rec.ReadIsolation := IsolationLevel::EnumValue). This can help you on optimizing performances a lot.
  • Lots of new improvements to the AL-Go for Github extension (+ future support for building also Power Platform solutions together with your extensions)
  • New optimized runtime package generation:  ability to generate runtime packages with alc.exe instead of an NST. Using alc.exe reduces complexity and improves performance and it adds CI/CD scripts both for publishers to generate runtime packages on demand and for resellers to request and download these on demand. These tools increase efficiency and reduce manual work. Taking this approach also allows publishers to distribute apps for on-premises, aligning support resellers both for on-premises and cloud development.
  • ISVs publishing apps on AppSource will be able to test and collect early feedback on the new versions of their apps by organizing a private preview with a select group of their customers. This will be possible by publishing the app in preview mode.

And there’s also an actually not yet well announced interesting new feature: in order to offer an always more improved onboarding experience to customers, you’ll be able to offer the prospects to start an unmanaged (no CSP relationship) trial from your website, and pivot the experience for the desired types of businesses you want to serve:

As you can see, a lot is boiling in the pot. Stay tuned for more…

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