The start of October brings along Microsoft’s Wave 2 Release for SMBs. Users should be excited about loads of new features coming to Business Central. Some of these features include built-in program tours to cover standard entities for onboarding, additional personalization to give users more control over supply chains, improved integrations with other Microsoft solutions, an updated platform allowing more stability for SMBs, and much more.
With the public preview for these updates being October 1, now’s a good time to check out the new wave for yourself! Learn more about 2021 Wave 2 Release: Business Central below.
Dynamics 365 Business Central application updates give you considerably more control over your supply chains, reporting, and account management. You should find that they save you a lot of time, especially if you want to generate custom reports or forecast supply needs by several variables. Overall, the Application updates are about control, flexibility, and streamlining tasks.
This release included an enhancement adding more fields and columns to choose from on several pages. This personalization is powerful and allows users to tailor the information on pages by dragging fields or columns from a list to a page.
This feature allows you to process inventoriable and non-inventoriable items the same way, giving a business a unified procurement process.
Bank and Payment Reconciliations receive several updates during the wave 2 update. Within the Payment Reconciliation Journal, you can:
- Post previews.
- Separate number series.
- Reverse the G/L register.
Updates for the Bank Reconciliation page include:
- Reduced manual steps by automatically matching the transfer differences you post.
- A bank ledger filter that organizes statements by the end date.
- A cleaner layout that makes information easier to find and understand.
- The ability to overwrite either specific entries or all entries when auto-matching.
- More options for filtering and organizing bank ledger entries and bank statements.
If you integrate Business Central with Dataverse or Dynamics 365 Sales, you get more control over what appears in your business reports. You use bulk-couple and define unique rules.
Users can now use Integration Field Mapping to filter and choose the data to synchronize and pair records.
This feature will save you time by letting you specify a default type for some purchase and sales documents.
Enhancements were made to Business Central to clarify errors easier and provide guidance on how to resolve these errors. An example is when documents use posting groups that aren’t set up correctly, have inaccurate dimensions, or have incorrect dimension values. These new enhancements will allow the finance department to know how these specific transactions need to be posted, along with guidance when things go wrong, making it easier to resolve issues.
Item variant code gives you more control over how you list large items by features. For example, you can get forecasts that break down items that differ by color. This should help you forecast merchandise needs to improve planning, shorten lead times, and control sales flow.
Installing an app directly from the AppSource might not be the best idea until it is known that it won’t interfere with business. However, users can now safely install apps that have been preloaded and preselected, helping them choose solutions relevant for the company, industry, and growth.
The location will be copied to the item accounting, value, and job ledger entries records this way the user will be able to perform localization statistics for services as well.
Instead of using an external service built to validate address information, Business Central now offers a more flexible means of entering this data.
This impressive feature will decrease onboarding time by reducing manual tasks when you partner with new customers.
Production bills of materials and routes make it much easier to assign information to an SKU, which should help you manage inventory and save time.
This new release will remove old sales documents reports (204-207) in favor of recent reports supporting Microsoft Word (1304-1307). In addition, users now have the choice of using new layouts or clone the old layout to make it custom.
Users will specify a rounding precision for the base unit of measures, avoiding rounding problems when using alternative units.
In the 2021 Wave 1 Release, user tours were limited to pages and controls defined by AL language. Now, tours have been expanded to include tips defined by the platform to callout system controls, such as the navigation bar, sorting, and filtering. This allows users to learn the basics of Business Central User Interface.
If you have multiple units of sales (such as items sold individually or by the box), you will be able to use more than one unit of sale when you integrate Business Central and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales.
This release added tours to even more application areas, including in-product tours that point out information and tools new employees need to quickly and efficiently get to know their business.
Better with Microsoft 365
Better With Microsoft 365 wave 2 updates focus on improving integrations with Excel and Microsoft Teams. This should make collaboration easier among colleagues and across teams. The updates are a terrific sign that Microsoft understands the growing importance of collaboration in the office and remote employees.
Users will now be able to share Business Central records to Microsoft Teams. This function will allow users to type a message, choose recipients (team members, groups, or channels), and then send a message with a link to the Business Central record.
Perhaps the most important, this update improves security by giving admins more significant control of how individuals, groups, and organizations can use Office add-ins for Business Central.
Various technical improvements for deploying and using outlook have been added in this release. Users will respond faster to inquires from customers, vendors, and prospects by setting their inbox up in outlook.
This new release will improve the way users export data and reports to excel. A new action has been added, allowing users to download a static copy of a list as an Excel file, applying the filters for sorting purposes. In addition, another improvement has been made for exporting reports. Users can choose to export only report data to excel on a request page; therefore, the file will only include the data and not the layout.
The option to share files in Microsoft 365 and OneDrive means users don’t have to download nearly as many files. They will also enjoy a better-shared experience by giving AL developers more control over how documents appear.
Country and Regional
Business Central is in high demand all over the world. In this new wave release, Dynamics 365 Business Central will be available to serve customers in upwards of 50 countries and regions worldwide with built-in language offerings.
Due to large demand, Business Central will be available in the following countries once this wave release is published: Argentina, Bulgaria, Chile, Myanmar, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Ukraine.
Microsoft has been slowly strengthening the AL language to give developers more control over tools. The following features available after the Wave 2 update will further increase developer control.
Until Wave 2 of the 2021 Dynamics 365 Business Central update, AL reference documentation could lead to inconsistencies. The update solves this problem by increasing triggers and method attributes that auto-generated documentation.
The snapshot debugger feature focuses on performance enhancement by letting developers access a performance profile editor through the AL Visual Studio Code extension. Now, developers can investigate executions through top-down or bottom-up call stack views.
Earlier versions of Dynamics 365 treated installing and synchronizing extensions as two independent operations. Wave 2 updates for Dynamics 365 Business Central give users the option to install and sync extensions as one operation per database. (The update will apply to users with PowerShell scripts on-premises.)
AL diagnostic messages don’t always offer all the information that developers and other users need to understand fully why an error or warning occurs. Starting December 2021, some diagnostic messages will include URLs that link to more information and potential resolutions. Not all errors and warnings will have URLs in December, but SMBs can expect to see the list grow over time.
Developers will have better control over source access through granular and static app.json settings. Pre-update, many users felt hesitant to share sources, making it more difficult to debug problems and solve customer issues. The limited access control also made it challenging to use alternative debugging sources.
Wave 2 2021 updates will include flags in a new “resourceExposurePolicy” setting. Flags include “allowDebugging,” “allDownloadingSource,” and “includeSourceInSymbolFile.
Since the showMyCode app.json property is no longer needed, using it will return an error.
Administrators can now deploy per-tenant extensions (PTEs) that make destructive changes to table schema. Previously, changing table schema in destructive ways could adversely affect downstream users, making it challenging to update changes efficiently. When admins determine it necessary to deploy destructive changes, Wave 2 updates will allow force sync of customer-specific extensions in online environments. The result will streamline the process, improve efficiency, and give admins more control over services.
Governance and Administration
This new release delivers capabilities designed to assist admins and IT pros set up, secure, manage, govern, and monitor customer environments.
Users will be able to use Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) groups to grant access to environments to a tenant. The ability to associate an Azure AD group with an environment and then the members of that Azure AD group will be synchronized with Dynamics 365 Business Central and granted access to that environment.
Users will be able to copy environments within and between different types of environments, such as Production to Production, Sandbox to Sandbox, as well as Sandbox to Production.
More signals related to the environment’s operations have been added to enhance the Business Central operation logs.
Microsoft Power Platform
In this wave release, the Power Platform integration with Dataverse and Power BI workspaces has been enhanced. There’s more to learn down below.
Users will be able to embed reports from any personal or shared Power BI workspace (not just the default workspace).
The 2021 Wave 2 release of Business Central will further expand Microsoft’s commitment to meeting the diversity of modern clients. Microsoft understands that modern clients have various proficiency levels and expectations. Therefore, the 2021 Wave 2 release seeks to bring features more in line with the needs of all users, from beginners to experts.
Usability improvements to the Business Central web client make it easier for all clients to perform business tasks. Some aspects of the update focus on user experience. For example, Business Central online will automatically resize to meet the requirements of compact screens.
Wave 2 updates will also make user interactions more predictable, especially when users hover over or click on items. Most users will find that interactions conform more to anticipated responses, making the software easier for practically everyone.
This release brought users a reliable and predictable data entry editing experience. Data entry will become even more efficient with the inclusion of keyboard shortcuts such as F8 to copy the value of the cell above or F9 to post a journal.
The earlier addition of Role Explorer made it easier for users to browse, search, and explore pages, including those within and outside of a specific user’s role. The “Explore all” feature within Role Explore will become “Explore more roles.” Explore more roles offers enhanced discoverability controls and filter reports.
This release supports the localization of the decimal and thousands separator keys when entering numeric values in fields. With different decimal separators on numeric keypads, this will allow business accountants, currency amounts, and other decimals to be typed quicker and more reliably. For example, the value 654,321 got entered as 654.321. With the new update, this will no longer cause a problem.
Service and Platform
Each Dynamics 365 Business Central update seeks to make the platform more stable for SMBs of all sizes. The following features will roll out during the 2021 Wave 2.
Users that rely on OData integration can now establish a read-only intent. As a result, read-only data queries will not put as much load on the primary database.
Excessive background sessions have influenced the performance of independent sessions. Business Central Server becomes more stable by setting a maximum number of background sessions that can run simultaneously, establishing a maximum number of background sessions that can wait in a queue for processing, and controlling the maximum time that sessions can remain in the queue for processing.
Contact Dynamic Consultants Group for More Business Central Help
Yes, that’s a lot of information! You might feel a little overwhelmed by the changes Microsoft plans to make during the Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 wave release. It makes sense to get comfortable with these features, though, since they can help improve your business’s productivity.
You don’t have to feel anxious about learning new Business Central features when you work with Dynamic Consultants Group. We’re a Gold Partner for Microsoft 365 consulting, so our team can offer all the help you need. Contact us to learn more about how these new features can help improve the value of your business.
Allie is the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Web Artist at Dynamic Consultants Group. She graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in May 2020 with a Digital Media degree. When she is not busy creating content for the website, she appreciates reading a good book or enjoys activities outdoors.