Microsoft Business Central 2020 Wave 2 Version 17 Highlights

Microsoft Business Central 2020 Wave 2 Version 17 Highlights

Microsoft continues to evolve Dynamics Business Central (BC), and the latest release—2020 Wave 2/version 17—is no exception. Microsoft’s focus is to make BC a product people enjoy using and ensuring every tool in the Microsoft ecosystem is available to BC users through world-class cloud service that’s easy to adopt and delivers high performance; continuous improvements in mobility, security, data privacy, accessibility, and meeting compliance standards; continued support of the worldwide network of Independent Software Vendors (ISV) who market industry and function-specific adds-ons to BC; and evolving the product to deliver a first-class user experience all around. 

Here are some highlights to note:

  1. A new additional environment Capacity SKU that includes a production environment, 3 sandboxes, and 4 GB/user file storage
  2. Improved email communications, offering a secure Exchange connection that supports the latest security standards, multiple accounts/scenarios, a wizard-driven option to Send as current user, a rich text editor that lets you add attachments and save and send later, and an Outbox/Sent Email folder for drafts, sent emails, and failed sends. (coming in the next minor release)
  3. Applications support for OAuth2.0 to ensure safety
  4. An AL function to assist with Extension performance, which can be used to troubleshoot performance issues
  5. A web client that allows users to reach Business Central however they need to, which incorporated feedback to make small changes that have a big impact on the user experience, including: 
    • A report preview that returns to request page resulting in fewer clicks to fine-tune results
    • A page layout cached to browser storage for faster page load times even after reopening browser, opening a new tab, or signing in again
    • Role Centers that load faster – it’s now 27% quicker to sign in and begin interacting and 40% faster to display a layout
    • Pages with factboxes are more responsive
    • Improved horizontal scrolling of lists—also, draggable columns and freeze panes are more visible
    • Updated styling for better readability
    • Changes to the action bar in lookup dialogs for less noise and better focus on what matters

      Figure 1 – Action Bar Changes in Microsoft Dynamics Business Central 2020 Release Wave 2
    • Removal of duplicate naming in navigation – only one Navigate function
    • More detailed File Upload error messages
    • A Sandbox picker with multiple, consistent ways to access various environments
    • Installable tiles that look and behave like other apps in the Start menu
  6. New debugger features, code document comments, compiler pragmas, obsoleting use of the WITH statement, upgrade error notification enhancements, and more
  7. More than 20 application enhancements, including: 
    • Cross application improvements:
      • Easier to choose correct Role Center
      • Schedule data update of application features through Feature Management to avoid disruption
      • Conversion templates to convert contacts to Vendors and Employees
      • Define retention policies – better manage database size
      • Navigate, navigate, navigate (mentioned above) now named Find Entries or Related
      • Improved user experience to avoid issues before they occur:
        • Color coded status fields; irrelevant fields not available
        • Required fields (for posting, for instance) are denoted with red asterisk
    • Finance Improvements:
      • Check journals in the background – validation to alert the user to issues before they happen
      • Copy journal function on posted journals to easily correct mistakes
      • Control date for reversing entries in recurring general journals
    • Sales improvements:
      • Track packages from more types of sales documents, vital to customer service
      • Use Word document layouts to customize outgoing customer documents
    • Inventory and Jobs:
      • Enter item ref up to 50 chars (write longer item references) – key to facilitate supply chain efficiencies
      • Default unit cost for non-inventory items
    • Common Data Services Integration:
      • OAuth 2.0
      • Fewer synchronization conflicts
      • Auto-resolve CDS conflicts
      • Restore synchronization defaults
    • Application Performance:
      • Speed up low-level code calculations (manufacturing, ie BOM components can be disabled so these low-level code calcs are done daily, outside high volume hours)
      • Disable Integration records and integration management – use system fields instead. Dependent upon when partner extensions / apps are updated to utilize these system fields
      • Database access intent changed to read-only for frequently used reports
  8. Improvements around authentication, environment selection, and working with sandboxes for iOS- and Android-based mobile devices
  9. Improvements to the Admin Center, including environment restore, operations log, and capacity overview
  10. Partner telemetry features, including built-in AL tooling for developers to emit telemetry, as well as the ability for Extension publishers to instrument their apps. 
  11. Integration of BC SaaS (online) with Microsoft Teams, providing, among other things, the ability to share a link to a BC page or record in a Teams chat or conversation, and information from that card will display in Teams with compact, relevant data—preview is interactive, allowing all users to drill into details that can be edited from within Teams. All Extensions, company setups, and personalizations are inherent in this experience.
  12. Integration of BC with Power BI, providing a Power BI-embedded experience, an option to display Power BI reports and lists, and integrated Power BI report management. For more information on the current integration of Business Central and Power BI, read How To Add Power BI to Business Central List Views and contact ArcherPoint for help with embedding Power BI into Business Central online (SaaS) or on premises.

Ready to Look at Business Central? Contact ArcherPoint

If you’re already a BC user, you can download the 2020 Wave 2 release and start using it right away.

If you want to see everything that was included in this version, create an account and sign it to view the entire Business Central 2020 Wave 2 release launch event.

If you haven’t yet made the move to Business Central, contact ArcherPoint for a personalized demonstration.

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