Dynamics 365 Business Central 2023 Release Wave 2

Learn what Partners need to know about the Dynamics 365 Business Central 2023 Release Wave 2.

Table of Content

    Microsoft has unveiled the planned updates in the 2023 Release Wave 2 for Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC). This release brings a range of exciting updates designed to empower partners and their customers. From October 2023 through March 2024, various improvements will roll out across Dynamics 365’s marketing, sale, finance, and operations-focused applications in the Business Central suite and numerous other applications.

    While the spotlight naturally falls on the introduction of Copilot—a groundbreaking generative AI service seamlessly integrating throughout the Dynamics ecosystem and Microsoft’s broader cloud platform—this Release Wave also ushers in other noteworthy enhancements. This article will outline key updates that partners should know in Release Wave 2.

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    Copilot and AI

    As with other areas of Dynamics 365, the major news in Release Wave 2 is the new Copilot and AI features.

    Accelerated bank account reconciliation with Copilot

    Although Business Central has already simplified the account reconciliation process through automated transaction matching, the remaining effort required to handle weekly unmatched transactions could be more manageable. Copilot significantly reduces bookkeeping efforts by enhancing transaction matching and providing natural language explanations for proposed matches. This enhancement minimizes the number of unmatched transactions requiring human oversight.

    Marketing content suggestions

    Business Central’s first Copilot feature, Marketing Text Suggestions, transitions from public preview to general availability. Release Wave 2 includes several quality enhancements driven by customer feedback. It expands language support beyond English, incorporates marketing text into the Price List report, enhances discoverability within the web client, and introduces improvements to content moderation. These advancements are designed to streamline and enhance the product launch process for businesses.

    Governance and Administration

    Microsoft made a concerted effort to expand its governance features in Release Wave 2. These will be of particular interest to Microsoft partners.

    Enhanced control with the Dynamics 365 Business Central Administrator Role

    In the 2023 Release Wave 2 release, a new role, the Dynamics 365 Business Central Administrator, will be introduced. This role grants access to Business Central without conferring rights to other Dynamics 365 or Power Platform products. This gives administrators more granular control over what internal and delegated users can access and administer within a tenant. Additionally, partners can grant their delegated users limited access to Business Central environments for support scenarios without the ability to administer environments from the admin center.

    Selective table inclusion or exclusion in Cloud Migration

    Dynamics 365 Business Central now offers the flexibility to include or exclude specific tables from migration runs explicitly. This feature simplifies the specification of data to be migrated to the cloud, catering to each customer’s unique requirements.

    Efficient partner access control per environment

    Business Central customers often collaborate with multiple partners to support various environments. To streamline partner management, administrators can now efficiently control partner access to specific environments, enhancing overall governance.

    Platform improvements

    Microsoft has also introduced many upcoming improvements to the Dynamics 365 BC platform.

    Accelerated data loading on the server

    Significant server data loading speed improvements have been achieved, benefiting a wide range of usage scenarios, including web service integrations, background jobs, and interactive sessions. This release focuses on optimizing a crucial component of the Business Central server—the data model for table extensions. In previous versions, when developers extended a table, the fields from the table extension were stored in a separate table known as a companion table within the database.

    Faster application scenarios

    The speed of specific scenarios within the Business Central application has been enhanced, resulting in a more responsive and agile user experience.

    • Running country-specific (long-running) reports.
    • Renumbering General Journal entries.
    • Validating the Sales Order Subform field for Tax Group Code.
    • Generating report 120 Aged Accounts Receivable for larger datasets.
    • Assigning serial numbers and posting reservation entries and item tracking lines.
    • Streamlining assembly-to-order processes.

    Faster page loading in the client

    Efforts have been made to optimize the opening of various page types in the Business Central client, ensuring a swift and responsive user experience. Two critical areas of the Business Central client have been streamlined:

    • Opening a new tab.
    • Rendering all pages’ navigation and action bars contributes to more efficient and responsive client performance.

    Application improvements

    These updates focus on improvements in multi-company features and warehousing and inventorying features.

    Availability Overview increases warehouse efficiency

    Efficient warehouse management hinges on having precise, real-time insights into inventory levels and other dynamic factors within your warehouse. That includes item quantities, locations, processing stages, and variables such as quarantine or reservations.

    Starting during Release Wave 2, users can access information about item availability directly from source documents like sales orders, production orders, assembly orders, or jobs. This information is real-time and considers factors influencing availability, such as dedicated bins, locked bins, and items marked as unavailable for picking.

    Tailored warehouse process configurations

    One-size-fits-all approaches do not work in warehouse operations like picking and replenishment. Dynamics 365 Business Central allows you to configure warehouse processes according to your unique inbound, outbound, and internal workflows. For example, you can utilize warehouse shipments to dispatch items to customers while employing inventory movements to restock bins for production or assembly orders.

    Streamlined inventory counts and adjustments

    Microsoft has enhanced the usability of various aspects within inventory counting and adjustment workflows. For example, you can now incorporate items into physical inventory orders without constraints related to availability or turnover. They have also made data more accessible and digestible in multiple areas.

    Power Platform

    Many new features are coming to Microsoft Power Platform

    Enhanced business event support in Power Automate Connector

    2023 Release Wave 1 introduced the external business events feature in a preview capacity, enabling robust integration scenarios within the platform. This same capability extends directly to the Business Central connector, unlocking even more potential for Power Automate flows and Azure Logic Apps. This feature empowers users and developers to connect flows to precise business events triggered by Business Central or even events introduced by partners who have incorporated business event code into their applications.

    Enhanced control over Power BI embedded content

    This release enriches the Power BI embedded experience within Business Central, providing users greater control and flexibility.

    Streamlined Power Automate approval flow experience

    Building on the previous release, which introduced new templates and a simplified approval experience based on Power Automate, this wave introduces several improvements:

    • Automatic setting of the environment and company in approval templates eliminates users’ need to select these settings repeatedly.
    • Inclusion of the requestor in approval request and confirmation emails, providing clear attribution for request and approval actions.
    • Introduction of “Requested by” in the Approval step of templates to indicate the proper requestor.
    • Handling the “cancel approval request” decision on the Power Automate side.
    • Provision of an optional adaptive card, which can be posted to a designated Teams channel (or user) to convey approval of a specific document.

    Development

    New tools for partners and developers make up a sizable portion of the Release Wave 2 updates.

    Enhanced output folder settings for AL project builds

    Within the “al.compilerOptions” settings, you can now utilize the “outFolder” property to specify the desired output folder when generating an app file as part of an AL project build. This feature streamlines the management and reuse of generated apps, as they can now be stored in a centralized location.

    Intelligent method signature recommendations in IntelliSense

    A more intelligent IntelliSense experience awaits AL developers, particularly when obtaining method parameter assistance. In the past, AL’s IntelliSense could become overwhelming when presenting options that did not apply. Now, AL’s IntelliSense takes a smarter approach, prioritizing the first valid method overload.

    Open Visual Studio Code from the web client

    Streamlining the process of investigating or troubleshooting extensions in customer environments is crucial for developers and consultants. Traditionally, recreating a locally installed Visual Studio Code workspace involved numerous manual steps, from workspace setup to symbol downloading, consuming valuable time and expertise.

    A new option is introduced to open a local Visual Studio Code instance for the current extension and environment directly from the web client to expedite and simplify this process. This allows for the swift setup of a matching VS Code project for investigation or troubleshooting with just a single click.

    User experiences

    Many new user experiences are included in Release Wave 2.

    Tailor field editability via the user interface

    Dynamics 365 Business Central offers a robust suite of user interface (UI) customization tools, empowering users to optimize experiences for individuals, roles, or the entire organization. Often, customers rely on their supporting partners to simplify data presentation for enhanced readability and efficient data entry. Users can take control by making fields non-editable directly within the UI. This addition complements existing UI simplification capabilities like hiding or repositioning fields on pages.

    Barcode scanning with the Business Central mobile app

    The barcode scanning feature simplifies warehouse operations by allowing users to scan barcodes via the device’s camera or a dedicated barcode scanner. This functionality also allows partners to create advanced experiences utilizing barcode scanning.

    Efficient mobile app page and data search

    This feature introduces the popular Tell Me experience to mobile devices running the Business Central app, providing access to built-in data search:

    • Tell Me is enabled in the mobile app (phone and tablet mode on iOS and Android), allowing users to access pages they can open.
    • Permissions are respected, preventing access to pages users cannot open.
    • Pages previously unavailable on phones, such as worksheet pages, are excluded.

    Know what is next for Microsoft 365 Dynamics Business Central

    These were just the highlights our Dynamics 365 experts here at Stratos Cloud thought you should know about. Much more is coming in Release Wave 2 over the next quarter. You can find the full list of updates in Microsoft’s Release Wave 2 Plan


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