Last month Microsoft released their plans for updates to all Dynamics 365 applications, including Business Central, coming from April 2021 as part of the 2021 Wave 1 update. Most of these features will be available for public preview in March with general availability in April (although Microsoft do make it very clear that delivery timelines may change and some projected functionality may not be released). This blog explores the new or updated features that will most affect the user experience of Business Central.

We will be holding a webinar in April highlighting the features we think will be used most. Register here.

Application enhancements

The Business Central 2021 Wave 1 updates includes a range of features aimed at enhancing those areas, such as banking and payments, where users have asked for improvements as well as continued performance improvements.

  • Assisted setup helps move the task of adjusting item costs to the background.
  • Automatic creation of lot and serial number information cards – This function will allow users to add details directly while creating tracking lines. Alternatively, if the user creates lot and serial numbers in bulk, they can add details automatically when posting inventory transactions.
  • Bank reconciliation improvements – With these improvements, users will be able, from the Bank Acc. Reconciliation page, to cancel a bank reconciliation that was posted with mistakes. Then from the Bank Statements page, users can run a new bank reconciliation report.
  • Bin codes in jobs – The update will include extended support for bins in the jobs capabilities. This will allow warehouse workers to find items more easily which will, in turn, speed up order handling.
  • Changes in synchronisation between contact and customer – In this update, Business Central is changing the way data is synchronised between customer cards, contacts of type Company, and contacts of type Person.
  • Define lot sizes for various stages of production.
  • Dimension corrections (for G/L Entries) – This functionality will allow users to correct dimensions for general ledger (G/L) entries. This will ensure that financial reporting gives the company accurate insights without having to make notes of temporary data entry mistakes. For one or more G/L entries, users can change the dimension values, add dimensions, or remove them.
  • Inventory documents – This update will give users the capability to adjust inventory.
  • More control over settings for Default Dimensions – Instead of allowing users to pick just any dimension value, when the dimension Value Posting is set to Code Mandatory, using Allowed Dimension Values in the Default Dimensions page, users can now pick from a predefined list of allowed dimension values that controlling, finance, or accounting departments choose as valid for particular master data, documents, or transaction posting in Business Central.
  • Payment reconciliation journal improvements – The update will introduce improvements that make it possible to use posting preview on the journal, define a number series for the journal, and use different document numbers on different lines.
  • Simplified bank statement file import – In this update, the bank statement import capability has been simplified. This will allow users to take a regular flat file (.csv, .txt), and map the file’s columns to fields in Business Central.

Improved integration with Microsoft 365

In the 2021 Wave 1 update, Microsoft is improving the the efficiency of collaborative business processes in Microsoft Teams. In addition, they are hardening the Excel and Outlook add-ins.

Improved synchronisation with Microsoft Dataverse and Microsoft Power Platform

Features included in this update include:

  • Improved synchronisation between Dynamics 365 Sales and Business Central. As a result, when inventory changes in Business Central, the change is automatically reflected in Dynamics 365 Sales.
  • Tighter integration with Power BI – With this update, users can create Power BI reports and dashboards using Business Central APIs, including both built-in and customised APIs.

Improved User Interface (Modern Clients)

The 2021 Wave 1 update includes improvements to Business Central’s user experience, whether the user is in the office, at home or on the go.

  • Client performance improvements – These improvements are based on the success of FactBox performance enhancements in earlier releases. Microsoft have applied similar optimisations to Role Centre home pages. This means that the parts of the page will load one by one, starting from the top, and only if they are shown on screen. The remaining parts will be loaded on demand when the user scrolls to them. This will reduce the total time it takes to load the Role Centre and will allow the user to start interacting with Role Centre content quicker.
  • Usability enhancements for the Business Central web client – The update will include a number of enhancements such as the ability to double-click a record in a list and the ability to work at reduced browser width or upscaled screens.
  • Enable cloud printing on mobile app (phone and tablet) and from Microsoft Teams app.
  • Users can change the assigned printer before printing a report.

Enhanced onboarding experience for customers

Following this update, customers should find it even easier to get started with Business Central. Improvements include:

  • Getting started checklists for guided and faster initial setup
  • Simplification of the initial company setup wizard
  • In-app contextual help improvements
  • A more simplified getting started and onboarding experience with Power BI.

In this blog we have concentrated on those updates that will directly improve the user experience of Business Central. In addition, there are also administration improvements, developer enhancements and increased regional reach.

TVision is here to help

If you want to know more about Microsoft Business Central and how TVision could help you, please feel free to contact us to arrange a demo to see how it could be the perfect ERP to help you overcome your business challenges.

If you are already a TVision customer and want to know how and when these Business Central 2021 Wave 1 updates will affect your business, contact us.