Recorded on the 24th April 2024, learn about the new capabilities coming to Business Central in the 2024 release wave 1 update by watching our 30-minute webinar with Ian Robinson.

The update contains a wide range of new or updated features. These features include application enhancements, enhanced AI capabilities, improved integration with the Power Platform and improved user interface. During the webinar, Ian gives an overview of the update and discusses new features which will most affect the Business Central user experience for our customers.



Good afternoon everybody, and thank you for joining us today at the ‘What’s New in Business Central Wave 1 2024’ webinar.


My name is Danusia Jolliffe, I’m the Marketing/Customer Services Director, here at TVision. And, as always, I will be monitoring the chat to see if anybody has any questions. So, either pop your questions in there or in the question box, and I will ask Ian as we go along. The recording will be available on demand in the next few days so you can catch up or share with your colleagues as needed.


Ian will be doing a demo for you, as always. And on the next couple of slides, I will just give an overview of what today’s session will be about.


So, first of all, this is a summary from Directions North America, talking about the investment areas from Microsoft within Business Central. So, we’ll be focusing on the left-hand side on the AI powered business area, and Ian has selected a few of the areas that he feels, and also people within the business here at TVision, feel are going to be the most relevant to you, our clients. There’s also the focus from Microsoft, ensuring there is that world class service piece. So, on the next slide, we have points Ian will be talking about today. I won’t go through them in detail because Ian will be doing it. As I said, please do ask questions, either in the chat or in the question box, and I will stop him as we go along. Ian over to you.


Thanks, Danusia. Right, can you see my screen? Great stuff. So, I am in Business Central, this is the latest version.


And as always, with the Wave, you should be receiving an e-mail from Jack on our support team.


And he’s going to tell you when your system is waving, when it’s ready for testing. And if you’ve got any concerns or problems, you can always chat to him.


It’s really important, especially for people who are getting a notification this week.


Those are the ones that we feel I’ve got the biggest chance of having problems.


So, if you’ve got one already, it’s really important to do that testing as quickly as possible.


If you only get yours next week, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to test. It just means we’re less suspicious that there might be an error. So, there’s quite a few changes that have come through in this wave, that’s being loaded now.


First of all, you might notice, my screen looks a little bit different. There is a new role centre here. And this is the role centre for your accounts receivable people, or your credit control people. We’ll come to that a little bit later on, where that’s coming from.


But one of the big changes that is happening at the moment, and this is something that you’re going to have to test, is Jobs.


If you search for Jobs, you will notice, there are no more Jobs. It has all be changed to Projects.


So, anything that used to be Jobs is now Projects – Job Task Lines are now Project Task Lines.


So, if you have any integrations from an external system into or out of jobs in Business Central, it’s going to be really critical that you test those.


Microsoft tell us that they haven’t changed anything in the background. This is all cosmetic at the moment.


It’s just the labels in the front, but it is really important just to double-check please. Along with renaming jobs to projects, and in here, these are some jobs that I created quite some time ago.


And they’re just now available in projects.


There are some new fields that have become available on projects, we used to know as jobs.


And one of them, when this page loads up, archive versions. So much like the sales orders, every time you make a change, you can send it to an archive so you’ve got that history of how things changed.


We can now do the same thing with our projects.


So, you can manually archive your project if you want, make whatever changes you need and archive it again – and you have that history of all the revisions to your project.


So that’s one really nice new feature.


Another feature is somewhere down on the billing, invoicing…there we go.


In the past, jobs were always for a customer, you now have the option of invoicing multiple customers for a job. Which is particularly useful if you’re doing some office revamps and there’s lots of branches that your client has, and each branch pays their bills separately – you can now start invoicing each branch separately instead of invoicing everything to head office and trying to sort it out from there.


That also works the other way around. There’s now a batch job, where you can choose a client, and you can say, invoice this client for all the jobs that they need invoicing for. And that can be sent as one invoice instead of multiple invoices.


And if you use jobs where you have items on your jobs, that will be on the test lines.


Oh, I’m not going to go and search for them.


But on the test lines, you can choose whether it’s a resource, whether it’s an item, whether it’s a GL account. If those items happen to be items that are assembly order items, that’s now going to start feeding through into your requisition worksheets, into your assembly orders, creating those for the guys to actually build the item that you’re supposed to be supplying to your client.


So, there’s more integration with other areas. There are some big changes, also, with the service module within Business Central. I don’t think we have clients who use the service module, but if it’s something you’re interested in, I would encourage you to read Microsoft’s documentation – they’re making a lot of changes in that area.


Something a little bit more for everybody, perhaps, is on customers.


So, on customers, you have, obviously, the, the ability to choose a salesperson. I’m just going to use Trey Research here.


So, Trey Research will be assigned, I think, to Joe as the salesperson. So, Joe’s going to get any commission if we make a sale, etcetera.


My system is incredibly slow. I do apologise.


Perils of a live demo… So, Joe is the salesperson here.


But if we go to this customer’s ship-to addresses, and … where are the ship-to addresses, there they are…remember, if you’re not sure where something is on a page, you can always search, and the search will tell you there’s a link on the page and you can follow that, which is just as good as finding it in the menus.


So, on the ship-to addresses, there are two ship-to’s here. And perhaps the address in fleet, I want the credit to go to a different salesperson. I can now do that on the ship-to address, and instead of Joe this, sorry Jim, this can go to Alina.


So, now, if I’m working out commissions, I can ensure that Alina gets the commission for the fleet branch. Jim gets the commission for every other branch. So that’s just a nice little addition if you do that kind of thing.


Another one.


Anybody who is in accounts payable, you know that any vendor ledger entry, you can put on hold by putting your initials or three X, etcetera, on that vendor ledger entry, and that prevents it from being paid when you do a payment run.


Very nice feature. This has now been added to customers and to accounts receivable.


So, if we have a look… I was in a list of customers there… should have stayed there.


But if we have a look at a customer, then we’ll choose somebody who’s got a nice, juicy balance… We’ll just use Trey Research again …they do have a balance.


We can drill into that balance so we can come in here. We can drill into the balance, or we can go search for Ledger Entries up on the ribbon.


Again, I do apologise for this slow system today.


There we go, and this balance is hopefully made up of more than one invoice.


Yep. So, there’s three invoices here, and it may well be that the customer is not going to pay one of these. Oh, yep.


This one is on hold, I’ve put my initials there.


Why is it on hold?


We also have a new column for dispute status.


So, if I go into edit mode, list, I can actually give a reason why it’s on hold.


And it may be because they complained about the quality of the goods, et cetera.


Now, these fields, they’re available if I’m using Power BI or Jet Reports or something. If I’m trying to forecast my cash flow, what I’m going to receive, I can start picking up these fields and excluding these from my potential cash flow.


There’s also another column there for Promised Pay Date.


So, if we’ve chatted to them about this second invoice, and they said, yes, they’re going to pay this tomorrow, we can actually put that in there.


And again, we can start adding that information to any reports we start pulling of when we’re expecting payments.


So, this goes with some of those tweaks that they’re making by having the new Roles Centre for accounts receivable. It goes with these changes.


There are no reports at the moment, which will tell you which customers are putting their transactions on hold, or when there are promise pay dates, et cetera.


But again, if you’ve got that third-party reporting tool, Power BI, Jet Reports, you can pull that information.


Um, we’re going to come back actually to those accounts that are on hold. We’ll see why towards the end.


Another great addition.


We’ve had quite a few customers who’ve actually asked us for this kind of change within the system, is the ability to start recording transactions on your general ledger in foreign currencies.


So usually, I have my chart of accounts here. I don’t have the shortcut today. So, I’m going to search my chart of accounts and remember, if I want my chart of accounts to appear as a shortcut menu, I can always bookmark it.


And, next time I look, there it is. I’ve customised my screen to make it look the way that I want.


So, within my chart of accounts, I’ve already added a couple of new accounts here. Down on the balance sheet… started a new bank account for holding my euro bank account balances.


Also I receive a loan from my HQ company, but they give me that loan in Euros. They don’t give it to me in pounds sterling.


In the past, to handle something like that, I would have created a fake bank account or a fake vendor or something to hold that loan value so that every time the exchange rate changes, my loan can be revalued.


In this case, I have this GL account is set to work in a foreign currency.


So, I’ll just open this up.


And, again, it seems to be every time I open a card it slows down… we can see that this account,


Everything is in the same currency.


You do have the option, handle multiple currencies on a GL Account, but in this case, everything in here will be recorded in Euros and it will be revalued when I do my currency revaluations. Ian? Yeah? Someone has asked if there’s a limit on the number of currencies that you can include here?


Or is it… as far as I know, there is no upper limit, as many currencies you have set up in your currencies table. Which I suppose, would be about 190 something countries in the world, so I’m guessing 190 something currencies.


Yep, so, I’ve just set up a fake little….


Cash receipt journal.


Where I’m going to get another loan from my head office. It’s also going to be given to me in Euros.


Please open.


Yup. So again, it’s against that GL account. I’ve recorded it in Euros. That’s going to be £35,000.


And it’s against that Euro bank account.


So, now I record the transaction in Euros, I’m not actually going to post this one. The previous one I posted for £100,000…


But what you will see, this value of £70,000 if you drill into it and see the transactions.


When I initially received it, it was only worth £64,580.


I did a currency revaluation, there’s a gain loss. So, it’s changed the value in that GL account and posted against my FCY gains and losses accounts.


So now I don’t need those fake or dummy bank accounts vendors to handle loans.


I can actually handle them properly in my normal accounting practices.


Another big change that’s happened in this wave, is Shopify.


So, there are more fields that can now be communicated between Business Central and Shopify. Microsoft have said they’ve made the setup a lot easier.


That’s not something that I have tested. And they’ve also included the ability now to connect to Shopify’s business-to-business version. So not just business-to-customer.


Now you can also start doing your trade with your big B2B customers. So that’s all happening.


And then, we have two, which I think, the team with me also think, are really big changes in the system.


One of those is Page Scripting.


Everyone’s so excited about this one. Absolutely. Yeah. So, up on the gearbox here, you’ll see there’s page scripting. This is in preview mode at the moment. But it is something well worth looking at.


I’m going to turn this on.


I’ll just close what I was doing earlier. And you get up this box and I can start a new recording or a new script, and basically, I step through the actions that I want to record.


So, if I’m going to create a sales order, I would click on sales orders.


Starts telling me that’s a step that I’ve taken over there.


From here, OK, once it loads, next time I promise I’ll plug in a cable and not rely on the WiFi.


And I’m going to click on ‘New’ to create a new one.


And you’ll notice on the right-hand side, every time I do something, it’s kinda making a note of what I’m doing.


Again, I’m waiting.


And I’ll keep recording my steps.


Fill in all the fields that I need to fill in.


And now, once I’ve done all of that, I can save my script, or I can share it with someone else.


So, if you have a user who says their constantly getting errors when they’re doing some task, you can guide them to turn on recording, ask them to perform the task. And then they can save this and send it to you.


And at some point, in the future, you can open your home base and you can actually follow the script that they used.


It will play through it, and you can play through it step-by-step if you wish. Or you can play it from beginning to end and you can see what happens. So, if I play this script you’ll see, it’s going to go through the steps, it’s trying to execute them.


It will give me a green tick if it managed to do it, it will give me a red cross if it came across some error.


And it’s going to try and do everything on that. So, it’s really useful for drilling down if one of your users is complaining that something’s happening that isn’t happening for other people, you can perhaps see if they’re doing an extra step, or they’re missing out a step. What it can also be use for…


Next time you have a Wave update, you can record, these are the tests that I do to make sure my Wave update is 100%. The wave update that happens six months later, you can just come play that script, it will do the exact same test in the exact same order without you having to remember, this is what I need to do.


You also have the ability there, to save and open saved scripts.


So, I created one earlier where every Monday I come in, and I run my Aged Accounts Receivable report.


Maybe this, Next Monday I’m going to be away I can pass this to Danusia.


Danusia can come, open the recording, and she can just play. And it’s going to go through all the steps that I followed to run this report.


It’s going to export it to a Microsoft Excel Document.


And there it is, it’s done. Danusia can open this up and e-mail it to the team, or she can share it, if it’s on OneDrive or something like that. So, again, great way to automate your work. OK, we’ve had a couple of questions. Will the scripting work with bespoke tables and pages? Microsoft tell us that it will. Excellent. And what happens if the user who receives the script, does not have permissions to use a step on the script? Will it fail? It will fail. So, have to have the same permissions. Generally, the person who’s getting that script, is probably going to be a super user. So, you should be able to do everything that the people under you can do, or the people asking you for help. Right. This one has given me a little bit of a warning, for some reason.


I’d be able to drill into that and see, what was it doing?


It started on the homepage, so it’s just telling me, should have started from the homepage. So, this scripting is really useful for debugging, for picking up errors, automating your testing.


Or if you want to, you know, you raise sales orders and nine times out of 10, it works, and one time it gives you an error, you can just keep playing the same script again, and again and again, and again, and again. And see, is that actually true, or are you perhaps doing something slightly different each time, and you’re just not aware of it.


This will help you find those things.


So, we’re very excited about page scripting.


Hope you are too. The next one, artificial intelligence. Danusia mentioned it at the beginning. Microsoft, well, everybody in the world just about is going crazy for artificial intelligence at the moment.


Don’t worry, it’s not going to steal our jobs, but it’s hopefully going to make our jobs a little easier. Copilot has been added to Business Central. You might have noticed, still quite a few pages, you saw this symbol up on the ribbon that says Copilot is available on this page.


Copilot can do a few things at the moment.


What I’m going to do, I’m just going to go to the homepage, and I’m going to choose something to look at…a Sales Order.


This would work with sales orders, sales quotes, sales invoices. It’s all pretty much the same. If I just open one of these.


Once I’ve got it open.


I have far too many fields showing on my screen. I should show less. Might make things quicker in the future.


Once this opens.


Yeah, so down here I have Copilot.


Ah, where’s my, oh sorry, there’s my Copilot. I click on Copilot, suggest sales lines. Now perhaps the client sent me a nice wordy email, describing what they wanted, I can copy and I can paste it into here. Or I can just type it … “I want a desk made of wood…”


Whatever the description might be.


I can ask it to generate a line on this order for a desk made of wood.


And it’s going to go and look at my item attributes and try to find one made from wood, let’s hope it can. Yep. It thinks the Athens desk meets it.


I’m very happy that this desk is a good choice and it’s going to insert this line.


So, this might be very nice. I can imagine, I used to work for a company that sold ingredients to restaurants. If somebody says, I’m making a souffle next week, I need the ingredients. Artificial intelligence should be able to pick up what those are and add them to the sales order without me having to know how do you make a souffle.


So that’s just one of the things that it can do.


What it can also do on our Item Master.


This one is actually quite fun, but I don’t know how useful it’s going to be.


Or how accurate should I say.


We’ve had another question, as you’re going through, will Copilot work with bespoke tables, pages and processes?


Off the top of my head, I am not sure on that one. We will have to check that.


So, I’ve just opened the Paris Guest Chair.


You may remember, from a couple of years ago, Microsoft’s first attempt, they had some AI that tried to analyse the picture and fill in the attributes of the item.


They kind of changed their approach now. If you look at an item, I think it’s under item attributes…is that there?


Oh, they move the menu options too often for me. Attributes. So, the Paris Guest Chair, we’ve put in some attributes about it.


We’ve given it the size, the colour and the materials that it’s made of, and the fact that it’s from 1952 model.


I can ask Copilot, down here, to come up with some marketing text which I might want to feed to my webpage, for instance.


And if I click on this, based on those attributes, it’s going to try and come up with a marketing blurb that would go with my Paris Guest Chair. Sit Like a Boss. Paris Guest Chair, where timeless elegance meets modern comfort. That sounds so much like marketing. If I want to, I can change the tone of that, I can make it more creative or more casual. I can change the format of this, and I can change the emphasis and talk more about reliability or our innovation, etcetera.


And I can keep regenerating until I get text that I’m happy with.


I’m gunna. Go on, I’ll keep this one, why not. I’ll keep it, it’s going to give me a description.


And, again, this is something, have a look, might make your life easier. It might not. I’d be very interested from a wine customer. If you’re impressed with what it puts in here. Or if you think it’s not all that good.


We’ve had another question saying, would Copilot work across Outlook, across to Business Central?


Again, I’m really not 100% sure. I know that is something that Microsoft were playing with in a previous version.


If it’s not there, I know it’s going to be there in the future version. And the Copilot button, it’s there for everybody on the new wave. It is, there by default for everyone. It’s not something that you have to turn on. Great. The only thing that I had to turn on for today’s demo was that foreign currency General Ledger feature.


You simply search for features.


You find the feature you want. You can turn it on and say if it’s for everybody or not.


The last thing I wanted to show you on Copilot, you can ask it to work with your list views, and you can ask it to generate reports based on what it’s seeing here.


So, remember, in the beginning, we were looking at accounts receivable, and we’ve added some new fields. There are no reports available. Well, guess what? Let’s have a look at our customer ledger entries.


Now, I’m going to have a list of all the customer ledger entries on the system, and as soon as that opens, I’m going to ask Copilot to make me a report based on what’s in here.


So, Copilot.


Let’s have analyse this list.


And it is quite nice, no drag and drop, no writing code. You start typing in, “a list of all entries where the ‘on hold’ has a value. Show the customer and amount please…” Very polite.


You don’t have to say please, generate, and it’s going to try and build us a report based on this, and remember, I had to put something on hold. So, it should show us.


I think it was Trey Research with a transaction on hold.


And, it’s getting there, there we go, Trey Research put on hold. IJR. The amount is 750.60.


I could ask it for more help down here now it’s built it, oh, maybe I’d like a posting date. I can actually just as quickly add a posting date by ticking that box. But it’s given me the bones of my report.


I don’t have to figure out how to build it from scratch.


I think this is going to be really useful for you guys, and I would encourage you to let your end users know about this and let them have a look.


Just in summary, that change of jobs to projects, that’s a really big change, that, if you’re using jobs, you need to be doing some serious testing there.


There’s some other nice features, by all means, have a look at those. There’s a lot of features I haven’t spoken about.


Danusia will tell you how to get to those shortly. There are some other new things. For instance, if you’re doing Business in Europe and it’s becoming compulsory to do sustainability reports with your CO2 emissions. There is now a CO … a sustainability ledger with sustainability ledger entries, where you can start recording your CO2 emissions within Business Central and start producing those reports.


There are quite a lot of nice new things.


I’d encourage you just to read the summary of what they are, then, if there’s something that interests you, you can read a little bit further.


We’ve just had one more question, saying, could your sample report that you created reference data from multiple tables and pages?


I do know that it works with single table at the moment.


You can try on multiple and let me know what you think. We haven’t been able to test everything, there’s just been so much to test on this, and we got so excited, actually got carried away with things that we’re interested in. So, it is well worth testing.


OK, so no more questions, I’ll hand it back to you Danusia. Thank you.


Thank you Ian for that demo. So, if you do want to learn anything else about this current wave, you can have a look on the website. The link is displayed here, and also there are a couple of blogs on our sites as well, talking about the improvements, so part one, part two. As Ian has said, there’s an awful lot that is in every single wave and what we always highlight in these webinars are things that we think clients will find useful immediately as and when the wave is applied to their system. If anything has come up today that you are interested in or want to learn more about, and I had a few questions that I’ll be responding offline about, please do get in touch. As always, the webinar will be available on demand in a couple of days. Thank you so much, everybody, for attending. And thank you Ian for the session today.


Thank you.