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What new & improved enhancements will be coming to Business Central in the Wave 2 Release 2021?

Microsoft has recently revealed its plans for Business Central as part of the Dynamics 365 Release Wave 2 update which will have general availability in October 2021. 

Microsoft have further added that the new incoming updates heavily revolve around helping users to get into productive usage faster, no matter whether they are new customers or existing ones that have been on Dynamics 365 for a significant amount of time. 

Furthermore, Microsoft is planning to have better built-in tours, improved integrations with Teams and other new functionality and features that will form part of the updates brought to Business Central as part of the Wave 2 release.  

In our latest blog article, we will take through some of the more relevant new & improved enhancements that will be coming to Business Central as part of the Wave 2 release 2021. 

Application Updates 

Bank and payment reconciliations will be gaining additional new features to make the overall experience much easier for the user. You will find that bank ledger entries will be able to be filtered for after statement end-date for a simpler overview. This will mean that you will have a much simpler test report layout where statement data and bank accounts will act as filters. Furthermore, you will find that auto-matching can be overwritten for all or none of the already matched entries. In addition to this, many-to-1 matching can be applied for bank statement lines against one bank ledger entry. 

More Business Central tours will be added to allow the user to gain a better understanding of Business Central which will help with new starters and enable them to add to their knowledge at a later date. In practice, this should make it easier for users to learn how to use Business Central and how to find their way around the overall user interface of Business Central. 

As well as the above two enhancements, Microsoft will also be introducing the following application updates which will provide users with the capability to: 

  • Add additional columns through personalization in various pages to gain more insight 
  • Add non-inventory items on requisition and planning worksheets 
  • Use Production BOMs and routes on stock keeping units in planning scenarios 
  • Use multiple units of measure when synchronizing items and resources in Sales 
  • List of trusted partner apps 
  • New automation API to create user groups 

Modern Web Client 

The main focus for the update to the modern web client in release Wave 2 is usability, accessibility & stability.  

Performance and usability improvements that will be coming to the Business Central web client will come to include pages that load faster, better efficiency in resource usage on client devices, automatic head resizing as your page size changes to enable more data to be visible on the screen & other many game changing optimisations. In addition to this, user feedback regarding the interface will be addressed for things such as data entry and navigation in lists, bars and submenus. 

As well as the above updates to the modern web client, the following will also be included: 

  • Discovering reports and administration areas in Role Explorer 
  • Unhindered data entry across rows 
  • Support for localized decimal separator on numeric keypads 

Better with Microsoft 365 

From better integrations with Microsoft Excel, to streamlining Business Central pages straight into a Microsoft Teams channel, the increased productivity and collaboration capabilities of Business Central working in unison with the other Microsoft 365 applications are one of the main focuses in Release Wave 2. 

Major improvements to Teams integration which comes to include a new sign-up experience when installing the app without the need for a Business Central subscription and game changing search term capabilities making it easier for you to use multiple words and special characters when you are searching for contacts. 

Major improvements to working with Microsoft Excel which comes to include the capability to download embedded lists to Excel through the use of the “Open in Excel” action, report datasets will be able to be saved to Excel directly from the request page. In addition to this, admins will be able to use centralised deployments for the Excel add-in for users or groups in their business. 

As well as the above enhancements for Microsoft 365 integrations, there are also a number of others which are as follows: 

  • Enhancements to Outlook add-ins 
  • Share a record link to Microsoft Teams 
  • Centralised deployment of Office add-ins 
  • AL API for sharing files in Microsoft 365 

Governance and Administration 

As well as the above updates that we’ve discussed, the Release Wave 2 update also looks to improve the administration and IT with customer environment set up, security, management as well as governance. Therefore, an administrator has the ability to allow access to Business Central environments from within the admin centre via Azure Active Directory groups. Moreover, you will find that copying environments have greater flexibility, making it easier for admins to copy to and from sandbox or production environments. 

In addition to the above, Microsoft will be also adding the following governance and administration updates: 

  • Operating log enhancements 
  • Restarting environments 

Microsoft Power Platform 

You will find that the Microsoft Power Platform will gain just the one major update from the Wave 2 update which will be to enhance the integration between the Dataverse and Power Platform by giving the permissions for an employee to embed reports from any Power BI workspaces, personal or shared into Business Central rather than just the ones provided by Business Central. 

Service and Platform 

To dramatically improve the stability and reliability of the Business Central Server and service, the server will be able to process multiple background sessions concurrently and includes new configuration settings established for each environment. These settings come to include the following: maximum background sessions able to be actively processed simultaneously and waiting in queue for processing and the maximum time a background session will wait in the queue to be processed. This will help to safeguard the stability of the environments that start many sessions and other environments on the same server. 

As well as the above, Microsoft will also allow the following as part of the Wave 2 release: 

  • OData read-only intent 

Next Steps? 

If you are a business that is currently using Business Central and want to get more out of the above updates or a business looking to implement Business Central then please get in touch with our team of Business Central experts today to discuss your specific requirements. 

If you would like a full list and details of the improvements coming to Business Central in October, you can download a copy of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 2021 Release Wave 2 document where you will find the Business Central updates from pages 199 to 243.