What’s New in 2024 Release Wave 1 for Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365’s 2024 release wave 1 has many new features and other changes for Dynamics 365 Business Central, Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, and the CRM applications (like Dynamics 365 Sales).

For each product, some of the improvements have to do with Copilot AI functionality, while others have to do with adding automations, improved tracking, or other options.

Each section below gives a brief overview of a few of what we see as some key updates for our customers in each product line, along with links to the official Microsoft resources.

Note that some of the features described below have already been released at the time of writing, but others have not, and wave release info is subject to change.

What’s New In:

Changes to Dynamics 365 Business Central in 2024 Release Wave 1

For this release wave, we want to highlight three enhancements in Business Central: new automation for 1099s, streamlined integration with Shopify, and Copilot functionality.

1099 Automation

In this wave release, Business Central adds automation for submitting 1099s.

This enhancement simplifies the workflow, using an integration with the IRS to automate form delivery, including direct vendor distribution. A new setup table allows for detailed configurations.

Additionally, vendors configured to receive forms via email will be able to use an automatic delivery system. For vendors requiring manual distribution, you can also print forms. The update also includes integration with the IRIS system for submission tracking and status updates from the IRS.

Overall, this change could be a significant efficiency gain in an often labor-intensive process. You can read the details from Microsoft on this automation.

Easier Integration with Shopify

We’re also pleased to see an enhanced integration between Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Shopify, aimed at enriching the online shopping experience for your customers.

This integration should allow for faster order fulfillment and improved customer service. This update comes in response to customer feedback, and implements several improvements to streamline the setup process (making it easier to get the necessary Shopify URL, for instance), and provide a more intuitive user experience on item synchronization.

For more details on these particular changes, see the relevant Microsoft page. Or learn more about integrating Shopify with Business Central in our recent article.

Copilot Functionality in Business Central

There is a significant investment in new AI capabilities in Dynamics 365 Business Central, to assist workers in a wide range of roles.

Two of the key enhancements stand to improve the pace of onboarding for new users:

  • Ease of Learning: Accessing detailed information about specific fields in Business Central will be available through single click, thanks to Copilot’s direct link to Microsoft Learn content relevant to specific fields.
  • Natural Language Questions: In preview, Copilot will let your users ask questions directly to find the data or particular pages they need.

This update also includes assistance with creating Sales Lines: Copilot can guide users in creating sales lines on documents such as Sales Quotes, Orders, and Invoices. This can further free your people from spending time on manual input. Note that this specific “suggest sales lines” functionality is not being rolled out in Canada in release wave 1.

You can read more on Microsoft’s pages about the new AI developments in Business Central.

Changes to Dynamics 365 CRM in 2024 Release Wave 1

While this release wave includes changes across multiple applications in the Dynamics 365 CRM family (including Dynamics 365 Field Service, Customer Service, and Customer Insights), for now we’ll focus on highlights relating to Sales.

Automatic Notifications for Lead/Opportunity Assignment

This update enables automatic notifications in Dynamics 365 Sales when a lead or opportunity is assigned via a rule. These notifications are intended to address the common pain point for sales organizations of delays due to a lead or opportunity being accidentally left unassigned, or assigned but not noticed by the relevant salesperson.

We look forward to seeing how this new automation can help close those gaps. Learn more.

Updated Appearance of the User Interface

The new styling for the Dynamics 365 Sales UI is intended to be more modern and familiar, making it easier for salespeople to get their work done more efficiently in the app. You’ll notice drop shadows against a brighter background, and more rounded corners and consistent spacing in the command bar.

This change is automatically enabled in Sales, but you have an option to switch back to the classic appearance.

Here’s an example of how an opportunity now looks:
New styling in an opportunity in D365 Sales

Copilot Natural Language Questions and Outlook Functionality

Also in Dynamics 365 Sales, there are several Copilot-related innovations, including allowing sellers to ask natural language questions about data in Sales, and giving quick summaries of contacts. At Encore, we’re using the new Copilot-generated “highlights” feature inside lead/opportunity records to see at a glance who’s interacted with a given person and how.

Note that this functionality is part of the normal Sales app license, and Microsoft sometimes refers to this kind of functionality as “Copilot in Dynamics 365 Sales.”

There is another group of AI functionality called “Copilot for Sales.” This functionality includes integrating your Sales data with Outlook email drafts and summaries. Copilot for Sales is a separate license, which also includes a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license. Please reach out to Encore for guidance on the best mix of licenses and functionality for your organization.

Changes to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations in 2024 Release Wave 1

As with the rest of the Microsoft stack, we’re seeing significant development and investment in Copilot, but this wave release also includes a lot of other helpful functionality, including better management of information for transactions and manufactured products.

Product name clarification: Even though most customers, commentators, and consultants still call it Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations or D365FO, Microsoft now technically licenses it as Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management.

Manufacturers: Track Components Together with Finished Goods via Serial and Batch Numbers

With this update, manufacturers can track the serial and batch numbers of components utilized in production orders and associate them directly with the serial and batch numbers of the finished products. This will assist with compliance and quality standards, as well as help with issues like warrantees and recalls. This functionality also works together with job management.

Accurate tracking plays a pivotal role in our manufacturing clients’ success, and we look forward to helping you effectively incorporate functionality like this into your technology and business processes.

More Granular Transaction Tracking with Financial Tags

As you may know, Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations has recently been rolling out “financial tag” functionality. Financial tags are intended to allow tracking of transaction-specific data, such as document numbers or master data, without expanding the number of dimensions (which can lead to decreased performance).

The recent update expands the usability of financial tags to accounting distributions for documents utilizing the source document accounting framework. It also now extends to various financial journals, including those for Bill of exchange, Promissory notes, and Advanced ledger entries.

By the way, we previously encountered a database-refresh problem that had to do with financial tags, but Microsoft has now resolved that problem through a late-April hotfix.

Copilot: Natural Language Questions and Receipt Matching Error Assistance

Copilot in Finance & Operations can simplify the user experience by enabling natural language queries for data retrieval and navigation. There are a lot of menus, pages, and records in the average Finance & Operations deployment, and Copilot may be very helpful in reducing the time spent to get to the pages and records you need. This includes “deep linking” to specific entity records.

This update also includes Copilot assistance to address errors occurring in vendor invoice automation. This should help accounts payable clerks to more quickly select invoices with errors, collect the relevant info, and fix the issue.

What’s Next?

Dynamics 365 solutions, Copilot, and the rest of the Microsoft stack continue to evolve quickly. We know it can be tough for customers to stay informed about everything.

Encore is committed to helping our customers identify and leverage the specific changes in each wave that are most relevant to them. To see all the changes for Dynamics 365 products in release wave 1, please see the Microsoft documentation.

If you have any questions about items in this release wave, or how to prepare strategically for future releases, please do reach out to your Encore account manager or simply contact us.

Glossary of Terms for Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations Users

Do you have questions about all the different terms in D365FO? Check our glossary of the most commonly asked-about terms, with definitions and examples.

See Full Glossary

Glossary of D365 Finance & Operations Terms

See Full Glossary