What’s New in Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Release Wave 2

Microsoft provides updates twice a year for Dynamics 365 Business Central. This blog and recorded webinar highlight the key new features planned to release from October 2021 through to March 2022 in Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Release Wave 2.

New Features in Release Wave 2

Dynamics 365 Business Central Desktop App

The desktop app is installable from your web browser, located in the address bar. This will create a dedicated Business Central icon in your taskbar and a shortcut will be added to your desktop. A separate window dedicated to Business Central is a quick way to navigate back to Business Central without going through your browser and finding the appropriate tab. The install button in the address bar is outlined in the screenshot below:

Adding Additional Source Columns

Users can now add the Source Type and Source No. fields in the General Ledger Entries page. These fields are added through personalization. Navigate to ‘Settings’, then ‘Personalize’, expand the personalization drop-down, then click ‘+ Field’, and click and drag ‘Source Code’ from the list. Then click ‘Done’.

By clicking the Source No. ‘40000’, you can see the customer, the customer balance, and can drill down to the Customer Card.

Help Pane Search Bar

The new search bar in the Help pane provides a familiar in-app experience. The Help pane will remain open while you navigate through Business Central, which means the content remains visible. Searching through the Search function is different than searching from the Help pane. The Learning modules do not show up in the documentation in the Search function which means that for new users, the Help pane search bar is a bit of a better resource for learning Business Central.

Default Line Type

This feature allows users to specify a default type for both sales and purchase documents:

  • G/L Account
  • Item
  • Resource
  • Fixed Asset

Previously, when creating a sales invoice, the line would always default to ‘Item’ and users would need to manually change the line type to G/L Account (for example) every time a new document was created. This new feature will save users time.

The default line type can be selected from the drop-down menu outlined in the screenshot below.

Users will need to set the settings for both the payables and receivables to use this functionality for the respective document types. When creating a new Sales Invoice, the Line Items will default to the Line Type selected in the General window. When new lines are added, the same type will automatically show up each time.

Posting Preview Additions

There is a new “Extended” Posting Preview Type found on the General Ledger Setup page. There is also a Hierarchical View button on the Posting Preview page which allows for a nice way of organizing things under tabs.

In the General Ledger Setup, click ‘Show more’ and then you’ll be able to see the Posting Preview Type.

The screenshot below shows the new ‘Show Hierarchical View’ button and the changed view

Edit in Excel Expansions

The Edit in Excel option is now available on the Recurring General Journals and Intercompany General Journals pages.

An important change is that there is no longer a “Page” button in the menu to Edit in Excel. The Edit in Excel has been moved under the new “Share” button, as seen in the screenshot below:

Enhancements with Microsoft Excel

There are a few enhancements with Microsoft Excel in this release. The first is that the file name will now match the page being edited. Additionally, there is a “Data Only” capabilities option when exporting reports to Excel. The “Data Only” capability is useful for retrieving raw data, using Pivot Tables, etc. This is a feature that our team is very excited for.

When clicking the ‘Send to’ button, traditionally you would only be able to select “Microsoft Excel Document (data and layout)”, but now as you can see in the screenshot below, there is a “Microsoft Excel Document (data only)” option.

It seems like a lot of data exported to Excel, but it gives you everything you need to know about the items. The screenshot below does not reflect all the data exported, but it gives a good snapshot of how the data is exported which can be used for Pivot Tables.

Tour of Business Central to Help Users Get to Know the Basics

In this release, Microsoft has expanded the use of tours, which may also include teaching tips. This is a useful tool to help users get to know the basics.

There is also functionality in this release where you can create a tour for onboarding new staff and have it personalized to your processes.

Improved User Experience for Posting Setup and Dimension Issues

You’ve most likely seen a posting error when you go to post a document and you’ve missed something, usually around the Dimensions side of things. This is a great new feature that provides a more descriptive error message and corrections are now easier to make.

Errors can be fixed within the error itself which can be a faster and more effective process. There’s always the ability to go back to the document and edit it there, but now you can also do it within the error message.

The example shown below is in the Sales Invoice. When posting preview, it looks a little different as there are a few columns added. The error message has more details for what the error is and says which invoice and which line the error is occurring.

When you click on the information under ‘Context’ it pops open the dimension entry for that particular line and you can correct the error while you’re still in the error screen. This is exciting because it only takes a few clicks to correct the error.

Sharing Records with Microsoft Teams

Microsoft is always improving the integration with other Microsoft products. There is a new “Share” button to share records to Microsoft Teams. This action is possible with cards and documents, but not yet possible with journals. When you share to Teams, a window open and you can select the specific location in Teams that you’d like to share the record to and can type a specific message about what you’re sharing.

Sharing to Teams enables a possible informal workflow. For example, if you create a new customer but don’t know if you have their address correct, then you can share that page within Teams. Then the user you shared it with is able to click the link and jump into the system to review the specific record.

This doesn’t replace the approval workflows but allows a more information method of sharing information at the card and document level.

Below is an example of where the ‘Share to Team’ button appears in the Customer Card:

Sending Emails from Cards

The Send Email action is now available on Business Central entities that have an email address, such as customers, contacts, vendors, salesperson/purchasers, employee, users, and bank accounts pages. This feature allows for quick attachments from the record into the email and the email is also recorded in the records history.

For example, in a Customer Card navigate to ‘Actions’ and then on the far right-hand side there is a ‘Send Email’ button.

When the ‘Send Email’ button is selected, a window will open where you can compose an email.

As previously mentioned, the email is recorded in the records history.

In the Customer Card example shown below, navigate to ‘Related’, then ‘History’, and then ‘Send Emails’, to see all emails recorded for the record. A list will appear of all the emails send for the customer card and each email can be reviewed individually.

Other Changes Worth Noting

  • Customer Consent – Data exchange services with third-party services
    • AMC Banking Fundamentals
    • OCR Services
    • PayPal Payments Standard
  • Production BOMs and routes on stockkeeping units in planning scenarios
    • Increased the number of business processes that take into account the values in the Production BOM and Production Routing fields defined on SKUs
  • Support alternative units of measure in warehouse documents for items that are tracked by serial numbers
  • Bank and payment reconciliations
    • Many-to-1 matching
    • Entries will be auto-matched when transferring differences to journal

For the complete list of features available in Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Release Wave 2, please see this link. For more links and information about all Dynamics 365 Release Wave 2 releases, please visit this page.

New Feature Overview and Demo Video

For further feature explanations and to see short demos of the features highlighted in this blog article, please see our recorded webinar below:

Topics discussed during this video include:

  • Business Central Desktop App – overview at 1:15 and demo at 4:30
  • Adding Additional Source Columns – overview at 2:25 and demo at 5:30
  • Help Pane Search Bar – overview at 3:35 and demo at 7:35
  • Default Line Type – overview at 10:00 and demo at 14:10
  • Posting Preview Additions – overview at 11:25 and demo at 16:05
  • Edit in Excel Expansions – overview at 12:00 and demo at 18:10
  • Enhancements with Microsoft Excel – overview at 12:55 and demo at 20:50
  • Tour of Business Central to help users get to know the basics – overview at 25:10 and demo at 31:00
  • Improved User Experience for Posting Setup and Dimension Issues – overview at 26:30 and demo at 33:50
  • Sharing Records with Microsoft Teams – overview at 27:30 and demo at 36:45
  • Sending Emails from Cards – overview at 29:35 and demo at 38:05
  • Other Changes Worth Noting – 41:20
  • Q&A – 44:00

If you have any questions about Dynamics 365 Business Central, please contact us.

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