Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

The new name for Dynamics NAV

Latest Features and Roadmap

Microsoft has exciting and ambitious plans for Dynamics NAV which it has now renamed as Dynamics 365 Business Central. The new name is to help clarify the positioning of Business Central as an integral part of Microsoft’s suite of business software know as Dynamics 365.

Commitment to Research and Development

Microsoft continues to invest heavily in R&D – this is a clear sign of a company that is committed to remaining as a leader in the software solutions space.

Sometimes the billions of dollars can be hard to equate to their commitment to a particular solution.

If you think about it in hours, it has been estimated that each full release of Dynamics NAV/Business Central requires a commitment in excess of 200,000 hours of people’s time.

These insights into R&D spend help us to understand Microsoft’s determination to position Dynamics 365, including Business Central, as the leading full featured software solution for business.

 

Dynamics 365 Business Central

Microsoft’s expenditure on research and development from 2002 to 2018 (in million U.S. dollars)

 

As part of the Dynamics 365 family of solutions we can provide integrated business solutions that address the following functional areas of your business:

Customer Relationship Management | Marketing | Customer Service | HR Management | Field Service Scheduling and Management | Project Service Automation | Finance and Operations (the functionality of NAV/Business Central) | Retail – EPOS and Store Management within Business Central | Power Apps – connected mobile applications and workflow management | Online Portals for Customers and Business Partners (suppliers, Agents, etc).

Business Central – New Features and Roadmap

 

Microsoft has recently made the April Release of Business Central available. This release includes the following improvements (some of which will be delivered through an update after April 2019):

 

Application Enhancements

 

  • The limit of 50 characters for Descriptions and Names has been increased to 100 characters
  • Select multiple items at a time to add to Sales or Purchase Documents
  • Use expiry date on Quotes base on a company policy
  • Optional prompt to create a new item when trying to add a non-existent item onto a Sales/Purchase document
  • Copy Customer dimension values to a Job when the job is being setup
  • Create copies of templates used to quickly create new Customers, Vendors and Items
  • Merge duplicate customers, vendors, or contacts
  • Add shortcut dimension values directly to journal and document lines without opening the Dimensions page
  • Bulk Import Item Pictures
  • View payment information on customer and vendor statistics FactBoxes
  • Look up SWIFT codes from predefined lists to avoid errors during data entry
  • Improvements in Workflow processing
  • Configure which reports are to be printed for Warehouse Movements
  • View vendor invoice number on purchase invoice and credit memo lists
  • View time created information on register entries
  • Search for external document numbers (PO’s) on posted sales documents
  • View item descriptions, customer and vendor names in ledger entries
  • Find G/L account setup fields in base, local, and custom features
  • View document attachments on customer and vendor ledger entries and during payment application
  • Set up default ship-to addresses
  • Schedule background jobs with a date formula instead of a fixed date
  • Check for total amount credited when creating a corrective credit memo for a posted sales invoice
  • Change descriptions on G/L entries
  • ISO Codes added as attributes for Countries and Currencies
  • Preview Prepmt. Invoice Posting or Preview Prepmt. Cr. Memo Posting action to review the different types of entries that will be created when you post a prepayment invoice or credit memo from sales or purchase orders.
  • Email and resend remittance advice from the payment journal and vendor ledger entries
  • Personalize the User Interface to skip over the Address field on documents

 

Enhancements for Business Users

 

  • Save list filters and similar personalisation to create different ways of slicing data
  • The ability to add internal notes to business data captured and processed in Business Central
  • New focus on Document Pages. For those of our customers who often edit long and demanding documents, we have created a special view expanding the line items section of the document to take a larger part of the screen and leave more room for productive and fast data entry. When viewing documents with the lines section in that mode, you can now use advanced filtering, so browsing and searching through longer documents becomes easier.
  • Easier use of the “Workdate” feature to set your operational working date to a different time.
  • Quick Entry is a powerful and simple feature that provides an alternate path through editable fields on a page. It changes the behaviour of the Enter key to be different from the Tab key, moving the focus to the next Quick Entry field across the page and skipping over non-essential fields.
  • New system keyboard shortcuts for a better user experience
  • Autosave indicator to provide confidence that newly entered data is saved.
  • We’ve rewritten how rows are displayed in a list and how they fetch data, improving the initial display time as well as the snappiness of navigating across cells. Users can now scroll unhindered to any position in the list using the keyboard or scroll bar, without ever pausing at the “fetching more rows” message.
  • Improved and Easier navigation to find essential features faster.
  • Personalisation enhancements: One size does not fit all. Users can make minor adjustments the layout of their actions on any list, worksheet, card or document page to optimize for precisely how they work. Hide away any actions that are not relevant to your tasks, role or department. Move actions across groups and hide or re-order groups. Subtle visual indicators guide users to what is possible with the April ’19 release of Business Central.

 

Simplified Help and Support experience

 

  • Get unblocked using the new unified Help and Support experience that brings together our breadth of tools and links when assistance is needed. Users will now find links to self-help content and documentation, commonly requested troubleshooting information to self-diagnose or hand over to Support, seek advice from the community, or post new ideas. Administrators can configure a single support email address for the customer’s organization that allows any user to contact their IT administrator or supporting partner to receive support.
  • Page Inspection: Troubleshooting errors in business data or feature configuration often requires an additional level of insight beyond what is shown on the page. Power users and support staff can now inspect any page (or the page parts within a page), revealing the entire contents of the current record including fields that are not shown on the page.

 

Productivity enhancements for administrators

 

  • Hardening the integration between Business Central and Dynamics 365 for Sales: To avoid duplicated entry of data, data is synchronized between Business Central and Sales. When the synchronized data is changed in both Business Central and Sales, synchronization conflicts can occur. Sales people must be made aware of such conflicts and will be able to resolve them easily without involving the IT department or a partner.
  • Customise the theme for your organization
  • Better use of the Microsoft Intelligent Cloud – facilitating easier use of Public Cloud Applications and Artificial Intelligence for users of Dynamics NAV 2018 and onwards

 

Performance Improvements

 

  • Support for SQL Server data compression
  • New features for optimising SQL Server performance
  • Embedded Power BI reporting improvements
  • Many performance improvements over previous releases

 

How can ProStrategy help your business?

Get in touch with Deirdre on 01 429 1977 or email [email protected] and we’ll schedule a demonstration.

Written by Joe Kelly, Microsoft Dynamics Lead Architect

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