Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central – 2019 Spring Release

I’m not attending Directions ASIA this year – and it doesn’t really feel good. There is a major release around the corner, and I have to experience it through social media – I hate it! But that’s life – my wife is going live with a huge project, so I had some duties at home ;-). Luckily, the go live is going quite well, so it seems to have been worth it ;-).

Having said that – the below blogpost is actually completely redundant. In fact, when I finished it, and was reviewing it, I came across this article on Microsoft Docs: What’s new and planned for Dynamics 365 Business Central. But hey, I’ve put the work into it, and I put some of my own thoughts into it – who knows it’s still interesting to read ;-).

As said, there is a major release around the corner. And since we don’t have version numbers anymore (actually, we have… I assume this is going to be version “14”), let’s just call it:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central – 2019 Spring Release

The information that I will list here, is merely from twitter/facebook/.. . So definitely second hand – definitely not complete – and definitely only from my interpretation! Let that be a big fat disclaimer.

But nevertheless, let’s list what I learned from social media today:

Last release with C/AL and Windows Client

I think the most important piece of information was the fact that this release is the last release that will contain C/AL, and also the last one with the windows client. Just look at these screenshots from Alexander Totovic:

and …

Enjoy the last 6 months of windows client, people ;-)!

To quote Kamil Sacek: “from 12-24 month announced on 2018 is 12 month in reality!” ;-). Indeed, the last roadmap, it said that it might happen from 12 to 14 months – I guess it has become 12 months.

What does it mean for code modification in the base app? Well, you will still be able to do it, according to Tobias Fenster.

Focus on security, stability and performance

In the keynote, it was clear that this release had a very strong focus on these three pillars:

  • Stability
  • Security
  • Performance

(screenshots by Dmitry Katson)

And going forward, the points that I will address, kind of indicates that.  Let’s … get … started …

Technical Enhancements

Last Error

We already had the “system information” page in business central, which showed the last error, which I blogged about some time ago here. But now, they got the error info out of it (it seems), and created a new page “Error Details”, which shows like this (screenshot Tobias Fenster):

It brings more possibilities to the user as they can figure out in the application of what’s wrong – but also for developers this is interesting, for example to know where to put breakpoints ;-).

Force Sync

As you know, while developing extensions, it was “challenging” to keep the data. If you do a breaking change (like removing a field), it could happen that you had to remove all data (from the extension) to rebuild it.

Well – this release brings a “force sync”!

Screenshot from Saurav Dhyani:

This solves a LOT of frustrations ;-).

Configure Context-Sensitive Help

May be something we don’t really think about, but definitely important to realize it exists! From this release, we will be able to apply context sensitive help. More info on Microsoft Docs!

APIs

This time, APIs are not in Beta anymore, and will be v1.0. Which means: API contract is fixed, but also versioned ;-). If you need to extend APIs, you can obviously create your own!

Screenshot by Dmitry Katson:

Tharanga shared that Business Central now exposes all Standard APIs as “Open API 3.0” standard.

Which seems to bring “auto documentationand auto SDKs”. Screenshots from Dmitry Katson:

I have to be honest – I have NO IDEA what that means, but I’m sure that’s a good thing ;-).

Even more, Dmitry Katson shared that the APIs are in MsGraph now!

And let’s also mention “web hooks! Or at least, let Dmitry do that ;-):

Business Central Admin Center

When you are a CSP and sell SaaS implementation of Business Central, you probably know about the Business Central Admin Center. It would be weird if you would not know about it, because this is where you maintain, handle, set up, … your customers.

With this release, a lot of new features are introduced into this portal. Just to name a few:

  • Schedule upgrades for customers (screenshot by Tharanga)
  • Multiple sandboxes. Another thing we have been waiting for a long time :-). Now we can do it, and even more: we can choose a BC version (like ‘next’ or ‘preview’) to test our developments even against an upcoming version. Very necessary, and it’s there now! Indicated here by a screenshot from AJ:
  • Monitoring and notifications – you can subscribe to receive notification of more events happening in your customers’ environments.

Enhancements Intelligent Cloud for Dynamics SMB and Business Central

As I’m not intelligent enough to tell you anything about the intelligent cloud and its enhancements .. But I’m just going to leave this here for you ;-): https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/dynamics365-business-central/enhancements-intelligent-cloud

In-Client Designer Dependency Pruning

When you were using the in-client designer in the previous release, it created dependencies for all extensions in the database. This didn’t make sense, and caused a lot of problems going forward (where you had to remove the unnecessary dependencies). It was the exact reason why I hated the tool.

Well – it’s fixed now ;-). Only the necessary dependencies are there now! Time to give this tool another go – may be now it can be a real addition to a developer’s life. Screenshot from Saurav Dhyani:

Source and binary format for Runtime Packages

“Runtime Packages” is also still an area I have to dive into, just because I never had the need to hide source code (as I don’t believe that’s where is the IP). But I didn’t want to hold this screenshot from you from Saurav Dhyani:

Some more minor enhancements:

  • Max Record Size: 8060 bytes. More info here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/business-central/dev-itpro/developer/devenv-object-specifications-limitations
  • Even more: text-fields can now be up to 2048 characters. But as Soren says: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”.
  • Data Access has changed quite a bit. The updated info is already online: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/business-central/dev-itpro/administration/optimize-sql-data-access
  • RAD – or Rapid Application Development lets you build and deploy only a part (the changed part) to speed up development. Now you know where the “rad.json” comes from ;-). Screenshot by Aida:
  • Many performance improvements. This screenshot from Saurav quite indicates a number of them:
  • Or this screenshot by Tobias Fenster:
  • It is quite impressive to see the performance gains all over the place, like as well in this screenshot from Saurav:
  • Let’s not forget the page inspector, like Saurav did on Twitter:
  • The debuggers (in C/AL as well as AL) now shows SQL statements to easily see what’s slow on SQL!
  • Even more, you can start the debugger now without even publishing the extension – again speeding up development. Screenshot by Saurav:
  • Code actions in VSCode is when you have a message/warning from one of the code analyzers, you can “take action”. The famous “light bulb” kind of thing in Visual Studio. This is coming to AL as well, indicated by Saurav:
  • Multiple Unique Keys – I didn’t see this on twitter, so people must be sleeping out there – but Soren blogged about it. One of the features I have been wanting for a long time – and will be using extensively :-). More info on Microsoft Docs as well!

Client and UX changes

Applying a theme

Look at this screenshot by Dmitry Katson:

I seem to be missing a “Dark Theme” though – while I’m a fan of dark themes. Microsoft?

Focus-mode & quick entry

…to easily enter lines on document pages. Screenshot by Tobias Fenster:

Saving and personalizing list views

Yep: you can save a view now :-). I’m sure users are going to love this! Screenshot from Docs:

New Keyboard Shortcuts.

As far as I know, we’re still not able to post from F9 or so (so no execution of actions on a page though shortcuts), nor are we able to configure our own shortcuts (yet?). But at least, even more shortcuts have made it to the client. More info here.

Work date indicator.

Let me explain by this screenshot from Microsoft Docs:

Autosave indicator

We are users from NAV, and we know that basically all pages our bound to the dataset – which means all data is automagically saved. For users that are expecting a cancel button, it might not be that clear. Now it is:

Improved scrolling

It seems a very simple thing – not that scrolling is faster (it might be though), but the experience is completely different. Just watch this here.

Improved contextual search

the “tell me” box is even searching in AppSource now!

Application enhancements

And if you think Microsoft didn’t work on the Application, think again! Many changes on this side – en let me refer you to Microsoft Docs for this. Just to list a few:

  • Longer names and descriptions
  • Bulk import item pictures (I wonder if they finally use the mediaset as a real set now…)
  • Default ship-to addresses
  • Background jobs with data formula
  • … (many many more)

Release Notes on Microsoft Docs

Very important – Microsoft has documented all the things we can expect in this new release. As said, I just found this link after writing this blog – it could have saved me some time ;-): https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/dynamics365-business-central/planned-features

Release date

I haven’t seen a definite release data. Is it already here? Next week? End of April? No clue – but I expect this Spring release to be here very soon. Will update as soon as I have it, but I’m sure you will know before me anyway .. as social media will be swamped with it ;-).

Resources

It tried to note down all resource I used to compile this blog. There are some blogs, some links to Docs, and some tweets. All worth checking out!

5.00 avg. rating (97% score) - 2 votes

Permanent link to this article: http://www.waldo.be/2019/04/01/microsoft-dynamics-365-business-central-2019-spring-release/

10 comments

6 pings

Skip to comment form

    • Christian Schroth on April 2, 2019 at 7:11 am
    • Reply

    Great post !
    Like !! and thank you !!

      • waldo on April 2, 2019 at 7:20 am
        Author

      Welcome! 😉

    • Guido on April 2, 2019 at 9:11 am
    • Reply

    Great post. Here is https://twitter.com/MSDYN365BC/status/1112920286590984193 the new keyboard shortcut map.

    • Daniel Göhler on April 2, 2019 at 11:17 am
    • Reply

    OnPrem is released. You can download the Spring 2019 Release from this PartnerSource-Page: https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource/global/support/bconpremdownload

      • waldo on April 2, 2019 at 2:00 pm
        Author

      You are right! Apparently, the docker images refreshed during the day 🙂
      Thanks!

      • Robert on May 24, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      I am confused.
      What is the difference between https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource/global/support/bconpremdownload and https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4470116/released-cumulative-updates-for-microsoft-dynamics-365-business

      I suppose that in the first link are the downloads of BC Onprem of version 13 (October) and in the second link the downloads of version 14 (April).The doubt comes to me in reviewing the tags of the Docker images https://mcr.microsoft.com/v2/businesscentral/onprem/tags/list there are many versions for version 14 (cumulative updates?) However, in the partnersource there is no CU for the ver14

      Thanks

      • waldo on May 24, 2019 at 1:12 pm
        Author

      Well – afaik, there is no CU yet for release 14, that’s why all is 14.0 at this point.. (else it would be 14.1.x.x).

      I’m always testing the docker-images to search for CUs…

    • Jean-Paul Ung on April 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm
    • Reply

    Well done! Thank you!

    • Patrick Grabensteiner on May 6, 2019 at 9:05 am
    • Reply

    Thank you that helped me a lot for a internal presentation. 🙂

      • waldo on May 24, 2019 at 1:02 pm
        Author

      very welcome 😉

  1. […] might remember my blog from yesterday … . I didn’t know when it would be […]

  2. […] might remember my blog from yesterday … . I didn’t know when it would be […]

  3. […] Two points are totally not a surprise, I guess, as I announced that already: […]

Leave a Reply to Guido Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: