That’s right. It’s time again for the next round of features that Microsoft is planning for the next major release. It’s weird this time, lacking most info from conferences .. the kind of “silent” release of Wave 1 .. it’s almost like flying blind. Although, there is a crapload of information online. And of course, don’t forget Microsoft’s Virtual Conference from June 3rd.
Since I’m still focusing on Business Central – I’m only going to cover that part .. but do know that the entire “Dynamics 365” stack has a release for Wave 2. Business central-related information can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365-release-plan/2020wave2/smb/dynamics365-business-central/planned-features
As it doesn’t make sense to just name all features (as they are all listed on the link above), I’m just going to talk again about the features I’m looking forward to (and why) – and the ones that I’m kind of less looking forward to.
What am I looking forward to?
As always – most probably this is going to be somewhat tech-focused .. sorry .. I am what I am, I guess.
Very much looking forward to that – just because of the possibilities that we’ll have with DevOps, because at this point, supporting a decent release flow in DevOps to an environment that is fully “Multi Factor Authentication” – well – that’s a challenge. For me, this has a very high priority.
Today, business can only be in three countries, because we can only create 3 production environments. That obviously doesn’t make sense – so absolute a good thing from Microsoft to open this up! Next to that…
That sounds just perfect! It seems they are really taking into account that switching companies is not a “per tenant” kind of thing, but really should be seen across multipole tenants.
It seems it’s going to be built into the application, within a role center of a task page. At some point, Arend-Jan came with the idea to put it in the title bar above Business Central like this:
Really neat idea that I support 100% :-). As long as it would be across multiple tenants/localizations .. :-). May be as an extension on the Company Hub? Who knows.. . Any solution, I’m looking forward to!
I couldn’t find the extension in the insider-builds – so nothing to show yet.. .
Now, doesn’t THAT sound cool? Because of the COVID-19 happenings, our company – like many other companies out ther – has been using Teams a lot more than they were used to. And the more I set up Teams, the more I see little integrations with Business Central could be really useful!
What exactly they are envisioning here, I don’t know, but the ability to enter timesheets, look up contact information to start a chat or call or invite or… . Yeah – there are a lot of integration-scenarios that would be really interesting.. .
I’m not that much into the Power-stuff (fluff?) just yet, but I can imagine that if I would be able to expose my own customizations, or any not out-of-the-box entities to CDS, that it would be possible to implement a lot more with Power Apps and other services that connect to the CDS entities.
One of the things we are pursuing is the ability for DevOps to “notice” that things are getting slower. This means that we should be able to “benchmark” our solution somehow. So I’m looking forward diving into these tools to see if they can help us achieve that goal!
These are a few changes in terms of client performance – and what’s not to like about that ;-). I have been clicking through the client, and it definitely isn’t slower ;-). I also read somewhere that caching of the design of the pages is done much smarter .. even across sessions, but I didn’t seem to find anything that relates to that statement here on the list.
So so important. Do you remember James Crowter’s post on Table Extensions? Well, one of the problems is that it’s always joining these companion tables. I truly believe this can have a major impact on performance if done well.
I have been advocating strongly against “debug in live” – well, this is one step closer to debugging with live data, but not in the production environment. Also this is a major step forward for anyone supporting Business Central SaaS!
Sandboxes are sometimes used as User Acceptance Test environments. In that case, multiple users are testing not-yet-released software, and finally, we will be able to debug their sessions to see what they are hitting.
Finally! I have been doing a major redesign of our product, and would have really enjoyed this ability ;-). Nevertheless, I’m very glad it’s finally coming! No idea how it will work, but probably very easy ;-).
What am I not looking forward to?
Well, this section is not really the things I don’t like, but rather the things I wasn’t really looking forward to as a partner/customer/.. . I don’t know if it makes any sense to make that into a separate section .. but then again .. why not. It actually all started with something that I really really hated in one of the previous releases: the ability to go hybrid / customize the Base App. And I kept the section ever since ;-). So .. this is the rest of the list of features we can expect:
- Deprecation of the legacy Dynamics NAV Help Server component
- Improved overview and management of the available database and file capacity
- Database access intent changed to read-only for frequently used reports
- Group VAT reporting
- Default unit cost for non-inventory items
- Track packages from more types of sales documents
- Bank reconciliation improvements
- Consolidation file format support for Dynamics 365 Finance
- Auto-resolve Common Data Service conflicts
- Notify users of high-risk changes in selected setup fields
- Use conversion templates to convert contacts to vendors and employees
- Use recurring journals to allocate balances by dimension values
- Use the Copy Journal function on general journals and G/L registers when reversing entries
- Use Word document layouts to customize outgoing customer documents
- Use contact Mobile Phone Number and Email consistently across application
Migrations to Business Central Online
- Continued enhancements for migrating from Dynamics GP to Business Central
- Historical data migration from Dynamics GP to Azure Data Lake
- Migrate from Business Central 14.x on-premises to Business Central 16.x online
- Migrate from Business Central 15.x on-premises to Business Central 16.x online
- Improved accessibility for low-vision users
- Access multiple production or sandbox environments from the mobile apps
- Basic auth settings deprecated for Contact Sync and Outlook Add-in
- Changes to the action bar in dialogs
- Update the navigation experience terminology to improve usability
- Updates to page styling
- Page Inspector supports temporary tables
- Data audit system fields are added to every table
- Log of admin operations in the Business Central admin center
- Renaming environments in the Business Central admin center
- Sandbox environments can be updated to a Public Preview version
- Developers can emit telemetry to Application Insights from AL code
- Extension publishers can get telemetry in Azure Application Insights
- Support for latest Microsoft Dynamics 365 SDK
- Expanded country and regional availability
- Deprecation of the legacy Dynamics NAV Help Server component
I have the feeling not everything is included in this list, honestly. There isn’t much mentioned on VSCode-level, while we know there is going to be quite some work in the “WITH” area .. . And we expect to have “pragmas” in code available in the next release as well – or so I understood. That’s just a couple of things you could see in the session “Interfaces and extensibility: Writing extensible and change-resilient code” session of the recent Virtual Conference of Microsoft.