It’s here! v19 or in other words “Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 release wave 2” is released! Usually, when Microsoft releases their plans about an upcoming release (like it did some time ago), I create one or more blogs about it. I didn’t do that for this release. No particular reason other than time. It’s extremely busy on my end (not going to complain though) and admittedly, the community has been flooded by already quite some awesome information about this new release anyway. In other words – why should I blog while others do it so much better 🤪.
I would like to highlight one particular resource that has been tremendously valuable to me for keeping me at least somewhat up-to-date, and that is the blog of MVP Yun Zhu ( 朱 贇 ).
Yun is extremely active on his blog and on Twitter. It shows he puts a lot of time and thought into his posts, which are of awesome quality and depth.
So, when you are trying to keep up-to-date with the latest and greatest regarding Business Central – well, I can only recommend to put his blog and his twitter account to your watchlist.
Here is a link to his blog which is filtered on “BC19” | Dynamics 365 Lab (yzhums.com)
So .. What’s new in BC19?
Well, it would be easy for me to simply copy/paste the contents of the Microsoft Docs site, wouldn’t it? So .. let me just do that 🤪. Seriously .. at the end of this post, you can simply find the complete list that I copied from Docs. Obviously, for an up-to-date list, get yourself over to Docs ! The only reason why I copied the list is to spread the word and to feed the search engines 😉!
What I’m very much looking forward to
What I get as a question once in a while is “what are YOU looking forward to in this new version, waldo?”. Well, as I have a strong focus on anything “technical” in my daily job, that’s usually also what I focus on in my answer to such a question. But .. when browsing through the list below – it wasn’t “just” technical that stood out for me.. . So .. here we go ..
FINALLY default line types in sales and purchase documents! This is something that has been requested quite a lot, and MS delivered! It was one of the many ideas that was upvoted by you to get into the product! So, may be yet another shout out: if you have an idea that you feel is missing in Business Central, there is only one place: http://aka.ms/bcideas
Another application feature that stood out for me was the “List of trusted apps“. It has been a concern of me – as a partner – that customers could just add any app they wanted without any control for me as a partner. Now at least, partners can list apps they are familiar with as being “trusted” for their customers. May be this is a great step for partners to be able to set up a list of apps that they are comfortable with to also support for their customers.
“Remove obsolete reports 204, 205, 206, and 207” is another one that stood out. In my company, one of our guidelines have always been “never change a default report” – even back in the C/AL days. So we will not be hit by this in any way. And I don’t think many others will be hit by this either, because it’s not like we have been having report extensions for so long, have we ;-)?
On the development side, I have high hopes for yet another series of performance improvements. 4 items stood out to me that I find VERY good news:
- support for included columns in keys
- support for non-clustered column store indexes
- partial records on list pages
- partial records on TableRelation lookup pages
So, it does seem that “partial records” find their way much more in the platform. Great potential! I’ll have to dive deeper in the keys and indexes to see how we can include that practice in our design guidelines, but it’s obviously very good news we get more options to make things faster! I do hope MS will also include this in the base app, of course 😉 (not sure in which way they already did).
Furthermore, may be the thing I have been looking forward to the most, is the “Profiling AL performance“. I remember many occasions that I have been bugging Microsoft with a replacement for the ETW-tool we had – I think it was pre NAV2018. That tool was SO efficient in figuring out performance problems.
I didn’t have the chance yet to dive into this one, but together with Jesper’s “Performance Recorder” (that didn’t seem to have been announced 🤔), this is THE thing I’m looking forward to. Simply because it’ll help development and support in MANY ways!
What I read a few days ago in tweets from Natalie and Yun, were the improvements on error reporting. Error dialogs will have more detailed messages and AL will be able to collect multiple errors in stead of just one. Just that last one alone brings so many new opportunities in decent error handling. Although, let’s first see how it really works ;-).
On Admin-level, it seems there are a few features that will really come in handy. We’ll be able to restart environments, more and better logging to troubleshoot, we’ll be able to copy environments of different types, and even work with Azure Active Directory groups to manage access to environments. I’m not exactly sure yet if I understand the latter exactly, but it has been quite a frustration to not be able with groups on “all” levels – so at least, this is one more level to better manage security.
On client-side, the one thing that stood out to me was the “Unhindered data entry across rows“. That’s a MAJOR one, believe me. We’re going to make quite some customers happy with that! On top of that – what I didn’t know was an issue – it will now respect the region setting for the decimal separator.
Last but not least I’d like to mention one more feature: “Protect the Business Central Server against excessive background sessions for an environment“. This is also something I’ll have to figure out. We have been designing our apps a certain way, just because we expected an excessive amount of background sessions – let’s see if we still have to actively work around this. I hope not!
Only one thing i’m not so much looking forward to …
And that’s the “Extend general ledger posting aggregations (Invoice Post. Buffer refactoring)“. I had a late night call with AJ about this, and we simply had to conclude that the refactored end-result is a step backwards (at least how it is designed today). I’m going to leave the honors to AJ to blog about this when the time comes though (he is the one who noticed anyway) – well, IF the time comes, because it IS in consideration at this point by Microsoft. I have no idea what the follow-up steps will be.. .
But in short – for the time being: IF you would start to decouple and write your own version of these posting routines (which you can easily do by copying the codeunit to your number range, implement it with a new enum, and then do whatever you like with the posting code..), the possibility is very big that you will break more than you realize. With the main (but not the only) problem, it breaking about all the events of the original posting routine (where other apps most probably subscribe to).
So for the time being, I would NOT recommend to use this and create your own posting routine implementation. There are a few “easy” fixes that Microsoft should implement first, imho.
Also this time, there will be a Launch Event for this release: recorded sessions that will drill down deeper in the new functionality. More info here: https://aka.ms/BCLE .
From the Docs…
So, this leaves us with the list of new features. Here is the complete list from Microsoft Docs of what we can expect in BC19:
Better with Microsoft 365
|Enhancements to Microsoft Teams integration||Oct 2021|
|Centralized Deployment of Office add-ins||Oct 2021|
|Enhancements to the Outlook add-in||Oct 2021|
|Enhancements to working with Microsoft Excel||Oct 2021|
|AL access to viewing and sharing files in OneDrive||Oct 2021|
|Share a record link to Microsoft Teams||Oct 2021|
Country and regional
|Country and regional expansion – Argentina||Nov 2021|
|Country and regional expansion – Bulgaria||Nov 2021|
|Country and regional expansion – Chile||Nov 2021|
|Country and regional expansion – Myanmar||Nov 2021|
|Country and regional expansion – Puerto Rico||Nov 2021|
|Country and regional expansion – Slovakia||Nov 2021|
|Country and regional expansion – Ukraine||Nov 2021|
Governance and administration
Microsoft Power Platform
|Show reports from named and shared Power BI workspaces in Business Central||Oct 2021|
|Unhindered data entry across rows||Oct 2021|
|Usability improvements to the Business Central web client||Oct 2021|
|Decimal separator on numeric keypad matches region setting||Oct 2021|
|Discovering reports and administration areas in Role Explorer||Oct 2021|
|Introduce updated desktop installable app||Oct 2021|
|Open a file in OneDrive to view and share reports from Report Inbox and Attachments||Oct 2021|
|Refreshed peek experience on related records||Oct 2021|
|Search from the Help pane||Oct 2021|
|Expanded coverage of in-app tours to more controls||Oct 2021|
Service and platform
|OData callers can specify read-only intent in GET requests||Oct 2021|
|Job queue entries are more resilient toward failures||Oct 2021|
|Performance – partial records on list pages||Oct 2021|
|Performance – partial records on TableRelation lookup pages||Oct 2021|
|Protect the Business Central Server against excessive background sessions for an environment||Oct 2021|
Nice insight into what you think of this release, Waldo! I love getting feedback on the releases we do 🙂
Just a swift clarification: the in-client performance profiler piece that I showed on Twitter was a prototype, that we’re currently working on together with other teams. It will continue the story of the AL Profiling capabilities, which release with this version of Business Central. You will probably find the tool being mentioned in the release papers for the next major, but we’re working hard on making the tool available to you sooner. Stay tuned! Good things come to those who wait 😉
Looking very much forward to it!