In this blog post, we’re delving into the Dynamics 365 2023 Release Wave 2—a wave of updates designed to transform the business management solution.
Let’s explore the core updates & enhancements that are set to improve the Dynamics 365 platform, with a special focus on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Microsoft’s bi-annual Release Waves ensures the Dynamics 365 platform stays at the forefront. Twice a year, Microsoft introduces a set of updates that revitalise your toolkit, bringing innovative new features, capabilities, and improvements to the Dynamics 365 suite.
This blog post will dive into the 2023 Release Wave 2 for Dynamics 365 Business Central. Looking at the most significant investment areas that Microsoft are focusing on in this Release Wave, and what changes and features are being introduced with it.
What is Dynamics 365 Business Central?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is more than just a software—it’s a dynamic business solution tailored to meet the unique needs of small and mid-sized organisations.
Designed to streamline operations and foster growth, Business Central acts as a compass, guiding businesses through financial management, supply chain optimisation, manufacturing, project management, and more.
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It’s a versatile solution that can be utilised in industries spanning manufacturing, retail, distribution, services, and more. Every department, from finance and operations to sales and customer service, can harness its power to enhance efficiency and collaboration.
What was introduced in Release Wave 1?
2023 Release Wave 1 was announced in January this year, with General Availability from April 1st, allowing users to utilise the features and capabilities announced with the updates.
As depicted in the image above, both Release Waves adhere to a consistent timeline, with the release plans becoming accessible a few months before the actual release. Following the unveiling of the Wave 2 release plan in July, the general availability of the upcoming features is scheduled to start in October 2023, through to March 2024.
We’ve explored the Release Wave 1 updates to Business Central in a dedicated blog post, which you can access right here. Furthermore, we’ve also delved into the changes within the Dynamics 365 CRM applications. Feel free to check it out by clicking here.
Business Central Release Wave 2: Early Access features
As shown in the timeline, early access features are available from July 31st. With each Release Wave, there are a selection of updates which are available for users ahead of the general release of the wave.
With 2023 Release Wave 2 for Business Central, the following features are available now with early access:
Microsoft’s Investment Areas in Release Wave 2
As we delve into the updates coming to Dynamics 365 Business Central’s in Release Wave 2, let’s explore the areas Microsoft continues to invest in with this set of updates.
Microsoft’s 2023 Release Wave 2 for Dynamics 365 Business Central brings an enhanced user experience. With a diverse set of interfaces, including an installable desktop app, web app, and mobile apps, users can seamlessly access and work with their data from anywhere, on any device.
This release focuses on usability, accessibility, performance, and reliability improvements, making it easier to work with actions across record selections and view summarised data for quick error fixes.
For AL developers, Microsoft is laying the groundwork for namespace support within the platform and applications.
This feature simplifies app structuring, object naming, and prevents identifier conflicts. Developers also gain the ability to move ownership of tables and data between extensions, a valuable addition as apps evolve.
Enhanced debugging capabilities protect internal data by allowing developers to hide specific variable data. Moreover, developers can now turn off Analysis Mode on pages and specify how to embed content from Power BI, providing more control over data analysis and reporting.
Visual Studio Code integration for troubleshooting and code exploration is made effortless, reducing setup time and improving profiling for database-related performance issues.
AppSource publishers benefit from better handling of runtime packages, ensuring seamless development and troubleshooting across app dependencies.
This release introduces significant supply chain improvements, enhancing efficiency, agility, and accuracy in warehouse management.
Users can access detailed inventory availability information, configure warehouse handling independently, and receive suggestions for order handling.
These enhancements reduce the risk of partial shipments and enhance customer satisfaction.
Intercompany transactions and financial consolidations receive attention too. Users can perform accounting tasks for multiple companies and consolidate financial data without handling files.
The addition of an approval workflow for intercompany general journals increases control and reduces errors. Custom allocation keys automate revenue or cost distribution, making data entry efficient.
Country and Regional
Business Central’s global reach expands through partner-led localisation efforts.
Partner-created localisation apps published on AppSource, combined with built-in language offerings, enable Business Central to serve customers in over 140 countries and regions. Microsoft also ensures regulatory feature updates in countries where it handles localisation.
Reporting and Data Analysis
Investments in report discoverability provide faster access to business performance insights. Power BI integration receives enhancements, offering new and improved Power BI reports and advanced capabilities for on-the-fly embedded data analysis within Business Central.
Service and Platform
Performance, stability, resource governance, security, and compliance are the focus areas in this release.
Users experience fewer interruptions, improved sign-in stability, and optimised language (AL) runtime for enhanced database performance.
Application scenarios frequently used by customers are fine-tuned for efficiency.
Adapt Faster with Power Platform
Microsoft continues to improve Business Central’s integration with Power Platform, focusing on Power Automate approval workflows and Power BI embedded experiences.
These improvements provide more control and capabilities for end-users and partners integrating Business Central with Power Platform in online environments.
Governance and Administration
Administrators gain more tools for managing environments, apps, and data migrations. Granular administrator roles, improved update release processes, and the ability to link Business Central and Power Platform environments help streamline administrative tasks.
Copilot and AI Innovation
The introduction of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot empowers users with AI tools to reduce repetitive tasks. Wave 2 brings Business Central’s first Copilot capability, generative marketing text suggestion capabilities.
Partners can now set initial roles for users during onboarding, providing a smoother start to their Business Central experience. Personalised greeting messages further enhance the onboarding process.
Release Wave 2 addresses legislative requirements with automation and compliance features.
These improvements are standardised across supported countries and regions, focusing on e-invoicing and digitally scanned voucher storage as a foundation for local requirements.
This ensures compliance with government regulations, allowing businesses to concentrate on their core operations.
Full list of 2023 Release Wave 2 changes
These investment areas provide valuable insights into the upcoming enhancements coming to Business Central in the 2023 Release Wave 2. Below, we’ll outline the comprehensive list of planned updates for Business Central, scheduled for release between October 2023 and March 2024.
Adapt faster with Power Platform
- Power Pages support via Business Central virtual tables on Dataverse
- Synchronize more fields in your integration with Dataverse and Dynamics 365 Sales
- Enable specific virtual tables when you connect to Dataverse
- Change modification limits for triggering flows and bulk updates
- Support business events in Business Central connector for Power Automate
- Consolidated Power Automate flow creation from Business Central templates
- Get control over how to view Power BI embedded content
- Get list of companies using Business Central connector in Power Automate
- Simplified Power Automate approval flow experience
- Create Power Automate flows that dynamically support different companies
- Business Central virtual tables fully supported on Microsoft Dataverse
- Generate a customer statement only with open entries
- Reverse a customer and vendor ledger entry with a realized gain or loss entry
- Consolidate financial information across environments in multicompany setups
- Include approvals for intercompany general journals in your workflows
- Make intercompany transactions across Business Central environments
- Use General Ledger Allocations to distribute costs and revenue more efficiently
- Include only open entries on customer statements
- Adjust exchange rates easily, replace the built-in batch job
- More control over general journal approvals
- Use different general ledger accounts for payables, receivables
- Add more columns to pages for better insight
- Availability overview helps you calculate quantities in your warehouse
- Block item variants
- Configure how to handle different warehouse operations
- Edit in Excel on item journals and warehouse worksheets
- Identify and track items easier with item references
- Improved processes for inventory counts and adjustments
- Navigate easier between order, receipt, and invoice documents
- Print and scan barcodes
- Receive more items than ordered by using inventory put-away documents
- Suggest the next step for sales and production orders
- Sync document and posting dates for sales and purchases
- Troubleshoot Shopify integration issues
- Usability improves for warehouse and inventory
- Use directed pick and put-away suggestions in basic warehouse configurations
- Get more productive while entering time sheets
- Get more productive while approving time sheets
Copilot and AI innovation
- Complete bank account reconciliation faster with Copilot
- Get marketing text suggestions with Copilot
Country and regional
- Get marketing text suggestions with Copilot
- Direct transfer – Czechia
- Intercompany posting cues to the Accountant Role Center – Czechia
- New design for report Language and Region settings
- New Intrastat – Czechia
- Responsibility Centers are supported for Advance Payments in Czechia
- E-submission of VAT return in Denmark
- Registration and notification functionality for Denmark
- E-invoicing with NemHandel in Denmark
- Iceland localization app – delocalization
- Supporting more countries and regions
- Easier management of System Application permissions
- Get the AL Language extension in prerelease versions on Visual Studio Code Marketplace
- Find all references now works on triggers, system methods, and trigger events
- Get inlay hints in source editor for AL method parameters and return types
- Hover over label variable to see text string value
- Set new output folder setting for storing app files at AL project build
- Choose between more sampling intervals for snapshot and in-client profiling
- Get IntelliSense for adding variables in Visual Studio Code AL debugger console
- Get smarter method signature recommendations in IntelliSense
- Set the default folder location for new AL projects
- Track source and build metadata on extensions
- Use SecretText type to protect credentials and sensitive textual values from being revealed
- Document your extensions with the ALDoc tool for partners
- Segment AL code and reduce naming conflicts with namespaces
- Show list of keys while working on AL code
- Use the AL Language extension for Linux in preview
- Use the built-in rich text editor to enter data
- Turn off data analysis mode on pages and queries
- Open Visual Studio Code from web client to investigate or troubleshoot extensions
- Add a new FieldGroup to an existing table
- Add teaching tooltips on queries and report request pages
- Get syntax highlighting for AL in Azure DevOps
- Sell Business Central apps through AppSource
- AppSource ISV publishers can preview their AppSource apps with select customers
Governance and Administration
- Granular administration as Dynamics 365 Business Central Administrator
- Include or exclude tables from cloud migration
- Get more information about effective permissions
- Delete data from uninstalled extensions as an admin
- Transfer environments between Microsoft Entra tenants
- Control partner access per environment
- Improved update release processes
- Cancel Cloud Migration replication runs
- E-documents core as a global solution
- Large companies to report payment times
- Use drop shipments for triangular Intrastat trade
- Start faster with refreshed and enhanced setup data
- Digital vouchers
- VAT posting in General Ledger setup
- Demo tool and data for service scenarios
- Modify texts on the welcome banner and skip banner intro state
- Set initial role before first sign-in for a better first-run experience
Reporting and data analysis
- Analyze, group, and pivot data on list pages using multiple tabs
- Share a data analysis with a co-worker
- Analyze, group, and pivot data on queries using multiple tabs
Service and platform
- New operational limits on scheduled tasks and web requests improve throughput
- Service-to-service apps and device license users can schedule tasks
- Synchronize multiple Business Central companies with the same Dataverse environment
- Better performance when working with multiple extensions
- Faster application scenarios
- Faster tab opening, navigation, and action bar rendering
- Performance gain by reducing locks in the database
- Add existing table fields to optimize your pages
- Get to data search from anywhere in Business Central
- Show related record details from lookup
- Distinguish between browser tabs when multitasking
- Mark fields as read-only when customizing UI
- Share readable deep links to pages and records
- Scan barcodes with Business Central mobile app for iOS and Android
- Search for pages and data in the mobile app
- Use actions to go to or fix errors inline
- Manage user expectations with selection context-based actions
- Access worksheet pages from mobile phones
In summary, the 2023 Release Wave 2 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a game-changer. It’s essential for businesses looking to enhance efficiency, streamline processes, and stay compliant with evolving regulations.
With its wide-ranging improvements, Business Central is the go-to solution for businesses aiming to future-proof their operations. Ready to explore its potential?
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