Updated: Aug 17, 2021
Welcome back to another episode of A Shot of Business Central and A Beer, presented by Solution Systems, a Gold Microsoft Partner.
Hey everyone it’s October and you know what that means? No, not that Pumpkin Spice lattes are back. It means Business Central Release Wave 2 updates have begun rolling out. Therefore we’ve got some exciting news to share with you this month, we’ve also tried out and want to share our thoughts on the Business Central Company Hub Extension that’s included in the latest release, and we’ll be discussing Business Central’s email logging capabilities. So, in the words of Roy T. Bennet, “The beginning is always now.” Let’s get started.
Intro and Beer Reviews
A Shot of Business Central News
Featured App: Business Central Company Hub
Featured Segment: Email Logging
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A Shot of Business Central and A Beer Show Notes
Segment 1: Beer Review
Brewing German-style lager in Chicago since 2009.
I’ve never been but I saw some pictures of their Riverside Patio and it looks nice.
They claim to make beer for the proletariat (working class individual).
Score of 85 which is very good on beeradvocate.com
It’s a Vienna Lager. A Vienna Lager ranges from copper to reddish brown in color. The beer is characterized by malty aroma and slight malt sweetness. The malt aroma and flavor should have a notable degree of toasted and/or slightly roasted malt character. Hop bitterness is low to medium-low.
How much alcohol?
29 IBU (international bitterness unit) – not bitter at all (scale is usually from 5 – 120).
Beeradvocate notes: If malt and hops are the two poles of brewing, this beer is the gently spinning sweet spot between them. First, you’ll notice the spicy aromas of Vanguard and Liberty hops. Then - wipe the foam off the tip of your nose - dive into the toasty flavor of Vienna malt. Dynamo starts strong and finishes crisp and smooth. The balanced flavors, aromas, and even the coppery-red tones of this beer go great with everything. Fear no pairing. The best time to enjoy Dynamo is when you’re thirsty.
Ratings - Ken: 85, Michael: 94
Segment 2: Shot of Business Central News
Update 16.5 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central online 2020 release wave 1
5 Platform Hotfixes
41 application hotfixes
1 Feature Change
Delete Extension Data
On the Extension Management page, when you choose to uninstall an extension the option to Delete Extension Data is now available.
This is the equivalent of an extension uninstall for on-premises with “clean” mode. So basically, it’s deleting all of your data along with the uninstall.
Deprecated Features in Business Central
I came across a handy web page that shows the features that have been moved, removed, or replaced with an upcoming version and why this has been done. An example of this is when the Windows Client was removed.
What’s the difference between Moved, Removed, or Replaced?
Moved: The capability has been moved from local functionality because it was no longer specific to one or more country versions. The capability was combined with other related functionality to eliminate redundancy.
Removed: The capability will be removed from Business Central in a coming release.
Replaced: Something better has become available, and will be used instead.
Around one month before a major update is released BC customers will be able to try out the new features in a SandBox environment.
This is good for exploring, learning, and validating that all of your extensions will still be working with the new update.
Interesting Fact: Dynamics 365 is now more than half of Microsoft’s 3 billion business apps revenue.
Retirement of PartnerSource on October 1, 2020
Earlier this year, Microsoft had announced the retirement of PartnerSource. This was postponed until further notice. Microsoft has now informed everyone that PartnerSource will no longer be available as of October 1, 2020.
The resources on PartnerSource have been moved to different locations. Things such as price sheets, news and licensing policies can be found on PartnerSource Business Center.
Other content has been moved to Partner Center: https://747690ea3dd94971b140520cc9dfdf31.svc.dynamics.com/t/t/iMpJx3IggkqlU7AOrea0xiGFpEDxcSCz5yG0e5QXffox/fDt0cnXwCv00GYimVgxr9XD2kP7T9YwxM6GCPXaLA8cx
Please note: PartnerSource Business Center will not retire.
Extended availability of Business Central on-premises version 14 for existing customers
Business Central on-premises has the N-2 policy. So, with the release of version 17 on October 1, 2020, this means that a downgrade to version 14 should not be possible anymore.
However, Microsoft has now announced that they will offer a one-time exception for existing customers with an active enhancement plan to downgrade to version 14 until October 31, 2021, if necessary. This will be available for both on-premises customers and cloud customers who use the dual use rights via CSP.
Business Central on-premises V14 (2019 Release Wave 1) is the last version with the Windows Client and C/AL. This is a critical landmark for many partners, especially if they have their own add-ons or industry solutions that are not AL ready yet or in AppSource.
Important: this offer is only for existing customers. Net new customers purchasing a Business Central license on or after October 1, 2020, will not be able to downgrade to version 14.
View the official Microsoft announcement here:
Every month more and more apps appear on AppSource but without the ability to filter by date added how is anyone supposed to know which apps are new? Well on the AppSource blog, every 1-2 weeks Microsoft posts which Dynamics 365 apps are new. So, between September 14th and September 28th 56 new apps were added. Here’s the link to the AppSource blog: https://appsource.microsoft.com/blogs
How to change which production or sandbox environment opens up with your desktop or mobile app.
I haven’t been using the Windows or Mobile Apps as much as I’ve wanted to because they would only open up the Production Environment that was created first, and since I do my testing in a SandBox environment this was no bueno. That’s all going to change now because I’ve discovered a way to have the apps open up with whichever environment I want. All you do is paste a specific URL (which I’ve provided) into your desktop or mobile browser and it will ask you if you want to open this in your app and you select yes. Going forward the app will open up in this environment each time. If you want to change the environment again, you modify the environment’s name in the URL, paste it into the browser and follow the same steps as before.
Be sure to replace the bold letters with your environments name.
Dynamics 365 Admin Roles
In your Office 365 or Microsoft 365 Admin Center you can now assign a user the role of Dynamics 365 Admin to allow that user access to the Business Central Admin Center.
Segment 3: Featured App - Business Central Company Hub
What is the new Business Central (BC) Company Hub?
For organization’s that have multiple companies or an accountant that has multiple clients using BC, the BC company hub provides a simple overview and an easy way to access the different tenants.
This is not only a feature only for external accounts or external system administrators.
What are the features of the Business Central Company Hub?
Access multiple BC tenants and environments from one location
Valuable key performance indicators shown.
Cash Accounts Balance
Overdue Purchase Invoice Amount
Overdue Sales Invoice Amount
Ability to easily keep track of your work required for each company.
Access your User Tasks | Selecting this opens up a new browser window for that company with the User Tasks page open. | From the BC Company Hub you can mark the task complete. | Can open or edit in Excel | Note: I was not able to get the edit in Excel feature to work.
Access your Overdue Tasks
Check and Delete Errors
Opens an Activity Log where you can: Open the Related Record, View Error Details, Open and Edit in Excel, Delete Entries older than 7 Days, and Delete All Entries.
Is the setup process difficult?
Not at all. In fact, this can be done is less than 10 steps. The two things you’ll need are the proper user permissions from each tenant and the tenants unique url. Refer to our blog post here: https://www.solsyst.com/post/first-look-business-central-s-company-hub
Segment 4: Feature - Email Logging
What is the email logging feature in Business Central? Business Central and Exchange Online help you track email communications between existing or potential customers to turn them into opportunities.
Email Logging Setup
Step 1: Create a connection to O365 by making sure you follow the Assisted Setup for email and test.
You may have to enable MultiFactor Authentication. If you still receive an error message after this is done you may have to create an app password for Business Central in your Office 365 admin.
Step 2: Follow the Assisted Setup for Email Logging.
Note, you can choose how often you want Business Central to log interactions by going to the Job Queue Entries page and setting the recurrence of the email logging context adaptive job to run either more or less frequently. The default is set to 10 minutes.
Email Logging Features
When Business Central identifies that an email is from a contact it automatically records an interaction.
From the interaction logging page you can view each email associated with each logged entry. Once clicked it opens up the email in Outlook. From there you can do anything that you can normally do in Outlook. You can view and print attachments, respond and reply to emails, etc.
You can view all of the emails logged for an entire Company by selecting the company instead of the contact.
From the Interaction Log Entries list there are a few things you can do such as convert an interaction to an opportunity and start the opportunity management process.
Email Logging Questions
How much storage does this take up on the Business Central Tenant?
Outlook Client Features
Ability to switch between Business Central companies in Outlook
Can see overview information for the customer as well ad drill down for more detail on specific documents. You can also dig into the sales history for this customer.
You can create a new customer from a new contact without leaving Outlook.
Can create sales quotes.
Can work with Purchase Invoices
Can create Invoices.
Can open existing documents within Outlook and edit them.
D365 Sales Track Feature
Overall more features.
You can track emails, contacts, tasks, and appointments from within Outlook.
You can choose to track the record without regarding a record in Dynamics 365
Folder Tracking – links a folder in Outlook to a record in Dynamics 365 Sales. Then when you add an email to this linked folder in Outlook it will automatically be tracked to the record in D365.
Analyzes the performance of all emails sent and let’s you know which template you used is the most successful.
Thanks everyone for listening.
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See you next month!