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Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1 Features Overview | A Shot of Business Central and A Beer

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.

January not only brings a new year but it brings the promise of features to come in Business Central. That’s right, the 2021 feature updates have been released and man oh man are there some good ones. So, clear your schedule, turn the volume up, grab yourself a drink, and get comfortable because we’re going through each and every feature, and then right after that the fun keeps going because we’re going to tell you how you can download for free a pretty nifty little app for Business Central called Smart Comments.


  • Intro and Beer Reviews

  • A Shot of Business Central News

  • 2021 Release Wave 1 Feature Overview

  • Featured App: Smart Comments for Business Central

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A Shot of Business Central and A Beer Show Notes

General News

LS Retail acquired by Aptos

  • At this point nothing really should change because it will still operate as a stand-alone unit.

Partners can download apps for customers

  • Not sure when this changed but I just found out last week that partners can now download apps from AppSource for customer. In the past, we had to have the customer download the app from AppSource.

Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1 Features Overview


Reassign an environment from one Azure Active Directory organization to another (through Microsoft Support)

  • "If a company changes it's name or merges with another company you'll be able to have Microsoft reassign an environment from one Azure AD organization to another.

  • For example, Your company has been operating under name ABC for two years but now the name has changed to XYZ. There was no way to update your Business Central Azure AD organization to reflect this. Your url, CSP listing, and some other things would always have to keep your previous name. The only way to make this change was creating a new account, migrating your information and then update your settings. It now appears you can just link the old account to the new account and all your settings and data are retained."

Improve the reliability of the database export operation for larger databases with more companies

  • Microsoft aims to improve the exporting of larger databases to eliminate the dreaded time-out.

Improvements for the Delegated Administrators

  • Microsoft is going to allow Delegated Administrators to change settings that only licensed customers use to be able to do. This should expedite implementations and support. No word yet on exactly which actions Delegated Administrators will be able to perform?


Changes in synchronization between contact and customer

  • Applicable for anyone with "Customer" records - Has to do with updating the data on these records based on who the "Primary Contact" is on the Customer, and reorganizes the Customer Card to reflect that the Contact assigned no longer updates/syncs info.

Automatic creation of lot and serial number information cards

  • Applicable for any companies with lot or serial tracked Inventory Items - Checkbox on the Item Tracking Code to turn this on.

Assisted setup helps move the task of adjusting item costs to the background

  • Applicable for any companies that have inventory - When updating the inventory "Adjust Cost" fields on Inventory Setup, a wizard will launch to walk the user through changing this to set up the task on the Job Queue. Helpful because of the potential impact these fields have on system performance and real-time data processing.

More control over settings for default dimensions

  • Applicable for anyone using Dimensions - Use this new feature "Allowed Dimension Values" in the Default Dimensions page to restrict the Dim. Values list from which users can pick from when assign Dim. Values to records or transactions. Ex: Users can assign the "ADMIN" Department with the G/L Account "Warehouse Supplies".

Define lot sizes for various stages of production

  • Applicable to those companies using the Manufacturing module (Production Orders) - In addition to the ability to specify lot sizes on Routing Lines, you now can also set lot sizes on the following pages: Routing Versions, Planning Worksheet, Prod. Order Routing.

Simplified bank statement file import

  • Applicable for most/all companies - With the new capability, users can configure the import of flat file and comma- or semicolon-separated transaction formats, so that they can more easily import files they have produced or manipulated to fit with the mapping that they have configured.

Payment reconciliation journal improvements

  • The payment reconciliation journal will support applications against employee ledger entries, have preview posting enabled, separate number series, and user-defined document numbers. It will now be possible to select multiple lines to transfer differences to a journal.

Bank reconciliation improvements

  • Easier to see how the automatic application rules have been applied. The bank reconciliation report, known as the test report for bank reconciliation, is now also available for posted bank reconciliations (bank statements). Also, can cancel a bank reconciliation that was posted with mistakes, and then from the Bank Statements page you can run a new bank reconciliation report.

Dimension corrections (for G/L entries)

  • A new Correct Dimensions action on the General Ledger Entries page will allow you to correct dimensions on posted entries by editing the dimension value, adding new dimensions, or removing them.

Better with Microsoft 365

Support cloud printing using Microsoft Universal Print

  • By using Universal Print which is a Microsoft Service, you'll be able to send documents and reports to any of the printers you have added to your Universal Print management page.

Look up Business Central contacts from within Microsoft Teams

  • Have you ever wanted to make a call to one of your Business Central contacts while you were in Microsoft Teams? In the past you'd have to switch from the Teams app to the Business Central app to look up the information and then switch back to Team to make the call. No more, you'll now be able to see all the contacts details from within Teams.

Enablement of Word merge in Business Central

  • Add personalization's such as First Name or Company Name from Business Central to a document in Word through Word's mail merge capability.

  • Great for sales or marketing pieces being created with Word.

Country and Regional

Country and regional expansion

  • With 2021 release wave 1, we expand to India (Microsoft-led), Greece (Partner-led), Romania (Partner-led), and Turkey (Partner-led). With these releases Business Central will now be available in 52 countries and regions.

Microsoft Power Platform

Synchronize item availability from Business Central to Dynamics 365 Sales

  • By enabling inventory availability synchronization, Item availability will automatically be synched between Business Central and D365 Sales. Therefore, when an inventory change happens in Business Central the change is automatically reflected in Dynamics 365 Sales.

Enable Power BI connector to work with Business Central APIs, instead of with web services only.

  • Applicable for those using Power BI with BC - you can now create Power BI reports and dashboards by using the modern Business Central APIs (standard or custom) for faster performance (than the standard web services method that has existed)

Virtual tales for Microsoft Dataverse

  • Applicable for companies using Dataverse (Common Data Services) to integrate with other D365 solutions - new functionality will be available for the virtual table preview solution for BC. Functionality includes adding relations between native and virtual tables, supporting the multiline type, and pagination on data from virtual tables - for better opportunities to integrate BC virtual tables into native Microsoft Dataverse solutions. NOTE: important because prior to this some scenarios were difficult to integrate BC with other D365 solutions.

Modern Clients

Enable cloud printing on mobile app (phone and tablet) and from Microsoft Teams app

  • Print from your phone or tablet to cloud-enabled printers in Business Central Apps or Teams App.

Client performance improvements

  • To increase performance on Role Center pages the entire page will not load. Only what can be shown on the screen will load.

Usability enhancements for the Business Central web client

  • (1) Double-click a record in a list, (2) Consistently select all text when clicking on a field, (3) Working at reduced browser width or upscaled screens+

Users can change the assigned printer before printing a report

  • Change which printer you want to print your report to right before printing your report.

Report API allows passing the layout needed for report execution

  • Both from AL and in the request page, it is possible to set the report layout that should be used when generating the report.

Reports run in the background

  • Continue working in the system as you run reports.

Modern Development Tools

Return record link instead of name when using lookups

  • Improves the "Find as you Type" feature and how code identifies/validates the results.

Report extensibility

  • You do not have to take full ownership of a report dataset to customize the fields or modify the layout in the report. With report extensibility, a new report extension object can be created, which adds new fields to the dataset or a new layout.

Extension validation on upgrade

  • New per-tenant extension (PTE) validation service will be created that validates applications on different aspects during upgrades including (1) checking dependencies, (2) code compiles, (3) schemas, (4) duplicate IDs. Validation will be triggered on scheduling of upgrade.

Interface - obsolete support

  • Interfaces can be obsoleted like other AL object types.

Partners can add keys (indexes) to base tables and table extension tables


Improve the experience of getting started with Power BI

  • New wizard to guide the user through setting up Power BI in BC. Also, includes added guidance about Azure Active Directory registration that's needed for on-premises customers.

Getting started checklists for guided and faster initial setup

  • Getting started checklists" allows partners to bring checklists to the customer that enable the customer to complete the last-mile setup by themselves, not depending on a consultant or partner to assist. NOTE: this should not imply that companies can get completely up-and-running without the assistance of a partner.

In-app contextual help improvements

  • New visual aids help call out features and key business process fields and actions in BC, allowing the customer to self-learn and get educated on how to start using the product. These visual aids can be authored by partners who wish to bring them onto their app offerings.

Improved company setup experience

  • Didn't think it was too difficult before so interested to see how they simplified it.

Featured App - Smart Comments for Business Central


Thanks everyone for listening.

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See you next month!


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