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Exploring the Exciting Business Central 2023 Release Wave 2: A Comprehensive Overview


Business Central 2023 Release Wave 2 Review

The wait is over, and the highly anticipated Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central 2023 Release Wave 2 notes have been unveiled. Microsoft has once again demonstrated its commitment to delivering an exceptional user experience by focusing on various categories in this release. From empowering users with the Power Platform to enhancing the overall user experience, the new feature updates are set to revolutionize how businesses utilize Business Central. This blog post will delve into the categories and some standout features that caught my attention during the initial review.

Categories and First Impressions of the Business Central 2023 Release Wave 2

The Business Central 2023 Release Wave 2 covers an impressive range of categories, each geared toward improving specific aspects of the platform. These include:

  1. Adapt Faster with Power Platform

  2. Application

  3. Copilot and AI Innovation

  4. Country and Regional

  5. Development

  6. Governance and Administration

  7. Legislation

  8. Onboarding

  9. Productive with Microsoft 365

  10. Reporting and Data Analysis

  11. Service and Platform

  12. User Experiences

While skimming through the categories and updates, one noteworthy observation is the focus on improving warehousing and inter-company collaboration. Additionally, there seems to be a reduced emphasis on Copilot and AI innovations compared to previous updates. Notably, the Productive with Microsoft 365 category has seen fewer updates, which is surprising considering the anticipation of increased integrations with Microsoft 365 products like Teams.


Highlighted Features in Key Categories

Let's explore some of the notable features within the key categories of the Business Central 2023 Release Wave 2:


Adapt Faster with Power Platform

4 New Features

My favorite(s):

Support Business Events in Business Central Connector for Power Automate

The support for business events in the Business Central Connector allows users to create automation flows triggered by real-time ERP system events. These events could include actions like creating a new customer, updating an item's price, or processing a sales order.


This level of event-driven automation ensures timely and efficient responses to critical business activities. By utilizing Power Automate in conjunction with Business Central's Business Events, users can create customized automation flows to address their specific business needs. This translates into more efficient processes, reduced manual intervention, and faster response times to changing conditions or customer demands.


Get control over how to view Power B I embedded content

Better control over pages in reports, stretch the view to full page, control zoom level of reports more easily, show scorecards.


Application

In my opinion, this might be one of the most beneficial features within a category we’ve seen. It seems like each feature is a heavy-hitter that many people will love.


14 New Features

My favorite(s):

Availability overview helps you calculate quantities in your warehouse

This feature provides users with a comprehensive and real-time view of inventory quantities. It accounts for factors that affect availability, such as dedicated bins, secured bins, and non-pickable objects. Items may be reserved or awaiting put-away or shipping operations. A picking journal enables you to examine the items Business Central omitted from pick documents and take appropriate action. This visibility extends across all locations and helps businesses make informed decisions regarding stock levels, replenishment, and order fulfillment.


Suggest the next step for sales and production orders

Business Central provides a reservation worksheet for reserving and allocating incoming products in volume, ensuring that sufficient quantities are available for sales and production orders.


Business Central displays a document's status based on the quantities you've reserved in inventory, allowing you to determine the following step rapidly. Business Central will notify you when you can dispatch a sales order or begin working on a job, assembly, or production order. The status also reduces the risk of accidental partial shipments or production and assembly order delays caused by insufficient stock.


Make intercompany transactions across Business Central environments

Establishing an intercompany partnership between businesses operating in distinct Business Central environments is simple. When you select an environment to which you have access on the Intercompany Partner Setup page, you can choose a company that you are authorized to configure as an intercompany partner in that environment. After that, you can automatically transmit and receive transactions for the corporation, regardless of its environment.

All intercompany features, including sales and purchase documents, intercompany general journals, and purchase invoice cost distributions, are accessible across environments. If you've chosen to map accounts to an intercompany chart of accounts, dimensions, or items, transactions can occur even if the partners reside in different Business Central environments.


Copilot and AI Innovation

2 New Features

My Favorite(s):

Complete bank account reconciliation faster with Copilot

Bookkeepers in SMB businesses must import bank statements and reconcile transactions with their bank ledger entries to account for all customer payments, reimbursements, and purchases. While Business Central already reduces effort through automated transaction matching, the remaining work to process unmatched transactions each week remains laborious and rapidly results in lost workdays. Copilot reduces accounting workload through enhanced transaction matching and explanations in natural language.


Country and Regional

10 New Features


Development

4 New Features

My favorite(s):

Open Visual Studio Code from web client to investigate or troubleshoot extensions

As a developer or consultant, you can launch a new Visual Studio Code session from the web client for a customer's production or prototype environment. Different contexts will be supported, such as from the Page Inspector or the Help and Support page for a page, page field, or extension. Depending on the context, Visual Studio Code will either open to enable object and source inspection or to attach and debug the current web client session.


This scenario will play out as follows:

  1. A new session of Visual Studio Code commences.

  2. Create projects for the selected extensions.

  3. Depending on production or sandbox, a matching launch configuration will be created; however, deployment is only possible on sandbox.

  4. If invoked from a context to view extensions, symbols will be downloaded and the AL Explorer will be launched to facilitate object browsing.

  5. The user will wind up in a debug AL (.dal) source file if invoked to view source or attach and debug.

  6. In both cases, the resource exposure profile parameters for each extension will restrict access to source.


Governance and Administration

3 New Features

My Favorite(s):

Assign more granular administration rights

A new Azure AD role called the Dynamics 365 Business Central Administrator lets partners manage all aspects of Business Central but not other Dynamics 365 products.


Legislation

3 New Features

My Favorite(s):

E-documents core as a global solution

The Continuous Transaction Control (CTC) program is a comparatively new term for mandatory "real-time" invoice reporting and validation by tax authorities via e-invoicing or transaction listings. This invoicing method is becoming the norm; in some countries, it is already required by law.


The new E-documents module of Business Central is the foundation layer for all e-invoicing standards encompassing the majority of common procedures. Still, the concept will be applied to other electronic documents in the future. The module is extensible with country-specific e-invoicing applications. The E-documents application encompasses both sales and purchase processes and can have distinct lifecycles than Business Central's conventional invoices. In addition to tracking specific e-invoicing processes, such as statuses, records, modifications, and versions, the system has an additional set of configurations that include various codes, methods, schemas, and security models. This module addresses models for both clearance and post-audit.


Continuous Transaction Control (CTC) is a concept with which I was/am unfamiliar. Suppliers must submit e-invoices through a centralized tax authority system, or decentralized, where suppliers are permitted to e-invoice purchasers directly but must simultaneously send reporting data to the tax authority. I chose this as a favorite because I’m unsure whether I like or dislike this idea. I don’t know if I’m happy with this level of Big Brother watching. I know it hasn’t yet been implemented within the United States, but it must be gaining popularity for this to be a new feature of Business Central.


Onboarding

2 New Features

My Favorite(s)

Modify texts on the welcome banner and skip banner intro state

I think offering a customized welcoming experience will help engage new users, provide essential information to common questions, and maybe even familiarize themselves with their Microsoft partner.


Productive with Microsoft 365

1 New Feature


Reporting and Data Analysis

3 New Features

My Favorite(s):

Discover report and data analysis content easily

Using navigational search (Tell Me) or the new report explorer page, end users can discover report and data analysis content, including queries, reports, and Power BI pages. This function reduces the time and effort required to locate report and data analysis content, making it more accessible and user-friendly.

Business Central includes numerous reporting, business intelligence (BI) dashboards and data analysis options. Through the search and a new report explorer page, we intend to make this content much more straightforward to discover for users in this release.


Service and Platform

4 New Feature

My Favorite(s):

All of them.

Over the past few years, performance and reliability have become the norm with SaaS cloud offerings. So much so that when something is slowed down, people overreact, throw temper tantrums, and cannot believe this is happening. Therefore, anything that can be done to maintain or increase performance and reliability is a favorite of mine.


User Experiences

8 New Features

My Favorite(s):

This was very hard to choose from. I think all of these features bring immense value! That being said I chose:


Get to data search from anywhere in Business Central

You can initiate a search directly from the Tell Me dialog using the Alt+Q keyboard shortcut from anywhere within Business Central. To conduct a data search, enter one or more keywords into Tell Me. Or, when Tell Me is executed in the context of an editable page, it will automatically search for the selected field's value.


Search for pages and data in the mobile app

This feature adds the Tell Me functionality to mobile devices running the Business Central application. In addition, it provides access to the Tell Me data search.

  • The Tell Me feature is enabled in the mobile app (phone and tablet mode on iOS and Android), and users are permitted to access any page.

  • Permissions are adhered to. Users cannot access pages for which they do not have permission.

  • Pages that were previously prohibited on mobile devices, such as worksheets, are unavailable.

  • On devices with a physical keyboard, the Alt+Q keyboard shortcut is available.

  • This feature must be enabled on the Feature Management page.

  • On mobile devices, the AppSource segment is concealed.

  • On mobile devices, you can bookmark pages just as you would on a computer.

The Business Central 2023 Release Wave 2 promises to be a game-changer with its extensive range of feature updates across various categories. From improved warehousing capabilities to enhanced user experiences and compliance with global invoicing standards, businesses will undoubtedly benefit from these innovations.


As the update rolls out, users can expect to adapt faster, work more productively, and make data-driven decisions with ease. Microsoft's continuous efforts to refine and enrich Business Central demonstrate its commitment to delivering a modern and efficient ERP solution that empowers businesses worldwide. So, buckle up for the new wave of Business Central and embrace its possibilities for optimizing your business processes!

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