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What's new and Planned for 2021 release wave 2 plan (a.k.a BC19).

Hi Reader,

Last week Microsoft released what's New and Planned for 2021 Release Wave 2.

In this article, we will discuss about what's will be available in #msdyn365bc 2021 release wave 2 (a.k.a bc19).

You can either browse the release plan online or download the document as a PDF file.

Business Central updates are available from Page - 199 to 242.

Some examples of Microsoft investments in various areas:

• Administration: In 2021 release wave 2, Business Central delivers new capabilities to simplify and improve the way partners administer tenants. Administrators enjoy new experiences for managing licenses and permissions.

• Application: We can now get better explanations and guidance on errors that are caused by problems in posting setup and dimensions. Improvements to reporting, bank reconciliation, and supply chain capabilities will also help customers be more productive.

• Better with Microsoft 365: Share a record from the browser client in Microsoft Teams.

• Country and regional: Microsoft continue our rapid expansion in more countries with 10-plus new markets in this release wave.

• Development: Microsoft continue to deliver new capabilities for developers.

• Governance and administration: This wave adds more operations in the Operation log section of the Business Central admin center.

• Modern clients: Microsoft improve the discoverability of reports across departments by applying a filter to the links that are shown in the Role Explorer.

• Onboarding: Built-in tours cover more standard entities to support the onboarding of more business roles. A new help pane will help users get unblocked faster when they experience an issue.

• Service and platform: Microsoft continue our effort in improving the performance of Business Central.

Development - 

  • AL compiler diagnostic messages includes URLs

When compiling or running code analyzers, diagnostic messages can appear in the form of error, warning, or informational messages. To help resolve such diagnostic issues, an option of adding a URL for additional documentation on what is causing the issue, and options for how to resolve the issue, will now be available. 

  • Force sync of customer-specific extensions in online environments
Microsoft  introducing the ability to deploy per-tenant extensions (PTEs) with force schema sync mode, which will allow destructive changes to the table schema in the new extension version.

  • Generated documentation for AL language

AL reference documentation is used to look up documentation of types, method, and properties in the programming language.

  • Profiling AL performance with Snapshot Debugger
Snapshot captures now include a performance profile of the executed code that is captured in the snapshot. Using a new performance profiling editor view in the AL Visual Studio Code extension, developers can then investigate the time spent on execution, either using top down and bottom-up call stack views, or flame graphs.
  • Richer access control for extension source in cloud environments

For better control of source access, more granular options will be provided. At this time, implementation details are still being worked on. This could be solved by replacing the existing ShowMyCode property in the app.json file and enhancing it with more detailed options.

  • Transactional installing and syncing extensions on-premises

As a prerequisite for force sync support of extensions in the cloud, the ability to install and sync extensions as one transaction per database has been added. 

Application - 

  • Add additional columns through personalization in various pages to gain  more insight.
This is an example of Microsoft listens. Based on ideas website, the most commonly fields requested by customers on different will be available in the next release. This means that reduces new page extensions that partner need to add just to add these fields.
But at the same time, if you have already created page extension and some of these fields are  added based on user request you will have to remove those before next upgrade as it will be an compilation issue.
  • Add non-inventory items on requisition and planning worksheets.
With next release users will be able to add non-inventory items in requisition and planning worksheet. Once added they will be carried forward to purchase documents.
  • Bank and payment reconciliations.

The Payment Reconciliation Journal will now have Separate number series & users will be able to use Posting preview & Ability to reverse the G/L register posted through the Payment Reconciliation Journal.

The Bank Reconciliation page - Bank ledger entries are now filtered so only ledger entries after the statement's ending date are displayed. The layout of the test report has been cleaned up. Many-to-1 matching is now possible so many bank statement lines can be matched against one bank ledger entry & When you transfer differences to be posted in a general journal, the entries will be auto matched when you return to the bank reconciliation.

  • Couple records between Business Central and Dataverse (and apps for Dataverse) in bulk.
When you couple the records for which you want to synchronize data in each application you can filter and choose the data to synchronize. No more custom business logic to match , you can define the fields to map in the integration field mapping. 
  • Delegated admin can create job queue entries and request approval by a licensed user.
Delegated admins(Partners) can create job queue entries and set them as ready to run. Then, a licensed user from the customer can  start the job queue entry to complete the process that the delegated admin created.
  • List of trusted partner apps
Partners can preload a list of apps into the customer's system to help the customer choose apps that are relevant for their business, industry, and growth.
  • Locations for non-inventory items
With msdyn365bc 2021 Release Wave 2, service items and non-inventory items with other types, such as G/L accounts, item charges, and fixed assets. You can now specify a location for these types of items in supported transactions, and the location will be copied in the item ledger, values, and job ledger entries.
  • More educational app tours for standard roles

With msdyn365bc 2021 Release Wave 2, built-in tours to cover more standard entities to support the onboarding of more business roles.

  • New automation API to create user groups. 
The new API plays a part in the initial deployment of a customer environment together with the other Automation APIs that allow for a scripted creation of the environment, company, application of configuration packages, user permissions, and more. 
  • Production BOMs and routes on stockkeeping units in planning scenarios.

We have increased the number of business processes that take into account the values in the Production BOM and Production Routing fields defined on SKUs. These include the following 
processes: Capable-to-promise called from sales orders. Planning worksheet, including the Calculate Net Change Plan, Calculate Regenerative Plan, and Get Action Messages actions. Order planning.

  • Remove obsolete reports 204, 205, 206, and 207.
We've removed several reports in favor of newer versions. Enjoy modern report layouts that are easier to customize and faster to generate by using the reports that are based on layouts from Microsoft Word. Replacement Report - 1304, 1305 ,1306 & 1307.
  • Rounding for base unit of measure.
We can specify a rounding precision for base units of measure to guide users on what to enter for a given business process, and reduce rounding issues when using alternate units of measure.
  • Tour of Business Central to help users know the basics.
Microsoft expand the use of these tours so they also can include teaching tips that are defined by the platform to call out system controls, such as the top navigation bar and sorting and filtering controls.
  • Use multiple units of measure when synchronizing items and resources to Dynamics 365 Sales.

Items and resources have a base unit of measure, but they're often also sold in other measures, such as bundles and packages. You can now synchronize more units of measure for items and resources with Dynamics 365 Sales.

Governance and administration - 

  • Manage access to environments using Azure Active Directory groups
You can use Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) groups to grant access to environments. Users can only see the environments that they have access to. Only the users in the associated group are imported to the environment.
  • Copying environments of different types
In this release wave, Microsoft is adding support for copying the environments within and across different environment types: Production to Production, Sandbox to Sandbox & Sandbox to Production.
  • Operations log enhancements
In this release wave, we're adding more operation logs to this view. Administrators will be able to see the following new operations:
• Environment created, Environment deleted, Environment copied & Environment properties updated
The administrators will also be able to truncate the log to remove old operations that are no longer relevant.
  • Restarting environments

In this release wave, Microsoft is adding the option to restart an environment in the Business Central admin center.

Microsoft Power Platform - 

  • Show reports from named and shared Power BI workspaces in Business Central

With this feature, when selecting which Power BI reports to show in Business Central, Power BI returns the list of workspaces you have access to and the reports in the workspaces.

Modern clients- 

  • Unhindered data entry across rows.
When you type data in any editable list, the Business Central web client no longer pauses while it processes the previously modified row.
  • Performance improvements to the Business Central web client.
The 2021 release wave 2 includes various performance optimizations that benefit not only the Business Central web client, but other clients as well.
  • Usability improvements to the Business Central web client.

When vertical screen space is reduced, the header along the top of the client automatically resizes to a compact, 8 pixel height, freeing up more space for data on the screen. 

  • Discovering reports and administration areas in Role Explorer.
The Role Explorer window features new, easy-to-discover actions that let you filter Role Explorer to show only reports or only administration areas. You can always switch back to get an overview of all pages again.

  • Support for localized decimal separator on numeric keypads.

The 2021 release wave 2 adds support for the localization of the decimal and thousands separator key (typically a period or comma character) when entering numeric values in fields. 

Previously, on most non-US keyboards, using the "." or "," as a thousandths or decimal separator from the keyboard's numeric keypad didn't result in the correct separator in the Business Central web client.

Service and platform - 

  • ODATA Read-only intent

Integrations that consume data from Business Central can indicate a read-only intent to use the read-only database replica. This will offload read-only queries from the primary database.

  • Protect the Business Central Server against excessive background sessions for an environment.

Excess background sessions can be sent to a queue for processing when a time slot becomes available. To control the background sessions, the Business Central Server now includes the following configuration settings, 

which are set on a per-environment basis:

• The maximum number of background sessions that the server instance can actively process at the same time.
• The maximum number of background sessions that can be waiting in the queue for processing.
• The maximum amount of time that background sessions will wait in the queue for processing

Better with Microsoft 365 -

  • Enhancements to Microsoft Teams integration.
Improved search term capabilities, like multiple word search and special characters, for looking up contacts.
  • Centralized Deployment of Office add-ins.

The new Centralized Deployment assisted setup will guide administrators through the manual task of configuring Microsoft 365 to deploy add-ins to select users within the organization when individual acquisition from the Office Store has been turned off.
The Centralized Deployment assisted setup for Outlook add-ins replaces the earlier Business Inbox setup wizard. The new assisted setup will walk administrators through the manual task of configuring Microsoft 365 or Exchange Server to deploy add-ins to select users within the organization.

  • Enhancements to the Outlook add-in.

You can use the add-ins with companies that have symbols or non-English characters in the company name.

  • Enhancements to working with Microsoft Excel.

Lists that are embedded in a part on a page can now be exported to Excel. For example, you can export Sales Lines on a Sales Order, list parts on the Role Center, or lists in the Factbox pane. 

  • Share a record link to Microsoft Teams.

The Business Central web client will include a new action to share to Microsoft Teams. This action allows users to type a message, choose recipients such as team members, groups or channels, and send their message with a link to the Business Central record.

  • AL API for sharing files in Microsoft 365.

AL developers will be able to implement sharing of their reports or other files using standard Microsoft 365 capabilities for cloud-based file sharing.

Country and regional - 

  • New Countries / Regions- Argentina, Bulgaria, Chile, Myanmar, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Ukraine.

A huge shout out to partners in these regions as all these regions are achieved through partner-led localization.

Hope you find some of these interesting.

We discussed in details about all these features in last #bcopendiscussion. Please watch session recording here.

Let me know in comments which of these features you like.

Saurav Dhyani


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