With the new Business Central fall release, Microsoft is once again investing in the fundamentals of service and platform. The focus is also on optimizing performance and stability.
In this context, the data loading speed in various application areas has been increased in particular to ensure a more responsive system.
Faster loading for table extensions
A focus in this version is the optimization of the data model for table extensions. In previous versions, when a table was extended, the fields from the table extension were stored in a separate table in the database to not interrupt the normal usage of the base table. Unfortunately, this also affected the runtime performance of the system, as the Business Central Server had to merge data from table extensions when reading data from a table.
In the new release, the data model for table extensions has been changed so that added fields from all extensions to a table are now stored in the same companion table. This greatly reduces the negative impact of table extensions on the performance of base tables (insert speed: 2x faster, change speed: 1.5x-2.5x faster, delete speed: 2x-5x faster, read speed: faster – according to Microsoft).
Data from orphaned extensions can now also be deleted via extension management to further increase speed.
Optimized speed in various application scenarios
To optimize speed, the new version has also been improved in other usage areas:
• Opening a new Bowser tab: Opening most page types in the client (e.g. lists, cards, reports and documents) has been optimized. As a result, the Business Central Client responds faster and it is possible to switch between Bowser tabs easier.
• Navigation and action bar display: The display of the navigation and action bar has been optimized across all pages of the client and is now more consistent and fluid, making it easier to access actions.
• The synchronization of Microsoft Entra security groups (formerly Azure Active Directory security groups) has been optimized.
• A performance optimization on the report (11) “G/L – VAT Reconciliation” also improves performance by optimizing the key.
Performance improvement through fewer locks in the database
In addition, the use of database locks when running business logic is also minimized from the new version.
For this purpose, the default locking behavior in AL for subsequent data modifications to the same table in the same session has been changed. The default locking behavior was previously “UpdLock”. In this case, a user (e.g. when making a posting) receives an update lock for the data in the table until he has completed his changes (or the process has been cancelled). This could lead to conflicts with other users if they tried to access or modify the same table at the time of the posting.
The new default lock behavior is now “ReadCommitted”. This gives a user only one shared lock when reading data. It allows other users to read and write to the same table at the same time, as long as they do not conflict with other users changing the same data.
This makes using Business Central faster and smoother, with fewer errors or interruptions due to lock issues. The improvement will especially benefit those who have large or complex datasets or who perform frequent or intensive data operations in their online service.
The new default locking behavior can be activated (“Tri-state locking in AL”) after appropriate tests in the function management. With the next version (Business Central 2024 Wave 1), this functionality will be activated by default.