Microsoft just launched the April ’19 versions of its business solutions – including Dynamics 365 Business Central.
In addition to some previously announced new features that make working with the software easier and more productive, the April release also includes an optimization of performance, stability and security. Furthermore, Microsoft is concentrating on the development, cloud and update capability of the ERP system in the new version. The possibility of designing the user interface in the Web Client has been expanded as well as the functionality in the new development environment Visual Studio Code.
No more Windows Client in autumn
With the upcoming October version, the classic development environment (C/SIDE) and the Windows Client will finally be completely abolished – the April ’19 version will thus be the last release with the classic development environment and the Windows Client.
The latest release of Microsofts’ ERP software Dynamics 365 Business Central (formerly Dynamics NAV) is on the market for several weeks now – as cloud and on-premise version. With new features and improvements the solution aims to optimize productivity and user experience.
Many of the introduced innovations help to ease working with the software and save time. Especially the new and modern Web Client environment as well as various productivity functions contribute significantly to this.
Improved search, filtering and navigation of list data
For particularly efficient and productive work, it is important to quickly find the required data in the system. Therefore, Business Central offers an improved search. The “Search” field replaces the previous “Search by page or report” field and allows you to search not only for objects such as pages and reports, but also for actions and product documentation, for example. A revised search logic also ensures better results.
In October, Microsoft is going to roll out new releases for its business applications. Dynamics 365 Business Central will then also be equipped with some improvements and innovations. The release notes recently published by Microsoft provide an overview of the new key features. They also confirm that the on-premise version of Business Central will be the successor to Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
With the upcoming October release, the availability of Dynamics 365 Business Central will be extended. From this point on, the solution can be operated in the cloud, on-premise and as a hybrid model. Customers who currently have a local Dynamics NAV solution in operation can continue to use it. However, subsequent versions of the Dynamics NAV product range will no longer be available under the usual name. Instead, the solution will become “Business Central On-Premise” as part of the new releases.
Optimized productivity and user experience
The new version of Business Central will bring some productivity and usability improvements in the Web Client. Besides a new modern look, improved keyboard navigation and new keyboard shortcuts make working with the program considerably faster and more convenient. Enhanced search functions for pages and reports as well as new filter options for lists also increase user-friendliness – regardless of whether the data is accessed via Web Client or Universal App Client (Smartphone, Tablet or Windows 10).
In order to keep up with digitization in the corporate world, even classic business applications are on trial. In many companies there is need for action in order to map all segments across the value chain in future by an integrated solution.
At Microsoft the traditionally separated fields of ERP and CRM are growing together under the umbrella brand “Dynamics 365”; the integrated business application suite “Business Central” is a major part of this. Modern software solutions like this offer lots of opportunities, but the scope of implementing such a system should never be underestimated.
Even though new business applications have different pricing models than before and even offer leasing models, the implementation and conception of such a software solution is still a major investment. And even if manufacturers keep talking about “self-service” and there is no longer a need to provide your own hardware, for complex business processes it will always be necessary to include consultants with experience from other similar projects. Many companies will have to check and adapt their existing processes to the parameters specified by the new software. To this end, lots of plans and discussions are required to ensure the success of the project. So it’s worthwhile to keep the following principles in mind before launching a new project.
At the end of last year, Microsoft released the new version of its ERP solution Dynamics NAV 2018. The new release offers some improvements that make everyday work more simple and convenient.
In this respect, for example, the “Setup & Extensions” button provides a central place for the settings. Here, the user is able to obtain step by step support from several setup wizards while defining the parameters for a certain module or area. The required settings can also be made in the classic setup cards. These are collected in one single place and are stored according to area (e.g. finance, sales, projects etc.). The individual setup pages also feature keywords to search and filter accordingly.
The preview of reports has also been improved. While in previous versions the preview was only available in the Internet Explorer, all standard browsers (e.g. Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Safari on macOS) are now supported. The appropriate preview is ultimately provided as PDF and can be downloaded and printed directly. The preview mode can furthermore be operated with the mouse or the keyboard.
NAV 2018 further allows to create user task lists that – similar to Outlook – can pint to certain tasks which must be completed within the ERP system. The appropriate tasks can be linked with corresponding pages or reports. If necessary, they can also be prioritised and automatically repeated.
In addition to the above upgrades, NAV 2018 offers some more new features. In this context, for example, it is possible to change the role centre directly in the Web Client without logging off and in again.
Microsoft announced the official name and release date of its new cloud ERP solution. Dynamics 365 Business Central will officially be available in April.
The cloud-based all-in-one business management solution, which was formerly known as Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”, will have the full functionality of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The On-Premise version will continue to exist.
Starting April 2nd,Dynamics 365 Business Central will be available in 14 countries (including Germany) in two price packages: “Essential” and “Premium”. The “Essential” version contains all the key modules, such as those required for finances, operations, sales and customer service, as well as human resources, project and supply chain management, whereas the “Premium” edition has additional modules for service order management and manufacturing.
Business Central is intended to upgrade entry-level accounting software and ERP legacy systems easily and quickly. Updates are performed automatically by the cloud solution to eliminate complex upgrade processes. The basic functionalities integrate with other Microsoft cloud services (e.g., Office 365) and can be customized and extended with PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and Power BI for specific, growing, and changing business needs.
Microsofts’ primary goal is to create a flexible cloud platform through automated tasks and workflows (using familiar tools such as Office, Outlook, Word, and Excel), networked data and intelligent technologies to offer users a standardized and efficient way of handling business transactions. The created company networking will be helpful to make informed decisions. Dynamics 365 Business Central has also a new modern user interface to provide a better overview and increase productivity.
With the enhanced user experience, its extensibility, and the full functionality of Dynamics NAV, the all-in-one business management solution offers many benefits – particularly for companies, which are looking for a flexible solution that grows and changes with them just as their requirements.
Commercial applications have not been left out of the discussion on comprehensive digitization of our environment. While digital solutions are only now starting to take up a central and active role in numerous areas of our everyday life, e.g., autonomous driving, many operations of all serious companies and industries have been inconceivable without IT for a long time. In fact, these companies were the driving force behind IT development long before the private sector.
Today’s digital transformation is not just about technology. Rather, it entails a comprehensive strategy that puts organizations and business models to the test of implementing new ways of interacting with people, data, and processes. A significant part of the added value will be in the digital sector in the future. This has consequences, not least for business software. The roots of many ERP systems still date back to the 1980s and the systems have continuously been adapted over time to suit the respective requirements. Another update will not be enough to adapt the software to meet today’s requirements for the comprehensive digitization.
Why do we also have to rethink our business software?
Today customer relationships work more differently than a few years ago. The market transparency is many times higher and the opportunity to operate internationally has become much easier – competition is diverse. That makes it even more important to establish a stable and reliable cooperation with our customers, that guarantees the same level of quality across different situations. Studies foresee that the “customer experience” in dealing with a company is becoming increasingly important and will soon be just as relevant as “price” or “brand”.
Skills shortages are not an industry-specific problem. Our corporate resources are limited and the productivity of each employee is critical. Fast training, project-oriented way of working instead of controlled routines and teamwork across different locations are the keywords that now set the bar for the IT infrastructure of a company. Attractive workplaces must be modern and meet the desire for flexibility and mobility, which knows a new generation of private software usage habits.
Technology enables speed and flexibility. In today’s environment, the features a software should keep are changing fast. New business models emerge and increase competition constantly. Many companies are forced to act, to stem the loss of market share at least. Companies that offer their own new and better IT-based services can gain new customers quickly and offer well-targeted and individual products and services. With Dynamics 365, Microsoft has rethought the conventional ERP and CRM concepts and launched a solution that is well suited for a modern business applications architecture.
As announced at the previous Directions, the latest version of Microsoft’s ERP system Dynamics NAV 2018 has been released on the 1st of December. The new version contains several new features and improvements.
Aside from improved Office 365 integration and several new general features, the changes mainly concern financial accounting and inventory management. The most important enhancements and improvements at a glance:
General new features With the new version, the user is fully supported during setup and configuration by various setup wizards accompanying the user step by step in defining the parameters for a certain module or area. In addition, all classic setup pages can now be called at one single place, categorized by area. Another new feature is the ability to change the role center directly in the Web Client without logging off and to create user task lists that – similar to Outlook – can pint to certain ERP-specific tasks, support prioritization and repetition, and can be connected to defined pages or reports. Version 2018 also allows the user to generate a PDF preview of reports in all major browsers (previously only Internet Explorer).
New financial accounting features In financial accounting, dimension filters can now be applied to all dimensions. These are available, among others, in the chart of accounts, general ledger, accounts payable and receivable. Certain Excel reports, such as balance sheets, profit & loss, cash flow statements or traw balance sheets, can now also be constantly updated via Excel. Moreover, lists (e.g. journals) can now be accessed in Excel and changes written back, taking business logic into account. Both require an Office 365 account. Dynamics NAV 2018 also offers an additional subledger for employees with individual “employee” ledger entries as well as an account type “employee” in the general journal (e.g. for settling travel expenses). In addition, the new Accountant Hub provides cloud-based support for external accountants.
New inventory features Dynamics NAV 2018 surcharges based on gross weight and volume can now be assigned. Gross weight and volume are taken from the item card and units are converted based on this information. Another new addition is the opportunity to adjust vendors with OCR for an even more accurate recognition of invoices. Moreover, items can now be classified (category and further attributes) based on images (using a cloud-based Azure Machine Learning Algorithm).
On Directions EMEA 2017 in Madrid, Microsoft brought more clarity into its release plans and published the latest roadmap for its products.
The release of the new On-Premise NAV version is scheduled to take place on December 1st this year named Dynamics NAV 2018. Another release – Dynamics NAV 2018 R2 – will be launched in spring 2018, just like the full-featured Cloud/SaaS variation, which is still known by its codename Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”. With the replacement of the preliminary product title, a renaming of the products can be expected.
For the upcoming releases Microsoft announced again some interesting innovations and improvements. These include an even more intensive Office 365 integration (e.g. through the Common Data Service and the possibility to edit book sheets in Excel), an optimization of the Web Client and the visual appearance (e.g. personalization of the workspace) as well as new Standard Web Service APIs.
More information and details will be posted soon on this blog. All important product news will be also available for our customers and interested parties on our Business Day 2017.
Only companies that keep constant track of their funds can plan ahead and guarantee their capacity to pay. Here, constant monitoring of solvency development is particularly important. Microsoft Dynamics NAV offers the required tools.
Careful cash flow planning, also integrated into Microsoft Dynamics NAV, is necessary to correctly control and analyze cash flows in a company. This software draws all relevant information from various business areas (e.g. purchase and sales) and uses it as a basis for forecasts on all incomes and cost for a set period. One large advantage of cash flow planning is the inclusion of target figures such as posted orders. As the information used is real-time, it can be traded quickly as needed. This does not properly work in isolated financial accounting, as here only logged values are available.
With the 2017 version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, two new areas have been added to the cash flow functions – areas that also play an important role in planning:
The projects or project incomes
The VAT settlement (more detailed, the determination of VAT payable amounts)
It is now also possible to manually enter neutral incomes and cost. In this way, amounts outside of Dynamics NAV can be considered as well.
At first use of the cash flow tool, from version 2017 upwards, users are additionally assisted by a configuration assistant. This guides them through the necessary parameters, allowing users to define these by themselves.