This year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we probably will not see kids dressed in scary costumes ringing our doorbells, yelling trick or treat, and filling their baskets with sweets. Halloween may never be the same. Our lives may never be the same. But for Microsoft and its Dynamics suite of ERP solutions, October has always been a month for the release of new features and functionality. And October 2020 is no exception. It is chock full of great news for companies running Microsoft Dynamics ERP. And that is an excellent treat for you!

New Microsoft Dynamics 365 Features: October 2020

Let’s take a look at what is new and planned for in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central in October and in the months to come. This may not be as much fun as carving this year’s pumpkin, but if you are an IT geek, you are going to love this!

For administrators, the following have already become available as of October 1:

  • Improved overview and management of the available database and file capacity
  • Log of admin operations in the Business Central admin center
  • Service-to-service authentication for Automation APIs
  • Support for additional Azure AD roles for the customer admins to access Business Central admin center
  • Support for an unlimited number of production and sandbox environments
  • Manage irreversible features
  • Database access intent changed to read-only for frequently used reports
  • Deprecation of the legacy Dynamics NAV Help Server component
  • Speed up low-level code calculations
  • Disable Integration Records and Integration Management
  • Schedule data update of application features enabled through Feature Management

And coming your way in February 2021:

  • Restoring environments to a point in time in the past

New Business Central application enhancements that became available on October 1:

  • Business Central Company Hub
  • VAT group reporting
  • Default unit cost for non-inventory items
  • Track packages from more types of sales documents
  • Consolidation file format support for Dynamics 365 Finance
  • Auto-resolve Common Data Service conflicts
  • Check financial journals in background
  • Improved control over how and when you post WIP entries for jobs to the general ledger
  • Write longer item references
  • Use the copy journal function on Posted General Journals and control date for reversing entries in Recurring General Journals
  • Use Word document layouts to customize outgoing customer documents
  • Easier to choose the right Role Center
  • Remove coupling of records integrated with Common Data Service in bulk
  • Restore synchronization defaults for Common Data Service integration for selected Integration Table Mapping
  • Use contact mobile phone number and email consistently across application
  • Use conversion templates to convert contacts to vendors and employees
  • Define retention policies

Coming your way in November 2020

  • Notify users of high-risk changes in selected setup fields
  • Use recurring journals to allocate balances by dimension values
  • Enhanced email capabilities

And coming your way in February 2021:

  • Bank reconciliation improvements

You may even recognize some of the above application enhancements because they were added based on suggestions that Business Central users like yourself have submitted to Microsoft. Do you have more suggestions you would like to submit to Microsoft for the next round of enhancements? This is the link to the website where you can do that.

Cross-app productivity enhancements that use Microsoft Teams as a collaboration hub and a way to interact in business processes:

  • Business Central in Microsoft Teams (Public preview for this app has been available since October 1 2020. It will be generally available in December 2020.)
  • Authentication changes for deploying Outlook Add-in (Public preview will be available in November 2020 and will then become generally available in December 2020.)

As you review all the enhancements above, you have probably already identified a few favorites. We have a few of our own, too! Let us now take a deeper dive into just 3 of the new features that we have chosen from the dozens that have been or will soon be released.

  1. Authentication changes for deploying Outlook Add-in

This one will not be generally available until December 2020, but we love it already and we think you will, too, because there is nothing more important than your digital security. Here are the details:

As part of Microsoft’s plan to make Exchange Online more secure, Exchange Web Services, which is the technology that powers automated deployment of the Business Central Outlook Add-in, will no longer offer basic authentication as of H2 2021.

For that reason, Business Central will be switching to OAuth 2.0 as the protocol for connecting to Exchange Online and for deploying any Outlook add-ins. We should note that this only affects deployment scenarios. In other words, the choice of authentication type used to connect to Business Central from within the Outlook Add-in will be unaffected.

Furthermore, along with the improved security of delegated access to Exchange, you will no longer be required to enter additional credentials when deploying an add-in.

Who will be affected?

  • All online customers using Business Central as their business inbox in Outlook.
  • On-premises customers using Business Central as their business inbox in Outlook, only if they are connected to Exchange Online.
  1. Use Word document layouts to customize outgoing customer documents

This enhancement to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is already available. And it is very important because every business customizes the documents that they send out to customers. This is especially true for outgoing documents such as shipments and return orders. You will now have the ability to use Word as the document authoring tool so that you can quickly and easily modify the layouts of these reports.

All you have to do is to export the document layout for Sales Shipments (Report 1308) and Return Orders (Report 1309). Then you can simply modify the layouts in Word and import them back into Business Central to use again the next time you send a shipment or return order. So easy!

  1. Default unit cost for non-inventory items

We all know that service items and non-inventory items have associated costs that directly impact profits from the sale of the item or the product of which it is a component. As circumstances change, so do these costs. For that reason, it is really important for you to have the ability to react quickly and use these new costs on new sales, assembly, and production documents. Now, with this new release, you can do that by specifying the default values to use in new documents and journals. This considerably reduces the need for manual updates.

Furthermore, to ensure that item costs are up to date for service and non-inventory items, the default Unit Cost can be updated on the Item and Stockkeeping Unit pages.

This Business Central application enhancement is already available.

Get more information

As you can see from the sheer number of enhancements that have been or are soon to be released, Business Central is continuously evolving. It may be hard for you to keep up when you are busy every day running your business. But keeping up is our job! So, let us help you. If you are a manufacturer or distributor using any Microsoft Dynamics ERP or thinking about moving to Dynamics, Strategic Systems Group (SSG) is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know.

Contact SSG at (310) 539-4645 or via our contact form today!

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