Dynamics 365 Business Central 2020 Wave 2 release plan: my favourite features

Microsoft has shared today to the general public the Dynamics 365 Wave 2 Release plan. These are my favourite Dynamics 365 Business Central new features that will be released in the Wave 2 2020 period (October 2020 to May 2021):

  • Improved overview and management of the available database and file capacity: tenant administrators will be able to have an overview of the database and file capacity (total size and currently used) to better control the size of the environments and purchase additional capacity in time for when it is needed. Customers will be able to go beyond the current 80 GB database limit by purchasing additional capacity.
  • Service to service authentication for Automation APIs: a new application permission scope is added, called Automation.ReadWrite.All. This will allow service-to-service authentication, having external services connect as an application without impersonating normal users. Using OAuth Client Credentials flow, an app token with Automation.ReadWrite.All scope can then be used to access Business Central.
  • Unlimited number of Production and Sandbox environments: a customer will be able to purchase additional production environments (> 3). For each newly purchased production environment, it can also create additional sandbox environments (number to be decided).
  • Database access intent changed to read-only for frequenly used reports: I’ve talked a lot about the read-only replica on a SaaS environment and how you can use it to improve performances. Now also Microsoft will change the default behaviour of many standard reports in order to use the read-only replica instead of the production db.
  • Introduction of a new Company Hub: customers has often the need to have access to multiple companies, either in the same tenant or in another different tenant environment. Business Central Company Hub gives you a list of the companies you work in. You can easily add new companies by just providing a URL and a name for the company. The list of companies contains a few KPIs for the company that is displayed for user if they have the needed access. You also have a list of assigned user tasks for a given company. It’s possible to run selected Excel reports for the company from the Company Hub too. Accountant Hub will be discontinued.
  • Integration with Microsoft Teams: bring Business Central data into Microsoft Teams conversations to make decisions faster as a team.
  • Improving the Microsoft Power Platform connectors: supporto for header and line entities, filtering, search, CDS virtual entities, PowerBI queries on read-only reploica and more.
  • Optimized loading for pages with FactBoxes: content on the hosting page displays first, followed by any visible FactBoxes in the order in which they are shown on the page. FactBoxes continue to run within the same session unless a developer has explicitly implemented a Page Background Task for a FactBox. If the FactBox pane is collapsed, no FactBoxes are run upon opening the page. Instead, they are run on-demand when the FactBox pane is expanded.
  • Data audit system fields added on every table: 4 new system fields (SystemLastModifiedOn, SystemLastModifiedBy, SystemCreatedBy, SystemCreatedOn) will be added in order to give to developers an easy and performant way to program against historical data.
  • On-demand joining of companion tables: quite hidden feature at the moment for improving the performances with data that comes from a base table + extensions tables.
  • Possibility to rename environments and restore an environment (sandbox or production) to a selected point in time up to 30 days in the past.
  • Attach to user session when debugging in sandbox: this feature enables attaching the debugger to an active user session on the sandbox.
  • Debug extension installation and upgrade code: with this feature you can set breakpoints in install or upgrade code, attach and trigger publishing of an extension to debug install or upgrade code.
  • Developers can emit telemetry to Application Insights from AL code natively: simply use the new Session.LogMessage function to send your custom signals to Application Insights from your extension’s code.
  • Extension publishers can get telemetry in Azure Application Insights: you can now add an instrumentation key for Azure Application Insights in the app.json file for an extension and when certain events occours in your extension (long running queries, report execution, extension updates, update errors, web service requests), these are automatically sent to Application Insights.

To know more and see other plans for the Dynamics 365 product line, check this link.

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