Tag Archives: User Experience

UI enhancements in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central 2020 Wave 2

Dynamics 365 has come out with a comprehensive plan for the release of business central 2020 wave 2. In this article I will focus on updates to page styling, more responsive FactBoxes, and an upgraded dialog bar for a seamless service and optimized productivity.

Page styling updates

You can’t have any new features brought in without a fresh new style that enhances the experience altogether. That’s what Microsoft did when they introduced Wave 2, with beautiful and sleek changes to task dialogs, embedded lists, and stylistic appearances. Task dialogs will now be more focused on completing current tasks, with a display in specific commands and an easier way to exit the dialog. They can also now be shown in the middle of the screen, actions will be represented below the page caption, and consistent results when trying to maximize any task dialog either vertically or horizontally will be applied.

Other stylistic changes include an improved space for the embedded lists, showing off how lists parts will stretch to fill the available space when inside a group, or how pages with multiple list parts will no longer waste space by being split into nested groups. Not to mention, minor details like font adjustments and font sizing have been made, with the Bahnschrift font being removed.

A more responsive FactBox

FactBoxes have been super important in some of what Microsoft offers, which is why their upgrade in the business central 2020 wave 2 has been so important. Not only are they easier to view, but their interaction has also overall been optimized for a number of features. This allows FactBox to run smoother on the page, now being loaded to give priority to show the main content of that page.

Content for the hosted page will now be displayed first, which will then be followed by any FactBoxes in order on how they are shown on the page. FactBoxes can also continue to run within the same session, but can also be changed by a developer so that the FactBox is explicitly implemented as a page background task. Last but not least, FactBoxes can be collapsed and won’t run on the opening page unless the FactBox pane is expanded.

An improved navigation experience terminology

One of the key updates to modern clients in the business central application provides and clear and concise list of features that help with training, onboarding, and day-to-day work. The updated features in the navigation experience include minor but impactful changes likes the non-promoted group being renamed to ‘unrelated’ and the group called report has now been changed to ‘reports’. The action that was previously shown as Navigate is now changed to ‘find entries’ and has now gained a keyboard shortcut to find it faster.

Although you may think this may have been a lot to read, this was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the latest news surrounding the Business Central 2020 Wave 2.

Merge entity duplicity

In the case of duplicity in Customers, Vendors or Contacts, the system offers functionality to merge related record. To run it, go to the customer/vendor/contact card and run action “Merge With…”.

The setup window is opened for the entity from which the page was started. In the header, the opposite entity with which we want to merge has to be chosen, then the system lookup all relevant data and show them in the tab below.

In this tab, the user can see all conflict between the source entity and the selected one. If you want to save the value of any field from the selected entity, choose “Override”; otherwise, the value from the source entity will be used.

The last tab, “Related Tables”, shows all tables where the source or selected entity were found. The most important information is whether there are any conflicts in the column “Conflicts”. If there are any problems, in the next step it will be necessary to resolve them before the process of merging could be finished.

Whether there are any conflicts or not, continue with the action “Merge”. If there are some conflicts, resolve them and then run the “Merge” again. If there aren’t any, just confirm the merging process.

New Features: Optimizing of pages

Page Loading

One of the highly expected changes is optimization of pages. With the upcoming major version (2020 Wave 1) there should be a lot of changes to the behaviour and performance in pages.

In the current version (2019 Wave 2 and older) the page is not opened till all data are loaded. So if the loading process is longer than usual, the user may feel the system is not responding.

With the improvements in 2020 Wave 1 the page opens without waiting for data. Once data are loaded, the page is updated and data shown. If the user close the page and open again, the page load cached data first then, and then, when new data from DB are loaded, the page is updated with new set of data. The cache is stored throughout the session only, so if user’s session end (for example due to inactivity) all stored caches are destroyed.

Collapse / Expand Lines on any page

Another much-needed change in behaviour on pages was the ability for users to collapse subforms, especially in documents. This functionality add users more ways how to optimize pages on which they are working and if they don’t need subforms they have much more spaces for other tabs.

All released or planned features from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central 2020 Wave 1 could be found on Microsoft Docs.

Page Inspection

Page inspection is a function that lets users get details about a page. The provided information is split into a few separated tabs:

Object information

Information about the page and the underlying table (name and object ID).

Table Fields

Table Fields tab shows information about data in the underlying table. If the table does not have an underlying table, no information in this tab is shown. Page fields calculated using variables (also table field from a different table than the underlying one) are not shown.

– User in this tab can find
– ID and Name of the field
– Data Type of the field
– Value of the field
– Other details (primary keys, extension names…)

Extensions

List of all extensions that are subscribed to the page or corresponding table.

Page Filters

Page Filters show current filters that are applied to the page. All filters within all FilterGroups are shown (with information about in which FilterGroup they are applied)

Page Inspection – Table Fields and Page Filters

The functionality of Page Inspection is very similar to About this Page in the original Microsoft Dynamics NAV Role Tailored Client.

About This Page – original functionality in Microsoft Dynamics NAV roletailored client.

Saved Settings in reports – how does it work?

Saved Setting in reports is one of the functionalities that are in the Business Central (and also in NAV) for a long time (since NAV 2015); However, many people do not know about this feature and what possibilities are offered.

Everyone knows that reports contain at the very beginning of the request page section called “Saved Settings” that allows the use of predefined filters or(as is more usually used as from my experience), only the automatically predefined filter created when the report was run for the last time.

Standard report request page with one predefined saved setting.

This field has a lookup to the page “1560, Report Settings” based on a system table “2000000196, Object Options”. The page is also available using “Search for page/Tell Me” as “Report Settings”.

Report Settings list page.

On this page, users (with the proper permissions) can modify, create, or delete saved settings for reports for all users. To create a new setting user can use the function to duplicate (action Copy) the existing one or create a blank configuration from scratch.

Saved Setting can be defined for a specific user (as is created automatically through report itself), or it can be shared with all users. To allow using of the saved setting for all users, an admin must set field “Share with all users” to Yes.

IMPORTANT: There is currently a bug in the system. If two saved settings for the same object that are used by one user have the same “Name”, the user won’t be able to select the one shared to all users. On the request page of the report, both configurations will be visible, but the one created only for the user will be used.