The plan for Business Central 2020 is out

Microsoft just released the list of planned features in the Business Central 2020 Wave 1 update.

Here are my comments on some of the features, selected from a user perspective: (I’ll defer the technical improvements to another blog post)

Auto-insert recurring sales and purchase lines

Just an automated insert in recurring lines exists, an often requested modification. Microsoft did have the opportunity here to address the real gap. We are getting more and more customers who have “subscription” based customers (just like Microsoft now with BC) and BC is lacking a construct of recurring invoicing that can support customers like that.

Enhanced customer and vendor document layout

An improvement to the Document Layouts on customers and vendors to be able to identify what specific Contact should receive a document. Logical feature, nice addition!

Manage direct-debit collections in Service Management

Support for direct-debit on Service Orders. This a hard one, I have no customers using the service module, but I suppose it’s a nice addition in countries with direct debit payments (I do find it funny that the screenshot is showing a US customer though)

Notify requester about all changes for an approval request

Nice addition to the approval workflow, an option for the requester to get notified about changes to the request.

Receive more items than ordered

Over-receiving feature on purchase orders. It seems a bit overengineered, I have never had a request for creating this as a modification. Users usually just add a new 0-amount line with the “free” items. (The next one is way more important).

Revert Qty. to Invoice when cancelling an order

This is the BEST application feature planned for BC 2020. This is a “bug” that goes back 30 years to IBM-Navigator. When cancelling/crediting something received, the Purchase Order information on Qty received/invoiced was never updated and the process got very complicated.

Bank reconciliation improvements

The Bank reconciliation user interface has never been very user-friendly, this will improve the user experience and also add preview posting, nice!

Multiple languages

Microsoft is moving languages to separate extensions, giving users the ability to add more languages to match the user landscape. Great!

Disable export of data to Excel

Now that we got “Edit/Open in Excel” everywhere, it can become a security/procedure issue. So a new D365 EXCEL EXPORT permission set is added to control who can access the feature. Useful!

Enable non-interactive printing with advanced printer selection

Direct printing from Business Central is one of most requested features. The description sounds great, allow direct from ALL modern desktop clients, but what is “modern desktop clients”? Is this just the Windows 10 Store App, or do clients cover the web, phone tablet etc.?
It also mentions cloud printers, but at the same time as defined by extensions, so will require an HP extension, an Epson extension, a Lexmark extension to support those cloud-print platforms? And will those extensions be in AppSource in April?

Improvements to data entry

Lots of users, coming from the Windows client (and especially the Classic Client) are complaining about the data entry experience, so an improvement to this area is very needed and welcome!

Unhide parts on a page

Allow users to un-hide “parts” (like FactBoxes), hardy worth mentioning..

Collapse and expand document lines

Adding support for collapsing the line section on documents. Just like collapsing a group. Nice!

Improved onboarding experience

One of my talking points, I even created an app for it. Business Central is a big, complicated, feature-rich application, and onboarding could always be easier.

Conclusion, so far…

From a user perspective, this will certainly not be a groundbreaking release. A steady list of “small” improvements, not rocking the boat, but making sure that Business Central continues to be a great product on an awesome platform.
Leave a comment here if you agree or disagree or reach out me on Twitter 🙂