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Business Central 18 / 2021 Release Wave 1

Also with this upgrade wave, Microsoft will provide a wide range of new features and capabilities to Dynamics 365 Business Central. Improvements have been added to the application itself, such as expanding integration with Microsoft Teams, expanding to more countries and regions, and further enhancements to support the move to Visual Studio Code and the modern development tools, greatly improving developer worflow and thus developer productivity. The solution has also been designed to simplify and optimize the way the partners manage their customers' solutions, and the way licensing and licenses are handled, which ultimately also benefits the individual end user.

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​​Overview of Business Central 18 - 2021 Release Wave 1

Business Central is a comprehensive all-in-one business application, officially designed and optimized for small and medium-sized businesses, but which in practice can also and already is used, by larger organizations.

With Business Central 18, which will be released in April with Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1, Microsoft has focused on making it even easier and faster to get Business Central up and running and in production, whether you are a brand new or existing customer.  This is done in Business Central 18 by offering improvements and functionality in the app itself, which helps users get started and up and running.

With Business Central 18 the overall performance is also improved, the usability optimized and Microsoft continues the geographical expansion of the solution. No one is perfect and human error is inevitable. To help Business Central users be productive despite this, it becomes easier in Business Central 18 to correct dimensions for e.g. the general ledger entries (G/L).

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Seamless service

Regardless of the size of the individual company and which industry it belongs to, all users expect the business solution and platform on which they are to run their business to be reliable and run smoothly and impeccably. With Business Central 18, Microsoft is improving the application so that it delivers an even smoother service.

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Administration improvements

With Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1, Microsoft is releasing a number of brand new features designed to both simplify and improve the way Business Central partners manage their customers, as well as the way licensing and permissions are managed. A more smooth administration is not only an advantage for us as Business Central partner, it ultimately also greatly benefits the end users.

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Improvements in the core application

No one knows Business Central better than users and developers. Microsoft has therefore, as usual, listened to the end customers and developers who work with the solution on a daily basis and deliver again with Business Central 18 a number of functions and opportunities within some of the most in-demand areas for improvement, such as banking, payments etc.

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Better integration with the Microsoft 365 office apps

One of the great benefits of Microsoft 365 is the seamless integration between the many office-applications and Business Central. With Business Central 18, Microsoft improve the efficiency of the collaboration processes in Microsoft Teams, and the Excel and Outlook add-ins are improved.

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Expansion of regions and countries

Business Central is already the world's most widespread financial system and with Dynamics 365 2021 Release Wave 1, the general availability of Business Central is expanded to India, and also extends to Greece, Romania and Turkey.

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Easier rollout

A lot has happened in the ERP world, and not least for end users, the development has become noticeable. With Business Central 18, a number of improvements are launched in the application, which means that end customers get to the productive use of Business Central even more quickly.

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Improvements in the modern development tools

As most people probably know, C/SIDE has been phased out and instead Visual Studio Code, together with the new AL language, today provides a modern developer experience, and with Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1, Microsoft continue to invest in areas that improve productivity for developers.

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What's new and planned for Business Central 18?

Below you will find an overview of the new features, opportunities and enhancements planned for Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1 (Business Central 18), which will be rolled out from April 2021 to September 2021. As the overview shows features that may not have been released yet, be aware that delivery timelines may change and that the expected functionality may not be released at all.

In case of general availability, the function is delivered within the specified month. The specific delivery date can be any day within that month.

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Administration

Business Central 18 provides functionality designed to simplify and improve the way partners manage their customers and the way administrators manage licensing
and permits.

Functionality Available for Public preview General availability
Optimized operational reliability of export for larger databases with multiple companies Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Enhancements for delegated administrators Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Reassign an environment from one Azure Active Directory organization to another (via Microsoft Support)  Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts, automatically March 2021 April 2021

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Application improvements

Microsoft has listened to users and with the new updates in Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1, features are provided in some of the most user-requested areas for application enhancements, such as banking, payments and continuous performance improvement. 

Functionality Available for Public preview General availability
Assisted setup in Business Central helps the user move the task of adjusting item costs to the background Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Automatic creation of batch and serial number information cards Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Improvements to bank reconciliation Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Changes in synchronization between contact and customer Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Define batch sizes for different stages of each production Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Dimensional corrections for G/L items (items in the general ledger) Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Additional control over default dimension settings Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Improves the payment reconciliation record Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Simplified import of bank statements Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021

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Better with Microsoft 365

With Business Central 18 the many collaboration processes in Microsoft Teams is  improved so that the two solutions work more efficiently together. Universal Print support is also added and the add-ins for Excel and Outlook are optimized.

Functionality Available for Public preview General availability
Look up Business Central contacts inside Microsoft Teams Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Enabling Word Merge in Business Central Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Cloud printing support using Microsoft Universal Print  Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021

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Expansion for countries and regions

The world's already most widespread business application is spreading even more. With releases in India, Greece, Romania and Turkey, Business Central is bringing Dynamics 365 2021 Release Wave 1 to even more countries.

Functionality Available for Public preview General availability
Land og regional ekspansion - Grækenland Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Land og regional ekspansion - Indien Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Land og regional ekspansion - Romænien Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Land og regional ekspansion - Tyrkiet Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021

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Microsoft Power Platform

The already close integration with the applications in the Microsoft Power Platform and the data storage and management platform Microsoft Dataverse is also improved with Business Central 2021 release wave 1.

Functionality Available for Public preview General availability
Virtual tables for Microsoft Dataverse Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts, automatically   April 2021
Sync item availability from Business Central to Dynamics 365 Sales Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Enable Power BI connect to work with Business Central APIs, rather than just with web services Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021

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Modern clients

Business Central 18 delivers client enhancements that mean better performance, optimized usability and the ability to print.

Functionality Available for Public preview General availability
Report API allows you to pass on the required layout for report execution Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts, automatically   April 2021
Reports can be run in the background Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts, automatically   April 2021
Improvements in client performance Users, automatically February 2021 April 2021
Usability improvements in the Business Central web client Users, automatically February 2021 April 2021

Enable printing from the cloud on the mobile app (phone and tablet) and from the Microsoft Teams app

Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Users can change the assigned printer before printing a report Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021

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Modern developer tools

Everything has now been moved to Visual Studio Code and with Business Central 18, Microsoft continues to optimize the application and thus the productivity of developers.

Functionality Available for Public preview General availability
Partners are given the option to add keys (indexes) to base tables and table extension tables Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts, automatically   April 2021
Validation of Extensions upon upgrade Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts, automatically   April 2021
Interface - outdated support Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts, automatically February 2021 April 2021
Report extension Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts, automatically February 2021 April 2021
Return post link instead of name when using lookup Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts, automatically February 2021 April 2021

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Onboarding

With Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1, functions are implemented that enable end users to get up and running with the solution even faster.

Functionality Available for Public preview General availability
Get started checklists for guided and faster initial setup Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Improved experience of getting started with Power BI Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Improved user experience of company setup Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021
Improvements to contextual help in the app  Users, automatically March 2021 April 2021

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Description of 'Available for' column values

Users, automatically:
These features only include changes to the user experience and are activated completely automatically.

Administrators, decision makers, marketers or analysts:
These features are intended for use by administrators, developers, marketers, or business analysts and are enabled automatically.

Users of administrators, decision makers or analysts:
These features must be enabled or configured by administrators, decision makers or business analysts in order to be available to their users.

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