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Fulcher’s Five Favorites: Exploring the New Features of Microsoft Business Central

Since this is the first of what I assume will be many of my lists of Fulcher’s Five Favorites, or FFF as we’re humbly calling it, here’s a bit of background. There are so many new features and functionality releases for Microsoft Business Central every year, some are generic while others can really be a fundamental game changer for your business. I’ve taken the time to go through everything for you and highlight what I believe those essential changes are.

Note from the editor. It is very much enjoyable to read this tech-heavy piece in Fulcher’s native British accent. Enjoy!

1. Better performance when working with multiple extensions

This is a bit of “techy” one, but this is absolutely number one for me at the time of writing.  It has a positive performance effect platform-wide, without needing to do anything!

This technical platform-wide improvement has a dramatic performance upside when it comes to data loading speed on the server. This change delivers value across various usage scenarios, encompassing web service integrations, background jobs, and user interactive sessions. 

Expected read performance by number of table extensions 

Microsft Business Central


Some early testing scenarios clearly demonstrate that Dynamics 365 Business Central 2023 Wave 2 release (version 23) is faster on reading and writing bulk amounts of data. The new data structure for extension tables helps reduce the number of tables to fill when a record is created or to empty when a record is deleted. The new data structure also helps reduce the number of SQL joins required, so the underlying SQL queries are much faster.

Dynamics 365 Business Central


2. Microsoft Business Central in Teams FREE!!

For me this “FFF” just helps communications within Microsoft Teams to keep business central records up to date and current, with the minimum of fuss…and it’s FREE!

Microsoft Teams allows you to connect with others, collaborate seamlessly, and simplify work. Business Central offers an app that connects Microsoft Teams to your business data in Business Central so you can quickly share details across team members, look up contacts, customers, and vendors, enabling a faster response to inquiries or queries.

The Business Central app for Teams offers the following fantastic integrated seamless features:

Look up details of customers, vendors, and other contacts from Teams

No matter where you are in Teams, you can look up details about customers, vendors, and other Business Central contacts. This feature not only lets you view general information about contacts, but also gives access to interaction history, related documents, and more.

Share records in Teams conversations

Copy a link to any Business Central record and paste it into a Teams conversation to share with your team’s colleagues. The app will then expand the link into a compact, interactive card that displays key information about the record.

Any Team’s user can then view the full details of the record in business central without the need for a full user subscription license.

Share links from pages in Business Central to Teams.

Directly from most card pages in Business Central, you can use the Share to Teams action to type a message, choose recipients, such as team members, groups or channels, and send the message with a link and to the specific Business Central page.

This allows business central users to immediately share, alert and discuss scenarios, for example if products, customers, or any other record requires an update or review. Other team members can then action or check and record follow-up conversations within teams.

It goes without saying though, if a user does have a Business Central user license, the data can also be edited.

3. Analysis Mode

This “FFF” is an absolute game changer, especially for all those finance users and Excel lovers out there!

How many times have you wished there was the ability to see totals, grouped totals, and define your own pivot data on listing pages in Business Central? Well, here it is! Data Analysis and Pivot tables within Business Central.

We can take, for example, the Item Ledger Entries list page toggle to Analysis Mode and define a pivot table that sub totals rows by customer, item description with columns for Quantity, Sales $ and cost amount $. We can define a filter to only include sales type item ledger entries.   

The flexibility here can be illustrated by adding another Analysis tab to display item stock by location together with inventory adjustments and other movements analyzed by item and location.

The options are endless here to produce your own pivot table analysis from any list page, save them as tabs, export them and copy a link to other team members.

4. Master Data Management

A “FFF” that is both a time saver and introduces consistency for master data across multiple Business Central Entities (companies).

The purpose of this feature is to nominate a master company and configure the other entities to be synchronized with data from the master company. So, whenever data is changed in the master, the other entities are changed automatically.

You have the choice of which tables and relevant fields are to be defined for synchronization in each entity (company).

A full log of all synchronization actions processed or failed is also available. This log allows for a deep dive into the details about new records that were added, or to explore why a record failed to synchronize. 

Time can be saved when creating new entities by performing a synchronization from a master entity (company). Filters can also be configured to pull data based upon certain criteria only. As an example, only certain master data belonging to a dimension code is pulled for each specific entity. 

Consistency is maintained, for example by maintaining Chart of Accounts codes in one main company and forcing the additions and any amendments across to each subsidiary entity.   

5. Multi-Entity Consolidation

Last, but certainly not least, we’re continuing the theme of data management. This “FFF” has some advantages for financial users specifically. 

A recent update in Business Central has revolutionized financial consolidation across different Business Central environments. Organizations using multiple business units or legal entities, often spread across various geographies, can now effortlessly consolidate their financial data. 

Previously, such consolidations required the manual export and import of numerous files from each environment. However, this new Dynamics 365 Business Central support feature allows accountants to import data automatically from each business unit’s environment, streamlining the consolidation process. This feature is particularly useful for subsidiaries reporting to parent organizations in different locations, ensuring a seamless and efficient financial consolidation.

The import of consolidation data simply utilizes the Business Central standard APIs configured for each Business Central tenant or instance. 

These enhancements in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central‘s 2023 release waves are a testament to its commitment to evolving with business needs. Each feature, thoughtfully designed, addresses specific challenges in finance and accounting, paving the way for more streamlined, efficient, and insightful financial management.