Plan and prepare for Dynamics 365 Business Central in 2024 release wave 1

Important

The 2024 release wave 1 plan covers all new functionalities planned to be delivered to market from April 2024 to September 2024. In this article, you'll find the product overview and what's new and planned for Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Overview

Business Central is a business management application for small and mid-sized organizations that automates and streamlines business processes. Highly scalable and adaptable with a rich set of capabilities, Business Central enables companies to manage their finances, supply chain, manufacturing, shipping, projects, services, and more. Companies can easily add functionality that's relevant to their specific industry or region of operation by picking apps from the industry-leading ISVs and customizing the app to fit their specific business needs. Business Central is fast to implement and easy to configure. Simplicity guides innovations in product design, development, implementation, and usability.

This release takes our investment in Copilot to the next level. We're providing more capabilities for people to optimize their business processes and complete tasks faster with the assistance of Copilot. Developers are already improving their productivity with GitHub Copilot in Visual Studio Code, and there's more innovation to come from these world-leading development tools for AL developers. We've also enabled developers to enrich the application metadata with more details to use for a better Copilot experience.

We'll help organizations focus on their primary business while staying compliant with various government regulations by automating regulatory tasks. Usability is always a focus, and this release boosts efficiency with selection-aware, context-based actions.

Additional updates in 2024 release wave 1 include:

  • Adapt faster with Microsoft Power Platform: It's easier to set up workflows in Business Central. We're delivering more templates that support more scenarios out of the box, so that you can automate more processes to be more productive.

  • Application: We've invested in better project and service management capabilities in this release. For the finance area, we've improved the consolidation experience.

  • Country and regional: We've expanded Business Central's global availability. Business Central is now available in more than 155 countries and regions.

  • Development: We'll continue to invest in areas that enhance productivity for developers who work with GitHub, Visual Studio Code, and AppSource marketplace. We're adding new code refactoring capabilities, an easy path to functional and performance testing, and ISV and custom code with AL GO for GitHub.

  • Governance and administration: Business Central delivers a set of additional self-service features to help administrators manage more granular access to environments, and audit critical admin operations using Microsoft 365 Audit Log, which provides ever stronger options for reinforcing data privacy with customer-managed encryption keys and Azure Lockbox.

  • Legislation: This release offers new capabilities for accessing VAT dates when you preview the results of posting transactions. In this release you'll also find the sustainability journal, which will help you with sustainability reporting.

  • Reporting and data analysis: We're adding more capabilities to Analysis mode, and Power BI and Excel Layouts are ready for use.

  • Service and platform: We're continuing to invest in the fundamentals of our service, focusing on high availability, performance, stability, resource governance, security, and compliance.

RSS Subscription Updates to Dynamics 365 Business Central 2024 release wave 1

Investment areas

Investment areas

Adapt faster with Power Platform
Business Central's seamless integration with Power Platform lets you improve efficiency in your organization by automating repetitive tasks. Use Power Automate templates to automate workflows that optimize your business processes for your unique requirements. We'll continue to invest in a tight integration with Power Platform to make it more powerful and give you more ways to use your business data effectively. For example, you can use the Copilot capabilities for cloud flows in the Power Platform products to create connected business workflows and experiences. What's more, you can do so through quick and easy natural language expressions.

Application
To determine what goes into the application in every release, we prioritize the top requests from customers and respond to market trends. For example, our investment in helping customers use Copilot to optimize their business processes.

For the last couple of releases, we've invested in multicompany capabilities because an increasing number of businesses are using Business Central across borders and to manage multiple companies. We'll continue to improve the experience of using Business Central to manage multiple companies. We'll invest throughout the application, improve experiences in inventory management, service and project management, and improve our integrations with other Dynamics 365 applications.

Copilot and AI innovation
According to our recent survey on business trends, nearly 9 out of 10 workers hope to use AI to reduce repetitive tasks in their jobs. But until recently, AI has been a commodity that few SMBs could truly invest in.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot enables professionals to perform their day-to-day work with the assistance of cutting-edge AI by their side. With Copilot in Business Central, our customers empower their workers with intuitive AI tools to get more done with less effort, without needing to become data scientists.

This wave expands on our use of Copilot capabilities, in order to boost productivity for a broader set of SMB roles.

Country and regional
Business Central continues to become available to businesses in more countries and regions. This expansion happens largely through partner-led localizations. Our partners create and maintain apps for specific countries and regions, and publish their apps on AppSource. In combination with built-in language offerings, Business Central is available to serve customers in more than 155 countries and regions worldwide. Additionally, in the countries where Microsoft is responsible for the localization, we provide updates for all regulatory features.

Development
To empower AL developers and increase their productivity, we've laid the foundation for introducing namespace support in the platform and application. Namespace support makes it easier to structure apps, create better object names, and avoid identifier clashes. As apps mature, the need to refactor is inevitable, so we've added the ability to move ownership of a table and its data between extensions. Additionally, developers can hide specific variable data so that other parties can't access it during debugging, which protects internal data.

When it comes to data analysis and reporting, developers have more control. For example, you can turn off Analysis Mode on pages and specify how to embed content from Power BI.

Consultants and developers can easily open Visual Studio Code for a production or sandbox environment to investigate and understand objects across installed extensions, view code for owned extensions, and perform troubleshooting—all without having to set up Visual Studio Code manually. Similarly, we've improved profiling from the client and Visual Studio Code so it's easier to find database-related performance issues.

AppSource publishers can sell through CSPs, and better handling for AppSource runtime packages gives seamless development and troubleshooting across app dependencies for publishers and resellers.

Governance and administration
We're giving Business Central administrators more tools for managing environments, apps, and data migrations. The goal is for administrators to be self-sufficient, able to solve their customer needs, and handle a wide variety of administrative scenarios.

  • More granular administrator roles to give more control over the access granted to (delegated) administrators.
  • Improved processes for minor update releases.
  • The ability to link Business Central and Power Platform environments to set up integrations consistently and to apply Power Platform environment settings to Business Central.
  • The ability to cancel Cloud Migration replication runs.

Legislation
Business Central offers updates to regulatory features based on popular requests for improvements and ever-changing requirements from local authorities. To give our customers peace of mind and enable them to focus on their core business, we automate many processes and ensure that features comply with the regulations set by government agencies. For example, if local regulations require that you create vouchers that serve as proof of transactions and a detailed audit trail, you can automate the process. Business Central can automatically generate and attach vouchers to general ledger entries, so that accountants can rest assured that they’re compliant, without extra steps. The retention policy features let you specify how long you need to store vouchers before you clean them up, giving you more control over the amount of data you store.

We’re working to make regulatory features a standard part of Business Central, so that we can deliver improvements out of the box across the countries and regions where they’re relevant. For example, the E-documents module is a foundation that supports processes for sales and purchase invoicing, and it’s easy for partners to extend by building country-specific apps for e-invoicing.

Reporting and data analysis
In the modern world, data has become an invaluable resource, forming the foundation of decision-making and progress across all sectors. Recent advances in AI technology and data analytics tools bring radically new ways for businesses to distill complex information into actionable intelligence, reveal hidden patterns and trends, and find correlations that were previously concealed. The critical insights gained from data analysis empower organizations to optimize their strategies, enhance customer experiences, identify potential risks, gain unprecedented insights into the details of their operations and environments, and innovate in ways that were once inconceivable.

As data continues to fuel innovation and drive transformative advancements, harnessing its potential has become essential for staying competitive and shaping a more efficient and sustainable future for SMBs.

Our reporting strategy revolves around building universal BI and analytics within the Business Central experience. We aim to seamlessly integrate in-context, rich, and immersive BI and analytics content from first and third parties into Business Central. Alongside flexible self-service capabilities, you can effortlessly access and leverage your data for maximum value.

User experiences
Business Central offers a broad portfolio of user interfaces that enable our customers to work with their data from anywhere, and on any device. User interfaces include an installable desktop app, a browser-based web app, and mobile apps. Whether you need to enter data at high speed, casually update entries, or analyze relational data, Business Central offers numerous features that are easy to get started with and powerful when needed.

Every release includes enhancements to usability, accessibility, performance, and reliability. In this release wave, we're boosting efficiency when you're working with actions across selections in lists of records and viewing summarized data to help you easily fix data entry mistakes.

To learn more about the entire set of capabilities being delivered during this release wave, check out the release plan for Dynamics 365 Business Central below:

For application administrators

User-impacting features to the user experience enabled automatically
User-impacting features should be reviewed by application administrators. This facilitates release change management and enables successful onboarding of new capabilities released to market. For the complete list, look for all features tagged "Users, automatically" in the release plan.

Features that must be enabled by application administrators
This release wave contains features that must be enabled or configured by administrators, makers, or business analysts to be available for their users. For the complete list, look for all features tagged "Users by admins, makers, or analysts" in the release plan.

Get the most out of Business Central

Get the most out of Business Central

Helpful links Description
Release plan View all capabilities included in the release.
Licensing Improve your understanding of how to license Business Central.
Product documentation Find documentation for Business Central.
User community Engage with Business Central experts and peers in the community.
Upcoming events Find and register for in-person and online events.
Product trials Get started with Business Central.