Microsoft releases regular updates for its ERP business system software, Business Central. As part of this release cycle, the first wave of new features for 2022 has been announced. Here are a few of the best Business Central features that will be arriving in April…

1 New desktop app announced

2021’s second release wave made it possible to install Business Central as an app from the browser window. However, Microsoft have now made it possible for this app to be discovered more easily in the Microsoft Store.

The desktop app is in the Microsoft Store and can be installed for both Business Central online and on-premises solutions. The full web client experience is available on the desktop. Features include cloud printing, multi-tasking, and personalisation, with the latter allowing users to maintain app-like behaviour on their desktop.

The app is designed to replace the legacy desktop app, based on older technology for Business Central online. However, this doesn’t mean that the old app will become obsolete. The app will be maintained to allow it to support previous versions of on-premises Business Central.

For more information on the app, visit Get Business Central Desktop App.

2 Outlook add-on – add attachments to Business Central records

An email inbox can often be a source of incoming files that initiate or unblock workflows. These could be anything from PDF payment invoices, pictures of damaged goods, customer requirements in Word documents, or part specifications listed in Excel.

Crucially a new update allows Business Central to help save time and reduce context – without leaving Outlook. You can quickly connect email attachments to the business record they relate to.

The Outlook add-on now offers the option to copy email attachments to the record displayed. It all works like this:

  • Review/choose some, if not all, of the email attachments to add to the record.
  • After attaching a file, co-workers can instantly download and view the file from the Attachments FactBox in any of their Business Central clients, or they can open OneDrive to share and collaborate with their department.
  • The feature is available for any records that use the Attachments FactBox, such as a vendor, customer, purchase invoice, or sales order.
  • Alternatively, purchase invoices can be sent to the incoming documents feature for processing.

3 Shopify Connector

Business Central has teamed up with Shopify, in a move which could help small businesses to create a better shopping experience for customers. Shopify provides merchants with an easy-to-use e-commerce solution, and when combined with the comprehensive management system Business Central can offer, is a perfect combination.

Seamless connection between the two systems will synchronise orders, stock, and customer information to ensure that merchants can fulfil orders faster and better serve their customers. This will help businesses to implement more agile online business processes, while keeping people focussed on selling.

With connected data across online stores and business operations, the shop operator can rapidly respond to consumer demands to adjust product pricing and merchandising. Support for different pricing structures and currencies, companies, and entities, allows Business Central to ably support Shopify store scenarios with ease.

Through the elimination of manual processes, accuracy will be improved. Visibility into stock, pricing, existing customer information and order history will also increase through the connection of the two. This increase in visibility means faster customer inquiry responses, timely returns and refunds, and more accurate order processing, allowing commerce-based businesses to grow and develop.

4 UI improvements to the web client

As workforces continue to use the Business Central web client and use the browser to complete business tasks more quickly and reliably. This optimisation of the web client will improve usability for the end user.

Within the 2022 release wave 1, Microsoft have introduced several additional enhancements to the usability of the web client:

  • When you navigate to related entities using the Peek feature for entities where the card or document page is not present, the Peek feature offers a new open full list option so that you can go to the relevant list.
  • Improved behaviour of lookups on dynamic fields, such as the Description field on sales documents, lets you choose an item but also enter a custom description.
  • When a FastTab expands, the page scrolls up so the next FastTab caption is visible.