3 Things to Know About Dynamics 365 Business Central

Just got done with two days of learning about Dynamics 365 Business Central at the Microsoft Center in New York City. Before the training, my main focus was on how to use it with Power BI. This was my first training related to Business Central and the trainers, Craig, @craigcrescas, and Tom did a great job!!

Dynamics 365 Business Central is an all-in-one business management solution that’s easy to use and adapt, helping you connect your business and make smarter decisions. Built on functionality within Microsoft Dynamics NAV and adaptable to extend business applications to other Microsoft Cloud Services such as Office 365, Microsoft Flow, Power BI and PowerApps.

In this post I’m going to discuss some of my biggest take a ways – Ready To Go, Built to Develop and Office 365 and Power BI integration.

Ready To Go

If you haven’t found it yet, go to http://aka.ms/readytogo. There you we find information on:

* “Ready To Go” online learning

* “Ready To Go” coaching

* “Ready To Go” platform

“Ready To Go” online learning

The “Ready to Go” online learning catalog is an extensive library of training materials, hosted on the Dynamics Learning Portal. You can find the “Ready to Go” online learning catalog here.

This catalog contains readiness information for marketers, business decision makers, architects, and developers. The content addresses the needs of both reselling partners of Dynamics 365 Business Central as App builders who want to provide Apps on Microsoft AppSource. Currently there is over 15 hours of online learning. Here are some of the catalog categories:

Online learning catalog

“Ready To Go” coaching

The “Ready to Go” coaching is executed by Microsoft Development Centers and Master VARs, which are independently owned and operated. They bring technical services and coaching to market and have industry specific knowledge that you can contract and leverage when developing your offerings. Over time they have developed lots of best practices by supporting multiple partners, they also have strong ties with Microsoft’s R&D teams and are always up to date on the latest strategy and product innovation.

The “Ready to Go” validation workshop is offered by all Development Centers and Master VARs at fixed price and is designed to coach you in bringing your Dynamics 365 Business Central offerings to market faster and with less friction by providing individual coaching. This 8-hour workshop helps partners make the right decisions and is based upon a unified checklist and set of training materials. The workshop validates and coaches the partner’s readiness on their go-to market business model, marketing plans, architectural plans, app Development and internal readiness.

Where needed the Microsoft Development Centers and Master VARs have more offerings to support you. We recommend reaching out if you want more information.

“Ready To Go” platform

To support you in App development, testing and learning scenario’s, the “Ready to Go” platform is a place where you can find current, upcoming and daily builds of Dynamics 365 Business Central. It also holds a way to provide feedback to the Microsoft engineers working on Dynamics 365 Business Central. These builds are made available to you on the Microsoft Collaborate platform. To get access to the “Ready to Go” platform, you need to go through these steps:

  1. Register on Microsoft Collaborate using your AAD Global Admin account.
  2. Contact us, once registered on Microsoft Collaborate. Your company’s Azure Active Directory (AAD) global administrator should contact us to complete the on-boarding. We need to manually assign you to the right programs and engagements. Expect a response from us within 1-2 business days.
  3. The Ready to Go team will notify you and confirm your registration.

Built for Development

Dynamics 365 is a flexible business platform that can be scaled to suit and meet your business needs in terms of size and complexity. There are three ways that the system can be customized by either using – Personalize, Designer or Visual Studio Code for al language development. Personalize can be done by the Business Central end user by simply navigating to the gear icon in the top right corner of the window/screen you are on and selecting “Personalize”.

Personalize Screenshot

For me, I’m on the Sales Order window. I now select the Sales Order line detail section and select the “Field” option in the top gray bar. From there you will get the “Add Field to Page” section on the right of the below screenshot. Use the search function and type in “Bin”. Now drag the Bin Code field over the Lines section of the Sales Order. Select “Done” to complete your personalization.

Screen Personalization

Designer is a little more work in the customization process but is applied globally instead of at a personal level. First you will need to create a Sandbox. A sandbox environment (Preview) is a non-production instance of Business Central. Isolated from production, a sandbox environment is the place to safely explore, learn, demo, develop, and test the service without the risk of affecting the data and settings of your production environment. Here is the link to how to create one. Once you’re done, you should see “Sandbox” in the black tool bar on the top right of the screen. Selecting the gear icon once again will bring up the additional “Designer” option. Both the Designer and custom al language option should be handled by a developer or more technical user. You can read more about these option in the “Ready To Go” online learning Technical catalog categories discuss above.

Power BI Integration

Getting insights into your Business Central data is easy with Power BI and the Business Central content packs. Power BI retrieves your data and then builds an out-of-the-box dashboard and reports based on that data.

You must have a valid account with Dynamics 365 and with Power BI. Also, you must download Power BI Desktop if you wish to create your own Power BI reports. Power BI content packs require permissions to the tables where data is retrieved from.

How to Connect

  1. Select Get Data at the bottom of the left navigation pane. You may also get starting from within Dynamics 365 Business Edition. From the role center, navigate to Report Selection in the Power BI Role Center part. Select either Service or My Organization from the ribbon. When either of these actions are selected, you will be taken to either the Organization gallery in Power BI or to the services library in Power BI, which will also be filtered to only display content packs related to Dynamics 365 Business Central.Get Data
  2. You may also get starting from within Dynamics 365 Business Edition. From the role center, navigate to Report Selection in the Power BI Role Center part. Select either Service or My Organization from the ribbon. When either of these actions are selected, you will be taken to either the Organization gallery in Power BI or to the services library in Power BI, which will also be filtered to only display content packs related to Dynamics 365 Business Central.
  3. In the Services box, select Get. This will open a window with the AppSource and Apps for Power BI apps.Get Services
  4. Select Apps from the Apps for Power BI apps tab, search for “Business Central” content pack that you want to use, and then select Get it now for the App you want to load. I choose “Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central – Sales. Dynamics 365 Business Central Apps
  5. When prompted, enter the name of your company in Dynamics 365 Business Central. This is not the display name. The company name can be found on the ‘Companies’ page within your Dynamics 365 Business Central instance. Company Name
  6. You can find the Company Name in Business Central by searching with the magnifying glass and typing in “companies”. Your screen should look like the below screenshot. Business Central Companies screen
  7. Once connected, a dashboard, report and dataset will automatically be loaded into your Power BI workspace. Power BI Business Central - Sales Report
  8. When completed, navigate back to Business Central’s home page and down to the bottom right corner. Click on the Ellipsis, “…”, in the top right of the Power BI section to Select Report and enable the reports you just deployed. Select ReportEnable Report
  9. You should now see your report and you can use the Previous Report and Next Report menu options to view all reports available.

Stay tuned for more on Business Central and Power BI

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