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With the release of Dynamics 365 Business Central 2020 release wave 1  so many new lists features that are planned to release from April 2020 through September 2020.

In this blog post, we will see about below listed Modern Clients features in detail.

Collapse and expand document lines

On sales and purchase documents, and similar document pages, users can collapse the document lines section on the page. Users are in control. They optimize their space as they work through a task by giving more space to the content below the lines section. This feature effectively means there are now three ways in which the lines section is displayed, including the ability to focus entirely on lines.

The ability to collapse lines has been extended to any ListPart displayed outside of a group on a Card or Document page.

Similarly, to other collapsible content on the page, Business Central remembers your last preference by storing it on your device.

Disable export of data to Excel

Business Central administrators have the option to disable features that allow users to export data to Excel. The ability to export data from Business Central is controlled by a new D365 Excel Export Action permission set. If the permission is removed for a specific user, then the Edit in Excel and Open in Excel actions are no longer available to the user on any pages in the application.

Enable non-interactive printing in the cloud

Printing directly to a printer is now possible from the modern desktop clients. The setup that you make on the Printer Management page allows you to control which device to print to, including to cloud printers as defined by extensions. Using the Business Central modern clients, users who work in the browser can set up a printer selection for each report so that documents, labels, and other content are printed automatically on the selected printer. Administrators can manage a list of printers (including cloud printers), for example, by creating a friendly name for each and setting defaults. Additionally, for on-premises installations, any network printer that the server has access to will be available on the Printer Management page.

In this version, a predefined Email Printer extension is installed and ready for customers to use. This supports major printer manufacturers that enable email printing scenarios. Both Microsoft and partners are creating additional extensions for additional cloud printing technologies. Those can be found on AppSource soon.

Enhanced mobile accessibility related to device orientation

This enhancement makes access to information in FactBoxes reachable regardless of the device orientation by displaying a small chevron (either on the side or at the top of the page), allowing the user to “pull” the related information onto the screen. In previous releases, this action was only available with certain screen orientations. Now, it is available everywhere on any device. In the common scenario where a mobile phone is mounted on a holder in a vehicle (not driving), it is now possible for the operator to quickly access related information about a customer while the phone is in the holder.

Another change related to this enhancement is the redesigned Role Center view in Landscape mode on tablets. The navigation controls have been moved to the left pane, allowing users to quickly jump to a different page and get started with tasks. In previous releases, this was hidden under a menu. The change also allows users and administrators to personalize a Role Center with richer navigation by adding more elements to the Home group (for example, by bookmarking them). As a result, the cues have been moved to the right pane, allowing users to scroll the entire Role Center content.

Enter data more easily

Various adjustments that enhance typing or navigating fields in a list include:

  • Similar to Microsoft Excel, we’ve introduced the F2 key. This key toggles between selecting the field’s entire value and moving to end of the value. This allows users to quickly replace the value or add to it. The key allows users to quickly replace the value or add to it. The F2 key is available for editable fields and editable cells in lists.
  • When typing to fill in a row of data, the Tab key no longer sets focus to the ellipses that bring up the context for the row. This change improves efficiency when rapidly entering data and ensures that Tab key presses are predictable. The context menu remains reachable by using the left or right arrow keys. It can be activated using the space bar or Enter key.
  • In editable lists, users can use the left and right arrow keys to navigate to the previous or next cell in a row. This capability provides a consistent experience between editable and non-editable lists and increases the speed and agility of exploring data in a list or worksheet. Similarly, when you place the cursor before the first character in cell, pressing the left arrow key will exit the cell and set focus to the previous cell. The reverse also works when the cursor is placed after the last character.

Import profiles and UI customizations

A step-by-step wizard walks you through the process of importing a package in three simple steps:

  1. Select the profile package to import. The package is a file with the .zip extension that you exported earlier from the profiles list.
  2. Get an overview of which profiles are in the package. Decide whether you want to overwrite any profiles in your environment that have the same Profile ID.
  3. See which profiles were imported successfully and which have issues that you may need to resolve.

Importing a package of profiles into your environment will add or replace profiles along with their settings and page customizations.

Improvements to filter expressions

Business Central 2019 release wave 2 eliminated the need to recreate commonly used filters by allowing users to permanently save filters as a view in the web client. Based on community feedback, we’re now improving the filter experience further.

When authoring filters that use expressions, such as date ranges or filter tokens, you can toggle the filter field to display either the expression or the corresponding value. To view the expression again, just set the focus to the filter field by using the keyboard or mouse. This feature applies to:

  • Filters on lists. Here, it is particularly useful when saving list views so that date- or time-sensitive expressions can easily be modified when needed.
  • Filters to filters on report request pages, XmlPort request pages, and similar filter screens.

Navigate trees more easily

On page objects where a repeater control has the ShowAsTree property set to True, users will experience a new level of efficiency when working with the data tree. Users can easily drill down and back out again, using a keyboard or mouse. They can expand and collapse individual groups or use the Expand all and Collapse all actions.

Developers can also specify whether a tree opens fully expanded or fully collapsed by using the new property TreeInitialState that is available on repeater controls.

Optimized use of space on a page

Improvements to pages composed of multiple parts

The desktop client adds full support for page objects that are composed of multiple parts, such as ListParts or CardParts. This capability was already possible on a Role Center or FactBox pane. But the canvas of other page types wasn’t optimal for displaying parts alongside other content, resulting in overlapping UI elements or unreachable data.

Developers are now able to implement pages by choosing from prescribed AL patterns that give predictable outcomes. For example, they can display two lists side by side on a ListPlus page. Or, have multiple dependent lists shown above each other on a Document page. Pages already using these control patterns will automatically benefit from this change with no further development effort needed.

  • Available April 2020: Optimizations for ListParts as used on List pages, Document pages, Card pages, and ListPlus pages.
  • Available after April 2020: Optimizations for ListParts as used on Worksheet pages, and CardParts as used on various page types.

More content on screen

  • When users display a page wide across the screen, they’ll benefit from more compact page captions and reduced gray-space along the sides. Take a basic list page as an example. Compared to past versions of the Business Central Web client, it gains approximately 15% horizontal space and 5% vertical space for content. These gains result in two more columns and one more row being displayed.
  • FastTabs with no specified caption are treated as groups that define the structure of a page. As a result, “caption-less” FastTabs have reduced whitespace and can no longer be collapsed by users.

Pages open faster

Users will find that the pages they use often are now quicker to open. The structure of the page is shown first, giving context until data is loaded.

Technically, the rendered page is now cached the first time it is opened. This is done without persisting any business data or sensitive information to the user’s device. The next time the page opens, it will immediately render from the cache while the latest data is fetched from the service.

  • In Update 16.0, pages are cached for the duration of the user’s session. Users will only benefit from the performance gains while they remain signed in.
  • Update 16.1 improves the functionality by caching pages across sessions. Users benefit from improved load-time even when they sign in again after they close the browser or sign out.

While it is busy fetching data from the service, Business Central displays distinctive, pulsating UI elements to indicate that data has not yet been loaded.

Resiliency of UI customizations

In 2020 release wave 1, we are hardening our UI customization features to make user personalization and role customization more resilient to changes in minor and major updates. As the Business Central platform and business application evolve over time, some mappings between UI customizations, their target UI elements, and how they are interpreted become problematic. With this update users:

  • are no longer prevented from signing into Business Central if a severe error occurs with UI customization.
  • experience significantly less problematic UI customizations after their environment is upgraded.

Administrators also get a new diagnostic tool to assess the health of UI customizations in an environment at any time. They use the tool to troubleshoot:

  • user personalization from the Personalized Pages list (formerly User Page Personalizations).
  • role customization from the Customized Pages list (formerly Profile Customizations).

If any problematic UI customizations are impacting users, administrators are now able to identify and delete UI customizations for the problematic page.

Sharing links to records

Business Central will now automatically update the URL in your browser more frequently as you explore and navigate your data. As a result, the web client URL includes more hints about your current context whenever you need to share it or add it to your favorites. This is beneficial in numerous scenarios:

  • When you have set focus to a record in a list, copied and shared the URL, or add it to your favorites, this URL will navigate to the list page and highlight that record.
  • When you have navigated to a card or document page or used the Next record or Previous record buttons, copied and shared the URL (or added it to your favorites), this URL will now navigate to the details page for that record.
  • When you have navigated to a list view or saved a view, copied and shared the URL, or added it to your favorites, this URL will navigate to that specific view.
  • When working with lists, you were disconnected or reloaded the browser web page. Business Central will help you pick up where you left off by trying to return to the last view you visited.

Show and go to related records from a list

We have added some capabilities for users to navigate via links to related entries or even more places. Business Central web client introduces links allowing users to traverse to different entities from a list. This allows you to open a related card from a list, such as a customer or item card from a sales order (note that the document card page needs to be in view mode for this to work).

Partners can reuse existing or create new table relations (see here) and light up new experiences in their apps.

Unhide parts on a page

When personalizing pages in Business Central, users can show a hidden part on any page. This unlocks two common scenarios:

  • Business users can personalize their pages and bring back a part that they have previously hidden. Similarly, power users and consultants can unhide parts that they have previously hidden.
  • Developers can now choose to place secondary content on a page object and hide it, giving their customers a simple starting point with the page and the ability to unhide that content if it is relevant to their business processes.

Examples of parts that can be brought into view on a page:

  • The headlines on a Role Center home screen
  • A related details FactBox on the Customer list
  • A chart part directly on the canvas of a card page

Use the Find function on the Role Explorer

The Business Central Role Explorer has a new addition that complements manual navigation and expanding or collapsing menu groups. Users can now open the Role Explorer and start typing they’re looking for. The text they type appears in the Find box at the top of the page. Selecting the Find action or pressing F3 also starts the Find function.

The Role Explorer doesn’t filter the results but instead highlights the hits, as shown in the image below. When a result is contained in a collapsed group, the Find function annotates the group using a teal-colored circle. Users can browse through the results using arrow icons or keyboard keys (Ctrl+ArrowUp/ArrowDown and F3/Shift+F3). The Esc key closes the Find box and removes the value typed, so that a new search or browsing can be started. Also, switching to the Explore all view keeps the find value, making it even easier to navigate and find a necessary page.

Long-running operations can be canceled from the web client

You can now cancel long-running operations or application jobs. The user is presented with a progress window that shows the number of processed rows with the option to cancel the entire operation. When canceled, the system asks for confirmation and then requests the job to be cancelled.

A typical scenario is the ability to cancel reports or long-running batch jobs, but this feature extends to canceling other long-running operations, such as bulk posting of invoices.

New URL parameter hides web client header

A new showHeader parameter is now supported in the URL to access Business Central so that developers and administrators can hide the Office 365 Header from the web client.

This can be used to improve the user experience in various controlled integration scenarios, such as:

  • Embedding the Business Central web client in other web applications.
  • Freeing up more screen space for client Control AddIns that are intended to occupy most of the screen.

This behaves similar to other URL parameters that strip away elements in the UI to create more focused space. By hiding the header, users will not be able to reach any functionality that is exposed through the header, such as the ability to sign out or switch to different apps using the App Launcher.

Source of Information:

Some screenshots are taken from Business Central-What’s New for 2020 Release Wave 1 DYN784PAL – Web Conference.

Stay tuned for more information on Business Central 2020 release wave 1…!!!