A quick look into the upcoming major version in April 2021 (Business Central 2021 release wave 1) from the developer’s point of view

by Feb 13, 2021Administration, AL Language, Data, Development, Runtime

Home 9 User Experience 9 Administration 9 A quick look into the upcoming major version in April 2021 (Business Central 2021 release wave 1) from the developer’s point of view

It is only four months since the last major version of the Business Central (2020 wave 2) has been released, and we can already look forward to another version that will be released in April.

Microsoft has already provided the list of planned and confirmed functionality (available here). Let’s look at some of the planned features that will be usable (or, at least available) for programmers.

Most useful changes for developers

Extensible reports

One of the most annoying things for customising in the AL language are definitely reports. Till now, to add own field to the existing report from the base app or another extension, there was no other way but to copy the report and do the change in this copy.

With the upcoming version, developers will be able to create a report extension objects. Using this extension object type, we will be able (at least) to add new fields to existing datasets and request pages.

In my opinion, this is one of the most critical changes and as so I will look at it in another article once it is available in public preview.

Returning of complex types from AL procedures

One of the greatest news is that with the new update almost every complex type (record, page, query, list, …) can be returned from a procedure. Let’s see an example:


 procedure GetSellToCustomer(): Record Customer
 var
   Customer: Record Customer;
 begin
   Rec.TestField("Sell-to Customer No.");
   if Customer.Get("Sell-to Customer No.") then
     exit(Customer);
 end;

As this is a big change and as it is something known and often used in almost any other language, I will look at it in details in the next weeks.

Ability to add own keys/indexes to base table/tableextension

To increase custom processes’ performance, Microsoft added support of adding own keys to original tables and tables from any extension.

Entitlement and PermissionSet objects

There will be new object types for better administration and security of user’s roles: Entitlements, PermissionSets and PermissionSetExtension.

PermissionSets (and PermissionSetExtension) are already familiar to anybody. However, in current versions of the Business Central, they are stored and managed directly in the Modern Client.

Entitlements is a new object type that will allow specifying, which objects are available for specific users based on their assigned license (Full, Team Member, …) or Azure Active Directory role.

Easier working with 1-D barcodes in report layouts

There are new fonts available to use in report layouts. These fonts allow generating one-dimensional barcodes. For now (2021/02) licensed fonts are as follow

Some of other improvements

  • Availability to specify report layout both using AL or directly in the Modern Client (so as developers, we can use the same report for more layouts dynamically)
  • Performance improvements to Role Centers. The content of the Role Center is loaded in a similar way to FactBoxes. That means that Role Centers are loaded part by part from top-level (from menus), and only the visible parts are loaded. For developers, that is the improvement that helps with the performance a lot as users will be able to use menu actions without waiting for bricks and other stats shown on the main page.
  • Interfaces can be obsoleted as any other objects (In my opinion, this is a fix, not an improvement…)
  • Lookups triggers will return record link of selected record instead of its name.
  • Many improvements to the extensibility of reservation management. I will cover this topic as a separate article in the upcoming weeks.

Recent Articles from the category

Isolated events

Isolated events

With Business Central 2022 wave 1, a new setting for event publishers was introduced. Until this version, any error in any event subscriber caused interruption to the current running process and stopped the whole activity. In some cases (such as log-in), this is...

read more
Custom Filter Tokens

Custom Filter Tokens

As a user of the Business Central you have some constants you can use to filter or insert values. These constants contain useful values for data manipulation such as t / today for date field - return current dateq / quarter for date field filters - return range of the...

read more
How to let users choose field(s) properly

How to let users choose field(s) properly

When some complex functionality is developed, it is sometimes necessary to let users choose a specific field. This can be required for field permissions, mapping imported values or any similar process. Earlier, the usual way was to create a link on the Field table...

read more
Working with Translation Files (XLIFF)

Working with Translation Files (XLIFF)

How does the translation file work? In Microsoft Dynamic 365 Business Central, displaying different languages is done using the XLIFF files extension (.xlf). The generated XLIFF files have strings that are specified in properties like Captions, Tooltips......

read more
1D & 2D Barcodes in Business Central 19.1

1D & 2D Barcodes in Business Central 19.1

Business Central (cloud-only!) includes one-dimensional (1D) barcode fonts since Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central 2020 wave 2 (17.0) was released in October 2020. It is a great improvement to how developers can handle requirements from their clients to print...

read more
ErrorInfo data type & Collectible Errors

ErrorInfo data type & Collectible Errors

A major change to AL Language development is here! Collectible errors can hugely improve any validation procedures. And what's new? Everything is about a new data type ErrorInfo. ErrorInfo data type ErrorInfo is a new data type introduced in Microsoft Dynamics 365...

read more
BCQuizzes by Kepty

BCQuizzes by Kepty

Public quizzes BCQuizzes by Kepty are my new project that will be available for everyone. The quizzes are available for anyone interested in Business Central Processes & Development. Do you have any idea how to improve the existing quizzes? Do you have new ideas...

read more
Exploring CosmosDB with Business Central, part 2

Exploring CosmosDB with Business Central, part 2

This part explains how to connect to Azure Cosmos DB from your Business Central extension using AL Language and how to get some values from the database.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------...

read more

Sign Up for News

Certifications

Highest certification
Microsoft Data Management and
also in D365 Business Central

Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Business Central Functional Consultant Associate

See other certifications here