From the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central blogs: Azure Batch; Upgrade codeunits; Extending reports; Barcodes

April 23 2021

In this week's Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central blog roundup:

  • Why you should start considering Azure Batch for some of your Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud workloads
  • Business Central Design considerations for upgrade codeunits
  • Extending reports in Business Central
  • Business Central: native support for barcodes

Why you should start considering Azure Batch for some of your Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud workloads

Writing on the Stefano Demiliani's NAV Blog, Demiliani noted that at the Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Wave 1 Launch event, Dmitry Chadayev described the improvements that Microsoft has made on the tenant’s database export feature.

These improvements involved the underlying technology for having a more reliable and performant way of exporting the tenant database when this database grows in size during time.

Demiliani pointed out that previously, the database export was handled by using the standard database export feature from Azure SQL. However now there's new service that uses Azure Batch to handle the export of these databases more reliably.

In his blog post, Demiliani explained in detail how to use Azure Batch for some of your Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud workloads.

Design considerations for upgrade codeunits

On his Waldo.be blog, Waldo, aka Eric Wauters, stated that his company recently enabled support for the new "item references" in Dynamics 365 Business Central.

[We need to] make sure our code supported the new item reference table instead of the old item cross reference table. [You can] Automatically enable the item reference feature (necessary, because when your code depends on this new feature, it has to be enabled…[and] automatically trigger the data upgrade (which basically transfers all data from one table to the other).

All this is done using an upgrade codeunit, which he explained in detail in his blog post.

Extending reports in Business Central

On the Microsoft Dynamics 365 blog, Peter Borring and Eva Dupont stated that the partner community is familiar with customizing built-in reports.

However, they noted that in the past you had to modify existing reports through code customization by directly editing the report object.

In D365BC online, direct customization isn't possible. Rather, you add new objects or modifications in a controlled manner through extensions to the base product.

However, until now you couldn't extend report objects, so partners had to copy and branch any report that required modification, according to the authors.

These steps were a pain point that incurred costs and a maintenance burden even for the simplest changes. As a result, closing this gap has been the highest voted idea on the Business Central Ideas site year after year.

The 2021 release wave now supports report extensions in D365BC and there are two approaches to customizing reports, which the authors explained in their blog post.

Dynamics 365 Business Central: native support for barcodes

In another post on the Stefano Demiliani's NAV Blog, Demiliani stated using barcodes with D365BC is pretty simple in an on-premise environment (just install a font and you’re ready to go). However, it's not so easy to handle on a SaaS environment, where you can't install custom fonts and you were often forced to rely on external services.

Now, things are different, he said. With D365BC 2021 Wave 1 (v18), there is native support for barcodes on reports.

The functionality is provided by the barcode module of the system application. The module includes the objects and tools that you need to add barcodes to your reports.

Demiliani explained how to use barcodes on reports.

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