Podcast Review: Release Wave 2 marks key milestone for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

October 8 2019

With the start of October, Microsoft released its much anticipated 2019 release wave 2 updates for Dynamics 365 Business Central. Microsoft group manager Chad Sogge and Microsoft MVP and DSWi chief operating office AJ Ansari joined the MSDW podcast to discuss the changes afoot and what they mean for customers, ISVs and VARs.

Five key update areas

Sogge explained the five key focus areas for his engineering team as they've built out Business Central over the past six months. All told, over 100 new features are being released in wave 2. Service fundamentals was a key focus, including performance, reliability, supportability, and security, with efforts to have multiple apps run against a customer's service or having shared clusters.

In wave 2, Microsoft has officially left the Windows Client behind and continued with the modern client initiative from wave 1. Sogge's team discovered that many partners were using the Intelligent Cloud offering, which is intended to replicate on-premises Business Central (or NAV or GP) to a SaaS instance to gain extra AI and machine learning features, as a cloud migration tool. But because Intelligent Cloud isn't setup to be a full-fledged migration tool, the team has worked to better enable that use case by introducing tables and templates to make migrations more feasible.

Sogge also explained the team's long term view around supporting customization with the new model built on extensions and events. He said:

We spent time the last couple years introducing extensions and calling events. We don't want people to do code customizations which makes it so much easier to update with a monthly release or wave update. We've gone away from C/AL side to Azure DevOps and AL language. With our hosted solution it's extensions only. On-prem you're on path to convert to AL but can still use customizations.

The big reason we're doing this, is we want to embrace the next 30 years. We want new developers out of college to pick this up and use tools they know not proprietary ones. We can enhance and broaden capabilities and the number of people that work with Business Central. Having modules and services [allows us to] ship at different times, so that customers can realize value with a monthly cadence and enable ISV acceleration. We have historically had a lot of business with embedded ISVs with a vertical like retail or automotive. We've brought more capability to their development and increased their ability to bring on-prem customers to a SaaS solution.

The drive for simplicity and responsiveness

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