5 new features Business Central admins need to know

Microsoft keeps adding new features to all facets of Business Central, including the admin center.

The community has access to the BC Ideas portal to signal Microsoft its wishes and Microsoft delivers.

If you want to contribute to the future of Business Central, add your ideas to http://aka.ms/bcideas

1. How to access Admin URL

Well, this is not something new, but still admins need to know how to access the BC admin center.



2. Copy environments

A) Sandbox to Production

After testing your sandbox you can turn it into a production environment.

Click on a Sandbox environment

Click on Copy action:

A new dialog appears:

Enter the New environment name and the type of the environment, in this case Production, and then click on Copy.

B) Production to Sandbox

Navigate to environment home page and click on a Production environment.

In the next screen, pick a name for the new sandbox and click on Copy:

Confirm operation:

Copy is scheduled:

and later is Copying:

Note 1: you can also perform these 2 actions programmatically via APIs:

Note 2: Clean up or prepare data via 2 new events:

3) Restrict access to a specific environment to only certain users (part of a security group)

A) Create security group in Azure AD or Microsoft 365 admin center

  • Open Admin Center
  • Navigate to Active teams & groups
  • Click Security
  • Select Add a group action
  • add owner(s) and member(s)

B) Assign security group to BC environment

Admin users will be allowed in all these environments.

To restrict access to an environment, create a security group with 0 members. In this case only admins have access.

4) Environment operations are now caught in the Environment Operations:

Navigate to Operations:

5) Restart Environments:

  • Open the environment;
  • Click on Sessions;
  • Click on Restart Environment

6) Update apps in each environment

If you have apps installed in your environments and these apps have updates in the AppSource, starting with BC 2021 wave 2 you can manage the apps and their upgrade from admin center.

  • Click on one environment link
  • Choose Apps action

If the Available Update Action shows “Action Required” click on it and get through the upgrade flow.

Business Central 2021 wave 2: documents have now a default line type. See how to set it up!

In Business Central, sales and purchase documents have lines and lines can be of different types:

  • comment line: ” “
  • “G/L Account”
  • “Item”
  • “Resource”
  • “Fixed Asset”
  • “Charge (Item)”

When editing a sales line document, a user would have to pick one of these values.

With BC 2021 wave 2, customers can default the value of line type to a value that is used most often.

E.g. If an end-user has sales documents in which the Resource line types is very frequent, they could set the “Default Line Type” to “Resource” in “Sales & Receivables” page:

Let’s see it in action!

From the get-go, as soon as we open a new Sales Quote, we can see that the lines have “Resource” as line type:

If you manually change the Type to a different value, e.g. “G/L Account”, the subsequent lines are taking the default from the line above:

Similar to sales documents, purchase documents have a default line type.

End-users can set up their purchase line default type in “Purchase & Payables Setup” page:

It is also possible to use a different line type, for example “Tutor”.

An AL developer would need to expand the “Sales Line Type” enum to include the new value:

enumextension 50100 SalesLineTypeWithTutorExt extends "Sales Line Type"
    value(50100; Tutor)
        Caption = 'Tutor';

Deploying the extended enum would make possible to choose the new enum value:

And the sales documents would use the new line type as default:

Of course, there is more custom code to write to make the new enum usable in the documents, but about that in a future blog.

Have you seen the new “Chart of Accounts Overview” in BC 2021 Wave 2?

With Business Central 2021 Wave 2 there is a new page to inspect the chart of accounts.

Search for “Chart of Accounts Overview”.

This new page displays the chart of accounts in a tree structure.

To create a list page with a tree structure a developer would need to make true the property “ShowAsTree” which can be found under Repeater control:

The columns in the Overview page are similar to the ones in the original Chart Of Accounts list page.

The new page is more compact:

  • less fields: just the Balance, Net Change, “Income/Balance”, “Account Subcategory” “Account Type” and Totaling are available
  • less lines: “End-Total” lines are out

Let’s have a look at how the “Begin-Total” line looks like for Assets in the classic “Chart of Accounts”

And how the Assets “Begin Total” line looks in the Overview page:

We can see now that the Net Change, Balance, Totaling have been brought into the “Begin Total” row from “End-Total” and the “End Total” row is no longer in the list.

The classic “Chart of Accounts” list page:

The new “Chart of accounts Overview”.


And expanded:

The Overview page does not allow for opening of G/L Account card page.

The Overview page does not allow for editing, inserting or deleting G/L accounts.

But if you want a compact page, with less fields with the option to quickly expand and collapse features for entire groups of accounts, then the new “Chart of Accounts Overview” is a useful alternative.