by Nicholas Jackson, TrinSoft Senior Dynamics Consultant
Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC) is a feature-rich ERP created by Microsoft with robust options for all business activities, ranging from accounting to manufacturing and everything in between. Microsoft hosts hundreds of pages of documentation on the application, so it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the options available at your fingertips, but this article will help you identify 5 of the lesser-known features of BC:
- Keyboard Shortcuts
- Exclude from Quick Entry
- Notification Manager
- Advanced Filtering
- Embedding Power BI Reports
Dynamics 365 BC Keyboard Shortcuts
Once you have started using BC for a bit, you may find yourself wanting to move around the application faster to more efficiently enter journals, post documents, etc. The less time you spend navigating to an option on the screen with your mouse, the more efficient you can be. (Power users of Excel are very familiar with this concept.) BC provides a host of keyboard shortcuts for navigating the system, and this visual summarizes the most popular shortcuts:
Here are a few of the most popular (and powerful) keyboard shortcuts:
- ALT + Q: Opens “Tell Me”, the global search box in BC
- F8: Copies from the cell above when entering data on a table, such as a journal entry or invoice lines
- ALT + F3: Filters the list to current value on a list view, a quick way to narrow down a list
- CTRL + ALT + F1: Opens the “Inspect pages and data” side pane to allow advanced viewing of data
Excluding from Quick Entry in Dynamics 365 BC
There is an option most users have probably seen while navigating BC but may not be fully aware of its capabilities. When personalizing a page, upon selecting a field’s header, one of the actions is called “Exclude from Quick Entry”:
Upon selecting this item, nothing appears to have happened. However, when selecting the field header again, it now says “Include in Quick Entry”.
Quick entry defines which field your cursor goes into next when hitting the “Enter” key. Most of the time, it is the next field on the page. However, you may find yourself skipping over this field 90% of the time, but you leave it on the page for the 10% of the time you do need it. To prevent the system from automatically selecting that field, exclude it from quick entry. Now, the system will jump over that field when hitting Enter, allowing faster and simpler data entry.
Tip: It may seem that hitting Tab and Enter do the same thing in BC, but not quite! Enter respects quick entry settings, while Tab does not. If you want to go to the next cell even if it’s excluded in quick entry, hit Tab instead of Enter.
Notification Manager in Dynamics 365 BC
BC provides notifications across the application to draw attention to potential setup issues or available features. They look like blue banners across the top of the screen, like this:
Many of these notifications can be managed in a central location: the notification manager. To get there, click the gear in the upper right corner of BC, select “My Settings,” then “Change when I receive notifications.” This brings up the notification manager:
Clicking on each of these notifications will provide a bit more detail about when it appears. Then, you can enable/disable the notification from appearing in the system. Lastly, for some notifications, you can filter when it appears based upon a set of criteria.
Advanced Filtering in Dynamics 365 BC
BC may contain many records after a small amount of time, depending on the usage of the application for a given company. Fortunately, Microsoft has many options for filtering the data. From a given list, the search box provides an easy way to search all columns for a given character string. But if you need more specific filtering, you can filter on a specific column with detail by using the filter pane.
For example, if you’re searching General Ledger Entries and you want to see transactions just for the account 61500, you would add a filter on G/L Account No. for 61500. However, what if you wanted to see transactions for accounts 61500 or 61800? You can use the vertical bar character (|) to tell BC you want results from value X or value Y. This means your final query would be “61500|61800” which yields results from either account.
BC has many advanced search capabilities using special characters. The full list can be found in this Microsoft documentation.
Embedding Power BI Reports in Dynamics 365 BC
Power BI is Microsoft’s powerful data visualization tool, allowing you to create impressive dashboards yielding actionable business insights. Power BI reports are flexible not only in their data sources and design, but where they can be deployed as well.
Once a Power BI report is built and published, a user can easily embed the report into a role center in BC, putting the report right where users spend their time. Simply follow the steps of the wizard on the role center to embed your Power BI reports.
These are just a few of the hidden features that BC has to offer. Mastering these will take your BC knowledge to the next level and allow you to more fully leverage the software that you own.
Interested in using BC or need an assessment of how you are currently using BC? Need help building a Power BI dashboard for embedding into BC? Contact TrinSoft today for a free quote on the many services we provide.