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Navigating the Cloud – Interface and Navigation Improvements in the Business Central Wave 2

Continuing on the theme of Thanksgiving (we observe it in October here in Canada) and how thankful we are for the Fall release, generally referred to as the 2019 “Wave 2” of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, in this post we’d like to zero in on the improvements to overall navigation and UI, focusing on the ones that we’re excited to share with our clients!

Undoubtedly part of the challenge for the Microsoft dev team with shifting paradigms from the now-fossilized Role-Tailored Client to the welcome-to-the-21st-century web interface was rethinking navigation instead of simply porting over the historic navigation model of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Indeed an evolution (rather, a revolution) of the product meant gradual and methodical reintroduction of functionality, thinking about what makes sense to adopt in modern client from the legacy clients.

As a result, interface and navigation improvements have been trickling in slowly across releases, but have certainly “made more sense” in the context of the web. Nevertheless, Microsoft has been making some big strides in continually improving usability and configurability with the product. A few highlights from this current release are below:

Bookmarking Links

The Role Centre in Business Central is a wonderful thing (and can now be codelessly customized), however a common ask is if people can “add” to their homepage for their commonly-accessed pages. Well, with this release you can!

Say, for example, you have one of your A/R Clerks who happens to also help out or provide coverage of Purchase Invoice creation. You can keep them on the receivables-related Role Centre, but he or she could simply “bookmark” the Purchase Invoices link to the home screen:

Clicking that nifty button in the “Tell Me” results will then surface that as a link on their Role Centre, shown below:


The Tell Me function is a great thing to use if you know generally what it is you’re looking for. However, if you’re not quite sure and simply want to explore the modules to figure out where to go next, you can now use the awesome new Explore feature. This will look very familiar to NAV users who are used to the Departments page:

Clicking that expands to show you the whole kit-and-caboodle of Business Central:

Open New Page

Now here’s one that is a wonderful productivity addition – practically every Business Central client at some point asks if they can open another window side-by-side. Historically that has been problematic (manually opening multiple Business Central tabs or windows in your browser/across browsers doesn’t work/work well). Enter the new ‘pop-out’ button on pages:

Clicking that does what it’s advertised to do – creates a new tab and pushes the active page to a new focused pop-up window in your browser.

Company Badge

Veteran users of NAV will tell you about the system indicator – the colourful company name bar that liked to persist in the top-right of the screen. While we don’t quite get the same thing in Business Central, we do get a 4-character “Company Badge” that can at least house a nice initialism of the company you’re in. Setting it up is the same as with the old-school system indicator: on the Company Information page.

Which then proudly appears in your windows:

Closing Thoughts

The above are just a handful of the enhancements to the interface and navigation – truth be told, there’s quite a number of other improvements (such as the ability to resize columns easily, data entry enhancements, selection indication enhancements, Role Centre action personalization, and more), however they show the dedication that Microsoft has to improving usability and the overall experience for end-users. We’re excited to be sharing these improvements with our clients and look forward to what else the wizards at Microsoft have in store for us!

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