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Simplify Custom Field Creation in Dynamics 365 Business Central

Your business requirements have changed and now you need new fields added in your Business Central solution. The problem? Creating these additional fields isn’t something you can do on your own with a couple of clicks.

For most businesses, the process of creating custom fields in Business Central involves a lot of back-and-forth. Users typically have to visualize what they want and put together a mock-up in the form of edited screenshots illustrating the location of the new fields along with descriptions of their functionality and workflow requirements. Those descriptions are then passed on to a consultant, who in turn will send them off to a developer so they can add in and deploy the new fields.

As you can imagine, this often leads to misunderstandings and errors between users, consultants, and the developer. Fortunately, there’s a better, more efficient method out there. Utilizing the Simple Object Designer (SOD) add-on, our team has built a client-centric process that simplifies custom field creation from mock-up to implementation.

What is the Simple Object Designer?

The Simple Object Designer add-on is an extension developed by that simplifies the creation of field customizations within Business Central. Its intuitive interface allows users to edit custom fields without the need for coding or extensive technical knowledge.

How Does the Catapult Process Work?

Imagine your company’s reporting requirements have changed, and you need a new custom field added to a Business Central form for tracking purposes. Before putting together a mock-up of the new custom fields you want, your consultant will kick off the process by gathering requirements.

During the requirements gathering, our consultant will determine what fields are needed, where they will appear in the system, and their functionality. This preliminary step ensures your consultant knows exactly what you need from the get-go and reduces the need for additional approval sessions.

Once all this information is collected, they’ll install the Simple Object Designer into a sandbox copy of your production environment. From here, the new fields will be configured and tested based on your specifications. As the user, you’ll also be able to review and test the newly mocked-up design yourself within the sandbox environment to see if it meets your standards. With this hands-on approach, users are no longer relegated to the sidelines of the workflow while waiting for others to figure it out. Users can make changes to fields themselves while they review and test the mocked-up fields within the sandbox, eliminating roadblocks due to miscommunication.

As illustrated in the above screenshots Simple Object Designer’s intuitive interface allows custom fields to be easily added, placed on a table in a desired locations, and viewed by the user in a sandbox environment for testing.

Once the design is finalized, the SOD mock-up and requirements are passed on to the developer who will create the fields as an extension directly in your Business Central production environment and build out any processes the field requires.

The Benefits of Our Process

  1. Easily Adapt your Business Central solution: As your business evolves and requirements change, our process can help you scale your solution to meet those changes more easily.
  2. Accurate design mock-ups: Minimize misunderstandings and design errors with accurate mock-ups of the custom fields you want in a sandbox environment.
  3. Streamlined workflow processes: Lower the number of revisions and the time it takes to get your tailored fields from mock-up design to implementation.
  4. Seamless integration & compatibility: The SOD is specifically designed to help customize Dynamics 365 Business Central. It seamlessly integrates with your solution without disrupting existing workflows and capabilities

With over a decade of experience as a Dynamics 365 Microsoft partner, we know it’s important for businesses to adapt quickly to meet the needs of their customers. By incorporating the SOD into our streamlined process, we’ve made it easier for any organization to design and deploy custom fields in a more efficient manner.

Potential Pitfalls of Adding Custom Fields

Using the SOD doesn’t require extensive technical knowledge, so you may be tempted to forgo the assistance of a developer altogether and try to implement custom fields on your own. Although it’s a user-friendly application that makes designing and testing mock-ups easier, deploying custom fields within your production environment does still require a developer.

It’s important to understand that there are many inherent risks when adding tailored fields, especially if you aren’t familiar with the background design and setup of Business Central. Relying on the expertise of an experienced Dynamics 365 consultant and developer is critical. Adding the wrong field in the wrong way can cause a domino effect of data inconsistencies and errors. Even a simple issue with your naming conventions can cause major headaches for your business down the line that will disrupt your operations.

With an experienced Dynamics 365 developer handling the custom field implementation, you can rest easy knowing they are using best practices to ensures your field customizations integrate seamlessly into your Business Central solution, and function exactly as they should. They will identify potential conflicts and pinpoint any data errors or discrepancies before they become a disruption to your daily processes and operations. Basically, the best way to ensure your custom field implementation goes smoothly the first time around is to work with an experienced Dynamics 365 partner that understands your full solution.

Is the Simple Object Designer Right for you?

If you’re looking to add customized fields in your Business Central solution, then you’ve come to the right place. Whether it’s a specific field you need added in a financial report, or a new custom date field for a registration form, we’re here to help from design mock-up to implementation, and to provide additional support after deployment. Get in touch with one of our experts today and we’ll be more than happy to help you out.

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