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Towing the Line – Editing Document Lines in Excel with Business Central

While the countdown to Halloween began at the beginning of this month and the spoils of trick-or-treating is eagerly being anticipated, some of us in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 community already got our treat this season! The 2019 “Wave 2” release of Dynamics 365 Business Central came out with a pillow cover filled-to-the-brim with goodies!

While there’s a lot to talk about (and we’ve got some other posts out there around the nifty new features), there’s one that may be a game-changer for anyone who has to create large purchase or sales documents on a regular basis: namely the expansion of the “Edit in Excel” functionality to document lines!

Line Dancing

Anyone that uses the mainstay Edit in Excel feature on a regular basis will tell you how much of a game-changer it can be for entering, editing, or deleting rows of data. Leveraging all the wonderful capabilities and usability of Excel, it can dramatically improve productivity for individuals who don’t want to go record-by-record to tweak things or use RapidStart configuration packages to make changes en masse. However the ability to mass-edit lines within a document (such as a purchase or sales invoice) has been missing the Edit in Excel love – an issue that Microsoft addressed with this new release.

Say, for example, you’ve copy-pasted some lines into a Sales Invoice from Excel and realize you left out the “Description 2” details.

Well, you could delete the lines and re-paste them or you could now click on this nifty button:

Which spits out an Excel file that when opened will authenticate and then pull in the lines, which you can edit:

And then publish:

Which then pushes the changes up to the lines:

One More Tool in the Toolbelt

Ultimately this feature is as good as the business case behind it – some clients may already be copy-pasting in data from Excel to do this, however that does not help with changing data after it’s already been copied in, nor does it allow you to mass delete rows. I get the feeling this feature will prove itself more and more useful over time, leaving in the dust the need for all those custom “A/P Import” extensions that clients tend to have built.

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