01 March 2020

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Wave 1 2020: Release note explained.

A few weeks ago Microsoft published the 2020 release wave 1 plan for Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform document. This document contains details about many new interesting functionalities and features. Below are some of the features that got my attention.

Look up events and insert event subscribers in code
One challenge most developers face each day is to find the correct event and generate an event subscriber signature. With this newly added feature, develoepr can easily search through the available event list and generate subscriber signature and insert it into code context. 
Use the new Shift+Alt+E shortcut in the AL code editor to invoke a list of all events. You can use type ahead to dynamically search and filter the event list, and when pressing return to select an event entry, an event subscriber for the event will be inserted at the cursor position in the active AL code editor window. 
Multiple variable declarations of the same type in the same line
I was looking forward to this from the day I saw it during NAVTechDays. No more lengthy list of variable declaration.  
Declare multiple variables of the same type in the same line, using a comma to separate variable names. For example, "foo, bar : Integer;
Ability to refactor a field from a table to a table extension 
This would be good news for most of the On-premise customers who are looking forward to migrating to SaaS. With this new feature, the developer can move the custom fields to a table extension without writing any upgrade code. However, think very well before creating table extensions as it will have an effect on application performance. 
Using Sync-NAVApp, a developer can move a field from a table to a table extension without the need to write upgrade code
API for continuous delivery of the AppSource apps via Azure DevOps services
This will allows partners to manage their apps and orchestrate the steps of the app release. This will not be available for all partners immediately. 
The partners will use a new API (fixed app management endpoint, of FAME) and Azure DevOps services to manage their apps and orchestrate the steps of the release (release pipeline). Once a partner app has been tested in a Docker container and has passed automated AppSource validation checks, the production-ready app will be submitted for the AppSource automatic and additional manual validation via the Microsoft Partner Center portal as usual. When the app is approved, the ISV will proceed with a phased rollout of the app to all of its customers, using the previous version of the ISV app, across multiple countries. New versions of the partner apps will be made available to the customers to upgrade to on the Extension Management page so that customers can install or upgrade to those when they see fit. 
Business Central integration with Common Data Service
This was first demonstrated during NAV TechDays and I was very much looking forward to this. The new feature will allow to connect to CDS and associate a Business Central company with the CDS business unit. Not sure how this is been added to the product but hopefully it will not be similar to the current CRM connector which runs based on Job queues and has very limited capabilities. 
When developing extensions that integrate with Common Data Service, Business Central 2020 release wave 1 will bring extensibility capabilities, where Common Data Service tables and Common Data Service table extensions can be created. This will allow for any custom attribute to be synchronized
Read scale-out
No more system performance issue when a selected API, Report or Web Service runs to read the data from Business Central. Selected API, Report or Web Service can read the data from a replica of the database and this will helps to improve active user experience. This means there will be no impact on the primary database while pulling large sets of data. 
Business Central artifacts (Reports, API Pages, and Queries) now can get access to a read-only replica of the database. The Page, Report and Query objects have a new property called “DataAccessIntent” that can take values ReadOnly or ReadWrite. This property works as a hint for the server, which will connect to the secondary replica if possible. When a workload is executed against the replica, insert/delete/modify operations are not possible, so a new validation is introduced for ReadOnly objects. Any of these operations will throw an exception at runtime (new compile-time validation will be added in the future)
AL interfaces
Waldo and Tobias already wrote about this new feature soon after the NAV TechDays. I would suggest you read those above mention blog posts for more information. This is a one-step forwards towards the OOP.
Use the new interface object to declare an interface name along with its methods, and apply the implements keyword along with the interface names on objects that implement the interface methods. The interface object itself does not contain any code, only signatures, and cannot itself be called from code, but must be implemented by other objects. The compiler checks to ensure implementations adhere to assigned interfaces. A new QuickFix CodeAction can be used to insert interface stubs, if the compiler errors on one or more interface implementations are missing.

There are many more new functionalities available and read my next blog posts to know how to get access to the new Business Central version 16 environment. 

Please provide your feedback with a comment. 
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara

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