Friday, May 31, 2019

Business Central: Change Log feature

By Steve Endow

Let's talk about the Business Central Change Log feature!

Just Search for Change Log

The Back Story

While poking around Dynamics 365 Business Central recently, I discovered that you can very easily change the main ID, or Number, of master records.

I can just open the Customer Card page, select a customer, type a different value in the Customer No. field, and just like that, Business Central will update (what appears to be) the primary key for the customer and all related records.  Whoa.

The same trick works for Vendors, Inventory Items, and even GL Accounts!  Just open the card page and change the Number field.  No biggie.  Apparently.

Coming from the Dynamics GP world, this is wild.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

How should phone numbers be entered or formatted in ERP and CRM systems?

By Steve Endow

While reviewing the Dynamics 365 Business Central Customer record, I noticed that Business Central allows numbers and symbols, but does not allow any letters in the Phone number field.

This got me thinking...  (ya, I know, dangerous things happen when I think...)

1. How should phone numbers be entered in ERP and CRM systems?

2. How should a system support global phone number formatting?

3. How should a system support phone number extension prefixes (e.g. "x") or notes?

4. How should a system format phone numbers to help support VoIP dialing?

Below are some examples of a few systems to which I have access, and I show how phone numbers can be entered into those systems.

While reviewing how these systems handle phone numbers, I was thinking about my questions above.  I additionally wondered:

What should the minimum length be for phone number fields?  How should users enter phone numbers with extensions?  Should you allow letters in a phone number field?  Should users be able to enter brief notes, like in my examples below?

Initially, I would have thought that restrictions on the phone number values and formats are not required, and users should be able to enter whatever they want / need.  However, if you consider the potential need for VoIP dialing, free form text phone numbers might complicate things.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs. Dynamics GP: Customer Record

By Steve Endow

This is the third post in a series comparing Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics GP, and follows on the post Dynamics 365 Business Central vs. Dynamics GP: Customer Navigation.

In this post, I am going to compare the Customer records of both Business Central and Dynamics GP.

There are hundreds of details of Customer records that can be analyzed, but I'm going to discuss a handful of the things I happened to observe as a long time user of Dynamics GP, but a brand new user of Business Central.

Dynamics GP

I've spent so much time in the Dynamics GP Customer Maintenance window that I no longer notice the details.  As a result, I'm going to have to review it more carefully to try and point out some details that make it unique, along with a few quirks.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Dynamics GP: User ID value is not consistently recorded when new batch is created

By Steve Endow

I received a request today asking if it is possible to enforce a rule in GP so that the user who creates a batch cannot approve that batch.

I initially thought that this would be an easy thing to enforce using a few lines of VBA.  But then I took a look at the fields for the Batch record in the SY00500 table, and saw something odd.

When I created several different batches in Dynamics GP 2018, the USERID field was not reliably populated in the SY00500 batch table.

User ID is not consistently populated in SY00500

This seemed odd.  Why would the USERID value be inserted for GL and SOP batches, but not IV and PM?

As far as I can tell, the issue is not a technical limitation, as the Batch Entry windows appear to all call the same stored procedure: zDP_SY00500SI.  It appears that the developers were simply lazy and either didn't bother to retrieve the current user ID, or didn't bother to pass the value to the stored procedure?

User ID not supplied when the IV Batch Entry window calls zDP_SY00500SI

Very odd.

In theory, you could write SQL triggers to fix this, but ensuring that SQL triggers are reliable and don't interfere with any other Dynamics GP processes is often more difficult that you would expect.

So this simple request to try and improve the Dynamics GP batch approval process appears to be much more involved than I would have hoped.

Update:  Mariano replied to me on Twitter, noting that the User ID field is not really intended to be used to identify the user who created a batch--it's used as part of the posting process.

So it seems the User ID field is not a viable option for determining who created a batch.

Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP in Los Angeles.  He works with Dynamics GP, Dynamics 365 Business Central, SQL Server, .NET, Microsoft Flow, and PowerApps.

You can also find him on Twitter and YouTube

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