Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Why Business Central is Amazing #4: Native Web Interface

By Steve Endow

Do you know how I access Business Central?

I pull up my web browser, and I click a shortcut on the browser shortcut bar.

Single click

And you probably know what I see next.

I've arrived

A glorious, modern, rich, interactive, attractive, customizable user interface.  Take a moment to appreciate this significant feature of Business Central.

A "native" web interface.  A native web application.  Pretty amazing.

I didn't have to install an application on my computer.  I didn't have to configure anything on my computer.  I didn't have to setup a web server or install a web client.  In fact, I can access Business Central from any computer.  I just need a web browser.  Or I can install the Business Central mobile application.

Yes, you read that right:  Native. Mobile. Application.

This web interface isn't an afterthought.  It's not a separate interface--it is THE interface.  It isn't a veneer hiding a "thick client" in the background.  It isn't a tacked on web site with parallel code trying to replicate the functionality of a Windows client application.

If I want to develop a Business Central customization, I can use the AL language to create a page extension. Or a new page.  And those customizations just show up in the Business Central web application, just like any other page. I don't have to do anything special as a developer to build those pages.  And those pages can show up in the mobile application on iOS or Android.  Where I'm from, that's amazing.

And did I mention I don't need a VPN to access Business Central?  Oh, yes, I did!  In part thanks to the native web interface.

If you've ever had to support an ERP system with a Windows client or had to install and upgrade an application on PCs and servers, I'm guessing you already appreciate the native web interface.

If you've had to deal with terminal servers or Citrix servers to host and publish applications, you'll likely appreciate the native web interface.  I suspect system administrators will agree that not having to install or host ERP client software is amazing.

If you've had to use an ERP system while remote or mobile, you'll certainly appreciate the native web interface.  Being able to quickly and easily access your ERP system on a laptop, tablet, or phone anywhere in the world?

I think that's pretty amazing.

Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP in Los Angeles.  He works with Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft Power Automate, Power Apps, Azure, .NET, Dynamics GP, and SQL Server.

You can also find him on Twitter and YouTube


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