Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Business Central Simple Tip #3: Those Role Center "Square Things" - Cues and Action Tiles

by Steve Endow

I was recently researching those "square things" that are displayed on the Business Central Role Center "home" page.

You know, the square things:

"Square Things"

After searching my memory, I recalled they were called "Cues".  As in they provide a visual "cue" with information.

But when I started to research them and how I could create a custom Cue, found an article that mentioned both "Cues" and "Action Tiles".

What?

This BC Docs page provides this definition for "Cue":

A Cue provides a visual representation of aggregated business data, like the number of open sales invoices. Cues are interactive, meaning that you can select the Cue to drill down to data or open another page, run code, and more. Cues display data that is contained in a table field. This data can be raw data or calculated data.

It provides this definition for "Action Tile":

Action tiles promote an action or operation to the user on the Role Center. Action tiles act as links that run a task or operation. For example, an action tile could open another page, start a video, target another resource or URL, or run code. They'll arrange on the workspace just like that use the normal layout.


In the screen shot above, is the gray square thing a Cue?  Or are the dark teal square things Cues?

Apparently both the gray and teal square things are all Cues.  Huh.  So, what is an Action Tile?

Looking closer at the screen shot on the BC Docs page, it looks like Action Tiles are the small square  light teal things on the right.

Cues on the Left.  Action Tiles on the Right.

I don't see any Action Tiles on the Business Manager Role Center page, so I switched to the Accountant Role, which has two Action Tiles--both of which look like a "Play" style button.  Do they play videos?

Are these Action Tiles?

If I click on "Play Getting Started", it opens a Welcome dialog.  Uh, okay.  So I guess "Play" here means "launch a wizard window"?

Play Getting Started

I looked through all of the other Roles in my demo Business Central Online environment, and these are the only two Action Tiles I could find.

So it seems that there aren't many examples.  

The Docs page mentions that Action Tiles can be used to allow a user to create a new document.  But, um, Role Center pages can also have actions in the upper right that allow the user to create a new document.  So that doesn't seem like the best use of Action Tiles.

Role Center Actions

So I can't think of any compelling uses for Action Tiles off the top of my head--but maybe someone has found a creative use for them.

It looks like it's pretty easy to add custom Cues and Action Tiles with AL code, but so far, I haven't found a way to add new Cues or Action Tiles through the Business Central Online user interface.

If you know of a way to add Cues or Action Tiles through the web interface, let me know!


Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP in Los Angeles.  He works with Dynamics 365 Business Central and related technologies.

You can also find him on Twitter and YouTube, or through these links:  links.steveendow.com


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