With Dynamics SL 2018 on the horizon, we are spending the week taking a look back at the important issues leading up to the 2018 release. In less than six months, Microsoft will release its newest Dynamics SL software, answering user requests and adding stability, while setting forward a new support schedule that will allow users who upgrade the ability to receive mainstream support through 2023 and extended support through 2028.
Especially with state payroll and tax laws changing, and the new federal tax law changing in the United States, this was an important consideration, as SL 2011 exits mainstream support and SL 7.0 exits Extended Support, and you will not receive payroll updates for either.
Microsoft Dynamics SL 2018 is scheduled for release in the first half of 2018. With features initially set to be discussed during the Fall SL User Group in Tampa, the meeting was postponed due to inclement weather, and Microsoft needed to discuss the changes and new features in a different way. To address this, Microsoft announced that its experts would be discussing the new features through webcasts with select partners. We were one of these partners, and presented this webcast featuring Jeff Suwyn on January 10.
During this highly informative webcast, Suwyn discussed some of the things to come, but also provided a lot of insight on the things that led up to the 2018 release.
Many of the underlying technologies expected in SL 2018 were introduced in the CU2 release in December 2016. From Power BI integration to the continued expansion and improvement of Web Apps, much of the improvements made in the CU2 Updates will be improved further and enshrined in the 2018 release.
The SL 2015 CU2 Release (and What it Means for 2018)
The SL 2015 CU2 was released very late in 2016, and provided many hotfixes, improvements, and enhancements to the software, as requested by SL customers.
Continued Improvements to Web Apps
Web Apps have been a dominant feature of all of the latest SL updates. Designed to provide an on-the-go experience for professionals and users, Web Apps were introduced in SL 2011, and expanded over the years. CU2 marked a turning point for Web Apps, however, as this update moved SL Web Apps to a separate monthly release schedule. This meant that users would receive faster responses to requests and more updates over the course of a year—Microsoft added three new Web Apps and made nearly 100 improvements to SL Web Apps throughout 2017.
Three New Web Apps in 2017
In addition to the 80-100 enhancements made throughout 2017, the three new Web Apps added to Dynamics SL in 2017 are as follows:
- Vendor Maintenance: The Vendor Maintenance screen allows the setting up and editing of vendors in Microsoft Dynamics SL. The screen is located under the new Accounts Payable menu in Web Apps.
- Customer Maintenance: The Customer Maintenance screen allows the setting up and editing of customers in Microsoft Dynamics SL. The Microsoft Confidential This content is subject to change. 30 of 30 screen is located under the new Accounts Receivable menu in Web Apps.
- Payroll Employee Maintenance: The Payroll Maintenance screen in Web Apps allows the setting up and editing of employees in Microsoft Dynamics SL. The screen is located under the new Payroll menu in Web Apps.
Jeff Suwyn’s Top New Features in 2017
In prefacing the 2018 release, Mr. Suwyn discussed some of his top features in CU2 during our webcast, following up on a Plumbline Consulting video discussing the updates. In our webcast, Mr. Suwyn talked about the following four features that make life easier for professionals—especially in professional services.
- Time Editing Before Review: Say it’s Friday, and you completed and submitted your timesheet for review. The timesheet hasn’t been approved yet, but you realize that you didn’t put in all of your hours for the week. Before the update, you had to email the manager, have them reject the submission, and then reupload. Now, if this happens, you can make edits before the timesheet is reviewed. While it will notify the manager that changes were made, it takes a laborious step out of the equation.
- External Links in Web Apps: You’re in Web Apps, and you need to access something on SharePoint. Now, SL allows for an “External Links” section in the main menu.
- Expense Entry Auto populate: In the Expense Entry Screen, Project and Task lines will auto-populate from the previous line.
- New Interface for Invoice Comments and Day Info Comments: It’s now easier to communicate things such as overtime and other information for approval.
What’s Next? A Look at SL 2018
2017 brought some much needed improvements, and you can view many more changes and fixes in Microsoft’s technical documentation. 2018 will bring a new release, a new support calendar, and many more new features requested by users.
We’ve been talking a lot about the past and present of Microsoft Dynamics SL. Tomorrow, we will finally get to discuss the future: Microsoft Dynamics SL 2018. Don’t want to wait? Watch our webcast replay here.
Ready to Talk? Contact us today about your first steps in preparing for Dynamics SL 2018 for your service-based organization.