Microsoft released some prospective changes for general usage in November 2020. One of these is a revamp to the way in which Business Central works with email. The changes in this article are set to applied to everyone’s Business Central account by the fourth quarter of 2021, so getting a head start may be of interest to you.
The first stage is enabling users to have access to the new mechanics. By visiting the ‘Feature Management’ page, admins should be able to amend whether or not to have the relevant feature enabled. It’s worth keeping in mind, once activated, this will be enabled for all users on all companies.
Once the ‘enhanced email capabilities’ feature is enabled, you can visit the ‘Set Up Email’ page either using the search bar or from the menu. The first settings you will be greeted with are related to the type of email account you wish to create. The first option is for shared mailboxes. This might be perfect for a sales team all being lumped into one one group, so they are all kept in the loop for emails related to sales activities. The ‘Current User’ option allows individual users to set up their account and email directly. These users will require the relevant Microsoft 365 licenses. The third option allows you to input SMTP details for a server of your choice. This is instead of using the one Microsoft provide. It’s worth noting that all of these options run on SMTP. This particular one just gives you the option to choose which specific server.
Once you have selected the type of account you are looking to create, simply hit next and fill in the relevant details.
If you wish to see which accounts have been created, you can come over to the ‘Email Accounts’ page and see. Multiples of each type of account can be created fortunately. As you can see below, there’s one of each type created within this test company, however the ‘Current User’ type is set to be the default.
You then have the option to set up ‘Email Scenarios’. Simply click ‘Navigate’ and then select the option. From here, Microsoft have completely updated how emails work. This new version allows for different activities within the system to generate different responses, from specified email accounts.
As you can see, activities are designated to each email account type we made earlier. These will therefore be the accounts responsible for any automatic communication made with the corresponding activity. For example, any sales order confirmations will come from the current user specified. Where a user tries to state that sales order confirmations come from a separate account than that which they are already designated, they will no longer be defaulted to the account originally set, preventing there from being multiple default accounts for the same action.
A practical example
Let’s now look to generate a purchase order and the resulting communication options. From the purchase order line, click into ‘Print/Send’ and then ‘Email Confirmation’, where an email template will be generated. This can be customised to your liking, with all the regular features Outlook has to offer. Any attachments can be added and removed easily too. See below:
Having tested these features within the email template, they all work accordingly. Any emails that you wish to revisit later can be saved as a draft. To save a draft, users simply need to come out of the email template they are in by clicking the ‘X’. They will then get the option to ‘keep as draft in Email Outbox’. Alternatively, they can delete the draft too. Similarly, you can view any sent emails by visiting the ‘Sent Emails’ task page. This can be a great resource for checking email records or validating what communication has been made with a relevant company.
Thanks for reading! If new functionality interests you, check out Microsoft’s substantive list of upcoming additions and changes to Business Central. Alternatively, feel free to ask us any questions you have.