Microsoft have recently released the Business Central application for Teams. The Teams integration is really just one step Microsoft are making in integrating their products. The integrability of Business Central is one of the biggest draws of the system. Let’s take a look at how to get the Business Central app, start integrating Teams and Business Central and explain the benefits it brings.
What’s the purpose of the integration?
There’s a few ways in which you can use the two products in conjunction with one another:
- Users of both products can share and amend Business Central records directly from Teams. Teams is probably a more informal environment than Outlook. With this in mind, you might see it as a more efficient place to send records from, for validating or amending.
- Users can perform actions like posting journals from within Teams.
- Users of Teams can also search for Business Central Contact records in the main Teams search bar.
We’ll cover all of these in greater detail later on.
How to get the Business Central app for Teams
There are a handful of ways in which users can get the app. Let’s run through all available options.
Using the direct link
If you use the link below and click ‘Open Microsoft Teams’ on the browser pop-up message, it will take you into Teams and on the screen where you can click to install the Business Central app.
The link is here: https://aka.ms/BCgetTeamsApp
Downloading the app from the Apps area in Teams
To download the Business Central application in Teams, click the ‘Apps’ icon. For me, this is on the bottom left-hand side of my Teams window.
On the Apps screen, search for Business Central. You can then select the relevant result and click ‘Add’.
Downloading the Business Central app by sending a record
Another quick way to download the Business Central app is by sending a Business Central record. To do this, if you click ‘copy link’ on a record and paste it into a message area on Teams, a ‘Show Preview’ or ‘Sign In’ action will appear. If you click this, it will automatically download the app and sign you in to your Business Central account.
Deploying the integration for a groups of users
For system administrators, you can download the app for everyone, or a particular group of users, in your organisation. To begin the process, in Business Central, navigate to the Teams App Centralised Deployment page.
From here, just follow through the instructions and save your configuration afterwards.
How can I select the Company and Environment to send records from?
Before you share any data, we need to determine where that data’s coming from. To select the company and environment you wish to extract data from, right click the Business Central app icon on the chat bar. You can then click settings and make your choices.
Another way to select the company and environment is by typing ‘@businesscentral’ in the main Teams search bar, clicking the ‘…’ icon and then ‘settings’.
Sharing records between Teams and Business Central
Let’s now turn our attention to how you can use the two products in conjunction with one another.
Using the Business Central icon
One way to share records is by using the icon just underneath the message area on a Teams chat.
By pressing this icon, you can search for Business Central Contact records. This includes both Person and Company contacts. After selecting the record you want to send, send the message as you would normally.
Searching for Business Central Contact records in Teams
An easy method to search for Business Central records in Teams is by typing in the main Teams search bar ‘@businesscentral’ and then searching for records. Like before, the search is limited to contact records. This is obviously just the tip of the iceberg in terms of records you might want to search for. Fortunately, you can send different types of records in other ways.
Copying and pasting a Business Central record’s URL
An alternative means of sending records in Teams is by copying and pasting the Business Central URL from a record and pasting it into the Teams message space. After pasting the link into the message area, wait a moment before sending. If you do this, it will generate a view for the page in Teams as well as providing a clickable link to access the page online. To help explain this, if I click ‘Details’, it will open the record in Teams, whereas if I click ‘Edit – Customer Card’ it will open a browser tab to view it there.
It’s worth noting this ability to view records from within Teams does rely on the person receiving the link having the Business Central app too.
‘Share to Teams’ action
You can also use the ‘share’ icon in Business Central and paste the link into a Teams chat.
When you click this action, another window will pop up. Unfortunately, when you share records this way, it only sends the URL, you can’t open this within Teams. Due to that, it seems preferable to send the URL instead of using this action, as that way you have the option to view the record in Teams, as well on a browser.
Switching from viewing the records in Teams to a browser
When accessing Business Central records from inside Teams, you do have the option to switch to a browser view instead. To do this, click the ‘…’ action in the top right-hand side corner and then ‘Open in browser’.
Amending Business Central records in Teams
After integrating Teams and Business Central, users can access and amend records, as well as simply share them. This is in conjunction with the permissions and license a user has. Within the Business Central app, users can click into records, change details on cards and even post journals! After making any changes on Teams, update the browser window and it should synchronise.
Business Central app permissions
If you’re accessing Business Central in Teams, notice there’s an ‘App permissions’ action which allows you to specify what permissions the application has. This will apply to whatever device you’re running the app on. These are the current permissions options you have:
Does Microsoft Teams Comply with Business Central user permissions?
In short, yes. The Business Central application will not allow users to bypass their defined permissions limitations. If a user doesn’t have permissions to view a page or amend certain types of records, they will not be able to from the application in Teams.
What licenses are required?
For a breakdown of the licenses required for different functions in the integration, here’s Microsoft’s overview of the Teams integration with Business Central. Right at the top of the page we can see a summary of what actions require either a Teams or Business Central license, or both. In short, only viewing a Business Central record in Teams doesn’t require you to have a Business Central license. A Teams license is required for all actions.
As always, thanks for reading! If there are any updates to the Teams integration with Business Central, we will keep you up to date. It feels like this is just the beginning of what we can expect for the integration between these two products.