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Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance Review

Download the PDFEmployees discussing finances

Several small and midsize businesses attribute Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance for the advancement their businesses have had. Its accounting tools, invoicing, forecasting, and reporting capabilities are just a few things pointed out as helpful in improving efficiency within a business.

Dynamics 365 Finance is cloud-based which makes it easy to use on desktop, mobile, and any gadget with internet capability. This also means it can be integrated with several other cloud-based apps to improve efficiency and capability.

Key Features of Dynamics 365 Finance

The features of Dynamics 365 Finance are designed particularly to improve the productivity of finance teams. Some features however flow over to other teams that collaborate closely with finance, like marketing and sales. Here are some features that reviewers have found helpful.

Management Reporter

Financial reports can be configured according to the needs of the organization. The good news is that configuration doesn’t need developers. Your income statements, expense reports, balance sheets, and so on can be generated easily. Different reports can also be scheduled for generation at particular times. This also helps if your business needs to conform to certain guidelines within the industry.

Budget Planning

This feature helps to create budgets for a business in general as well as for smaller teams within the company. You can use this feature to manage a project and set tight controls to ensure no one deviates from the budget. It can also serve for purchasing controls. With a clear insight into expenses of the business, it is easier to plan for the future.

Microsoft Dynamics finance dashboard

Currency Integration

For businesses that perform international trade, exchange rates are a common headache. 365 Finance is the solution to that, you no longer have to convert currency every time you prepare a quote or make a sale. Simply integrate with an exchange rate provider and the currencies will be converted automatically according to real-time exchange rates.

Document Localization

365 Finance comes with an out-of-the-box feature that enables businesses to meet local requirements. If for example, you need to file tax returns or submit a regulatory report, the system will automatically generate a report specific to the country. This applies to various finance documents.

Auditing

With quick easy steps, a business can keep track of expenses using the inbuilt audit feature. Cases of duplicate invoices can be noted and addressed. Auditing is made much easier as it imposes controls for finance.

You can discover several finance features within this module designed to aid businesses flexibly and efficiently.

Dynamics 365 Finance Integrations

Integrations are a normal part of this module. First of all, it can integrate with other Microsoft Dynamics modules like Human Resource as well as applications like Outlook. To improve the overall performance of Finance, you can integrate it with third-party databases to increase the accuracy of data you use to make decisions, you can also integrate with cloud-based document automation software to simplify report generation as well as increase the options of documents you can design and generate.

Integration is smooth and easy and Microsoft Dynamics Finance has a long list of enterprise applications it can integrate with.

Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance

  • It reduces the cost of operations since it has advanced automation features.
  • It integrates with several applications which minimizes the need to buy new software.
  • 365 for finance has built-in analytics which makes forecasting and reports production easier.
  • Since it is cloud-based, there is no server maintenance cost.
  • Microsoft provides top-of-the-range cybersecurity so your data is safe.

Pricing

You can request a price quote depending on what you are interested in. However, you can expect to pay $180 per month for the User’s first app and $30 per month after the initial payment.

Verdict

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance will help a user have a bird’s eye view of their finances. The finance department will appreciate the level of automation that it brings to their daily tasks and the reduction in unnecessary expenditure. Most users are happy with its performance and it can be better with integrations for example adding document generation or currency convertor.

If you’ve just discovered us, we’re excited. Try Windward Hub (integrates with Microsoft Dynamics) for free and take it for a spin. Start automating finance related reports and statements and more in just a few clicks starting today.

Tags Start & End

Tags Can Start & End Anywhere

Appendix B

.NET code for multi-page image output

Appendix A

Java code for multi-page image output

Data Bin Search

The Data Bin can now be searched to find a table, column, node or other piece of data without scrolling through it all.

Shrink to Fit

This will shrink the contents of a cell until it fits the defined cell size.

Time Zone Conversion

A new Windward macro has been added to help with converting dates and times from UTC time to the local time zone.

Image Output Format

New image output formats added.

PostScript Output Format

PostScript, commonly used with printers and printing companies, has been added as an additional output format.

New and Improved Datasets (Designer, Java Engine, .NET Engine)

Datasets have been re-written from scratch to be more powerful and easier to use.

Stored Procedure Wizard (Designer)

This works for all tag types that are connected to a SQL-based data source (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or DB2).

Boolean Conditional Wizard (Designer)

Before, conditional statements could only be written manually. Now they can also be built using our intuitive Wizard interface.

Reorganized Ribbon

The ribbon menus have been re-organized and consolidated to improve the report design workflow.

XPath 2.0 as Data Source

Adds various capabilities such as inequalities,descending sort, joins, and other functions.

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SQL Select Debugger

SQL Select  Debugger

  • The look and feel was improved
  • Stored Procedure Wizard
  • Improved Exceptions pane

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Tag Editor/Tag Selector

Added a Query tab as a field for typing or pasting in a select statement

  • Color Coding of Keywords
  • TypeAhead
  • Evaluate is now "Preview"

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Rename a Datasource

All tags using that Data source will be automatically updated with that name.

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Connecting to a Data Source

New single interface to replace 2 separate dialog boxes

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Tag Tree

Displays of all the tags in the template, structured as they are placed in the template. This provides a simple & intuitive way to see the structure of your template. Also provides the capability to go to any tag and/or see the properties of any tag.

Added Javelin into the RESTful Engine

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Support for Google Application Engine Integration

The ability to integrate the Windward Engine into Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications dubbed Google Applications Engine (GAE).

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Additional Refinement for HTML Output

  • Improved indentation for ordered and unordered lists
  • Better handling of template header and footer images
  • Better handling for background images and colors

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Redesigned PDF Output Support

This new  integration will allow for processing of complex scripts and bi-directional  text such as Arabic.  Your PDF output  will be much tighter and more closely match your template, and we’ll be able  to respond rapidly to PDF requests and fixes.

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PowerPoint Support

Includes support for new ForEach and slide break handling, table header row repeat across slide breaks, and native Microsoft support for charts and images.

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Tags are Color Coded

Tags are color coded in the template by type, making it easy to visually identify them.

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Increased Performance

Version 13’s core code has been reworked and optimized to offer a reduced memory footprint, faster PDF generation and full documentation of supported features and limitations in the specifications for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

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Advanced Image Properties

Documents can include advanced Word image properties such as shadows, borders, and styles.

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Improved HTML Output

Windward has updated HTML output to reflect changing HTML standards.

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Version 13 New Data Sources

Windward now works with a slew of new datasources: MongoDB, JSON, Cassandra, OData, Salesforce.com

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Generate Code

The Generate Code tool in the designer allows you to open an existing template and, with a click of a button, automatically create a window with the code needed to run your current template with all data sources and variables. Simply copy this code and paste into your application's code in the appropriate place. You now have Windward integrated into your application.

You only need to do this once. You do not do this for each template. Instead, where it has explicit files for the template and output, change that to parameters you pass to this code. Same for the parameters passed to Windward. This example uses explicit values to show you what to substitute in where.

Pivot Tables Adjusted in Output

Any pivot tables in an XLSX template are carried over to the XLSX output. The ranges in the pivot ranges are adjusted to match the generated output. So your final XLSX will have pivot tables set as expected in the generated file.

This makes creating an XLSX workbook with pivot tables trivial.

Imported Template Can be Set to Match the Parent Styles

In an imported sub-template, if its properties for a style (ex. Normal) differ from the parent template's properties for the style, the use in the sub-template can be set to either use the properties in the sub-template, or the properties in the parent.

You set to retain when you don't want the child template's styling to change when imported. You set to use the parent when you want the styling of the imported template to match the styling in the parent.

Any explicit styling is always retained. This only impacts styling set by styles.

Tags can be Placed in Text Boxes

Tags can be placed in text boxes. Including linked text boxes. This gives you the ability to set the text in a textbox from your data.

Tags can be Placed in Shapes & Smart Art

Tags can be placed in shapes & smart art. This gives you the ability to set the text in a shape from your data.

HTML Output Supports Embedded Images

When generating HTML output, the engine can either write bitmaps as distinct files the generate HTML references, or it can embed the images in the HTML providing a single file for the output.

Footnotes & Endnotes can Have Tags

You can place tags in pretty much any part of a template, including in footnotes & endnotes.

Document Locking Supported in DOCX & XLSX

Any parts of a DOCX or XLSX (PowerPoint does not support this) file that are locked in the template, will be locked the same in the output.

Specify Font Substitution

If a font used in the template does not exist on the server generating a report, the font to substitute can be specified.
In addition, if a glyph to be rendered does not exist in the font specified, you can specify the replacement font. This can be set distinctly for European, Bi-Directional, and Far East fonts.

Process Multiple Datasources Simultaneously

If you need this - it's essential. And if you don't need it, it's irrelevant.

Windward enables you to build a document by applying multiple datasources to the template simultaneously. When Windward is merging the data into a template, it processes the template by handling each tag in order, and each tag pulls from different datasources. (As opposed to processing all of one datasource, then processing the next.)

This allows the select tag to use data from another datasource in its select. For example, if you are pulling customer information from one data source, you can then pull data from the sales datasource using the customer ID of the customer presently processing to pull the sales information for that customer. If you're interested in patching together your data from multiple datasources, read this post on our blog.

Written by:_
Genesis Abel

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