Customization of Documents – 4 apps for Business Central
Customization of the layout and contents of documents in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is one of the most common needs for customization. Everybody wants to design their own documents. You probably need this for your invoice, shipping documents, quote, order confirmation etc.
Some call them “reports”, not documents, because that used to be the name for documents you can print. And traditionally you would hire an external consultant to customize (develop) the documents to your specific needs, but you don’t want to do custom development on the cloud-version of Dynamics 365 Business Central (see why on the app-page), and this is why you need an app to edit document layout and content.
What are we looking for?
Well, there are a few things a great customization tool should be able to do:
- We want to put in a logo, or maybe a background picture.
- We want to move blocks of text.
- We want to add fields to headers and lines on the document.
- We want to manage language versions, and maybe customer specific versions.
- And we want to be able to use it without needing paid help.
The 2 main differences with this kind of apps obviously are:
- Some use the app to link to an external editor, and some keep it all inside Business Central. We prefer keeping it all inside Business Central, storing customizations as data, because it makes sure that you will not run into problems when Microsoft updates Business Central every month.
- Some requires developer skills, while others enable regular users to do customization. We prefer not having to call an external consultant for every little task, but if you are a developer yourself then it’s not an issue.
Let’s look at the four options we have found.
These are the best apps for customizing documents in Business Central right now:
- Customizable Report Pack
- Document Customizer
- Document Creator
- Advanced Document Reporting
1. Customizable Report Pack
First we have one of the favorites of the traditional consultants. ForNAV Customizable Report Pack is a set of reports that are ready for use.
There are a few options inside Business Central to customize the content of the reports, like certain text strings on the documents, ie. payment note and legal conditions (shown on screen dump), and selecting logo and watermark for documents. But the main editing options are outside of Business Central with the ForNAV Designer.
So, this is definitely a tool for consultants and developers. You have tons of options available, but it’s not simple configurations inside Business Central. You can also manage language versioning of text strings, so this tool ticks all the boxes, if you are ready for developer level complexity.
Pricing is not quite simple, and it depends on what you require. ForNAV only sells through partners, not directly to end customers, so you must reach out to a traditional Microsoft-partner to get a quote.
2. Document Customizer
When searching on Microsoft AppSource, Document Customizer is the first one that pops up.
It comes with 20 document templates that you are able to customize further by editing any text, inserting data from any field, inserting and placing image – and you also get to create language versions and customer specific versions.
Many customizations can be done with wizards, which is quite user friendly, and all functionality is inside Business Central. You must be an experienced user of Business Central, but you don’t have to be a developer.
The big thing about this app is that everything is done inside Business Central. Unlike other apps, it doesn’t link to external solutions.
The supplier has made an effort to enable you to use the app without any help. They actually published 66 videos about the app here on Use Dynamics.
Pricing is based on named full users. It’s probably not the cheapest of the apps, but according to the reviews available, you get your moneys worth.
3. Document Creator
Document Creator is a versatile tool for consultants. It comes with 30 templates for documents, the editor can customize anything you need, and you can also handle translations into other languages.
The tool is accessible from inside Business Central, but the customization tool is a stand-alone application. It’s not entirely a Business Central app.
This is definitely a tool for developers. You have tons of options available to build anything you want, but the interface is clearly for developers.
The supplier has a nice user manual available online. It guides you through both simple and advanced features, and it discloses that some features require you to write actual code lines.
Pricing is per tenant of Business Central, but depends on the number of named full users.
4. Advanced Document Reporting
This app is intended to reduce your cost of customization of many documents. You can print 20 documents using only 5 document templates. The supplier suggests that you can “save 75% of time in coding”, but the presumption is still that you need to do some customization with “coding”.
You have some options of changing document layouts through configuration inside Business Central (not coding), like editing the content of the header, footer and report title. You can switch information like prices and internal notes on/off, and the app also includes functionality to improve sending documents by email.
But if you are looking for a no-code editor, this is probably only for the simple needs.
It has a free version with limited customization options, and the full version is priced as a low flat rate per year per tenant of Business Central.
These were the apps for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central that we have looked at.
We hope it was helpful, and if you have suggestions or input, please let us know. Use the form to leave us a comment.