How to use Universal Search in Dynamics BC to Find Data Fast

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The faster your organization moves, the more data accumulates in your business systems. Finding the specific information you’re looking for can be a challenge. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC) has a feature that can help. Universal Search in Dynamics BC lets users search from anywhere in Dynamics Business Central.

Customers and consultants alike have been waiting for a tool like the universal search in Dynamics BC. Optimizing search processes is critical when you need information fast. Previously, finding specific information from different Business Central areas required tailored queries. The challenge grew as the amount of data continued to increase. Increased data volume usually coincides with organizational growth, making it even more important to find relevant content quickly.

Business Central solves the data-search challenge by letting users search business transactions and data specific to each user’s role. The feature displays the most relevant results first, saving valuable time. It can help users make decisions and respond to customer requests.

How to Use Universal Search in Dynamics 365 BC

To access universal search, click the <Alt> + <Q> shortcut key combination to open the <Tell Me> dialog box. Enter one or more keywords, or run <Tell Me> in the context of an editable page. That will automatically initiate a search for the value in the selected field.

By default, users can access data available in the Business Central Role Center and any authorized tables. Additionally,  they can limit or expand the scope by selecting <Show tables> and choosing where to search on the <Search in company data> page. By narrowing the search scope, results appear even faster.

The <Set up where to search> action leads to the <Enables lists for searching> windo. Users can choose tables to search in. By default, only the relevant tables for specific roles will be selected. Still, users can browse other tables by clicking on <Show only search enabled lists> and selecting or deselecting to filter for selected tables or data.

When users choose a table in <Enable lists for searching>, they can tailor the search to include fields in the selected table by turning on the <Enable search> toggle. Only indexed code, text type fields, and fields identifying the search result record will be enabled by default. The number of table fields included in the search can affect performance. But you can restore the default settings by choosing <Reset to default> on the <Search Setup List> table or a <Search Setup List> page.

Finding Records and Values in Dynamics 365 BC

When searching for a particular record or a value in a table, you can also use the <Tell Me> dialog box. After you enter your keywords, Business Central will start searching in the background, going through tables one at a time displaying results after each table. If you enter multiple keywords, the results will include only the records with all the words in any selected fields.

The results page retains the three most recently updated records. When there are more than three records, you can click <Show all results> to display them. Each time you select a search result, it increases the popularity of the table. Henceforth, it will appear higher in the results, and the record will show up more quickly in future searches.

Speed up results by choosing the fields in the tables you want included in your search. The tables and fields will vary depending on your role. All tables and fields are selected by default, and that can slow down your search. Microsoft recommends excluding as many tables and fields as possible to speed up the search.

Learn More Dynamics 365 Business Central Tips

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tip for finding information quickly across all areas of Business Central.

In this series of bimonthly blogs, Western Computer shares our expertise with tips and tricks to help users work more efficiently in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Based on our more than 30 years in business—with 1,100+ solution implementations, including more than 200 in the cloud—we share the expertise we have accumulated to enable users to work as proficiently as possible. You can also subscribe to these blogs in our LinkedIn newsletter.

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Western Computer offers deep expertise across the Microsoft technology stack, particularly in Dynamics 365 Business Central. Our thought leaders can help ensure your critical ERP application meets your business needs today and beyond. For more information on using universal search in Business Central or for help designing, deploying, or supporting your Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution, contact Western Computer today.

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