Sorting, Searching, and Filtering in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

I get the question a lot from my clients moving from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central if SmartList exists. For those of you who are not familiar with SmartList it is a tool that allows users to sort, search, and filter data within the system for reporting purposes. While "SmartList" as we know it doesn't exist, Business Central does have very similar qualities within the system that allows users to do the same, it just looks and feels different.   

Lets take a look at how this functionality works within Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.


It's month end and you're reviewing financials and see that travel is a bit high for the month. You want to pull detailed information and see what was coded to the travel expense account. You have two options:
  1. Pull a detail trial balance - this process can be clunky as you have to add a filter for the account number and date range within the report options window. And then if you want to change the date or account number to search again it becomes a lot of work just to get what you need.
  2. Filter within the General Ledger Entries window - this process is so much faster than option 1 and it also allows you to save "Views" for future use, which makes the process even faster. 

Filter Pane

Just look for the filter icon within the View Controls area and then the Filter Pane will appear to the left of the window. TIP: If you want to hide the filter pane just click on the filter view control as well.  

Once the filter pane is open, identify the column in which the account number is in. Hover over the G/L Account No. column and click on the drop down icon and select Filter. By doing this the G/L Account No. filter will now show within the filter list by section of the filer pane. Go ahead and now populate the G/L Account No. filter with the account number for Travel Expenses. You will notice once you have the account number in there and move out of the field by either clicking out or hitting the tab key your list will refresh and now your list is filtered by the account number you entered. 

The next step is to filter by a date range for the month in question. Same steps as above, find the posting date column and click on the drop down icon and select Filter. For my example below I'm looking for transactions within the month of November 2019. 

You now have a detailed list of all the transactions that hit the travel expense account for the month of November 2019. From here you can filter more or you can export the list to Excel (with the right user security). To export to Excel just click on Page > Open in Excel and your filtered report will open in Excel. 


Saving your filtered list as a View allows you to access the same filtered list over and over without having to recreate it every time. To save as a view, simply get your filtered list created and then click on the ellipsis button or the save button to the right of the All view.  

Name the View something that makes sense to you. In my case I used Travel Expense. Moving forward now I can just just click on the Travel Expense View and then update the dates as needed for future months when I need to pull the same report. You can also save any modifications to the view once it's made as well when you add, remove, or update filters later on. 


Vote for this idea on the Microsoft Ideas page to have Microsoft add functionality to allow a user to save a view as the default view when the page opens. 

Written by: Kristen Hosman, Microsoft MVP


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