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Business central product attributes: practical use

Business Central (former known as Navision or Microsoft Dynamics NAV) product attributes are a feature that allows you to define and assign different characteristics to your items, such as color, size, style, and so on. Not surprisingly, a customer may ask why do they offer him such kind of functionality when he can organize all his item numbering in order to grasp the essential characteristics and then be able to filter out the needed.

Our answer would be yes – on condition that there are little characteristics used for filtering, and the coding is well considered regarding the product code character limitation (up to 20 characters). Whereas the product attributes can do much more – for example, protect against potential coding errors, allow describing an unlimited number of different characteristics, combine characteristics into a structured tree, and use them in product search or reports.

 There are different types of product characteristics:

  • Option – possible selection from predefined values (e.g. product color, thickness of the produced film, etc.); 
  • Text – free-form text is used as a comment (e.g. a short description of the product, the length or weight of the film roll with a possible error); 
  • Integer – possible whole value and value measurement unit (e.g. height, width, year of manufacture, etc.); 
  • Decimal – possible decimal value and the measurement unit (e.g. film thickness, density, melting temperature, etc.); 
  • Date – possibility to specify significant dates (e.g. production start or end date, etc.) 

Product characteristics can also have a structure tree, for example: 

Using such an attribute structure, it is very easy to sift the necessary item from the whole data load. E.g., “Volvo cars that use diesel and their year of manufacture is 2021”, and so answer the customer‘s request swiftly, seeing the remaining stock in warehouses or consider other additional characteristics of the selected product. 

In Business Central, all specified product attributes can be viewed on both the product card and the product list:

If you add images to the product card, the Image Analyzer add-on can find the attributes in the image and suggest them, leaving you to decide whether to assign them to the product card. 
The tool is owned by Microsoft. The tool is freely distributed on App-Source and ready for business use.  

One more practical use of attributes is an integration with e-shop. 

On the website, goods are classified according to the categories (attributes) in order to structure information and facilitate the selection of the desired goods. For this, attributes can be managed in the D365 Business Central, and the structured goods‘s data can then be transferred to e-shops.

Here‘s an example of e-shop product selection: 

Model Selection
Type Selection

The conclusion would go as follows: the product attributes allow to enter more information as well as filter out the products of the desired configuration, thus helping the integration with the e-shop.

If you are looking for innovative solutions and are wanting to improve your business processes, book a free consultation with us and let’s talk about how we can work together for a better future for your business!


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