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Approved Dimension Combinations in Business Central

Requirement Overview:

  • Our client's Business Central was set up with 2 Dimensions: Department and Location.

  • There were many Departments and many Locations. Only certain combinations were allowed on purchase invoice lines. Those combinations allowed were decided by the Payables Supervisor.

  • When a user entered a wrong combination, an error message should be displayed and the correct combinations should be shown in a Business Central Factbox.

  • Since this client utilized automatic payables import from Avid Exchange, we had to integrate the approval logic into the Payables import App. (which we had written for Avid Exchange and this client).

  • There is some Dimension Combination functionality Restriction that is out-of-the-box in Business Central, but it won't deliver the very specific results our client needs.

Development Needed:

  • Create a Reference Chart for Users - Table and List Page of the acceptable combinations

  • Allow Edit of the List Page for modifications and inserts and deletions

  • Any change or insert of a Department or Location must be validated by the Approved Dimension Combination List

  • Approved Dimension Combination List Page can be exported to an Excel file

  • Approved Dimension Combination List Page can be in a floating window to the side of the main data entry window

  • For Journal Entries, the Approved Dimension list will be shown in the FactBox area adjacent to the data entry (journal) lines.

  • The lines on Purchase Invoices need to be validated for dimension combinations

  • Validation needs to occur at the point of entry. As soon as the user moves off the line, he/she should be warned that the combination is not an approved one

  • Approved Dimension Combination List can be displayed as a floating window next to the Purchase Invoice screen.

  • The invoice cannot be posted with incorrect Dimension Combinations

  • The AvidXchange import file needs to also be validated because each Invoice line requires two Dimensions: Department & Location. This can best be error-trapped as the file is being imported.

  • This can best be error-trapped as the file is being imported

  • The Purchase Invoice won’t be able to be created until the error is fixed.

  • Journal Entries for G/L accounts need the same validation rules as the Purchase invoice or AvidXchange files

  • All Journal Batches that will run this functionality will need a check mark for the custom column (Dimension Validation). That acts to turn on or off this option. Only Payable Journals will have this functionality turned on.

Exceptions and Restrictions:

  • Balance Sheet accounts do not require validation of Dimensions

  • Vendor, Customers, Sales Invoices do not require validation of Dimension combinations

  • The general rule for validation is: If the Department is listed in the approved chart, then our software will only allow posting if the corresponding Location matches.

  • There are many Departments not appearing on the approved table. These will skip validation.

  • Accounts that have "Mandatory" or “Same Code” Dimensions assigned will skip validation.


The Accounts Payable Supervisor gave us an Excel list of the Approved Dimension Combinations. We built a Business Central Table and editable List Page to manage this list. It is made available from the Business Central menu.

See that the left hand column, GroupKey, is really a combination of the next two columns (Department Dim and Location Dim). The Department Name is on the right hand. The combination is always unique. For instance: Nursing Services won't be twice or more in the same location. Every GroupKey value is an approved combination.

Two lines are marked below with a red rectangle, because we will used them in further examples.

Realize that this list is a small subset of all the possible combinations, so the new Accounts User will have many opportunities to choose the wrong combination.


In this slide we show (in the top portion) an incoming list of invoices which have been imported from Avid Exchange (our client's Payables Management Partner) to our App inside our clients Business Central.

Notice that in the six lines all Department/Location combinations are approved, according to a snapshot of the above slide (partially inserted below).


Now we show General Journal Batches in Business Central, with the custom column to enforce Approved Dimension Combinations. Not all batches need to be checked; only those working with Accounts Payable.


If the General Journal had its option set to enforce Dimension Combinations, then we provide those combinations conveniently in a system FactBox. When the user is about to enter the Location Code, he/she can check the Factbox for a Location that is approved.


When the user enters a Location Code not on the Approved Dimension Combination List, then an error is thrown, using our logic which calls the Business Central Error Function.


The prior slide shows an error trapped within a Journal. This next slide will show an error trapped within a purchase invoice line. See the line item on the invoice with a System Error displayed for a wrong Dimension Combination.


Our client can be assured that their Accounts Payable entries conform to their designated list of Approved Dimension Combinations.

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