Dynamics 365 Business Central: Item Category
We are going to go a little bit away from Supply and demand for a minute, I know we can get deep into that.
Talk about something simpler, we are going to talk about how to categorize your items. There are two ways to do that and you should use both. There is something called Item categories, which will categorize your items as well as attributes, and in business central is hard to filter on item categories, but it's easy to filter on attributes. I’m going to show you what the differences are. And you can combine those two things and come up with the perfect filtering scheme.
Let's take a look at a diagram. We have the parent category as the top layer of the categories. And then underneath the category. Both of these are of type category, so if you want to create a parent category, you will need to create a category of that name and then create another category that connects to that category, so it becomes a parent. Then that is connected to an item. You will assign a category to an Item and we also have something called, attributes, now, those are not connected in a direct way, but they are connected in an indirect way. You assign attributes to items, but categories are linked to attributes so that when you select the category for an item, the attributes that are linked to that category automatically copy over.
What I want to do is create an Item category for my coffee stuff here, I have a lot of furniture, miscellaneous stuff. But coffee related things, I feel it should be a separate item category and I want to be able to filter on only coffee related things. Let's take a look at how we do that, First I go into the Item category. I only have furniture and miscellaneous, this is in the demo system. I’m going to create a new one and the way it works NAV or in Business Central is that we will create an item category even for the parent category. So there is no separate card for parent category, that gets created as an Item category. If we go here for example and call it parent coffee, that’s just coffee supplies, and so I close that out. Now I have that as a parent.
If I create a new one and say that’s a coffee cup, let’s call it cups and pick the item category for the parent to be coffee. And this is coffee cups, then I have the structure like that. What I want to do also is go here into cups and edit that. I want to add an attribute and I’m going to create a new one. I am going to say that this is Item type and it’s going to be an option and the value is going to be; we are going to create a new value; in this case, it’s going to be coffee. So, there is a reason for this, I want to be able to filter the list by item types and I could filter on the item category but there is no good way to do that on the item list in Business central. You are |going to see in a minute what I’m talking about. If I close this out, I’ll add this item type it into the coffee cups and I select coffee.
Whenever I select the coffee or the coffee cups or cups item category o to the item, the attributes should flow over. Let’s take a look at that, if we get out of here and I go into Inecta coffee mug, now I want to put that into my coffee cups, you can see the attribute over here becomes coffee. I close that out, I’m going to put the paper coffee cup here also in cups and the item types come over. If I close it now, what I can do is go into to attributes, filter by attributes, I can pick the type right here, pick the value coffee and then I should see all coffee related things.
I don’t have a good way here to filter by item category, unfortunately, that would have been nice. But we only have a way to filter by attributes in this list. So that is why it might make sense as you select the item category, to default the attributes to something that you can filter on. I noticed that in the demo system form Microsoft they don’t do that. If you take a look at for example the chair, you see the attributes are just pure attributes like color, depth weight, height. But it would be nice to have a chair as an attribute here. As an item type because then I could filter all chairs, so in this case I can't filter all chairs, the only way I could do it is by saying if it contains chair in the name, then I’m able to filer on it but that sometimes may be a chair does not have the word chair in it. It could be a seat or a bench, so that would not come up in this list, that’s why you want to categorize it as a chair.