Upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central? 5 Common Questions Answered

March 26, 2019 Maher Malki

Is your company looking to upgrade your ERP solution? Are you currently using Dynamics NAV and wondering if you should upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central? This comprehensive, cloud-based solution is an excellent choice for many businesses that looking for a new system (and those currently using Microsoft Dynamics NAV).  


At Western Computer, we’ve been answering many questions about upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central—Should you upgrade? When? What can you expect? We’re always happy to share our experiences and lessons learned, and this article covers the top 5 questions we get asked.


If your business is thinking about an upgrade to D365 Business Central, here’s a quick summary of things you should know about as you plan your transition.


Is D365 Business Central cloud-based or on-premises?

The easy answer is both. D365 Business Central can be deployed as a SaaS cloud-based version or as an on-premises solution. However, Microsoft is planning on offering only the web client by 2020, which is coming up fast! As a result, we’re going to primarily focus on the SaaS cloud-based version in this blog. Keep in mind, Western Computer can assist you with transitioning any of your on-premises Dynamics solutions to the cloud.


How do subscriptions work for the cloud-based version of Business Central?

Each subscription comes with one production environment and one sandbox environment. There is no user limit and no database limit.


There are 2 versions of Dynamics 365 Business Central:

  1. Business Central Premium comes with 100% of the functionality currently available, including the manufacturing module and the service module.
  2. Business Central Essentials includes everything except the manufacturing module and the service module.


The Dynamics 365 Business Central user pricing* is as follows:

  1. Full users can access everything included in the version you’re subscribing to at a price of $100/user/month for Premium and $70/user/month for Essentials.
  2. Team members are “light” users. Team members can read anything within the software; update existing data and entries within BC (including customer records, vendor records, item records); approve or reject tasks in all workflows assigned to a user; create, edit, or delete a quote; enter a time sheet for the Jobs module; and use PowerApps for Dynamics 365. Team members cost $8/user/month, regardless of whether you have Premium or Essentials.


Note: This pricing is as of the date this article was published. Contact us for current pricing.


Additionally, each D365 Business Central subscription also comes with 1 free user for an outside accountant and 1 free user for your Partner reseller.


Once we’ve subscribed to Business Central, how will we update the software?

Microsoft plans to dynamically upgrade the software every 6 months. This means that, for cloud-based users of Business Central, upgrades will be automatically applied to the software without any actions needed on the part of the subscribers.


What about our customizations?

The cloud-based version of Business Central doesn’t allow changes to the Microsoft-based code, so customizations using C/AL will no longer be an option. This is necessary in order to keep the software viable for regular dynamic upgrades.


If your business is upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics NAV and you currently use modifications in NAV, these will need to be rewritten as extensions in Business Central. If you have significant customizations in NAV, rewriting these as extensions will not be a quick or easy process.


However, at Western Computer we’ve noticed that transferring NAV customizations into Business Central extensions isn’t as problematic as many of our customers initially fear it might be. Why? Because many NAV users reevaluate their customizations at this point and realize they only need about 50% of the functionality they originally developed in the customization. Other users realize that the functionality they need can be acquired by purchasing an independent solution through Microsoft AppSource.


How should you plan for an upgrade?

Because Business Central is a relatively new solution available from Microsoft, not all software partners are ready to provide the expertise you need to guarantee a successful implementation. If you’re considering Business Central, make sure you talk to a partner who has invested the time to truly understand the solution, and who has references for complete customer implementations.


If you’d like to know more about upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, watch our on-demand webinar: Lessons Learned from Deploying D365 Business Central. If you have additional questions or would benefit from talking to one of our Dynamics experts, contact us to schedule a consultation or demonstration.

Lessons Learned from Deploying D365 Business Central

About the Author

Maher Malki

As Western Computer's Dynamics NAV Program Manager, Maher Malki connects with his clients' IT departments to resolve unique business needs.

More Content by Maher Malki
Previous Article
How to use the new Settle Remainder feature in D365FO version 8.1.3
How to use the new Settle Remainder feature in D365FO version 8.1.3

The settle remainder update gives you the ability to settle the remaining amount to a ledger account or ano...

Next Video
How Do I Edit in Excel in D365 for Finance and Operations
How Do I Edit in Excel in D365 for Finance and Operations

Watch this video to learn how to edit in Excel in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. Are you interest...