AL, BC14, BC15, BC16, BC17, BC18, Business Central, C/AL, Cumulative Updates, Dynamics 365, End of Mainstream, Extension, Information, NAV 2015, NAV 2016, NAV 2017, NAV 2018, Navision, on-premises, Online, Updates, upgrade

Comparison of BUSINESS CENTRAL AND NAV

First released in 1987, acquired by Microsoft in 2002, now called Business Central, Dynamics NAV is one of Microsoft’s most prolific software packages. 

After Dynamics NAV 2018, Microsoft discontinued their popular, but on-premises only, ERP solution Dynamics NAV and replaced it with Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC-13). But what is the difference between the two systems, and why should your business make the switch? Let’s take a look at Business Central vs Dynamics NAV.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV was rebranded in 2018 to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central for on-premises and private cloud versions, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for the cloud version.

At the time of writing this comparison, BC-21 is available in market.

Since 2018, Dynamics NAV is no longer available for purchase. The only businesses that can use the system are those that already held licenses. Even for those who do still hold licenses, the system no longer receives updates, meaning the software will quickly become outdated and harder to use.

Mainstream Support for Dynamics NAV versions from 2013 to 2017 has already ended, with the 2018 version losing support in January 2023. This deadline is fast approaching, so if you are currently using NAV 2018 you should begin to consider your optimal course of action going forward.

With very little time remaining before the end of Dynamics NAV Mainstream Support in January 2023, the sooner you decide on your course of action, the better.

Microsoft introduced Dynamics 365 Business Central. Business Central is a newer version of Dynamics NAV, offering the same standard functionality in a much more user-friendly way. It’s also SaaS (Software as a Service) meaning it’s accessible from anywhere, with the same security that drives Microsoft 365.

In addition to the functions carried over from Dynamics NAV, the Dynamics 365 Business Central system affords users with access to:

  • Integration with Microsoft 365 applications for increased productivity and streamlined data
  • Data connectivity and business intelligence through Microsoft Power Platform
  • Microsoft Azure architecture for cloud security, presence, and scale
  • Increased pool of third-party software integrations
  • Multiple deployment options for on-premises, private server, or cloud hosting

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central helps with day-to-day business processes and operations. Its capabilities include financials, stock management, purchasing and much more, all with real-time data and analytics through Power BI.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is relevant for businesses adopting flexible, hybrid, or remote working models thanks to the scalable, cloud-based architecture and integration with Microsoft 365 and Power BI tools.

It is an all-in-one solution that can be adapted for many industries including software developers, IT services, financial services, healthcare, and educational institutions.

The system also has large user bases in manufacturing, distribution, ecommerce, and retail. 

Features and functions are still the same as back in the NAV days, just with a more digital-focused platform. But still differ from old days Dynamics NAV.

Most of the base code of Business Central has been adapted from NAV, and it has enhanced the rich functionality its predecessor offered, with options to deploy as an on-premises or a SaaS cloud solution.

The Dynamics 365 Business Central web client, including its sisters, the tablet and phone clients (by the way, there is no longer a Windows client) has had a makeover!

Features include new and varied fonts to highlight important information such as a headline banner on the Role Centre, a fabulous teal Role Centre with easy navigation, and interestingly capitalised field names on lists!

They are curiously small differences but really nice touches.

Design Tool it’s as good as it used to be! In fact, it’s a very smart design tool. As a ‘non-developer’ you can amend pages, add new fields and save the result as an extension.

When comparing Dynamics NAV to Business Central, you must be aware of the substantial functional upgrades and new capabilities of Dynamics 365 Business Central. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics NAV that offers several notable improvements.

You’ll see numerous benefits in your business, including agility, ability to scale quickly, mobility, lower cost of ownership, and more.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central have many similarities, but there are many differences too that make many users move from NAV to Business Central.

You can also choose to deploy Business Central as an on-premises solution if that is a better fit for your organization. However, you may then miss out on integration and cutting-edge features.

While the two systems are similar, there are key differences that make Business Central the preferred option for many businesses:

Business CentralDynamics Navision
 Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based ERP solution.  

With Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can access your data and applications anytime, anywhere, and on any device.  

D365 Business Central includes a comprehensive set of features and functionality.  

Business Central is licensed on a per-user basis.  

With Business Central, you only need to pay for the users who will be using the system.
Dynamics NAV is an on-premises ERP solution.  

Dynamics NAV requires some customization and third-party add-ons to achieve the same level of functionality.  

Dynamics NAV is licensed on a per-server basis.  

Dynamics NAV, you need to pay for the server regardless of how many users are accessing the system.
IntegrationFull (All Microsoft Products)Limited, Version Dependent 
Objects49,999 objects are free to use on cloudObjects need to be purchased for customizations 
Search Interface Advanced, with automatic categorization, smart search (search for misspellings or imprecise terms) Basic, possibility of data duplication 
Reporting Power BI Limited 
Deployment Cloud (No need to maintain servers and backups) although On-Premises option also available.On-Premises, Cost for Server maintenance and backup management.
USER INTERFACEWeb-based app
Improved design
Much easier to navigate.
More productive platform.
Desktop-based 
 Business Central interface uses AL language in the code.  

Offers more customization than before and helps to make extensions and upgrades much easier to manage in the long term.
Dynamics NAV using C/AL coding
 Better integration with other Microsoft products already used by many businesses, including all applications within the Microsoft Dynamics suite, like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales (CRM) and Office 365 products, such as Outlook and Excel. 
 Offers more automated operations to improve productivity.  

Native connectivity to Microsoft’s Power Platform (e.g., Power Automate) and powerful workflows and integrations can be created, by end-users without complex coding, sometimes almost no code.
 
HOSTINGBusiness Central is a SaaS solution – sitting on Microsoft’s Azure cloud, which enables you to specify the region where your data is stored and processed.  

There are many benefits to SaaS solutions,

*  Greater security
* Less risk of data loss and
* Better accessibility for your team.
* Cloud hosting also works alongside the new coding to make upgrades and extensions much easier to carry out.
Only On-Premises capability.

Need to invest in and manage your own in-house servers.
UPGRADESBi-annual release
Sequential upgrades,
Which happen automatically.
Your systems are always up to date.  

With the on-premises or private cloud version of Business Central, upgrades are not automatic but are still relatively simpler compared to NAV.  

Plus, any third-party apps or customizations you have are also designed to be compatible with each new Business Central update.
No Automatic Upgrades.
 Your business is always using the most optimised version of Business Central.Fuss and cost of manually updating the software.
 If you are apprehensive about an update, there is an option to delay its installation for up to 90 days.

However, it’s good idea to staying as up to date as possible. Updates are introduced to improve overall user experience and security.
Hotfixes & Cumulative updates to be handled on own cost.
 Business Central, the modifications are made using AL language that creates extensions – leaving the core system untouched and making upgrades a lot easier.NAV customization was written in C/AL language and was integral to the core system.

This meant upgrades were a major undertaking as the whole system needed to be reviewed and potentially redeveloped.
USER LICENSESDynamics 365 Business Central uses a monthly/annual subscription model and is available in either (‘Essentials’ or ‘Premium’).  

Charges per user, meaning fees are based on the number of simultaneous users each month.  

You also get an option to pay a perpetual license fee. That means you can now Business Central as an operational expense or a capital expense, whichever makes more sense for your business. It also moves from a concurrent user to a named user licensing model.
Perpetual with yearly AMC 16% in license cost.  

Dynamics NAV is available in Starter Pack & Extended Pack.
 Business Central users can also benefit from Single Sign On and usability across multiple devices, and across iOS, Android, and PC. 
 Remote working much easier, especially as the landscape of working life is becoming a blend of office-based and home working.  

Flexible and cost-effective for businesses.
 
 Now your staff can simply log into the web app from any device to get their job done. This makes the ERP solution much more cost-effective and flexible for your business. 

HOW TO TRANSITION TO BUSINESS CENTRAL

Many companies have been using Dynamics NAV for years, so Nav users may be a little wary about making the switch to Business Central. But with even more functionality than the NAV solution and with better usability, you won’t regret taking the first step.

While some Microsoft products, like Office 365, can be bought directly from Microsoft, this is not the case for Business Central. Due to the complexity of the product, Microsoft Business Central must be purchased through an approved Microsoft partner.

The Business Central trial takes a few minutes to load, and you can start using the app. 

Dynamics 365 Business Central Licensing

There are two main subscription licensing options:

  • Business Central Essentials
  • Business Central Premium.

To use this ERP software, you must license one of these plans. Both plans are licensed by user and are fast to implement as well as easy to configure. There’s also a ‘Team Members‘ licensing option to add on additional users.

The difference between a full user vs. an additional user:

A full user is someone who will be working heavily within Business Central on a daily basis. These will typically be your customer service employees, sales and marketing staff, finance employees, and supply chain managers.

An additional user or team member is a ‘light user’ or users who do not require the full capabilities of Business Central. For instance, they may need to view data reports, log their expenses or time, and other such activities.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials consists of several modules that are considered essential for any business.

Modules included within Essentials:

  • Financial Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Project Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Human Resources Management

Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium

The Premium license has everything in the Essentials license plus service management and manufacturing.

Modules included within Premium:

  • Service Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Financial Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Project Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Human Resources Management

AL, Business Central, C/AL, Development Tips, Extension Package, How To, Information, Modern Development Tool, Tip & Tricks, V2

AL Basics – Part 3 [Table Continued]

In last post we saw basics of how to Create Table and created a Loadout Point Table.

Today we will continue from where we left in previous post. If you missed previous post you can find here AL Basics – Part 2.

We will create one New Table say Working Calendar Time Slot. Since no new concept used in this table so without explanation I will directly share the final structure of this Table. I am using this table in today’s next Table which I will be creating later below.

So here is the structure of this Table.

TAB2-1

Now coming to today’s topic. Creating Field Triggers & Functions.

I will be creating a new table Appointment Calendar Setup.

Here is the structure of same, and explanation follows after screen shot.

TAB2-2

In this Table the Loadout Point field TableRelation to the Loadout Point table that we created in our previous post.

Similarly the field Start Working Hrs. & End Working Hrs. field, OnValidate() trigger is implemented which call to a function/procedure CreateTimeSlot() defined in this table itself.

Field Start Working Days & End Working Days is defined with option type.

When user Enters the Start Working Hrs. & End Working Hrs. we will create the Time Slot for that Location (Loadout Point).

Finally I have created a local procedure in the table, which as per the information entered it creates the Time Slot in Table we created above Working Calendar Time Slot. Also see I have created few local variables to the function of different types. You can see there is no difference in writing the code, it follows same syntax as in our Navision C/AL. Advanced coding options and what’s new will discuss separately in future posts.

Till here we have our basic structure of our Extension. We will see how to design page in our next post.

We will come with more advance points on Table Later as we proceed in completing our Extension. There is lots of things to share on this topic but sometime later in future posts. First Let us cover all Object Types.

AL, C/AL, Development Tips, Extension Package, Information, Modern Development Tool, NAV 2016, NAV 2017, NAV 2018, PowerShell, Tip & Tricks, upgrade, V1, V2, Visual Studio Code

Future of Navision is extensions V2?

With the release of Dynamics 365 Business Central a successor of Dynamics NAV, things are going to change. If I am not wrong from year 2020 Modern Development Environment will be the only platform available to developers.

In every NAV upgrades biggest challenge was customizations, since objects are fully accessible to developers, so we customize the solution as we want as a developer spreading unstructured, difficult to maintain, customized code everywhere and in all objects.

The beauty of product is, it is totally customizable and adaptable to customer’s business. Customizing Navision is easy and quick to deploy. C/AL is easy to learn and code.

Due to these heavy customizations and unstructured codes upgrade to new version of the product required long time and efforts. Hard to merge, too much efforts leading to high cost, usually many customer prefer to stay with their current version, and miss new capabilities of product available in future versions of Navision.

With release of NAV 2016 concept of extension was introduced. This introduced the concept of writing code isolated from the core objects and use events to interact with the standard codes. Now create the extension that can be installed or uninstalled any time without affecting the original base layer of the product. We call it extension V1.

These were also developed using C/AL and deployed using PowerShell. But still it always felt like something is missing. Then last year Microsoft came up with release NAV 2018 which introduced second generation of extension, we call it extensions V2.

This introduced completely new development platform based on Visual Studio Code Modern Development Environment. It uses new AL language an evolution of C/AL. Now this will be the future.

Dynamics 365 Business Central platform (on-premise and SaaS) uses this development model. Probably this will be the only development platform available from year 2020.

In Business central base application is now an entire extension based with some system objects in CSIDE, In future release you may not have any more side by side development, you will only be having AL and extensions.

 

So what next?

 

  • We should now concentrate on learning VS Code and AL as in future this will be the only way to modify the application.
  • Now we need to make our self-familiar with the Web Client as Windows Client will be obsolete soon.
  • We should start moving our all customization to extensions.
  • Now we should start thinking in direction of AL type customization rather than old C/AL type coding practice.

 

What do you think?

I will come up with more details as progress in this direction. Till then keep learning and sharing with others.

 

 

 

Corfu Navision 2016, Events, Information

Events in C/AL Navision 2016

By implementing events in C/AL code, you can design applications to react to specific actions or behaviour that occur.

Events enable you to separate customized functionality from the application business logic.

By using events in the application where customizations are typically made, you can lower the cost of code modifications and upgrades to the original application.

Events can be used for different purposes, such as generating notifications when certain behaviour occurs or the state of an entity changes, distributing information, and integrating with external systems and applications.

How Events Work

There are three major participants involved in events: the event, a publisher and a subscriber.

An event is the declaration of the occurrence or change in the application. An event is declared by a C/AL function, which is referred to as an event publisher function. An event publisher function is comprised of a signature only and does not execute any code.

A publisher is the object that contains event publisher function that declares the event. The publisher exposes an event in the application to subscribers, essentially providing them with a hook-up point in the application. An event is raised by adding logic to the application that calls into the publisher to invoke the event (the event publisher function). There are three different event types: business, integration, and trigger events.

Business and integration type events must be explicitly declared and published, which means that you must create event publisher functions and add them to objects manually. On the other hand, trigger events, which occur on table and page operations, are published and raised implicitly by the Microsoft Dynamics NAV runtime. Therefore, no coding is required to publish them.

A subscriber listens for and handles a published event. A subscriber is a C/AL function that subscribes to a specific event publisher function and includes the logic for handling the event. When an event is raised, the subscriber function is a called and it code is run.

How to Implement Events

Implementing events in Microsoft Dynamics NAV consists of the following tasks:

  1. Publish the event. For business and integration events, create and configure a function in an application object to be an event publisher function.
  2. Raise the event. Add code that calls the event publisher function..
  3. Subscribe to the event. At the consumer end, add one or more subscriber functions that subscribe to published events when they are raised.

Will come up with how to practically use it in my upcoming posts.

C/AL Editor, Corfu Navision 2016, Information

Redesigned C/AL Editor in Navision 2016

The C/AL Editor in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Development Environment has been redesigned to give you more coding capabilities. Coding in the new C/AL editor is like before except you benefit from new features such as IntelliSense, name completion, change tracking, improved syntax highlighting and colorization. The new design has a look-and-feel that resembles the Debugger regarding breakpoints.

Name Completion:  Editor-1

Now Editor suggest the Variable Names which are available.

IntelliSense:  Editor-2
Now Editor Suggest available options for the variables.
Editor-3

Change Tracking:  Editor-4

Improved syntax highlighting and colorization:
Editor-5
If you still want to use old version editor, you can use the old version of the C/AL Editor by running the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Development Environment from a command prompt and setting the useoldeditor parameter.
Editor-6

finsql.exe useoldeditor=yes

useoldeditor Specifies whether to use the C/AL Editor that was available in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 and earlier versions. The C/AL Editor was redesigned in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016.

To use the old editor, specify the parameter as useoldeditor=yes or useoldeditor.

To use the new editor, omit the parameter or specify it as useoldeditor=no.

Corfu Navision 2016, Information

Changes in C/AL Behaviour C/AL Statements in Nav 2016

The following table lists the summary of new, removed, or changed C/AL statements in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016.

Will come with more details in my later posts.

Statement Description
FOREACH New statement.

Iterate through a .NET Framework collection or array.

BREAK New statement.

Terminates the iteration statement in which it used.

Important

If your solution has used FOREACH or BREAK as names of variables in earlier versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, you must change the names before you upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016.

Alternatively, you can enclose the variable names in quotation marks. If you do not, and you import an object that has this code in text format, you cannot compile the object.

Corfu Navision 2016, Information

Changes in C/AL Behaviour C/AL Properties in Nav 2016

The following table lists the summary of new, removed, or changed properties in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016.

Will come with more details in my later posts.

Function Description
Event Property New property.

Used for events. Specifies whether a function is a publisher of or subscriber to an event.

EventFunction Property New property.

Used for events. Specifies the event publisher function that an event subscriber function subscribes to.

EventPublisherObject Property New property.

Used for events. Specifies the object that contains the event publisher function that an event subscriber function subscribes to.

EventSubscriberInstance Property New property.

Specifies how event subscriber functions in a codeunit are bound to codeunit instance and events that they subscribe to.

EventType Property New property.

Used for events. Specifies whether an event is a business or integration event.

GlobalVarAccess Property New property.

Used for events. Specifies whether global variables in an event publisher object can be accessed from event subscriber functions.

IncludeSender Property New property.

Used for events. Specifies whether global functions in an event publisher object can be called from event subscriber functions.

Namespaces Property New property.

Specifies one or more namespaces on an XMLport object.

NamespacePrefix Property New property.

Specifies a namespace prefix on an element of an XMLport object.

OnMissingLicense Property New property.

Specifies what happens to the event subscriber function call when the license of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV user account that is running the current session does not include the codeunit that contains the subscriber function.

OnMissingPermission Property New property.

Specifies what happens to the subscriber function call when the Microsoft Dynamics NAV user account that is running the current session does not have permission to the codeunit that contains the subscriber function.

EventPublisherElement Property New property.

Used for events. Specifies the table field that the trigger event pertains to.

Scope Property New property.

Specifies the scope of actions to be either Repeater or Page.

SQL Timestamp Property New property.

Specifies a field to be a timestamp field that contains row version numbers for records.

TableType Property Specifies whether the table is a normal or external (CRM or ExternalSQL) table.
TryFunction Property New property.

Specifies the function to be try function, which can be used to catch and handle errors and exceptions that occur when code is run.

FunctionType Property (Upgrade Codeunits) Changed property.

Instead of the Upgrade option, there are now two options: UpgradePerCustomer and UpgradePerDatabase. The UpgradePerCustomer option behaves like the Upgrade option in the previous Microsoft Dynamics NAV version.

FunctionType Property (Test Codeunits) Changed property.

Includes the FilterPageHandler and HyperlinkHandler options.

Corfu Navision 2016, Information

Changes in C/AL Behaviour C/AL Functions in Nav 2016

The following table lists the summary of new, removed, or changed functions in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016.

Will come with more details in my later posts.

Function Description
ADDFIELD Function New function.

Adds a table field to the filter control for a table on filter page.

ADDFIELDNO Function New function.

Adds a table field to the filter control for a table as specified by the field number.

ADDRECORD Function New function.

Adds a filter control for a table to a filter page as specified by a record data type variable.

ADDRECORDREF Function New function.

Adds filter control for a table to a filter page as specified by a RecordRef variable.

ADDTABLE Function New function.

Adds filter control for a table to a filter page.

BINDSUBSCRIPTION Function New function.

Binds event subscribers to the subscriber codeunit instance for handling events.

UNBINDSUBSCRIPTION New function.

Unbinds event subscribers from the subscriber codeunit instance for handling events.

COUNT Function (FilterPageBuilder) New function.

Gets the number of filter controls that are specified in the FilterPageBuilder object instance.

CREATEENCRYPTIONKEY Changed function.

Includes a Boolean return value. The value is true if an encryption key is created successfully; otherwise, it is false.

CURRENTCLIENTTYPE Function New function.

Gets the Microsoft Dynamics NAV client type that is running on the current session.

CURRENTCOMPANY Function (Record) New function.

Gets the current company of a database table record.

CURRENTCOMPANY Function (RecordRef) New function.

Gets the current company of a database table that is referred to by a RecordRef.

DEFAULTCLIENTTYPE Function New function.

Gets the default Microsoft Dynamics NAV client type that is configured for the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Server instance that is used for the current session.

GETASCENDING Function (Record) Gets the sort order for the records returned, such as in data from an ODATA web service.
GETURL Function Changed function. Includes the following changes:

  • Accepts CURRENTCLIENTTYPE and DEFAULTCLIENTTYPE as ClientType parameter.
  • Supports RecordRef variable data type as a parameter to specify the record to open.
  • Includes a Boolean parameter to include filters that are setup on the object in URL.
GETVIEW function (FilterPageBuilder) New function.

Gets the filter view (which defines the sort order, key, and filters) for the record in the specified filter control of a filter page.

IMPORTENCRYPTIONKEY Changed function.

Includes a Boolean return value. The value is true if an encryption key is imported successfully; otherwise, it is false.

ISFILTERPAGEBUILDER Function (Variant) New function.

Indicates whether a C/AL variant contains a FilterPageBuilder variable.

ISTEMPORARY Function (Record) New function.

Determines whether a record refers to a temporary table.

NAME Function (FilterPageBuilder) New function.

Gets the name of a table filter control that is included on a filter page based on an index number that is assigned to the filter control.

RECORDID (Record) New function.

Gets the RecordID of the record that is currently selected in the table.

RUNMODAL Function (FilterPageBuilder) New function.

Builds and runs the filter page.

SETASCENDING Function (Record) Sets the sort order for the records returned, such as in data from a ODATA web service.
SETVIEW Function New function.

Sets the current filter view, which defines the sort order, key, and filters, for a record in a filter control on a filter page.

GETDEFAULTTABLECONNECTION Function (Database), HASTABLECONNECTION Function (Database), REGISTERTABLECONNECTION Function (Database), SETDEFAULTTABLECONNECTION Function (Database), and UNREGISTERTABLECONNECTION Function (Database) New functions. Registers, sets, gets, and unregister table connections to external tables.