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for those who do still hold licenses, the system no longer receives updates, meaning the software will quickly become outdated and harder to use.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

Business Central, Information, License, upgrade

Those planning for Upgrade – Some Important Information

As per the roadmap which Microsoft has published for Business Central, it shows that the Business Central product name will be continued for future. It means there will not be a Dynamics NAV 2019.

BC Road-map

Looking at your investment in terms of license and annual BREP, it is sense able to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, whether your solution is deployed in Cloud or on-premises.

Don’t take me wrong I don’t mean to say that Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 for finance and operations, Business edition are now obsolete.

Microsoft is not closing support to these products, it is still available to them. Only any new updates to these solutions we cannot expect any more.

One important note: New customers will still be able to purchase Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 till 31st March 2019. Same concept of concurrent user license with starter/extended pack.

From 1st April new customers will not be able to license NAV 2018, but existing NAV customers using the solution can still be able to purchase additional licenses as per their requirements if any.

If you missed earlier post do check this Link also.

 

What had changed in license model for Dynamics 365 Business Central

 

One change that a major one is now no more Concurrent licenses, new license purchased will be for named user.

One user one license, however named user will be able to access the application from multiple devices.

As earlier starter & extended pack was available now it will be Essentials and Premium.

Stander version of Business Central is termed as Essentials while with additional modules Service and Manufacturing is termed as Premium.

When comes to licensing you are not allowed to mix and match essentials & premium licenses, it should be from either of them.

Where is Limited user? Don’t worry it have been taken care as Team Member License. Read access throughout the application and write access to maximum of three tables excluding General Ledger entries.

License can be purchased as Perpetual or Subscription basis.

Licenses for Business Central differ from Dynamics NAV licenses in several ways:

  • Dynamics NAV licenses are calculated from concurrent users, where multiple users can share a license. Business Central licenses, on the other hand, are calculated from named users
  • With Business Central it is no longer necessary to have a Starter Pack. As a minimum, you need a Premium or Essentials user
  • It is only possible to have either Premium or Essentials users in your license. You can purchase Teams Members for both Premium and Essentials licenses.

 

What deployment options are available?

  1. Perpetual License – On premises
  2. Perpetual License – Cloud
  3. Subscription License – On premises
  4. Subscription License – Cloud
  5. Software As A Service (SaaS)

 

When you can upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central?

 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is now generally available worldwide for cloud, and on-premises deployments. However you can check if it is available for your country from your local partners.

Local Functionality in Dynamics 365 Business Central

You can go-ahead with upgrade planning whenever you want too. Just get in touch with your current ERP provider.

For free lancing upgrade/development tasks you can contact us too at KSD Consultancy Private Limited. We are taking new project booking till 31st March on our old price, could be fixed or hour basis, which ever suitable to you. You can save lot from your local partners cost.

 

What’s on offer for existing customers?

 

Customers up-to-date with their BREP can upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises using LMT Upgrade.

Due to change in licensing model in Business Central. Below you can see exchange rate from perpetual NAV concurrent license to Business Central named user licenses.

If you have purchased your Dynamics NAV with Perpetual Licencing before October 1, 2018, your current NAV licenses will be converted from:

  • One Full User in Extended Pack to two Premium users
  • One Full user to two Essentials users
  • One Limited user to one Team Member

In addition to the converting of licenses, the licensing setup is different. As mentioned, Dynamics NAV licenses are calculated from concurrent users, where multiple users can share a number of licenses. Business Central licenses, on the other hand, are calculated from named users. The total value of your current licenses will remain the same – even after the conversion.

For more details on Licensing please refer here, make sure you always check with latest version of documents or discuss with your partner for current effective offers.

Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises Upgrade Policy​

Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises Licensing Guide

Similar to Dynamics NAV, the functionality of the D365 Business Central is divided into two ‘packages’, Essentials and Premium. The functionality of ‘Essentials’ corresponds to NAV’s ‘Starter Pack’ and the functionality of ‘Premium’ corresponds to NAV’s ‘Extended Pack’

Brief idea as below:

D365 Business Central Essentials /
Dynamics NAV Starter Pack
D365 Business Central Premium /
Dynamics NAV Extended

Financial Management

General Ledger
Cash Management
Fixed Assets
Currencies
Consolidation

Financial Management Extended

Inter-Company (Essentials)
Cost Accounting (Essentials)

Supply Chain Management

Sales Order processing
Purchase and procurement
Item management
Locations
Basic Warehousing

Supply Chain Management
Extended

Advanced Warehousing (Essentials)

Jobs and Resources

Job Planning, Budgets and Invoicing
Resource allocations
Timesheets

 

Contact

Management Contacts
Campaigns
Opportunity Management
D365 Sales Integration

Service Management

Service Contracts
Service Items
Service Order Management

Assembly

Assembly Bill of Materials

Manufacturing

Production BOMs
Works order management
Capacity and Demand planning

It will be always advised to verify before you make up your mind. However you can trust to Microsoft links provided in above post.

 

Development Tips, Instalation & Configuration, Jet Reports, Office Integration, Report

Using the Jet Ribbon Jet Essentials 2015 Update 1 for Navision 2015

Jet ribbon in Excel has been modified to make it easier to use.
JetRibbon-1

Some items have been moved so as to provide better grouping of related items.  Other (less-common) items do not display by default.

Additionally, the Function Wizard (“Jfx”) has been replaced by four smaller icons…
JetRibbon-2

which allow you to easily select what type of Jet function you would like to place in your report.

You have a great deal of control over which items appear on the ribbon.  Simply go to the “Jet Ribbon” section of the Jet Essentials Application Settings..
JetRibbon-3

Place a check next to those items you do want on the ribbon and uncheck those that you do not want to see.

Checkout Upcoming posts for more information.