Upgrading Dynamics NAV to Business Central: Key Challenges

The digital revolution has altered the world around us. Do you have a plan in place for implementing digital transformation? As a Microsoft Dynamics NAV client, you must shift to Dynamics 365 Business Central as one of the most critical organizational changes.


To achieve your digital transformation goals, you need to use the power of the Cloud and the power of Data and AI. When it comes to this change, it isn’t about progressively adding new features and functionalities to software. Customer experiences, product and service transformation, staff empowerment, and operational efficiency are part of the equation.


However, upgrading Dynamics NAV to Business Central comes with certain problems, which we’ll discuss in this blog post.


Dynamics NAV to Business Central Upgrade Considerations

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Current Version of Dynamics NAV

Customers need to know which version of NAV they are using. While upgrading from any version of Dynamics NAV is feasible, it is easier and more cost-effective if clients remain relevant. For clients who have been using the software for more than three revisions, they are likely to need a big upgrade.


Another key benefit of regular updates is that they improve the quality of the information. Each upgrade will take longer if your clients only upgrade once a year or so. Customers would miss out on included features that may have saved them money if they don’t upgrade some changes between versions.


Potential of Dynamics 365 Business Central

When it comes to cloud-based business administration, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an excellent choice. Before Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, built on Dynamics NAV 2018 functionality and includes significant upgrades, Dynamics NAV was known as Microsoft Dynamics NAV.


 The following features have been added to Business Central in its most recent iteration:


  • Invigorate Your Financial Controls.
  • The user interface is simple and easy to use.
  • Enhanced Customer Service.
  • Microsoft\’s AppSource provides a wide range of business functions.
  • Using a cloud ERP system means a reduced initial investment.
  • Outlook and CRM are two examples of Microsoft Business Solutions that may be integrated.
  • Modern Clients allow for easy access

Depending on your needs, it is possible to run Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises or in the cloud. Whether you go with On-premises or Cloud, the decision depends on your company’s demands and the amount of money you’re ready to invest in a new Microsoft ERP system.



Add-ons, which are separate business functions, are also vital to consider. An earlier programming language for NAV was modified by ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) and added to the prior version for specialized capabilities.


Visual Studio Code’s AL Language Extension for Visual Studio Code enables developers to seamlessly integrate with Dynamics Business Central’s tenant using a contemporary development language. Apps may be built for Business Central, which implies you can construct your applications.



As a general rule, the cost of upgrading to a newer ERP system version might be rather high. Project management, the scope of work deployment, training, and continuing support should all be included in a realistic budget.


On-Premises vs. the Cloud

Businesses who require more control over their server and their data, as well as more customization options than the cloud version of Dynamics 365 Business Central, can use the On-Premise version of the software. As with Dynamics NAV, Business Central On-premise is incredibly flexible and can be tailored perfectly to your company’s needs, no matter how complicated they may be.


Key Challenges When Upgrading Dynamics NAV to Business Central

Business Central is the replacement for Microsoft Dynamics NAV – a real cloud solution that can also be deployed on-premises. C/AL, a programming language used in older versions of NAV, allows users to directly alter the business logic of the system. Despite the fact that this provided a great deal of freedom, upgrading the program proved to be a challenge because each change had to be moved to function with the new versions, which took a long time.


The C/AL programming language and idea are no longer used in current versions of BC in favor of AL and Extensions, two new programming languages and concepts. Because Extensions don’t alter Microsoft or ISV (add-on) code, updates may be done automatically without the user having to do anything.


Businesses may now access their data from any web browser thanks to the new Web Client. Since the introduction of the latest version of Business Central, the Windows Client has been removed. Furthermore, because the Windows Client could only run on-premises in the first place, it is of little use in a cloud-based system.


Why Are Firms Reluctant to Switch from NAV to Business Central SaaS?

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If a firm has invested in add-on products from Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) that don’t work with the cloud version of Business Central, they may be reluctant to switch to the cloud version, according to our experience. Some of the other explanations include:


  • Because their version of NAV is so out-of-date, they don’t believe they can ever upgrade.
  • The On-premises version of NAV is comfortable for them, thus they don’t want to give up their Windows Client.

The SaaS version of Business Central does not support ISV products. ISVs face a large investment in rewriting their programs for newer versions of Business Central because many NAV add-on products were created in C/AL. In this scenario, NAV users have a variety of alternatives to choose from.


Concluding Thoughts

Even though moving old applications presents considerable obstacles, ISVs should regard the chance to upgrade to D365 Business Central as an ideal opportunity to do the following:


  • Extensions can be separated from the application’s core functionality.
  • AppSource lets you extend the functionality of your app and its add-ons.
  • Offer data-rich, intelligent services using Azure’s AI and ML capabilities.
  • Incorporate horizontal and vertical D365 platform integrations to provide a smooth client experience.
  • By converting on-premises apps to SaaS, you may become a part of your client’s digital transformation journey.
  • Create a long-term cash stream instead of a one-time license fee by offering subscription services.
Also Read: Top Benefits of Migrating to Dynamics 365 Business Central Cloud

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