Upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Business Central: Question #2 – What about my customizations? And what are Events and Extensions?
Microsoft Dynamics NAV users looking to upgrade will want to consider upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC), the latest version of NAV. But what does a move to BC look like? And how much will it cost? At ArcherPoint, we specialize in upgrades. We love NAV and believe that a move to BC is well worth the effort. We understand you probably have questions, and we want to help answer them. In this blog series, we answer the questions we hear most from our NAV customers. Our goal is to educate you so you can make an intelligent decision about when, why, and how you should upgrade to BC.
In our first blog, Upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Business Central: What are Events and Extensions?, we discussed what is involved in upgrading from NAV to BC. In this blog, we discuss what happens to your customizations, and address the concept of Events and Extensions along the way.
Question #2: What will happen to my customizations? And why is everyone talking about Events and Extensions?!?
One of the advantages of NAV is the ease of modifying the application to match the way you do business. This is accomplished by editing NAV’s base code so it performs precisely to your requirements, rather than having to rely on NAV’s “out-of-the-box” capabilities.
One of the issues involved when upgrading from an older version of NAV to a newer version of NAV is accounting for all the code modifications that were made and bringing them forward.
One of the advantages of BC is the introduction of Events and Extensions using AL code. In general, Events and Extensions allow customizations to be treated as code that is separate from the base application logic, allowing the base application to be upgraded without affecting any customizations you have made. The result is a faster, less complex upgrade process.
Events are elements of code that are placed in a custom object (or Codeunit) away from the base application code, taking the customization out of the NAV code itself and eliminating the object merge step in the upgrade process.
Extensions can be thought of as “packages” of AL coded Events that sit on top of the base application, but do not reside inside the base application itself. This lets your base BC application reside anywhere and be upgraded without affecting any customizations that have been written.
If you are moving to a SaaS version of BC, you will need to move all your customizations to Events and Extensions. The benefit of is that, once this is completed, BC can run in the cloud, be upgraded automatically, without any involvement on your part and without impacting any other part of your system, so that you are always on the current version.
As you consider the move to BC, talk to your partner. They will be able to advise you on your best options to upgrade from your current version of NAV to BC. They will also be able to advise you on whether any or all your customizations have been included in the newest release of BC—you may find you don’t need them all.
In the next blog in this series, we’ll address migrating your third-party add-ons from NAV to BC.
To learn more answers to your upgrade questions, download this free eBook, Upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Business Central: Everything You Always Wanted to Know…but Didn’t Know to Ask.