Upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Business Central? Here Are 9 Modifications and Add-Ons You Won’t Need To Move
As discussed in a previous blog series on upgrading from NAV to Business Central, one of the advantages of Microsoft Dynamics NAV is how easy it is to modify the application with customized code or through ISV-built add-ons to fit unique business requirements by editing the base code. However, there were also challenges when it came to upgrading from an older version of NAV to a newer version around bringing those modifications (mods) forward as part of the upgrade.
With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, that all changed. Microsoft introduced Events and Extensions using AL code rather than C/AL code to make upgrading from NAV to Business Central and version to version easier and faster.
Events are elements of code put into in a custom object, or Codeunit, away from the base application code, removing that modification from the base code and eliminating the object merge step in the upgrade process. Extensions are “packages” of AL-coded Events that sit on top of, rather than inside of the base application, which allows for the base BC application to reside anywhere and be upgraded without affecting mods.
In short, Events and Extensions move modifications into code that is separate from the base application, making upgrades possible without affecting mods and resulting in a much faster, less complex upgrade process. So, if you’re upgrading from NAV to Business Central SaaS, you will need to move all your mods to Events and Extensions. Or do you?
Moving modifications from C/AL to AL is not free. It takes development time, which carries a cost with it. It’s understandable, then, that you might be concerned about the cost of moving from NAV to Business Central—especially if you have a large number of mods. The good news is that Microsoft has included many of the more popular modifications as standard features in Business Central. At Community Summit 2021, we discussed 9 common modifications in NAV you will no longer need when you upgrade to Business Central:
#1 Copy Item/Merge Customers and Vendors
Copy Item was a feature available in some of the European versions of NAV for years but not in the US. It was requested by many customers who entered new items frequently and added to early versions of Business Central. Merging duplicate Customer and Vendors was done programmatically for years as well as with an addon.
#2 General Ledger Line Descriptions
Annoyed by those generic descriptions, like “Invoice 1015”, on your G/L Entries? With an option in General Ledger Setup in Business Central, you can copy the Line Descriptions from either Purchase or Sales Invoice Lines to the General Ledger Entries.
#3 Purchase Resources
In Business Central, you can use Resources on Purchase Lines.
#4 Correct Dimensions on General Ledger Entries
Often add-ons were used for this purpose rather than a mod, but now neither is required. In Business Central, you can correct dimensions on the General Ledger Entries. A caveat: They won’t be corrected on posted documents, so if this is important to you, you’ll still need to use your Dimension Manager add-on.
#5 Permission Recordings
Add-ons were often used for this purpose in the past, but the permission recording feature has been standard since NAV 2017 and in all Business Central versions.
A few different add-ons as well as modifications have handled email functionality in the past. These features have been mostly incorporated into Business Central, specifically the ability to set up different email templates for different customers and contacts.
#7 Copy Journal
In the past, either mods or some crazy Excel shenanigans were required to copy journal entries. In Business Central, however, you can copy a journal entry with a click of a button.
#8 Excel Journal Import
An add-on was required for this feature in the past, but Business Central SaaS provides you with the ability to export a journal format, edit it, and import it back into Business Central.
#9 Retention Policies
Business Central allows you to define how long you want to keep historical data and cleanses it for you automatically via the Job Queue. Anyone else remember wrestling with the Purge/Delete/ Date Compression functions in NAV 2009? Not pretty.
IMPORTANT: In addition to these mods and add-ons that are no longer required, there are some that will NOT work with Business Central. These include anything based on SQL Stored Procedures or .NET. It’s likely that these customizations will need to be retooled. Discuss this with your developer or NAV/BC partner.
Ready for an Upgrade From NAV to Business Central? Talk to Your Business Central Partner
As you consider the move to BC, talk to your partner about your best options to upgrade from and whether any or all your customizations have been included in the newest release of BC—you might find you no longer need them.
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.
What’s it going to take to get the most out of your maintenance investment? Start with a free upgrade quote from ArcherPoint.