Debunking the Myths: Upgrade to Business Central, DON’T Reimplement

Debunking the Myths: Upgrade to Business Central, DON’T Reimplement

There are many myths out there about upgrading old versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV software that are simply not true!

The myths

Here are some of the most common myths we’ve heard, maybe you have, too:

  • “A re-implementation is the only way to migrate from NAV to Business Central.”
  • “An Upgrade is more expensive than a re-implementation.”
  • “Microsoft made too many significant architectural changes.”
  • “Your database is too large and complex.”
  • “You can’t migrate historical and custom data.”
  • “You can’t migrate ISV software from C/AL to an AL extension.”
  • “Your version is too old.”
  • “You have too many customizations.”

The reality

The fact is, each one of these statements is false. Contrary to popular belief:

  • You are NOT too customized to upgrade.
  • Your version is NOT too old to upgrade.
  • Your database is NOT too big to upgrade.

And we can prove it! Anyone who tells you differently is ly…well, let’s just say they are ill-informed.

Upgrading is more manageable and less stressful on your team than a full reimplementation of software. So, if an upgrade is the easier path, why not take it?

ArcherPoint has been upgrading clients from old versions of NAV to Business Central for years.

Here are just a handful of real-life cases we’ve successfully upgraded.

#1 Customer with a large amount of Dimension data running classic NAV

Microsoft restructured dimensions to enhance system performance. The first attempt, using Microsoft’s toolkit, took 84 days. Using ArcherPoint’s Upgrades Toolkit, it took five hours!

Debunking Upgrade Myths: Client on Classic NAV with a large amount of Dimension data
Client on Classic Dynamics NAV with a large amount of Dimension data

#2 Customer is using Product Groups extensively

Microsoft discontinued Product Groups when they introduced Item Attributes back in NAV 2017. We needed to decouple from the Item Category code, uniquify and clear, and update all history.

ArcherPoint’s Upgrades team created a tool to uniquify duplicates and expedite the historical data upgrade using SQL referencing Microsoft’s tool.

#3 Customer is using Security Permissions and Roles

Microsoft restructured security for upgradability but did not provide a tool to migrate customizations or new permission sets.

ArcherPoint’s Upgrades team created a toolkit to facilitate migrating customizations and new permission sets.

#4 Customer on Dynamics NAV using C/AL moved to Business Central using AL with Extensions

The partner ecosystem would tell you, “Use Rapid Start and reimplement.”

The ArcherPoint Upgrades toolkit can migrate custom tables and fields from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Business Central.

Microsoft eventually provided a toolkit with similar capabilities some two years later.

Perhaps most surprising is that ArcherPoint’s Upgrade toolkit outperforms Microsoft’s toolkit. While Microsoft’s tool took 10 hours to run the software, our Upgrades software took only three hours to complete.

Debunking Upgrade Myths: Example screenshot of ArcherPoint’s Upgrade Toolkit
Example screenshot of ArcherPoint’s Upgrade Toolkit

#5 Customer has a large database and a heavily modified environment

This client came to us using Dynamics NAV 2009R2 with the Classic Client. The database was 3.7 TB, with over 1,600 modified and custom objects and 155 modified and custom reports. In addition, they wanted to upgrade four large ISVs and remove three large ISV add-ons.

Utilizing all the previously mentioned tools, the ArcherPoint Upgrades team modified the Upgrades tool to turn off secondary nonprimary indexes on all tables and maximize the process for removing and upgrading ISV add-ons to allow for changes during the testing phase. In the end, we completed the upgrade over a single weekend.

ArcherPoint’s Path to Business Central

Business Central has two major releases every year, one in the Spring and one in the Fall, with minor releases in the intervening months.

Debunking Upgrade Myths: Microsoft release cadence for Business Central
Microsoft release cadence for Business Central

ArcherPoint performs a series of upgrades to take you from your current version of NAV to the current version of Business Central. Once you are current on Business Central, our Stay Current support plans for both on-premises and SaaS upgrades ensure your custom code, ISV add-ons, and functionality work as expected with each new release.

Debunking Upgrade Myths: ArcherPoint’s path to Business Central
ArcherPoint’s path to Business Central

What else should you consider?

Other scenarios where we have helped our clients overcome hurdles and upgrade to the current version of Business Central include eliminating embedded or non-universal (not SaaS-compliant) code and removing the dependence on direct SQL access.

If you have experienced trouble trying to upgrade your version of NAV or Business Central, contact ArcherPoint and consider subscribing to one of our Business Central Upgrade Plans.

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