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Dynamics NAV to Dynamics Business Central

Dynamics Business Central has been introduced as the successor of Dynamics NAV. Can you still upgrade to NAV 2018?

 NAV most current version is NAV2018. Business Central has to be seen as NAV2019! As the word NAV is relatively meaningless, Microsoft decided to rebrand the product line to a more meaningful brand. As such we currently have … Business Central. Cutting some corners here but Business Central = NAV. Please note that a similar change was done some time ago to Dynamics AX which got rebranded to Dynamics for Finance and Operations.

Effective April 1, 2019, Dynamics NAV 2018, will no longer be available for new customers.

  • New customers have the following purchase options:
    • Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises via DPL
    • Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud via Cloud Solution Provider program (CSP)
  • Existing Dynamics NAV 2018 customers may continue to purchase additional Dynamics NAV 2018 licenses as needed.


From a license perspective a big change is the switch from concurrent users (at the same time) to named users!

NAV was one of the few products out there still on a concurrent base, but this stops with the introduction of Business Central.

Existing Full Users (NAV 2018) and Full AM, BE, and Professional Users will not have an impact to their licenses or their associated upgrade rights. These users will map to Dynamics 365 Business Central Named users at a 1:2 mapping ratio, for all users purchased prior to October 1st, 2018. The yearly BREP won’t change (you get more users when you upgrade, but this has a zero $,€ impact). Personally, the deal is fair I believe, but for companies having multiple shifts in production it might only be just enough … or not enough (egg. scanner scenario’s).


Long term, within 24 months from now, Microsoft will make another 2 important changes

  • The discontinuation of the Windows Client as we know it today. The sole entry point will be the web client using a Modern UI, which is the successor of the current role tailored experience. Terminal Servers will no longer be needed, productivity might be slightly impacted.
  • Extensions: The discontinuation of C/AL as a programming language and the introduction of AL using Visual Studio as a front end. Although the code is identical, the freedom to change Business Central will reduce slightly. It means consultants will need to sometimes find alternative ways to accomplish specific business scenarios.


What does this mean for you?

Practically, again shortcutting and omitting some details:

  • Prior to 01.04.2019
    • You can decide to use the current version, license, Harmonize It can keep on adding to this.
    • You can decide to upgrade to NAV2018. The license transition must be executed before 01.04. The project of performing the upgrade can take place after that switch.
    • You can decide to upgrade to BC (Business Central), license will be converted to named users using the 1:2 ratio without impacting yearly BREP
      • From a coding perspective
        • code can be moved ‘as is’.
        • code can be re-engineered to events. This is highly recommended as this is the first and crucial step to be compatible with the upcoming extensions (see above).
        • code can be re-engineered to extensions. This is relatively new: consultants and developers are learning this as we speak. Harmonize IT is investing big into this as of December 2018, but we can’t deny/ignore it is new.
  • As of 01.04.2019
    • You can decide to use the current version, license, Harmonize IT can keep on adding to this.
    • Upgrade to NAV2018 is no longer possible.
    • You can decide to upgrade to Business Central, your license will be converted to named users using the 1:2 ratio without impacting yearly BREP
      • Coding considerations same as above.