Why Upgrade Your Microsoft ERP from NAV to Business Central?

Microsoft Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is software designed for the management of business processes. It is capable of managing and integrating the organization’s value chain across sales operations, manufacturing, reporting, financials, supply chain and activities of human resources.

Most of the software available is not able to go beyond day to day business processes and contribute in vision for the growth of the future business; they can have a form of accounting and operational transactions  system working. When a company expands, the system should be able to keep up with the changing needs. Microsoft Enterprise Resource Planning can fulfill your needs of having such software.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is an app for ERP from Microsoft. NAV is designed to handle the complex inner workings of a company’s inventory, purchases, warehousing, financials, sales, manufacturing, etc., all under one system to effectively run supply chain operations and for getting a better idea of business data and trends with the help of advanced detailed reporting.

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central can put you in a stronger position if you are taking big decisions for your company. An all-in-one business solution, Business Central, can support you to  manage your business and can easily and effectively connect processes and people. It is connected with Office 365 and it also includes built-in intelligence, so it is easy to use and helps you make better business decisions.

Business Central can be  deployed quickly & can be made ready to handle the normal business processes from the very first day. The core architecture is built to support the cloud or on premise deployment along with easy setup and management. Microsoft roadmap has Business Central insist key part so having access to the most competitive tools and solutions is ensured. 

Upgrade from Dynamics NAV to Business Central

Upgrading from Dynamics NAV to Business Central can be cost-efficient and smooth if you are planning to migrate to the cloud or finding a solution to stay on-premises for the time being. Upgrade Assessment allows you to have an ideal 360 view of the upgrade journey

What is an Upgrade assessment? 

The execution of Upgrade Assessment is easy so it can go deep into the current solution and considers the business strategy carefully to decide an ideal upgrade path. Upgrade assessment helps make the correct decisions for the business, aligning it with Microsoft Roadmap and helping in future-proof the solution.

Microsoft NAV vs. Microsoft Business central 

Many businesses that were use Dynamics NAV have been slowly upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central, but at the same time, the rate of moving to the cloud has increased with the announcement of the availability of a pathway to migrate data within the release of spring 2019.

With a lot of NAV users transitioning to Business Central, many others are having trouble moving and they are looking for an answer to a question which is that is the transition worth it to Business Central. Given below are the few areas that should be focused on when upgrading from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central.



Dynamics Business central and Dynamics NAV on-premise are both of the same prices roughly, but NAV gives you a better understanding of the monthly costs, allows the team to budget and make effective plans. Moving to the cloud is a financial shift that reallocates ERP spends from infrastructure, upgrades to licensing fees, and costly servers. When you shift from NAV to Business Central, this is the final upgrade that will require you to spend money on it. The updates for Business central after installation is of no cost and they make sure that you are on the recent version.

Microsoft Cloud

The top-rated quality of IT professionals is data security. Nothing beats Microsoft Cloud in security and stability. There are over 3,500 cyber-security professionals on staff. Microsoft is a leader of the industry when we talk about protecting, responding, and detecting cyber threats. Without worrying about managing servers and changing security regulations, a large number of IT experts can be a lot more productive.

More Functionality and Apps

The Business Central is built on the core functionality that was there in Dynamics NAV. It introduces new features like focus mode, fuzzy search, late payment prediction, and many other things. Add-ons and new apps are also being added to App Source daily to further expand the functionality of Business Central.\

Modern Platform

Business Central has a new and different feel and looks that will help reduce training and substantially increase product demand time for the users because it is easier to use and very similar to other solutions by Microsoft. Moreover, Business Central is accessible anywhere, at any time which gives users the flexibility to work from anywhere at any time.

Business Insights

With the help of Businesses Central, the business can get to know about the benefits of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and become more efficient and effective in reducing manual processes. Machine Learning can help with spam filtering, equipment monitoring, forecasting, image detection, ad targeting, and a lot more. Microsoft’s Power Platform, Made up of Power BI, Power Apps, and the Flow, gives the business a better data that is accurate and timely to help you make better decisions for your business.

Figure shows the Business processes streamlined by Business Central.

Reasons why you should upgrade from NAV to Business Central

If you are still running Microsoft NAV, then you need to upgrade your Microsoft Dynamics NAV system not to Business Central before it is too lateThe benefits of upgrading to NAV from Business Central are:

A compared to other versions, testing an upgrade to Business Central will be lesser work and would be less costly. This is a great way to save money.

Business Central is the gateway to the cloud.

You can get a 3:1 user boost when you switch to Business Central. For almost all the businesses, this is a lot of extra users for your Business Central environment.

 The reasons that NAV users should know before planning an upgrade are further discussed below. These reasons will help you make an informed decision of whether upgrading from NAV to Business Central is a good decision or not.


The updates are expensive for NAV

 Both the advantage and disadvantage of Dynamics NAV is the ability of it to be customized in any way the customer wishes. The NAV upgrade which is very small would cost the company roughly $30,000, which is a lot for a small update.


The reason why NAV is so expensive is C/AL. The programming language used to write all versions of NAV is called C/AL and it used a programming environment called C-SIDE. C/AL and C-SIDE are awesome at the time of their release which was in the 90s. A non-programmer could use them to add page designs, custom fields, build reports and change labels and even put a code in for calculations, which meant all types of good things. But it made the upgrade very expensive. To upgrade from a customized version of NAV to a new version, a programmer needs to move your changed code, from an old version to a new version. Programmers have different tricks to make this easier, but it is not an easy task. This is the cause of NAV upgrades being very expensive.

Upgrading to Business central from NAV is the ideal upgrade

 Before 2009, all versions of NAV were given numbers like NAV 1.0, 2.0, etc. The last version that was numbered was 5.0. Microsoft released Dynamics NAV 2009 in 2009. This change that was made in this was the Role Tailored Client. The last version of the Dynamics NAV was the version of 2018 which was also called version 11.0. The practical impact of the introduction of Role Tailored Client was that the users needed to learn a new user interface. This made the 2009 upgrades different from others. When the upgrade had to be made to 2009, it made all other upgrading costs look cheap.

End of role tailored client after Business Central 

As all NAV versions including 2018 involved customers using the Role Tailored Client, the upgrades between versions only involved the customers checking if they have missed anything from the “line by line” code transfer. Upgrading to BC 15 or higher deprives you of having this benefit. The users would be testing and confirming the upgrade with greater challenges in a different and new environment. Introduction of changes in Business Central 15 which included the removal of the Role Tailored Client and other development updates, makes this the most important shift in Business Central since it’s introduced and most important to NAV since the 5.0 version to 2009.

Four things you should know before upgrading from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central

The following are the tips for upgrading from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central that you should know before you make the move.

New user interface 

Dynamics 365 Business Central comes with a fresh and modern user interface and new modes of working across the worksheets, lists, role centers, details page, and transaction documents. The users will be required to have training on the new UI experience, productivity features, and navigation such as customization of pages, filtering of totals and lists, etc.

The current Windows Client can be used and the process for daily activities remains the same in Dynamics 365 Business Central as it was in Dynamics NAV 2013 + and later, so a lot of guidance is not needed by users. Users may have to be aware of the changes if they were using a newer version of NAV or may need training if they were using an older version of Dynamics NAV.

Roles and permissions 

The roles and permission will be the same if you move from Nav 2013+ and later version to Business Central. If the migration is being done by Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central Software as a Service (SaaS) then there are different permission sets as the former was based on function and Business central is based on roles. Moreover, many customers often tailor permissions or create custom permission sets to meet their specific business needs. They can either select new permission set for each user or export/import the existing permission sets. In both the ways, people need to understand both of the permission sets and how they translate roughly along with the information on what might have changed from the standard set in Dynamics NAV.


Making the move to Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS in the present needs you to make a transition through on-premises Dynamics 365 Business Central. For this, you will need a SaaS License and On-Premises license, both. Ensure that it is organized by your licensing partner early because delaying it will delay your implementation.

Functionality Along with the release of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft has now published a full list of new/updated capabilities and features:

  • April 18 – Dynamics 365 BusinessCentral releases
  • October 18 – Dynamics 365 Applications releases

It is for the users to see what can be used for their advantage in terms of functionality. You may think that if you use Dynamics NAV Version 4, 5, 2009, 2013, 2013R2, 2015, 2016, 2017, or 2018, already then how does the new functionality in Dynamics 365 Business Central compare to it, then the answer is that at Technology Management, the consulting team rely on a rather extensive Excel spreadsheet of almost 130 important areas of functionality and how they have been changing over the past 9 versions of Dynamics NAV.

The changes are a mix of optional and mandatory. Look at the mandatory changes for the average costs and period comparison that is available on the internet so that you can see if you have expertise available to plan for mandatory changes and decide what needs to be done for the optional ones.