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Directions Asia 2019 - Discussion about The Big Announcement.

Hi Readers,

As most / all of knew that I attended Directions Asia this year again. I feel great that I was there to be a part of Next Big Change in the Product.

This is a coincidence that when I Joined NAV first Big change happened - Role Tailored Client was released. Being there in Directions Asia other than being a part of the big change I was able to clarify doubts and was able to plan my future plan that this Big Change will bring to us.

I got so much Information during two days of Directions Asia and I will try to split all learning into multiple articles.

Disclaimer: The information that I will list in these articles is based on my understanding & only from my interpretation!

If you feel bad after reading this article sorry for that. No Hard Feelings it's just my opinion and if you disagree its ok.

So let's talk about Big announcement and What I think about this Change.

Spring Release is the last release with C/AL and Windows Client - This release is the last release that will contain C/AL, and also the last one with the windows client.

Let's not get MAD after hearing this, I know most of you are already feeling in the same manner.

We didn't expect this?

And Why is that, Microsoft said during Directions Asia 2018 that it will happen in 12 - 14 Months and its happened in 12 Months.

Why This is Happening?

To put it simply it's the Default Future and that's the way we all should go.

If you think from Microsoft Perspective they have to maintain multiple code bases to support all customer, partners, and ISV. Below is the list that Microsoft has to maintain Today -

1. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015. (CAL)
2. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016. (CAL)
3. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017. (CAL)
4. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018. (CAL)
5. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central on Prem. (CAL)
6. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central SASS. (AL)

Saurav What you mean by Maintain?
Microsoft has to do the following things -

  • Release a Cumulative Update Every Month for NAV 2015 to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central on Prem.

  • If they add a new feature or Find a bug in any of these product versions they have to make sure it's available in all version from NAV 2015 to BC on Prem.

  • If they add a new feature in AL they need to try to port it back to C/AL.

  • There are some features which Microsoft can build in AL but cannot be added in C/AL because of limitation in C/AL.

Are Partners & ISV helping Microsoft?

Yes, we are if you want to say so. What we are not doing is not supporting Microsoft Vision toward Future. I don't want to make an open statement but most of us are not doing that. We do business with Microsoft and we should also support Product Owner to enhance toward future.

Saurav, Why you feel that most of Partners & ISV are not helping Microsoft?

We knew this is the direction that Microsoft is planning for the Product from the last 2-3 years. Microsoft Introduced first step toward A/L with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 by releasing Events and Subscription.

We may not like it but You or Saurav does not decide about the product and its future. It's a Microsoft Baby and they decide it.

What changes with next release (Fall 2019)?

** All these statements apply to Business Central on-Prem Release.

  1. No Windows Client.
  2. No C/AL Objects.
  3. Only AL files with a Base APP Extension Installed.
  4. AL Objects can be modified.
  5. Only Modern Clients are supported - Web, Tablet & Phone clients.

What Should I Do?

You Should Start doing this Today and When I say today that means Today -

  • Any customer that you are currently supporting which is on NAV 2016 or higher start using Events and Subscriptions for writing all code modifications.
  • Any customer that you are currently supporting which is on pre-NAV 2016 suggest them to upgrade or start using HOOKS for all code modifications.
  • If you are an ISV / Addon Partner, start working on rewriting your addon to AL Environment.
  • Start Learning AL today. If it cost money to consider it as an investment for the future.
  • Start Learning other related future technologies - Source Control(Git/VS), Dockers & VS Code.
  • Download Fall 2019 Release, which is available in Dockers and starts testing your solution.

But you said we can Modify AL Code Base so why should I worry?
Just Because you can do it that doesn't mean you should do it.
If you don't follow correct code practices you will be angry in the near future. But if you continue following the best practices to write all custom code you will never need to worry about it.

But this is Big change?

Yes, this is a big change but those who have been with Microsoft Dynamics for a while have already seen big changes like this.

It's hard to change but it's required to change.

There is a Saying - "Change is the only thing which is constant", so keep changing and be ready for all future changes that will come.

Let me know your views as the comment to this article. I will be writing more about findings/learnings in #DirectionsAsia.

Saurav Dhyani


  1. What end-user-license is needed to develop extensions with april/october 2019 release? Do I need any special granules?

    1. You dont need a license to develop Extensions in VS Code.
      System will only check permission when you try to publish the Extension and it will check based on license loaded in Service tier.

  2. Hi saurabh,

    In case some customer is upgrading from Nav 2009 to Nav 2017 and most probably by July 2019, will the be able to upgrade their license?

    Prateek Saini

    1. Hi Prateek,

      Microsoft is now only selling license for Business Central (on-prem) only.

  3. Microsoft has not published Business Central in India yet nor have they published any other intermediate versions. It is also strange so far at least I am unable to access the trial version on cloud not even the W1 version It says we have not yet released in your country

    When do we expect the IN version

    1. During Directions Asia, Microsoft said that they have plan to release IN Localization for Business Central. But they haven't provided a Date for it.

  4. Hi Saurav
    With this Business Central On-Prem, do you know if any changes will impact on Infrastructure side as comparing to NAV 2016?

    1. I dont think so, there should not any major changes in Infrastructure comparing it to NAV 2016.


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