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Q & A From - Preparing your BC upgrade – A panel discussion.

Hi Readers,

I am so grateful to be co-presenting with leaders in the community. 

For my little experience of 10 years with Dynamics NAV and Business Central, I always referred to their Books and Blog Posts.

I was super excited to be a part of Panel Discussion with Luc van Vugt & Jon Long.

Thank you for @Reports_ForNAV, @areopanl, @lucvanvugt & @jonwlong for planning, scheduling, and helping during the webinar.

Webinar Title - Preparing your BC upgrade.
Style - A panel discussion.

If you were unable to attend you can watch the recording on Youtube.

I hope those who attended webinars were able to get answers about N-2 Policy and steps to preparation steps of Business Central Upgrade.

We have so many questions that were submitted before the webinar and few during the Webinar. As Luc suggested we wanted to utilize all these questions answered for everyone who was not able to attend webinars.

In this blog, I will cover all those questions which were asked during the webinar.

Question - What I would love to hear more about are the challenges and “tricky parts” of upgrading data in a scenario: NAV version (2017 for example) with customizations to BC 16 on-premise. 
  • "Tricky Parts" in any upgrade is the majority of time is around data. 
  • Data Becomes Tricky to Upgrade if its customization around functionality that is changing with the New Version. 
  • Example - If you are upgrading from 2009 to Business Central 14 (on-prem), and you have customs around Dimensions then that part will become tricky and will require custom upgrade process.
  • With Upgrade from NAV (CAL) to Business Central (on-prem), there are some data that you need to clean up like permission Data.
  • We have seen SQL Customization on Tables (like Custom Index) which will generate an error message during Upgrade.
  • Always check for Compatibility Matrix before your Upgrade.
Question - What tools are best to use (upgrade tool + Rapid Start or ..)? 
  • Microsoft Upgrade Toolkit is the best tool to upgrade data from any version of Dynamics NAV to Business Central 14.
  • If you are using ISV, check with ISV Partners for Upgrade Toolkit. If they have any then you need to include those during Data Migration.
  • I will suggest never using RapidStart for Upgrades. RapidStart is to be used for reimplementation where you need selected data to move forward.
Question - How would an extensive multi-tenant database migrate to BC? For example, would it be converted into a single database in the cloud?
  • For a Multi-Tenant Database, there is an Upgrade path till Business Central 14 (on-Prem). 
  • Please check with Microsoft about Data Replication of Multi-tenant database from on-Prem to SaaS.
Question - And what would be the effect of having 500+ 'companies' in that database?
  • No. of companies has no impact on the Migration Process. The migration process will remain as it is.
  • But if you are upgrading from NAV 2009 or Previous Version then it will be time-consuming as Migration steps need to be run in each company manually one by one till NAV 2009.
Question - Upgrade path of NAV versions to BC.
  • As discussed in the webinar, there are data upgrade path from any NAV Version To Business Central 14(on-Prem). 
  • Once data is upgraded in Business Central 14 Microsoft has provided a path to replicate data from on-Prem to Business Central online (SaaS).
  • You should spend time in Business Central 14 to clean up Data and Customizations.
Question - Best practices while object & data upgrade.

For Object Merge - 
  • There are automated PowerShell cmdlets that will help you during Object Merge but once the object merge is completed start working on Preparation for Future in Business Central 14.
  • Clean your customization and append Prefix/Suffix to all custom objects and Fields. If possible split customizations into multiple extensions based on Business Processes.
  • To make your extension future-readiness you should start writing automated Tests to save time in the future.
For Data Upgrade - 
  • Microsoft Upgrade Toolkit will bring forward data to Business Central 14. 
  • Once in Business Central 14 (on-Prem) clean up/truncate data that is not required for SaaS. 
  • There are multiple areas that you can handle like - Change Log Entries, Archive Documents, or any custom tables data which is not required in BC Online.
Question - Dos & Don't?

Dos  - Keep Upgrade Project standalone. Focus on adopting the new system (only).
Don't - Introduce New Changes with Upgrades like New ISV's / Addons. It is possible to do it with an upgrade but project length and cost will have an impact on other projects with Upgrade Project. You should either do these activities before or after.

Question - Migration to SaaS, especially large DB more than 80 GB?
  • Migration to Business Central Online (SaaS) is possible from Business Central 14, 15, and 16.
  • Larger Database More than 80 GB now can be replicated to SaaS.
  • For Larger Database, Microsoft has recently added an SKU so there is a cost associated with it per GB/month.
Question - Custom extension upgrade.
  • The extension Upgrade process is part of the extension. 
  • When you write your Extension you should write an Upgrade logic within extension (if required). If there are no changes in Table Schema then you don't have to write upgrade logic.
Question - Licensing implication due to moving customization to an extension?

  • For on-Prem - There is no implication if your object and field ID is in the same range as they were in C/AL.
  • For BC Online - Custom Range (50000..99999) is available for free without any cost.

Question - We have one client in NAV 2017 Rollup 2 version, which is using two add-on credit card add-on and zeta docs add-on so what steps and precaution we take care of during upgrade from NAV to BC 16 online version?
  • As of Today 06/30/2020, There are few Zetadoc Features that are not available as an extension.
  • So for now upgrade to Business Central 14 and wait for these add-on extensions to be available. Once Upgraded to Business Central 14 start working on Preparation for Extension Model.
Question - Eventing will always be supported in higher versions right?
  • Eventing will be always available in the future.  
Question - Any approach for Report Upgrades?

  • For Reports, we will only be able to do following changes in Base Microsoft Report or Addon/ISV Reports -
    • Change the Layout of the report.
    • Create New Layout for the Report - Word or RDLC.
  • If you have customization in Code / Dataset of Report then in Business Central 14 Save those reports in Custom Range (50000..99999) and Replace base Report with Microsoft Object.

Question - Is there a site that gives the BC release for new AL coding features? Now that we can use the newest language, it would be helpful to know when a new coding feature (like a list) is supported.

Question - I don't see the dates for the introduction of new AL features.

  • AL Features are also released with Every New Version (Wave) is released. The Information will be available before 3 Months of General Availability of the Product.
  • For 2020 Release Wave 2, Release plans available will be available on July 8, 2020. 
  • Reference Blog.

Question - How can we know either the Base application is modified or not? 
  • If you are a customer then Check with your partner.
  • Partner will change the Version of Base App in case they modified Base App.
  • Additionally, the Base App will also have a .rad file that will have a list of modified objects.

Question - I am upgrading BC 14 to BC 15 ON-Prem, I needed to fix some SQL indexes on BC 14 database so fix synchronizing base application. it synched but need to know whether I did everything right or not?

  • SQL Changes can cause issues during Migration. 
  • The only thing that I can think of is to Replace all objects in CAL from the Product DVD database. 
  • If there are new indexes then you can try dropping all indexes from SQL and replace all base objects which will remove all customs in SQL Index. 
  • But there can be custom views which depend on tables which may cause a problem. 
Question - If we migrate a 2016 license to BC16, can we still use the old 2016 license in other DB for some reason?
  • You can use the old license.
Question - Once the customer's license has been converted/migrated from NAV to BC, it is still possible to purchase extensions to the old NAV license e.g. not yet a new user due to the long migration time?
  • After 180 days of Customer License Conversion to Business Central,  you cannot add or change your old license.
Question - Until when does the offer apply to get 3 named users for 1 simultaneous user upon conversion to BC?
  • It's not a special deal that ends anytime and it is a part of the permanent upgrade License Migration Transition (LMT). 
  • The Count of Users (for 1:3) is based on No. of user license that the customer had on - October 1, 2018.
  • So if you had 10 concurrent users as of October 1, 2018, then when you upgrade your license you will receive 30 named users.
Question - How to clear legacy personalization when upgrading?

  • You can delete them in Business Central 14 (before the upgrade) - Navigate and Search for User Page Personalization and delete all records.
  • If you have already upgraded to Business Central 16 then - Navigate and Search for User Page Personalization and delete all records which are marked as Legacy Personalization.
Question - when upgrading from NAV2018 to BC 16. how to data from a custom field in Customer Table is moved to table extension in BC 16?

  • From NAV 2018 to Business Central 14, custom field/table data will be brought forward as it is.
  • From Business Central 14 (C/AL Customs) to Business Central 16 (Extension) there is a Microsoft path to upgrade custom field data to extension as an upgrade step. 
  • Refer Data Upgrade Process from Microsoft.

Hope it helps you. I also hope to be part of areopa webinar in future and add value to the community.

Thank you, everyone, who attended and asked questions.

Stay tuned for more.

Saurav Dhyani


  1. Impressive list, Saurav. Thanx for having taking the time to aggregate an elaborate on all those questions.


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