Dynamics GP Support: Lifecycle Policies, Options and BC Comparison

Are you a Dynamics GP (Great Plains) user? Looking for Microsoft Dynamics GP support? If so, you are in the right place. Before we delve into the details of Dynamics GP support requirements, it's essential to comprehend that Microsoft governs Dynamics GP versions through two distinct lifecycle policies - Fixed Lifecycle and Modern Lifecycle.

Fixed Lifecycle governs all Dynamics GP versions before 2019, while Modern Lifecycle governs the 2019 version.

Please refer to the illustration below for details regarding mainstream support and extended support.


Source: Microsoft

Here’s the table for more clarity:

ProductSupport PolicyEnd Date for Mainstream SupportEnd Date for Extended Support
GP 2013 & GP 2013 R2FixedApril 4, 2018April 11, 2023
GP 2015 & GP 2015 R2FixedApril 14, 2020April 8, 2025
GP 2016 & GP 2016 R2FixedJuly 13, 2021July 14, 2026
GP 2018 & GP 2018 R2FixedJanuary 10, 2023January 11, 2028
GP 2019ModernNot SpecifiedNot Specified

For products that fall under the Modern Lifecycle policy, Microsoft will give at least a year's notice before terminating support if no replacement product or service is provided - except free services and preview versions.

Now, let’s get into the details to understand what options are available for Dynamics GP users.

What Choices do Dynamics GP Users Have?

It ultimately boils down to your business requirements. As a Dynamics GP user, you can choose to upgrade to the newer version of GP or transition to an advanced ERP solution like Dynamics 365 Business Central, which we shall discuss in the next section.

Whatever you choose, you have the unwavering support of ours - we are Dynamic Square, a trusted Microsoft solutions partner.

To help you understand the difference between Dynamics GP and Business Central, here we present a thorough comparison of both ERPs.

Dynamics GP vs Business Central Comparison

When comparing Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) with Business Central, there are several factors to consider. Here’s a high-level comparison based on the latest information:

Hosting and Licensing

1. Dynamics GP

  • It is traditionally an on-premises solution, but it can also be hosted on the cloud by a third party.
  • Perpetual licensing starts from $5,000 USD for 3 users. Subscription licensing starts from $65 USD/user/month.

2. Dynamics 365 Business Central

  • It is a cloud-native Dynamics ERP solution, offering a modern interface and integration with other Microsoft Cloud services.
  • Licensing for Business Central starts at $70 USD/user/month.

Functionality

  • Both offer robust ERP capabilities, but Dynamics Business Central is more modern and integrated with the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Business Central provides out-of-the-box features like multi-dimensional accounting and analysis using account Dimensions.

Integration and Extensions

  • Dynamics GP may require additional tools or services for certain integrations.
  • Microsoft Business Central allows for easier integration with other applications and services, especially within the Microsoft stack.

Future Development

  • Microsoft is focusing more on the development of Dynamics 365 Business Central, which means more future enhancements and updates for this platform.

Deployment Flexibility

  • Microsoft Dynamics GP offers deployment flexibility, including on-premises and hybrid options.
  • Business Central is primarily cloud-based, which can lead to easier deployment and lower upfront costs.

Upgrades/Updates

  • Dynamics GP: Free service pack updates for GP 2019 October release and later. Earlier GP versions required manual upgrades.
  • Business Central: Free and automated updates.

Add-on Options

  • Dynamics GP: Has a large pool of add-ons.
  • Business Central: Offers a rapidly growing pool of apps.

Power BI Integration

  • Dynamics GP: Includes complexity.
  • Business Central: Allows easy integration.

Budgeting

  • Dynamics GP: Set up and import Excel-based budgets, with advanced capabilities through Independent Software Vendors (ISVs).
  • Business Central: Allows creating multiple budgets for financials, revisions, analysis, and dimensional reporting.

Payroll

  • Both support US and Canadian payroll, but Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central provides payroll functionality through apps.

Sales/CRM Integration

  • Dynamics GP: Complex using coding.
  • Business Central: Seamless using add-ons.

Financial Reporting

  • Dynamics GP: Uses Management Reporter and Jet Reports, leveraging account schedules and analysis views.
  • Business Central: Also supports Jet Reports and offers a dimensional chart of accounts.

AI Capability

  • Dynamics GP: No built-in AI.
  • Business Central: Includes built-in generative AI called Copilot.

In summary, while both solutions offer similar functionality, Business Central’s cloud-native design, automated updates, and AI capabilities make it a compelling choice for businesses transitioning to the cloud.

However, it’s important to consider your organization’s specific needs, budget, and growth plans when deciding between these two ERP solutions.

Let’s summarize the above comparison through this quick table:

Product/FeatureDynamics GPDynamics 365 Business Central
HostingOn-premises or IaaS (not included).Cloud (included). There is also an on-premises option.
Upgrades/Updates
GP 2019 October release and later — free service pack updates.
Earlier GP versions — manual upgrades.
Free and automated updates.
Power BI IntegrationYesYes
BudgetingSetup and import Excel-based budgets. Advanced capabilities through ISVs.Create multiple budgets for financials, revisions, analysis, and dimensional reporting.
Payroll (US & Canada)Yes Yes (Using AppSource)
Dynamics 365 Sales/CRM IntegrationYes (requires significant effort)Yes (little effort)
Financial ReportingManagement Reporter and Jet Reports.Leverages account schedules and analysis views. Can also use Jet Reports.
Purchase OrdersPurchase Orders Requisitions, PO creation, separate inventory receipt, and 3-way PO invoice matching.PO creation, separate inventory receipt, and 3-way PO invoice matching. Does not have requisitions.
AI CapabilityNoBuilt-in generative AI with Copilot.

Dynamics GP and Business Central are similar in several aspects, particularly in their core functionalities that cater to business management needs. Here are some of the key similarities:

  • SmartLists and List Pages: Both platforms offer features that allow users to add, remove, or move columns around to customize views. In Microsoft Dynamics GP, this is known as SmartLists, while in Business Central, it’s referred to as List Pages.
  • Sales Order Processing: Dynamics GP uses Sales Order Processing for entering and printing quotes, orders, invoices, back orders, and returns. Dynamics 365 Business Central has Sales Documents that serve a similar purpose, enabling the progression from a quote to an order and then to an invoice.
  • Purchase Order Processing: Both systems allow for the entry and posting of receipts, matching shipments to invoices, and applying landed costs to items. Dynamics GP can accrue based on a shipment regardless of the item type, whereas Dynamics Business Central offers the option to accrue or not to accrue a shipment receipt.
  • Fixed Assets: The Fixed Asset module in Dynamics GP allows for data import from the Purchasing module and attachment to fixed assets. Microsoft Dynamics Business Central also supports multiple depreciation books and various depreciation methods, including custom methods.
  • Financial Reports: Both Dynamics GP and D365 Business Central come with built-in financial reporting tools. Dynamics GP has a Management Reporter, which uses rows, columns, and trees, while Business Central has a tool called Financial Reports.
  • Fiscal Period Control: In Dynamics GP, Fiscal Period Control can be used to close sales and purchasing for a certain month while keeping the General Ledger open. Business Central offers custom accounting periods and Deferral Postings.

Additionally, both platforms support functionalities like budgeting, reporting, general ledger account structure segmentation, fixed asset management, e-banking, manufacturing/assembly, inter-company processing, inventory tracking, project accounts/jobs, multiple currencies, and the ability to manage multiple companies.

These similarities make both Microsoft Dynamics GP and Business Central robust solutions for businesses looking to streamline their operations and financial management.

However, it’s important to note that there may be differences in licensing, hosting, extensions, and updates/upgrades between the two.

Is It Important to Migrate from Dynamics GP to Business Central?

Again, it depends on your business requirements. Moving to a more advanced system has its own benefits like competitive advantage due to higher operational efficiency, but if you don’t feel there is a need to migrate, you can stay with Dynamics GP.

Get in touch with us to learn more about the benefits of GP to BC migration. Book a Free Consultation Now!

However, comparatively, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central is a futuristic and comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution that offers a wide range of benefits, including its lower costs, enhanced security & privacy, seamless integration, customization, out-of-the-box dashboard, and more.

Besides, Business Central gets an edge due to its AI capabilities which significantly enhance overall productivity. So, if you are looking to improve your productivity, scalability, and optimize the entire operation while embracing digital transformation, then Dynamics 365 Business Central is the ideal solution for you.

The decision is yours whether you want to upgrade to a newer GP version or fully migrate to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

To clear your doubts, you can test some Business Central modules for a certain period before taking a leap into a full-fledged migration.

Why Choose Dynamics Square for GP Support or Migration to D365 Business Central?

At Dynamics Square, we have a pool of experts who specialize in both ERP solutions—Dynamics GP and Business Central. Being in the market for more than a decade now, Dynamics Square is a reputable Dynamics 365 implementation partner that can successfully conduct both Dynamics GP upgrades and migration to Business Central.

Feel free to contact us for any assistance related to Dynamics GP or Business Central Implementation. Call us at +1 281 899 0865 or simply write us an email at arish.siddiqui@dynamicssquare.com.

Vivek Gururani

Vivek is a Digital marketing expert at Dynamics Square, specializing in crafting compelling content on advanced tech topics such as ERP, CRM, cloud computing, AI, ML, BI and more. His profound passion for the digital landscape has led him to explore and master diverse fields including SEO, SEM, content strategy, and data-driven marketing.

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