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What is the Difference between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central?

When comparing Dynamics NAV to Business Central, you must be aware of the substantial functional upgrades and new capabilities of Dynamics 365 Business Central. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics NAV that offers several notable improvements. In this blog, we are going to uncover some major differences between Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based ERP solution designed for small and mid-sized businesses to automate finance, sales, operations, and customer service in order to streamline business processes, make better decisions, and improve customer interactions. Many Fortune 500 companies are shifting from NAV to Business Central to grab the benefits of the updated features and capabilities that Dynamics 365 Business Central has to offer.

As per enlyft.com, 40% of Dynamics 365 Business Central customers are in the USA, 12% are in United Kingdom and 6% are in Canada. Of all the customers, 41% are small businesses, 44% are medium-sized businesses, and 14% are large companies.

Let’s dive deeper into Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Microsoft Dynamics NAV. 

There are a few key differences between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Business Central. Some of them are mentioned below:

Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based ERP solution, while Dynamics NAV is an on-premise ERP solution.

With Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can access your data and applications anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

D365 Business Central includes a comprehensive set of features and functionality, while Dynamics NAV requires some customization and third-party add-ons to achieve the same level of functionality.

Business Central is licensed on a per-user basis, while Dynamics NAV is licensed on a per-server basis. With Business Central, you only need to pay for the users who will be using the system, while with Dynamics NAV, you need to pay for the server regardless of how many users are accessing the system.

However, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central have many similarities, but there are many differences too that make many users move from NAV to Business Central:

User Interface

The most significant difference is the user interface. Business Central is designed for cloud-based ERP solutions and is very easy to navigate, giving more productivity. AL language code is used in the new Business Central interface, whereas C/AL (Client Application Language) is used in Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

The use of AL language code in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central offers more customization and helps manage, upgrade, and make extensions.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central includes all the applications, such as office 365 products (Outlook and Excel) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales (CRM). It prevents silos and improves productivity by making operations automated. No complex coding is required to create powerful workflows and integrations by end-users.

Hosting

The primary goal of introducing Microsoft Business Central was to deliver Dynamics NAV capabilities to the cloud. Cloud hosting makes extensions and upgrades much easier to carry out. It eliminates the need to invest in and manage your own in-house servers, enabling you to add/remove capacity with the single click. Better accessibility, low risk of data loss, and better security are the primary benefits of SaaS solutions.

Upgrades

Bi-annual release cadence for significant upgrades happens automatically to save the systems from being outdated. Unlike Microsoft Dynamics NAV, due to the enhancements, businesses always use an optimized version of Business Central. If you are concerned about an update, it can be delayed for 90 days but be aware that updates improve security and user experience. This feature makes users move from NAV to Business Central.

User Licenses

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central uses the monthly subscription model and is available in either ‘Essentials’ or ‘Premium’. Users can benefit from usability across multiple devices, iOS, Android & PC, and Single Sign-On. The cloud-based ERP solution makes remote work convenient, making it very flexible and cost-effective for businesses. Whereas Dynamics NAV is available in Starter Pack & Extended Pack.

Moving from NAV to Business Central is becoming simple and cheap because Microsoft is giving licensing transition offers.

Top Dynamics 365 Business Central features and the differences

         BC                                    Microsoft Dynamics NAV         Microsoft Dynamics 365

Upgrades No Automatic 
Integrations Limited, Version Dependent Full (All Microsoft Products) 
Interface Desktop-based Modern, web-based responsive UI 
Objects (application elements: tables, pages, reports) Objects need to be purchased for customizations 49,999 objects are free to use on cloud 
Search Interface Basic, possibility of data duplication Advanced, with automatic categorization, smart search (search for misspellings or imprecise terms) 
Pricing Additional 16% on license cost $70 per user per month (Business Central Essential) 
Reporting Limited Power BI 
Deployment On-Premises Cloud (No need to maintain servers and backups) 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an excellent choice because it covers financial & supplies chain management, sales, warehouse management, etc. Please check the below-mentioned table to know the difference between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central. (Source – In 2022 release wave 1)

Feature Enabled for Public preview General availability 
Blocking deletion of G/L accounts Users, automatically Jan 4, 2022 Apr 1, 2022 
Auto-accept transactions for intercompany journals Users by admins, makers, or analysts Feb 4, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Payment reconciliation journal – Preview Posting enabled Users, automatically  Feb 15, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Allow the sell-to and bill-to customers to be different for jobs Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Bank Account Statement report Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Block VAT and General Posting Setups Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Change default company bank account on sales and service documents Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Check amounts for proposed payments and settlements (CZ) Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Check documents and journals in while you work Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Consolidate customer and vendor balances Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Finding documents and entries efficiently Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Fixed Quantity in product bills of materials Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Introducing Finance Charge Interest Rate – Czechia Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Log emails using a shared mailbox and Graph API Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Mail account scenarios for CZ Advance Payments (Czechia) Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Map to Dataverse option sets such as payment terms, freight terms, and shipping agents without code Users by admins, makers, or analysts  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
     More control over deferrals posting Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
New Accountant profile (Czechia) Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
New UI for entering demand forecasts to add support for variant code and other improvements Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Report selection for projects Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Set default dimensions on locations Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Support inventory pick and warehouse pick operations for jobs Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Create bank deposits Users by admins, makers, or analysts  Mar 7, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Standardizing the bank reconciliation process in North American versions Users by admins, makers, or analysts  Mar 7, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Two-digit year evaluates to 1950-2049 range Users, automatically  Apr 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Shopify connector Users by admins, makers, or analysts –  May 11, 2022 
Release and reopen multiple documents Users, automatically  Mar 1, 2022  Jun 7, 2022 
Improved and extensible Adjust Exchange Rates batch job Users by admins, makers, or analysts  Mar 1, 2022 Jul 2022 
Sync sales orders both ways in Business Central and Sales Users by admins, makers, or analysts  Jun 1, 2022 Jul 2022 
Feature Enabled for Public preview General availability 
Enhancements to Microsoft Teams integration Users, automatically –  Apr 1, 2022 
Outlook add-in – add email attachments to Business Central records Users, automatically  Feb 1, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Share a file through OneDrive Users, automatically  Mar 7, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
Outlook add-in popout window enhancements Users, automatically  Mar 9, 2022  Apr 1, 2022 
A single tile to go to Business Central Users, automatically – Jun 2022 

How to move from NAV to Business Central?

Most companies have been using Dynamics NAV for many years. Consequently, it may be a bit difficult to switch from NAV to Business Central upgrade. Still, it’ll be worth it if users are getting better usability and more functionality than the NAV solution.

Navision is a very old application with a complex code base that makes it difficult to migrate to modern platforms such as Business Central. The change is rather expensive, challenging, and time-consuming. But there are some steps that you need to take to improve over time.

Business Central is the replacement for NAV. It is a powerful, flexible application with ready-to-use features, whereas the old Navision needed to be customized. It is not free, but it is the fastest way to learn new technology and reduce the time to market. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central can be purchased from any genuine and approved Microsoft partner, like Dynamics Square, which is a gold partner of Microsoft.

We make use of the following steps during the move: 
Step 1: Evaluating your existing NAV solution 
Step 2: Test/Migration 
Step 3: Proper Training and testing 
Step 4: Initiating the migration properly
Step 5: Continue to provide ongoing support for your business.

The step-by-step process for the Business Central trial 

Would you like to try and assess Dynamics Business Central? Do you want a Business Central trial to make your business process easier?

This module gives data on the most proficient method to set up a free Business Central trial. Furthermore, this module clarifies how to make your Business Central account, utilize a demo database, and begin a Business Central trial with your information.

  • Visit the site. Choose finance and operations. Then select the Try for free button on the Dynamics 365 Business Central card.
  • Enter the email address and other details

The Business Central trial takes a few minutes to load, and you can start using the app. To bring you through the steps Get Started checklist is used to prepare for the business.

Conclusion

We understand that it is confusing when trying to determine which business management software suits your needs. In order to help you decide, we have laid out the differences between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central. If you want to know more about the upgrading process, schedule a call with one of our Dynamics 365 experts today.

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