Advantages of migrating from NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP is more than a change of the commercial name of the Microsoft ERP, previously known as Navision or NAV, in its different versions.

The significant technological evolution carried out in Business Central can lead companies and organizations to consider whether the time has come to face a migration to this latest version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP.

These are some of the reasons for deciding to carry out such a migration:

Comfort and simplicity of access to Dynamics 365 Business Central: the web client


Traditionally, user access to Navision / NAV has been carried out through a client called “classic,” which implied the execution of an installation program for said client in each workstation, and this fact generated two limiting dependencies:

  • The restrictive relationship between the versions of the operating system and those of the Navision / NAV executable led to equipment renewals when implementing a new version of the ERP or the need to work through virtual machines on computers with a more modern version of the operating system than those that support the Navision / NAV client.
  • The acquisition of new equipment or the incorporation of new users implied the dependence on internal (IT) or external ( Microsoft gold partner) personnel with knowledge of the executable installation procedure.

Access to Dynamics 365 Business Central is done through a web client or browser. This makes it possible to access the application from anywhere and at any time.

The management of the company in any device of the organization

Business Central’s responsive design makes it possible to work on the application on all Windows, Android, and iOS devices.

  • Desktop and laptop computers.
  • Tablets.
  • Smartphones.

Broad functional strength

In the evolution from Navision / NAV to Business Central, the principle of conservation of functionalities is fulfilled in the following ways:

  • Not only have existing functionalities in previous versions not been discontinued, but they have been improved (project management, product costs, etc.), or new ones have appeared (user workflows, employee payments, sales forecasts, etc. .).
  • The main tables of both masters and historical movements are maintained.
  • Maintaining the logic of the functional processes makes the learning curve for users onboarding from Navision/NAV to Business Central light.

Substantially improved information presentation

According to the role assigned to each one, management tools and informative presentations that contribute to agile decision-making are made available to users.

  • Document stacks and calculated data.
  • Custom lists and predefined charts.
  • Informative panels in the main lists of the application.

From the main lists available, both master tables (customers, products, suppliers, etc.) and documents (history of delivery notes sent, invoices issued, invoices received, etc.), information panels that directly provide immediate, additional data of the selected record.

superior user experience


Several Dynamics 365 Business Central features help provide a better user experience.

  • Intuitive work environment – ​​The web client provides users with a work environment to move and navigate efficiently, similar to other common applications and technology environments.
  • Dynamic searches in all the lists (teachers, documents, historical, etc.) by any visible field.
  • List customization, saving filters, and applied display conditions.
  • Multiple report output formats: Any ERP report can be previewed, sent to a printer, generated as a PDF, Excel, or Word file, or created print queues to manage the capacity of the company’s printers.

Functional adaptations in Business Central through extensions

When the company’s management requirements imply the need to program adaptations or customizations in Business Central to adjust its functionality to those requirements, this programming will be carried out as extensions, like small applications that add new functionalities or modify existing ones. Existing, and that have the following characteristics:

  • Customizing existing functionality through extensions avoids reprogramming standard application functionality.
  • An extension, and the features it contains, can be easily turned on or off as needed.
  • Scheduled extensions are compatible with new versions of Business Central that will appear.
  • The above features make migrations between Dynamics 365 Business Central versions quick and easy.

Improved integration with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Excel

The integration of Dynamics 365 Business Central with MS Outlook has been extended beyond the traditional synchronization of contacts and tasks.

  • The introduction of purchase invoices received by email is simplified by scanning the document and creating the corresponding purchase document in the ERP. And from Outlook, the fundamental data of the supplier is displayed in Business Central, including its balance and the history of purchases made.
  • From Outlook, the most significant customer information in Business Central is also displayed, and a sales document can be created from there, which considerably speeds up the work of the commercial department.

The improved integration with MS Excel gives users the ability to edit Business Central list records from the spreadsheet through a synchronization system, which has practical implications such as the following:

  • Insert or modify information in customer, supplier, or product fields from the spreadsheet.
  • Creation of accounting journal entries from Excel for registration in Business Central.

The Importance of Putting Your Central Business Migration in the Right Hands

As previously indicated, the ‘upgrades’ between versions of Dynamics 365 Business Central are extremely simple and fast, but the migration from a Navision / NAV version to Business Central is perceived by companies as a complex process and not exempt from difficulties. This leads to deferring a decision that provides the benefits explained.

It is important to keep in mind the activities that Business Central implementers must carry out to migrate successfully to Business Central.

  • Diagnosis of the current developments in the database, although it is not just a question of building a mere catalogue of adaptations of categorizing them to define the real dimension of the migration.
  1. Identify developments incorporated into Navision / NAV over time but obsolete or not currently used.
  2. Definition of those developments that Business Central includes in its standard functionality and, therefore, should not be migrated from Navision / NAV.
  3. Significant adaptations that follow the use and do not exist in the standard BC functionality are the developments that must be migrated in BC.
  • According to the new technology of Dynamics 365 Business Central, migration of adaptations as extensions.
  • Migration of historical data to the new version of the ERP.
  • User training in the new functionalities and tools available in Business Central.
  • Support users in the testing phase in a ‘pre-production’ environment to ensure their adaptation to the new version.
  • Support users in working effectively in the ‘production’ environment of Business Central.

At Dynamics Square, we have a specialized area in Dynamics 365 whose objective is to help companies carry out an orderly migration from Navision / NAV to Business Central, within the proposed deadlines, with adequately prepared users and fulfilling the objective of having the necessary information to more effective and agile decision making.

Bijoy Pal

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