In a previous post, we talked about everything great that is involved in Dynamics 365 Business Central or, rather, why now is a great opportunity to move from your on-premise version of NAV. However, having the vision to make the move and making it happen are, of course, very different things.
What’s involved in a Business Central migration?
Until there is a direct data upgrade tool – which doesn’t currently exist – we’re treating all projects as re-implementations. We will have more information about this after the October release of the Business Apps suite. However, for the time being, we’re approaching migrations as re-implementations which presents a great opportunity to dig into your processes and data and re-engineer where necessary,
Recommended Migration Steps
Here is typically how we recommend breaking down which area you should tackle and migrate, in order.
If you’re only looking to migrate (and not make major changes to processes), a good starting point is to start with your customizations. Figure out what they are currently doing and whether or not they are possible to turn into extensions. Doing this will give you a good handle on the approach and how much you’re deviating from standard functionality.
To port customizations over to the new paradigm:
• Migrate the code to the new coding language (AL) using as tool such as TXT2AL
• Deploy to sandbox
• Partner performs initial smoke testing
• Client performs user acceptance testing (UAT)
• Export the file and import into the extensions in production instance
2. Master Data
All of your master data, such as your GL accounts, customers, vendors and items will need to be migrated. Ideally, you’ll want to go through a cleanup process beforehand. Once you’ve done this, the process includes:
• Exporting out of old system (i.e. with RapidStart)
• Bringing data into Business Central using either RapidStart or Assisted Setup
• Validating and apply data
• Configuring any new fields
3. Opening Balances
• Work out the required amount of history that you need to bring into the new system (e.g. a few months, YTD, etc).
• Determine how you want to treat any open documents
• Load in balances through batch loads. Typically, you would leverage batch journal entries or general journals.
4. Net-New Configurations (Optional)
Unless you’re coming from NAV 2018, you’ll probably be jumping a few versions. As a result, it’s likely that you will have net-new configurations, some of which are listed below. You may have to invest a little effort to set these up or you can call your Microsoft partner to do the set up or guide you.
• Setting up Word templates instead of RDLC layouts
• Set up approval or data validation workflows
• Configuring the employee ledger
• Set up automatic exchange rate updates
• Setting up user tasks
• Power BI
As mentioned in a previous post, it’s impossible not to sense great things on the horizon for this 30+ year old product and the growing excitement and promise that this evolution in the lifecycle of Microsoft Dynamics NAV brings.