Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
Dynamics 365 Business Central screenshot.png
Screenshot of the October 2018 release, North American edition
Initial releaseApril 2, 2018; 4 years ago (2018-04-02)
Stable release
Version 20 / April 2022; 4 months ago (2022-04)
PlatformPrimarily cloud-based
PredecessorMicrosoft Dynamics NAV, Navision
Available inMultilingual
TypeEnterprise resource planning
LicenseProprietary software

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system from Microsoft, part of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 product family.

The product is designed to assist with finance, manufacturing, customer relationship management, supply chains, analytics and electronic commerce operations of small to medium businesses (SMB).

Online & On-Premises Deployment[edit]

The Dynamics 365 Business Central system comes in both an online hosted (SaaS) version and an on-premises version for manual deployment and administration.

Some features, such as integration with other online Microsoft services, aren't available in the on-premises version and are only available in the online edition.[1]


As an international ERP system, Business Central is available with 24 official localizations to work with the local features and requirements of various countries. There are an additional 47 localizations provided by local partners.[2]

The system is compliant with various internal financial standards to meet local requirements, such as GDPR, IAS/IFRS and SOX.[3]

Editions & Licensing[edit]

There are two editions of Business Central, Essentials and Premium. Essentials covers Finance, Sales, Marketing, Purchasing, Inventory, Warehousing, and Project Management. Premium includes all of Essentials functionality plus Service Management and Manufacturing features.[4]

With the arrival of NAV 2013, Microsoft introduced a new licensing model that operated on a concurrent user basis. With this model, user licenses were of two types: Full User or a Limited User. The full user has access to the entire system, where as the limited user only has read access to the system and limited write access.[5]

From the launch of the Business Central rebrand, the licensing model changed to a per-seat license model with a 3x concurrent to seat multiplier added to any existing perpetual licences from previous Dynamics NAV versions. Customers with a Dynamics NAV Extended Pack license were moved to the Premium edition.


Business Central was first published as Dynamics NAV and Navision, which Microsoft acquired in 2002.


Navision originated at PC&C A/S (Personal Computing and Consulting), a company founded in Denmark in 1984. PC&C released its first accounting package, PCPlus, in 1985—a single-user application with basic accounting functionality. There followed in 1987 the first version of Navision,[6] a client/server-based accounting application that allowed multiple users to access the system simultaneously. The success of the product prompted the company to rename itself to Navision Software A/S in 1995.

The Navision product sold primarily in Denmark until 1990. From Navision version 3 the product was distributed in other European countries, including Germany and the United Kingdom.

In 1995 the first version of Navision based on Microsoft Windows 95 was released.

In 2000, Navision Software A/S merged with fellow Danish firm Damgaard A/S (founded 1983) to form NavisionDamgard A/S.[7] In 2001 the company changed its name to "Navision A/S".

On July 11, 2002 Microsoft bought Navision A/S to go with its previous acquisition of Great Plains Software. Navision became a new division at Microsoft, named Microsoft Business Solutions, which also handled Microsoft CRM.[8]

In 2003 Microsoft announced plans to develop an entirely new ERP system (Project Green). But it later decided to continue development of all ERP systems (Dynamics AX, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL). Microsoft launched all four ERP systems with the same new role-based user-interface, SQL-based reporting and analysis, SharePoint-based portal, Pocket PC-based mobile clients and integration with Microsoft Office.

Dynamics NAV[edit]

In September 2005, Microsoft re-branded the product and re-released it as Microsoft Dynamics NAV.[9]

In December 2008, Microsoft released Dynamics NAV 2009, which contains both the original "classic" client, as well as a new .NET Framework-based three-tier GUI called the RoleTailored Client (RTC).[10]

In first quarter of 2014 NAV reached 102,000 current customers.[11]

In 2016, Microsoft announced the creation of Dynamics 365 — a rebranding of the suite of Dynamics ERP and CRM products as a part of a new online-only offering.[12] As a part of this suite, the successor to NAV was codenamed "Madeira".[13]

Dynamics 365 Business Central[edit]

In September 2017 at the Directions conference, Microsoft announced the new codename "Tenerife" as the next generation of the Dynamics NAV product.[14] This replaced codename "Madeira".

On April 2, 2018, Business Central was released publicly[15][16] and plans for semi-annual releases were announced.[17]

Business Central introduced a new AL language for development and translated the codebase from Dynamics NAV (C/AL). [18][19]

Dynamics SL, Dynamics GP, Dynamics C5[edit]

Several variants of the Dynamics brand have migration paths to Business Central with most having not had a new release since 2018.[20][21] The later releases of the SL, GP, and C5 products adopted the Dynamics NAV Role-Tailored Client UI which helped pave the transition to the Business Central product.

Legacy Dynamics products and their support end dates[22]
Product Last Major Release Support Lifecycle End Date
Dynamics SL 2018 7/11/2028
Dynamics GP 2018 R4 (Nov 2021) 1/11/2028
Dynamics C5 2016 4/14/2026

History of Dynamics C5[edit]

Dynamics C5 was developed in Denmark as the successor to the DOS-based Concorde C4. The developing company Damgaard Data merged with Navision in 2001 which was subsequently acquired by Microsoft Microsoft in 2002 rebranding the solution from Navision C5 to Microsoft Dynamics C5.[23]

The product handles currently more than 70,000 installations in Denmark.

History of Dynamics SL[edit]

Microsoft Dynamics SL Connector

Based in Findlay, Ohio, Solomon's roots go back more than 35 years, when co-founders Gary Harpst, Jack Ridge and Vernon Strong started TLB, Inc. in 1980. TLB, Inc. stands for The Lord's Business. TLB was named to remind the founders why the business was started: to conduct the business according to biblical principles. TLB was later renamed Solomon Software, and then Microsoft Dynamics SL.[24]

History of Dynamics GP[edit]

The Dynamics GP product was originally developed by Great Plains Software, an independent company located in Fargo, North Dakota run by Doug Burgum. Dynamics Release 1.0 was released in February 1993.[25] It was one of the first accounting packages in the United States that was designed and written to be multi-user and to run under Windows as 32-bit software.[26] In late 2000, Microsoft announced the purchase of Great Plains Software.[27] This acquisition was completed in April 2001.

Dynamics GP is written in a language called Dexterity. Previous versions were compatible with Microsoft SQL Server, Pervasive PSQL, Btrieve, and earlier versions also used C-tree, although after the buyout all new versions switched entirely to Microsoft SQL Server databases.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Features not implemented in on-premises deployments - Business Central". Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  2. ^ "Country/region availability and supported languages - Business Central". Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  3. ^ "Application Compliance - Business Central". Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  4. ^ Corporation, Microsoft. "Business Central Pricing | Microsoft Dynamics 365". Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  5. ^ "License Types". MSDN. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  6. ^ "Microsoft Acquires Navision ERP Company for $1.4 Billion". Retrieved April 11, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Damgaard and Navision in large merger (Danish)". Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  8. ^ "It's Official: Microsoft buys Navision". Archived from the original on 2009-02-02.
  9. ^ "Microsoft Introduces Microsoft Dynamics Brand". Microsoft. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  10. ^ "What's New in Developing for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009". MSDN. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  11. ^ "How many companies use MS Dynamics". Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  12. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (July 6, 2016). "Microsoft readies combined CRM, ERP Dynamics 365 cloud bundle". ZDNet.
  13. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (April 13, 2016). "Microsoft takes wraps off its 'Madeira' SMB business-management service". ZDNet.
  14. ^ Gumpert, Jason (September 17, 2017). "With updated Dynamics 365 "Tenerife" release plan, Microsoft aims to unify NAV, cloud SMB ERP". MSDynamicsWorld.
  15. ^ "Dynamics 365 Business Central is now live!date=April 2, 2018". Microsoft.
  16. ^ "What is Dynamics 365 Business Central". Dynamics Square.
  17. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (July 6, 2018). "Microsoft's plan to put Dynamics 365 CRM/ERP on a twice-yearly update schedule". ZDNet.
  18. ^ "Business Central everywhere". September 12, 2018.
  19. ^ Demiliani, Stefano (October 25, 2018). "Mastering new methods for Dynamics 365 Business Central success".
  20. ^ "Using the C5 Data Migration Extension - Business Central". Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  21. ^ "Cloud Migration Extensions - Business Central". Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  22. ^ "Search Product and Services Lifecycle Information - Microsoft Lifecycle". Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  23. ^ "From Dynamics C5 to NAV". Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  24. ^ "Solomon Cloud Solutions, formerly Solomon Software, has a rich heritage dating back to 1980". Solomon Cloud Solutions.
  25. ^ "Great Plains Historical Timeline". Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  26. ^ " - CBSi". Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  27. ^ "Why Microsoft bought Great Plains Software - Page 1053825 - TechRepublic". Retrieved 29 December 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Brummel, Marije; Studebaker, David; Studebaker, Chris (2019). Programming Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Build customized business applications with the latest tools in Dynamics 365 Business Central. Packt Publishing. ISBN 978-1789137798.
  • Demiliani, Stefano; Tacconi, Duilio (2019). Mastering Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Discover extension development best practices, build advanced ERP integrations, and use DevOps tools. Packt Publishing. ISBN 978-1789951257.

External links[edit]