First published: 14/03/18

Last updated: 02/10/18

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is Microsoft’s newest SMB ERP offering, becoming generally available in 19 countries across the globe as of October 2018. At the time, it acted as a new name for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition and the official name of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” project. Since then, Business Central has brought full NAV functionality to a SaaS environment and sits as the future of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV roadmap, offering cloud, on-premises and hybrid deployment options as part of the wider Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution offering.

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central brings the full power of Microsoft Dynamics NAV to the cloud. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central user interface Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based, all-in-one business management solution which enables customers to upgrade from their entry-level accounting software or legacy ERP system to one single, comprehensive solution to manage finances, operations, sales and customer service. Helping organisations streamline their processes, improve customer relations and enable growth through:

  • Business without silos—connecting businesses and boosting efficiency with automated tasks and workflows, all within the familiar Microsoft interface of applications such as Word, Outlook and Excel.
  • Actionable insights—achieving more and gaining a complete view of the business with connected data, business analytics and guidance delivered by Microsoft’s leading intelligent technologies.
  • Solutions built to evolve—get started quickly, growing and adapting in real time with a flexible platform that makes it easy to extend beyond Business Central based on evolving business needs.

In October 2018, Microsoft introduced a variety of updates which enhance the product even further.

Refreshed Desktop Experience

One of the most noticeable changes when using Business Central is the refreshed desktop experience. The new UI helps users accelerate their productivity, with an improved layout which maximises screen space, allowing for easier navigation throughout the entire application. The back button is prominently displayed in the top left of the window with dynamic system commands occupying the middle section. Screenshot of the updated user interface in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Available Everywhere

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is now available for on-premises, hybrid and cloud deployments. Users can connect to Business Central via the Universal Windows App, a web-based client, or mobile and tablet apps available for iOS, Android and Windows devices. All available methods to connect to Business Central

Tell Me

The Tell Me feature is an evolution of the capability to search for pages or reports, helping users find what they need more quickly and with fewer clicks. The window now also includes actions from the current page which can be immediately activated as well as online help content.

Filtering

A new filtering pane is available on the side of pages where lists represent the primary content, such as worksheets. This functionality allows you to easily apply multiple predefined or custom filters to your lists, which will be retained as you navigate across multiple pages. Filtering capabilities which have been added to Business Central

Copy & Paste rows

This new feature improves efficiency when working with data, allowing users to copy and paste rows into the same list or similar lists within Business Central. Alternatively, users can copy and paste rows from Business Central into Microsoft Excel or, vice-versa, copying data from Excel and pasting it into Business Central.

Enhanced Power BI embedded experience

Enhanced functionality allows for a more seamless connection between Microsoft Power BI and Business Central. Improvements include automatic deployment of Power BI reports in Business Central from the moment you first sign in. Without ever leaving Business Central, reports can also be customised and managed, including filtering, slicing and drilling through the data.

Changing permission sets

Every business works differently and the roles within organisations have different responsibilities. In Dynamics 365 Business Central, Permission sets are customisable, allowing users to add, delete and modify them to match businesses requirements. Permission sets which can be changed in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Intelligent edge

Microsoft’s intelligent edge leverages solutions such as PowerApps, Power BI and Flow, as well as Machine Learning and AI to provide insight and actionable messages to help you run your business more efficiently. Diagram of Microsoft's Intelligent Edge

Where is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central available?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central was released for general availability (GA) as a SaaS solution on April 2nd 2018. On October 1st 2018, Business Central was released with on-premises and hybrid deployment options. Business Central is sold through Microsoft’s network of Cloud Solution Providers (including Mercurius IT) in 19 countries worldwide.

How much does Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central cost?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is available at two price points: Essentials and Premium. Licenses for Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials cost from £52.79 per user/month, whilst Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium costs £75.40 per user/month. All users in a tenancy must have the same license type, businesses are not able to mix and match Essentials and Premium licenses. It is also important to note that all Business Central licenses are named user licenses. This means that businesses must purchase a license for each user they wish to access the software. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials includes the following functionality:

  • Financial Management—general ledger, workflows and audit trails, bank management, budgets, deferrals, bank reconciliation, dimensions, fixed assets and currencies.
  • Customer Relational Management—contacts, campaigns, opportunity management and built-in integration with Dynamics 365 for Sales.
  • Supply Chain Management—sales order management, basic receivables, purchase order management, locations, item transfers, and basic warehousing.
  • Human Resources—employees and expense management.
  • Project Management—resources, estimates, jobs and time sheets.
  • Other—multiple languages, reason codes, extended text, Intrastat reporting, scheduled tasks and Outlook integration.

This emulates the functionality of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 Starter Pack. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium will include the above functionality, plus:

  • Service Order Management—service orders, service price management, service item management, service contract management, planning and dispatching.
  • Manufacturing—production orders, version management, agile manufacturing, basic supply planning, demand forecasting, capacity planning, machine centres and finite loading.

This emulates the functionality of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 Extended Pack. Team Member licenses will be available at £6 per user/month and will allow users to:

  • Read all tables across the application
  • Approve workflow instances
  • Edit purchase and sales quotes
  • Edit timesheets and personal information
  • Update existing financial entries

For a more detailed list of functionality, download our Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Capabilities Guide.

What’s next for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition customers?

Existing Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition customers should have been automatically upgraded to Dynamics 365 Business Central with access to new functionality and an all-new user interface. If your instance has not been automatically upgraded, please contact your Microsoft Partner for further guidance.

What is the future of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will continue in the place of Dynamics NAV in the Microsoft roadmap, with the name change providing more consistency across the suite of Dynamics 365 applications. New features are expected from 2019, with plans to connect to Business Central only via the web client by 2020, rather than the universal Windows app.

We hope this blog post has given some insight into the powerful ERP system that is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. If you are an existing Microsoft Dynamics customer, we’ve written a whole blog post on how you can make the most of your investment by upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Alternatively, please feel free to get in touch if you’re interested in deploying Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central in your business.