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Data Import Tools - Business Central 365

  • 1.  Data Import Tools - Business Central 365

    Posted 21 days ago
    Our organization is in the process of developing an on prem version of Business Central 365. This is a FRESH implementation - where we had the ability to introduce a number of features and fixes that weren't available in our 2016 NAV implementation. The developer that we are working with has indicated that there have been issues with regard to transfer of data - which are going to be significant. I am not familiar with the data port tools available in BC365 - but would assume that there would be some tool that I would be able to import excel data dump files, massage the data and import accordingly into the new framework. Does anyone have familiarity with these tools - or know of any sort of alternative that we might be able to utilize? Our developer is now suggesting that we upgrade all of our 2016 tables in order to allow for transfer of data.  This would result in a considerable additional cost - which my organization is reluctant to pay for. And we would not likely be able to make use of the new functionality which we had built in - with our prior year data. I was told that updates using SQL were out of the question - but I've done this on occasion in 2016 NAV without issue.

    Lastly - if anyone know of a utility, tool or routine to dump notes out of NAV 2016 - it would be much appreciated.

    If anyone has any feedback or suggestions it would be much appreciated.  Thanks in advance for any feedback that you may be able to provide.

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    Scott Tywoniuk
    ARTA
    Edmonton AB
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  • 2.  RE: Data Import Tools - Business Central 365

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 21 days ago
    Are you looking to transfer all of your historical transactions / ledger entries? If so, this is generally this is avoided as it does in fact take a considerable amount of time. To maintain the integrity of the system you simply cannot write to a ledger table directly. It has to be posted through a journal. Just like you wouldn't let your Accounts Payable staff write data directly to the Vendor Ledger or the General Ledger, you wouldn't want a developer doing that either. You certainly don't want to write that type of data using SQL and avoid all of the business logic in the system.

    Now, if you're just talking generic master data like Customers and Items, that's what Rapid Start / Configuration Packages are for. Just like you say, dump the data to Excel, massage it, bring it in. This does get a little hairy when you try to process a lot of records at a time (> 5000 in my past experience with it).

    In order to dump Notes out (assuming you mean Notifications) you do need a custom tool built for that. Notes are stored in what's known as a Blob field and that can't be used with Rapid Start.

    Obviously I don't have all of the detail, but I'm not sure why it would be such a large amount to upgrade in this case. It doesn't sound like a code merge would be necessary. You could apply the new base objects for BC and run the upgrade toolkit (this would wipe out all of your custom data). Then apply your customized BC objects and Rapid Start in any additional setup data for your new customizations. General rule of thumb, though, is if you want detailed historical data you upgrade.


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    Matt Traxinger
    NAV Developer
    ArcherPoint Inc.
    San Antonio TX
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  • 3.  RE: Data Import Tools - Business Central 365

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 21 days ago
    Hello,

    I'm with Matt on this. If you want to carry over historical data, it would be the upgrade path. Now if you want it as a reference as it is a fresh install, then the approach as Sebastjan suggested, is keeping 2016 or using Data Warehouse to retain or refer to historical when needed.

    Another option is to create a table(s) and page and set TableType to ExternalSQL. This would create a reference to 2016 without hopping out of NAV/BC but at this point, you're better off with the upgrade. :)

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics-nav/external-tables

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    Kristoffer Ruyeras
    Solutions Architect
    Tigunia
    Seattle, WA
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  • 4.  RE: Data Import Tools - Business Central 365

    Posted 20 days ago
    Thanks for the heads up on this Matt. I appreciate the feedback. We had wanted to bring everything over - but I'm starting to realize that this would be quite costly. Cost / Benefit will likely dictate referring back to the old system on occasion when required.

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    Scott Tywoniuk
    ARTA
    Edmonton AB
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  • 5.  RE: Data Import Tools - Business Central 365

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 20 days ago
    In certain situations, when bringing all the historical data over is not an option but the customer still wants to be able to run/compare sales etc. to prior years, I have brought over the general journal entries by month. Basically, you import your financial data for certain GL accounts to capture the sense of your revenue/cost/profit in prior years. More of a top-line/bottom-line review. One monthly entry for each historical year. That could be an option as that would spare you the headaches of the transactional data.

    ~Meenakshi

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    Meenakshi Singh
    Senior Manager, Business Applications
    Home Market Foods, Inc.
    Norwood MA
    NAVUG Programming Committee
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  • 6.  RE: Data Import Tools - Business Central 365

    Posted 21 days ago
    Scott,

    since this sounds like a fresh new re-implementation I would suggest to keep the old records in the OLD Database and start fresh in the new upgraded version. This would allow you to comb thru the master records like Customers, Vendors, Items, etc.
    If you need access to your historical transnational records you can still access the old database.
    Additionally, if your company is using a data modeling tool or a data warehouse you can add both the 2016 and BC databases as separate data streams and run reporting an all the data.

    Thank you

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    Sebastjan Leban
    Talking Rain Beverage Company
    Preston WA
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  • 7.  RE: Data Import Tools - Business Central 365

    Posted 20 days ago
    Thanks all for the feedback on this.

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    Scott Tywoniuk
    ARTA
    Edmonton AB
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  • 8.  RE: Data Import Tools - Business Central 365

    Posted 20 days ago
    Scott,

    I'm not sure I fully understand your scenario, but since you asked about tools that might help, SmartConnect by eOne Solutions in Fargo can perform much of what it appears you're asking and is worth checking into.

    Darren

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    Darren Atkins
    Account Manager
    Advanced Business Systems, LLC
    Metairie LA
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