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This post applies to NAV customers who have lots of mods. If you don't have a lot then you can probably ignore this. By the way, most NAV customers think they are the customer that has the most mods ever in the history of NAV. So if you consider yourself one of these people then read on.
Before I tell you how important it is that you think about upgrading to BC14 soon, let me explain the versions so it will make a little more sense. Here are the most recent versions:
NAV 2018 – Version 11, first version where you could run in hybrid mode (by "hybrid mode" I mean a mixture of both development environments (1. Object Designer, C/AL and 2. Visual Studio Code, AL. Some other terms that go along with AL are "Extensions" and "Apps") BC Version 12 released in April 2018 (first version in new licensing model of named users)
BC Version 13 released in October 2018
BC Version 14 – released in April 2019, last version that supports hybrid mode and last version that has the windows client (bummer).
BC Version 15 – released in October 2019, no more windows client or Object Designer or hybrid mode (yikes!)
Here's the big reveal: April 2020 will be the last month you can get a BC14 license! Simply put, if in May 2020 you decide to upgrade to BC14, too bad because you are too late. You will be forced to go to BC15 or higher. Microsoft only allows new licenses for one version back so when BC16 comes out in April 2020, no more new BC14 licenses (not to be confused with adding to an existing BC14 license which is fine).
So why is this bad? I mean, typically when you upgrade you want to upgrade to the latest version, right? You might want to reconsider if you are thinking this way. To get all your mods to BC15 in one fell swoop is not an easy task at all because there is no more C/AL (older development environment). Pretty serious about this last statement so let me say it in a different way: "It could be extremely difficult to move to BC15 all at once". Certainly my opinion is based on our mods so you will have to decide if this applies to you or not. The big win is that if you do decide to go with BC14 it gives you the flexibility to move your code from C/AL to AL at whatever pace you want (there are some limitations to this which I will not go over here). You would then have a good 3 years or so before BC14 falls out of mainstream support to do this.
Here are a few other reasons why upgrading to BC14 might not be such a bad thing:
Some of you might be thinking, "Why don't I get the BC14 license in March of 2020 and just not upgrade for a year or two". Such a good idea except as soon as you get any BC license (version 12 and higher) your NAV license is frozen forever. You can no longer buy add-on's, user licenses or objects on your NAV license (NAV 2018 or earlier). So unfortunately that is not an option for most of us.
We have had NAV for 20+ years and it would be too big of a project to go from NAV 2018 to BC15. We plan to start our upgrade to BC14 soon. These are things we are considering and you might want to as well:
Once we have upgrade to BC14 we have time to work on getting our mods "AL ready". My guess is we will be ready to upgrade to a pure AL version a few years after upgrading to BC14. By that time (if Microsoft sticks to their 2 versions per year strategy) we will start upgrading to what will most likely be BC21 (the year will be 2022). At that time I would expect the web client to be so amazing that our users will be dying to switch.
Jason Wilder – This post is another reason why you are a superstar and you have my nomination and vote for a NAVUG All-Star!
EVERY NAV CUSTOMER SHOULD CAREFULLY READ YOUR POST.
Your post was accurate according to the Microsoft lifecycle policy: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/business-central/dev-itpro/terms/lifecycle-policy-on-premises
One more important note: When your partner orders the upgrade to Business Central On-Prem, you will no longer be able to add any users, objects or ISV modules to your existing NAV Perpetual License.
Let that sink in a moment. Think about this.
It takes time to move your customizations and during that "Transition" time it is common for your business to change where you may need to add more users or functionality. You will not be able to add or change your NAV Perpetual License once your LMT Upgrade is ordered. That means you better convert all your customizations and go live really, really quick!
This new ruling above contradicts all previous POLICIES known as the "180 Day Rule", including the famous partner confidential only document, "Microsoft Dynamics Transition Policy: Product Line, Product Edition, and License Model"
According to our experience and an email from Microsoft Operations stated, "Business Central On-Premise does not include downgrade rights to NAV Perpetual, so once the customer upgrades, they cannot gain any further users or licensing on NAV Perpetual.
We are in talks with Microsoft to allow adding or changing objects to an existing NAV Perpetual license, but as of right now the answer is, "No".
Jason. Good news. Microsoft listened to your concerns and for all customers world-wide with BC On-Prem licenses - delayed the kill of V14 until October of 2020. You helped the entire NAV/BC community with this one. That gives everyone 6 more months to prepare.Way above and beyond an All-Star nomination ! You are truly a NAVUG Super Hero now!
But you still need to purchase the upgrade from NAV 2016 to BC 14 On-Prem before what date??
I'm not quite clear on that point and its an important issue for us that we can't seem to get a consensus on. Thanks!-d.
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