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If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

  • 1.  If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 04, 2019 11:34 AM

    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 your add-on's might not done in BC15 yet so if you want to upgrade you have to go with a lesser version. This is still very true and is a show stopper to BC15 at least.
    • There are still quite a few bugs in BC15 that are being fixed all the time. But it is a very new version so there are a lot of issues like with any new version.  Though some could argue more issues than usual.
    • If you are a developer for a customer then it allows you to learn AL in a much less stressful environment as you are not 100% thrown into AL. Make sure though that you do your new mods in AL or at least make sure they will easily transfer to AL.
    • Finally you might not yet be comfortable with the web client. Certainly this can be debated but even with the great enhancements to the web client in BC15 (such as saved views and window splitting), it just doesn't feel as slick as the windows client.  It will take users a bit to become proficient in it.

    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:

    1. It will involve moving as much code as possible to events (which I started when upgrading to NAV 2016 and continued when upgrading to NAV 2018) and removing one really big mod that just won't work in AL. The number of "hooks" that have been added to BC14 is quite a bit more than previous versions so it makes moving code to events easier. 
    2. If you find you just can't move your mods to AL without a hook (publisher event) in a certain place, you can absolutely make a request to Microsoft and they will consider it. Totally not joking, this is real and they are taking this seriously.  Then by the time you are ready to move to a pure AL version that hook will be there for you to use.  When I upgraded to NAV 2018 I was able to get 6 publishers added and plan to go through the same process when upgrading to BC14.
    3. We have already moved 99% of our base page (such as Customer Card and Sales Order) modifications to AL (remember we are already in a hybrid mode in NAV 2018) which is usually a good next step. We had about 300 base pages that were modified so this can take a while. I created a C/AL to AL converter to assist with this (and save time) so message me if you are interested.
    4. Also consider switching to AL for some of your add-on's. In our case we will most likely choose the ChargeLogic add-on to bring in an extension (meaning it is in AL).  This will leave 4 other add-on's for us to deal with later.
    5. We have our own integrations (Website, Solochain, many File imports and exports) and add-on's (Production Data Capture) that I will be looking at to make sure they will be AL ready but most likely won't touch until we upgrade to a pure AL version.

     

    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.

    A lot to think about here but mainly I just want people to know about the April 2020 deadline.  If I have stated this incorrectly or Microsoft has changed their mind on this then please make me aware as this could postpone our own upgrade to BC14.

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    Jason Wilder
    Senior Application Developer
    Stonewall Kitchen
    York ME
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  • 2.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 05, 2019 06:49 AM
    ​We're planning to do this exact thing - upgrade to BC14 next year, then review at our leisure our customisations to convert to extensions in the following year.

    It spreads out the cost of the upgrade across at least 2 years, and allows us to control the rate of changes users see.

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    Dianne Butterworth
    Business System Manager
    The King's Fund
    London
    United Kingdom
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  • 3.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    Posted Dec 05, 2019 09:44 AM

    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".



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    Donavan Lane
    Chairman
    Innovia Consulting
    Waupaca WI
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  • 4.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    Posted Dec 06, 2019 03:36 PM
    Correction on my post above!

    As long as the customer purchased the additional users or objects on their new license, the same users or objects can be added to their most previous license. This is only for users or objects purchased and does not apply to any users or objects that was obtained through another method, such as a license transfer.

    This applies only to their most previous version. For example, if a customer upgraded from NAV 2009 to Business Central On-Premise, then any users or objects they purchase on Business Central On-Premise can be added to NAV 2009 within the 180 day window. However, if a customer were to upgrade from NAV 2009 to NAV 2018 (prior to the release of Business Central On-Premise) and then to Business Central On-Premise, any users or objects they purchase on Business Central On-Premise could be added to NAV 2018 but not NAV 2009. This is because NAV 2009 would not be the most previous version in that scenario.

    As for an extension to the 180 day migration period, those may be granted on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed.

    Our original data regarding not adding users to a previous license came for a customer that wanted to transfer users from another license, hence it didn't apply the same way.  Yes, you can move users between on-Prem licenses as long as they are all on the name license - free of charge.




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    Donavan Lane
    Chairman
    Innovia Consulting
    Waupaca WI
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  • 5.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    Posted Dec 05, 2019 11:38 AM
    Great post!

    We are still on NAV2013 with zero appetite for an upgrade (or more realistically, a reimplementation as our business has changed considerably over the 20 years the company has run NAV). We are finding more bugginess with Windows 10 and this ancient build of the NAV2013 client, so we are actually in the midst of testing a technical upgrade to use the BC14 client on our 2013 codebase. So far, it's looking good as we've tested 99% of our functionality using the new client. Once we wrap up that last pesky 1%, we will move forward with the technical upgrade. I'll then be using the BC object developer, etc. We would then hope to do the remainder of the upgrade/reimplementation in 2021 if possible.

    The timeline you mention in your post is the reason we started rushing through this technical upgrade. We were told that the BC15 user experience would be entirely too slow for our user base and their expectations by our partner and we wanted to be sure we got "locked in" on a "newer version" that still had a Windows client.

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    Jason Luchka
    Senior Enterprise Applications Analyst
    siffron
    Twinsburg OH
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  • 6.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 07, 2019 09:35 AM
    I've seen and heard zero proof that what you heard is true... "We were told that the BC15 user experience would be entirely too slow for our user base". I would question any partner that tells you that.

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    Jon Long
    Director of ArcherPoint-Upgrades
    ArcherPoint Inc.
    GA
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  • 7.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 05, 2019 01:26 PM
    Well said Jason - for these very same reasons, we went live on version 14 - all modifications in extensions. It may be awhile before we upgrade again. We like the desktop client. The upgrade took 10 months and we have been struggling since our go live 9/23/19. At this rate, it will be a year or two before we have all the extensions fully stable and all the missing features added back in. Only then would I consider the next leap of faith - the web browser only client. By then maybe it will be as good as the desk top client.

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    Gregory Alford
    Director of Technical Resources
    Tri Star Metals LLC
    Carol Stream IL
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  • 8.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 05, 2019 02:21 PM
    ​Jason, very insightful post, as always!

    Would this be the place to get BC14 with the latest CU?
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4501292/released-cumulative-updates-for-microsoft-dynamics-365-business

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    Samuel Champoux
    IT Director
    Drummondville QC Canada
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  • 9.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 05, 2019 05:00 PM
    Samuel, I think this might be the actual download to one of the latest cumulative updates:
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=100443

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    Jason Wilder
    Senior Application Developer
    Stonewall Kitchen
    York ME
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  • 10.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 06, 2019 04:24 PM
    It's how licences have always worked. My advice: camp out in BC 14 until you are extension ready. Roll out small, bullet proof releases frequently. Getting current is a journey, not a one time project. MS will support BC 14 until 2023 as you can see below.
    BC Path


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    Jon Long
    Director of ArcherPoint-Upgrades
    ArcherPoint Inc.
    GA
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  • 11.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    Posted Dec 09, 2019 12:55 PM
    Jason,

    My understanding is that you may not be able to purchase a New BC 14 License after April 2020, but you should be able to upgrade from earlier versions of NAV to BC 14 through October 2020.

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    Darren Atkins
    Strategic Account Manager
    Advanced Business Systems, LLC
    Metairie LA
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  • 12.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 10, 2019 05:42 AM
    Good Morning,
    I'm trying to follow this upgrade information.  I read that BC15 had a few bugs.  Can someone explain what type of bugs?   We do have a lot of customization in our system.  And we are looking to upgrade next year so just trying to get the whole picture.

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    Robin Mitschke
    Manufacturing ERP Manager
    PECKHAM, INC
    LANSING MI
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  • 13.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 10, 2019 09:00 AM
    Well Robin, every release has bugs. My biggest complaint is that AL is still evolving. The developers had to do a lot of stupid developer tricks to replicate what we had in NAV. Even now we are struggling after 2 1/2 months. My best guess is that it will take a year to get everything back to normal. Let's face it, AL is the future. The bad news it is going to be a learning curve for the developers and Microsoft.

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    Gregory Alford
    Director of Technical Resources
    Tri Star Metals LLC
    Carol Stream IL
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  • 14.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 10, 2019 09:56 AM
    This should clarify any doubts on this subject:

    A BC15 license will work on a BC14 platform running BC13,14 or 15 application. In BC14 platform, with a BC 15 license, Object Designer works as expected, i.e., you can develop in C/AL. This is based on fact, not an answer from MS. We've tried it with an actual license.

    I'm going out on a limb to assume that BC16, 17 etc.. will also be compatible with BC14 platform, but, MS will not commit to a definitive answer anytime soon. I'm hoping this will be the case as BC14 is supported by MS through Fall 2023.

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    Jon Long
    Director of ArcherPoint-Upgrades
    ArcherPoint Inc.
    GA
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  • 15.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    Posted Dec 12, 2019 03:03 PM
      |   view attached

    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!   



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    Donavan Lane
    Chairman
    Innovia Consulting
    Waupaca WI
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    Conference-BCNAVUG_200x200


  • 16.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 13, 2019 10:27 AM

    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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    Devora Locke
    Shin-Etsu MicroSi, Inc
    Phoenix AZ
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  • 17.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    Posted Dec 13, 2019 01:44 PM
    The drop dead date to order the Business Central upgrade is October, 2020.  (In order to get the V14 license downloaded) The actual day in October is not known yet.   Its usually a free order, as the only cost would be any variation in your maintenance proration credit.

    Why the timing is so important is you only get 6 months to add/change your old license.  So that really only gives you 6 months to get upgraded and develop all of your customization in the new version.   Sometimes customers need more time and you can request a 6 month extension.

    Ask any questions - we're happy to help with any licensing understanding.

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    Donavan Lane
    Chairman
    Innovia Consulting
    Waupaca WI
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  • 18.  RE: If you are thinking of upgrading to BC14, think fast!

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 17, 2019 02:05 PM
    Arriving fashionably late to the party... 

    Per this roadmap that Microsoft shared at Directions EMEA in October (and if I recall correctly, I got this slide from the official BC Twitter handle or the Directions EMEA twitter handle), BC 14 remains available for new sales as well as upgrades through October 2020.

    Most of the discussion here has focused on its availability for upgrading customers, so I wanted to clarify the "remains available to sell until October 2020" part.

    -AJ


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    AJ Ansari
    COO
    DSWi
    Sugar Land TX
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