Some Micrsoft Dynamics end users/companies start wondering about the future for their ERP when they heard talking about Business Central and cloud services incompatibiliy with C/AL. Specially when they invested huge amount of money in tuning their ERP.
Extension technology is a great thing for Dynamics future and have plenty of long term benefits. But what about efforts that was put on previous versions who didn’t payback all theirs invests yet ?
Today an international group ask us what to do with their old core model as their planning new countries implementations within short delay and latest version (they’re growing very fast with+200% past 5 years).
– First thing that they should know: Business Central is just a rebranded Nav 2019. And that those Nav 2019 will be of course available in Cloud (extension only) but also on premise with C/AL capabilities. Microsoft plan to release Business Central on october’18 : https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/October18/dynamics365-business-central/
Business Central On premise is a good news for investments put on old project. But we have to keep in mind that Microsoft wish is to move everyone in extension and stop maintaining classic developments.
– Analyze existing developements to know what is easly convertable in extension and what is not.
First step is to retrieve the specific code, done comparing it with standard one in same build. Second step is to check what code can be easly moved through events and if standard methods called are set as external in Nav 2018/Business Central. (Thanks to Fabrice Fulconis r&d manager for this part)
In My case more than 80% of the content was easy fiting extension but some code was needed in sales/purchase/ledger post code unit with no event planned by Microsoft.
– Take a decision, when C/AL can’t be moved to AL you have two options
1. Asking/waiting new business central events or external methods to use
2. Rethink the developement and maybe the fonctional flow
Both may take a while that the company didn’t have (according to the volume of code that can’t be afford in extension). In my case we offer a compromise to the company so they could start implmentation quickly in Nav 2018 but keeping Business central and extension in mind.
Their core model development was made in <=2013 version that didn’t afford events functionalities. We offer to refactor all the core model with the “Clean Code” methodolgy and extract a maxium of specific code out of standard objects through events. This solution would 1. ease future localization and updates 2. reduce needed work to migrate to extension for mid term.
Bellow a webinar made by Mark Brummel MVP about clean code in Nav :
(I find out the technical dept idea very interesting)