Yaveon ProBatch (the best mid-market batch manufacturing solution) was originally released over 10 years ago on Microsoft Dynamics NAV. As most people have heard by now, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the successor to NAV. While Business Central is a Microsoft cloud-based solution, you do have the option to run it on-premise if that better suits your needs.
So, what does this mean for ProBatch users running on NAV? It means you need to start thinking about a NAV to Business Central transition plan. The good news is you do not have to do this immediately, the current versions of NAV and ProBatch that you use today are not going anywhere.
C/AL to AL
NAV application development in the old days (early 21st century…) was done with something called C/AL (Client/Server Application Language). While providing very powerful development capabilities and great for on-premise deployments, C/AL was not well suited for NAVs transition into a cloud-based ERP solution as you typically wound up making modifications to source code, which then made upgrades more complex.
In the new days (the twenties) application development for Business Central is done with something simply called AL (Application Language). AL development does not modify source code, everything is done in layers and the underlying code stays intact. This allows for Business Central in the cloud to receive constant upgrades from Microsoft. In fact, there are two major releases to Business Central every year, one in the spring and in the fall. Since AL development does not impede the upgrade process, you will always be running on a current version of Business Central. This really does mean no more time consuming and expensive upgrades!
ProBatch Business Central Development Status
There are over a dozen ProBatch apps (or modules using early 21st century terms) and each one must be re-written in AL. These apps include:
- Lot Management
- Quality Assurance
- Hazardous Substances Management
- Plant Data Acquisition
- Deliver Rating
- Research & Development
- Return Container Management
This is a significant effort. There are additional considerations for the cloud version of Business Central, which includes enhanced testing and documentation requirements. This effort is currently underway and is taking place in three phases. Target timelines are listed below but are subject to change:
- December 2020 – Conversion of all apps to work with the on-premise of Business Central.
- June 2021 – Availability of validation documentation for all apps.
- December 2021 – Availability of all apps through Microsoft AppSource for use with the public cloud version of Business Central
As you can see by the timelines, you have plenty of time to think about the benefits of Business Central vs NAV and to plan a migration strategy. The public cloud version of Business Central is by far the most popular as it allows you to eliminate all your on-premise server requirements and provides for automatic upgrades throughout the life of your subscription.
What Does an Actual Migration Look Like?
The upgrade process has several steps. Microsoft already has upgrade tools to do this and Yaveon is supplementing those tools with additional utilities to convert all the data added by the ProBatch apps.
The first step is to make sure you are on Business Central V14 and ProBatchV10. This is the last generation of Business Central (NAV) and ProBatch that utilize the C/AL version of the apps. You may or may not need to do this step depending on which version you are currently running.
Once you are on Business Central V14 and ProBatch V10 the steps include:
- Importing upgrade objects
- Removing legacy ProBatch objects
- Installing ProBatch migration apps and performing the data migration
- Upgrading to Business Central version 15 and installing the new ProBatch apps
The Yaveon migration apps are expected to be released by the end of 2020.
Yaveon ProBatch Migration to Business Central Conclusion
The take away from all of this is to consider whether you want to do everything at once, or if you want to do the first step (making sure you are on BC 14 / ProBatch 10), if needed, now, and the C/AL to AL step sometime in 2021 or even 2022.
If you would like to discuss your migration strategy reach out to us. This is what we do, and we are here to help!