Top 19 Dynamics Business Central Questions

By Rob Jolliffe | November 17, 2021
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Here at Sabre, we're often asked a number of different questions about Dynamics Business Central. Sometimes they're well-educated questions coming from a customer who's spent a long time researching but is still not quite sure. Sometimes they're really basic questions (like our first one).

Here is our attempt to answer some questions with basic, simple replies.

So here are the top Business Central frequently asked questions.

Top Business Central FAQ

What is Microsoft Business Central?

Business Central is one of 2 ERP systems sold under the Microsoft Dynamics 365 brand. It is designed for small and medium businesses, which Microsoft classifies as under $250 Million in annual revenue. In reality, Business Central is probably best for businesses that range in the $5 - $50 million in sales. It has a full set of features and capabilities. Competitors that are similar include Netsuite, Acumatica, and Sage Intacct.

What is an ERP System?

An ERP system (like Business Central) is an integrated database-driven software that includes accounting, inventory management, purchasing, sales, manufacturing, project accounting, human resources, and other modules. All modules of an ERP system share common master records such as customers, contacts, vendors, general ledger, etc.

Is Dynamics Business Central Cloud Based?

Business Central is a native Cloud-Based ERP system. It was derived through a rewrite of the Dynamics NAV software, which offered web and .NET based clients but lacked key features of cloud software.

Can Business Central Run On-Premise?

Business Central is available as either a Cloud-Based and hosted solution from Microsoft, or alternatively as a self-hosted on-premise solution by taking advantage of the dual-use rights available to subscribers.

Are Business Central and NAV The Same Thing?

Business Central is technically the upgraded version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Business Central versions continue from the last official NAV Version (version 2018 was technically Dynamics NAV 11.0).

What is the Difference Between Dynamics 365 and Business Central?

Dynamics 365 is the brand while Business Central is the product that is part of that brand. Dynamics 365 is a broader group of products that includes Finance and Operations, Sales, Customer Service as well as Business Central.

What is Included in Business Central?

Business Central includes a full suite of modules. The full list is available on the Microsoft Business Central home page by downloading the Licensing Guide.

Is Dynamics 365 Business Central a Manufacturing ERP?

Business Central is a strong Manufacturing ERP when compared to most generic ERP systems in the market today. Business Central inherited the strong manufacturing capabilities of Dynamics NAV. It has been designed to be easily extended with apps that are available in an online app store called AppSource. When combined with AppSource apps, Business Central is a top-tier Manufacturing ERP. You can read more about this in Sabre's blog on Dynamics Business Central manufacturing features.

Is Business Central Hard to Learn?

Business Central is much harder to learn than basic accounting systems such as Quickbooks and Sage 50. This is primarily because it can do so much more than those systems. When used as a one-to-one replacement for a light accounting system, it is relatively easy to transition, but that's rarely the case.

Customers who aren't familiar with ERP systems using it more broadly would find it very difficult to learn on their own. A typical Business Central consultant requires about 2000 hours of training to be able to work on a project by themselves. Most customers hire consultants - referred to as Business Central partners - to help them learn and use the system correctly.

Is Business Central Hard to Use?

Although the system can be hard to learn and configure by yourself, it is not hard to use once it is properly set up and ready to go. A new employee at an existing Business Central user can learn the software and start using it in a day or less. Customers used to older ERP systems often say Dynamics Business Central is much easier to use than their previous product.

Is Dynamics 365 Field Service Integrated with Business Central

Business Central does not integrate with Dynamics 365 Field Service through any built-in or standard integrations. Service Management Business Central features are quite robust and with the addition of addon products like the ExpandIT field service solution as an excellent solution.

Is Dynamics Business Central a CRM?

Although Business Central has some CRM capabilities, it is not a CRM system. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales is a full CRM system - and integrates tightly with Business Central.

What is Microsoft Dynamics Business Central Used For?

Business Central is an ERP system, which means it is used for a number of different functions in your business. Functional roles that use Business Central as their primary software would include Purchasing and Procurement; Supply Chain; Warehouse staff; Manufacturing staff; Accounting; Sales and Marketing; Order Entry to name a few.

How Much Does it Cost to Implement Business Central?

Very simple implementations of the financial modules alone are marketed at about $5000 USD for an implementation. More complex implementations such as manufacturing range from $30,000 at the low end to nearly a million in very large situations.

Sabre publishes a price list and is very forthcoming with our costs, which range up to about $100,000 in fixed fees and somewhat more in variable costs.

Can I Mix Dynamics Business Central Premium and Essentials Users?

You must purchase the same type of full user license for all users of Business Central.

What Can a Business Central Team Member User Do?

A Dynamics Business Central Team Member user is very limited by comparison to the Full Users. Full users are essentially a read-only user license with a few additional features and capabilities.

The most important capability of a Team Member is to run custom applications. Team Members are given read and write access to as many as 15 custom tables in a session. Custom tables are defined as tables not created by Microsoft.

In addition, Microsoft allows Team Members to read and write from tables like Time Sheets, Sales Quotes, Contacts, etc.

Finally, Team Members can edit any record already created by a Full User. So a Team Member could update a customer's address, or change the date on a Sales Order.

How Much are Dynamics 365 Business Central Licenses?

Business Central license pricing (as of November 2021) ranged from $8 for a Team Member to $100 for a Premium Full user. USD Pricing can be found at Microsoft on the Business Central pricing page. Canadian pricing can be found on the Business Central Canadian pricing page.

Does Business Central Have Cost Accounting?

Business Central has a strong cost accounting module available in all versions. For customers looking for Job Costing for production, the Premium edition of Dynamics Business Central includes production management which has strong production costing capabilities.

Does Business Central Have an eCommerce Feature?

Business Central does not have a native eCommerce capability. There are numerous addon products that will connect Business Central with existing eCommerce solutions like wooCommerce and Shopify. There are also strong Dynamics-specific eCommerce solutions such as k-ecommerce and Sana eCommerce.

Conclusion

These are common questions that we are asked at Sabre about Dynamics Business Central. You can learn more on our Business Central landing page.

Rob Jolliffe

Robert has been a Dynamics 365 Business Central consultant since 2008 and a general manufacturing consultant for over 25 years. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto mechanical engineering program where he focused on production engineering. In addition to a deep knowledge of Manufacturing Robert holds a Microsoft Systems Engineer designation and is much less of an expert in Networking and IT infrastructure than he thinks, but is still pretty good. He also has applied his engineering skills to learning programming, and is warned frequently by the professional developers who work for him that he is pretty good, but don't write any code for customers without letting them check it.

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