NAV 2013 R2 | The Incident with removing FBK features is under investigation by the stewards

Since NAV 2013 R2 was released there has been a lot to do about removing the backup feature (fbk) from the classic client. Especially the part that allowed people to backup and restore a specific company.

Honestly I cannot recall when I last used this feature other than copying a company within a database. I would be curious to hear real business cases for this feature, especially end-user cases.

But I have some good news.

Just like an indicent in Formula 1, this incident is under investigation. Maybe it will be back.

Last Monday there was a MVP call with Microsoft about issues in NAV 2013 R2 and the feedback about this issue is that they realize that they’ve broken functionality that causes something that could be done before not to be possible anymore.

They are currently looking at if and how a similar feature could be reintroduced. We will be hearing from Microsoft within few weeks.

I’ll keep you updated via my (new) blog!



  1. David Machancik says:

    Hi Mark,
    This feature is very popular for refreshing test and development databases with new data – both at partners and at customers.
    The test and development databases have code changes not in live and this way we refresh the data only.
    It is quick and easy and requires very little active time, since you can start it and then do something else while it runs.

    Dave Machanick


    1. markbrummel says:

      Thanks Dave.

      What I usually do is have a SQL Script that creates a YESTERDAY database each day and then deploy the objects.

      The other way around so to speak


  2. Alexei Pavlov says:

    The real question is how to:
    1. backup a one company and restore is into new blank database
    2. create an “object only” (no company specific data) backup to restore into fresh (blank) database (useful in development when data cannot be taken into office for several reasons such as security)


    1. andwian says:

      1. For the purpose of Object backup, I usually Export All objects.
      But I do not know, which one is better, or even faster than the *.fbk one.
      2. I used to use *.fbk since it is 10x smaller in file size than SQL, but it takes very long time, and could not manage it to run automatically in the background (or I am missing something?). Since then, I setup a auto SQL Backup.


      1. Alexei Pavlov says:

        I’m using 110% of NAV features because I know them all very well.
        “no-data” FBK is much faster than “export all”.


      2. Andri Wianto says:

        Thanks, Alexei!


  3. Ivan says:

    1. You need to setup a company but you do not want users to see it or have access to it. You create a company in e.g. TestDB, you complete the setup and you test it. When everything ready you export the company and import it into LIVE environment.
    2. There is bug that can only be reproduced with the “correct” data. The SQL backup for some clients can be 20-30GB in size. If client is based in Dubai, Hong Kong, it would take ages to copy it over. Instead you take a backup of the company (zip it), restore it in your development environment and use it for debugging.
    3. Testing. Very often clients want to test something in a particular company. The database could be e.g. 200-300 GB, so SQL backup is also around 40 GB. Restoring something like that would take few hours and also quite a lot of disk space. Instead you take a company backup from e.g. LIVEDB and you import it into e.g. TESTdb. There you can do your experiments.
    4, Keep a backup for later. Sometimes users want to keep a backup of a company as a reference for later. So they export it as an FBK, and if they need it they can restore it on the Test server.
    The SQL backup can be 10 times the size of the size of the individual company backup.
    5. FBk can be used to import objects, instead of a FOB file. This is very handy, as you have all objects and company data in one file.
    6. Second backup. Call me paranoid, but there is never enough backups. I always create SQL and FBk backup, If something is wrong with SQL backup I still have FBK and another way around.
    7. it is easier to extract objects from an FBK then from an SQL backup. If I have an FBK it is straight forward to restore all objects. With SQL backup this is more complicated and needs more time and work.


  4. Andri Wianto says:

    1. For the purpose of Object backup, I usually Export All objects.
    But I do not know, which one is better, or even faster than the *.fbk one.
    2. I used to use *.fbk since it is 10x smaller in file size than SQL, but it takes very long time, and could not manage it to run automatically in the background (or I am missing something?). Since then, I setup a auto SQL Backup.


  5. Tom Hedegaard says:

    Hi Mark,
    It would be very nice to have a similar feature introduced in 2013 R2 !
    I am also missing the feature “database / test”, which appears to be gone with 2013 R2.
    Do you by chance know something about that ?


  6. Margot says:

    Consultants are using it a lot during the implementaion of NAV, to create quikly a new Test company, Or when you have 10 company ‘s in live and you only want to make a back up of one company and restore it in the Test. To me as a consultant it is very usefull.


  7. Mikkel says:

    Any news on this, will FBK be back ?


    1. markbrummel says:

      Yes it will be back, question is when. There has not been any schedule communicated.

      What I know is that crete will have it and it should be downgraded to 2013R2.


      1. Mikkel says:

        That’s good news – thanks for the reply.
        Have a nice weekend.



    2. Alexei Pavlov says:

      Usually MS never fix their UI/design/vision faults ))


  8. Dave Machanick says:

    Hey Mark,
    Do you think it is possible they hate us?
    I don’t understand why they want to make such drastic changes without getting feedback from the channel.
    Marketing is trying to push NAV into smaller businesses where the databases are smaller and backup and restore company is very practical for working with them.


    1. markbrummel says:


      That market is multi tenancy and they can backup and restore via SQL.

      I gave the feedback when they told me it would be discontinued. Seems like the mistjudged the importance.

      Truth is, MSFT is looking for a new kind of partners that bring them what they want. Repeateability.


      1. David Machancik says:

        I heard the message too at Directions.
        But do they want to get rid of the old partners?
        Microsoft’s original goal was to turn MBS into a 10 billion a year business with a 50% market share, and of course, we are far short of that.
        If they want to reach it, they will need to dump the partner channel and go mass distribution like their classic products – Windows, servers, and Office, and make all the development tools affordable to anyone.
        Tweaking the 80s and 90s marketing model will not cut it.

        Of course, before they do that, they should take a look at what a former Apple marketing genius did to JC Penneys – drove off the old customers to attract the new customers he wanted. Only the first part worked! So now he is gone, and JC Penneys is trying to recover.

        Maybe this new strategy will work, but better not burn your old base in case it does not.


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