What if…

Sometimes I can be a bit emotional when it comes to changes in the software product I work with on a daily bases. An example of that was my previous blog that I took offline in order to do some editing making it less about emotion and more about facts.

The emotion is probably justified for a few reasons of which most the fact that Navision, NAV, Business Central (I stopped caring about the name) provides a living for me and my family but it’s more than that.

Around our product there is a community that stands out from almost any other community I’ve seen. We have a large number of events that are not organised by Microsoft but by partners, customers or in one case even by one single guy. Not because they make money doing it, but because they think it’s nessesairy.

What I’ve seen is that even if the product changes and evolves in complexity the people around it don’t stop loving it. Sometimes Microsoft makes a decision around the product that could have been done differently but then we always have the community steering them back. It has happend so many times that I lost count.

When I read the comments to my blog it looks as if a majority agrees that working in C/Side is faster than working in Visual Studio Code and we lost a great deal of simplicity. I know that there are also many who disagree with this statement.

One community that I’ve experienced to be even more passionate about their product is the Great Plains community. When I statet that in my opinion Business Central is replacing the GP product I did not got love and hugs.

The fact is though that I’m a bit jealous of the Great Plains people and sometimes I wished that instead of NAV, GP was the platform of choice to move to the cloud.

Why, you might think. Wel, because Microsoft is still maintaining GP, adding new features and keeping it compatible with modern versions of Windows. But the software is not overhauled like NAV.

Imagine that for the next decade or more we could work wiith C/Side and sell new licenses. Including to be able to use the windows client. Many would love that,

The fact that Business Central is based on NAV makes it easy for me to join the new community but it has cost us a great level of productivity,

It’s going to be very interesting to see what Microsoft will do after Wave II. I cannot wait to go to Vienna and see the roadmap.

Personally I think we can all use some slowing down after all the changes in the last few years. If the Microsoft slide for Wave III said “stabilise the product” I would stand up and cheer.

From a business value perspective integration scenario’s are the most important area for the future. Where Visual Studio Code and AL get all the attention I would spend my time learning the API and if I had a vertical solution I would redevelop it on another platform than AL.

The future of Business Central is international. BC is the only flexible SMB solution with localizations and translations all over the globe.


  1. Business Central Enthusiast says:

    Strangest thing is that we as a partners are helping Microsoft with taking our customers. We all are happy to move our customers to the MS cloud, and enthusiaticaly preparing our solutions as an Extensions. I don’t understand why we all sitting so silent.
    In the new reality we will don’t earn money on:
    – selling hardware,
    – maintenance works
    – upgrades
    – licenses
    – all small development like hotfixes
    – and so on…

    Right now – all of that money will go to the Microsoft, and that is OK in our opinion?

    Now you should have one Solution to sell it globally… sorry but it’s not true. Microsoft needs to have a solutions that will cover most profitable parts of the market. From point of view of ISV partners that could be quite good, becuase they are most intersted in a development. But there are some problem:
    – BC in cloud is not selling good, and you won’t earn moneys selling your solutions only throught app store
    – what if the rest of the partners, that arn’t ISV will start to creating concurent and cheaper solutions
    – did you try to sell your solution that will be more expensive than BC monthly price? Are you sure that your customer will not find concureant solution on the local market?
    – and so on…

    Thre is also one biggest problem in all of that – Business Central is not best ERP software on the market any more. Why? That was the only one system that give full access to the source code for the partners. Sadly – now it is same as SAP (for example), you can create module, but you can’t change standard behavior, or even fix Customer environment in time of waiting next Cumulative Update. Why Customer should choose Business Central insted of SAP? Slow interface? uncertain future? All things that made NAV unique are gone now.

    I thinkt that all partners should start talking about doubts. There are many of us, and now is the last chance to change something. I love new technology, new philosophy of software, but Microsoft is thinking only about their business, not about us.


  2. davmac1 says:

    I have seen a number of technology changes over the years in many products.
    C/AL is what people called in the 80s a 4GL language. Compared to the most popular old ERP language Cobol (a 3GL), the C/AL language is much simpler and faster to write.
    Parallel to all this we had the development of C to C++ and then c# as a dumb downed version of C++ (but quickly “dumbed” up).
    C# is harder to program than a 3GL – it is aided by Intellisense, but has a huge requirement for added property/method information that is included in most 3GLs and taken care of automatically for you in a 4GL. AL has followed the C# methodology – more features, more visibility, but a ton more code.
    The advantage of C/AL was the requirement to understand NAV ERP was the chief requirement, with the C/AL being secondary.
    AL, the requirement is to understand AL and all its infrastructure is the chief requirement with ERP understanding being secondary.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Almas says:

    >>One community that I’ve experienced to be even more passionate about their product is the Great Plains community. <<<

    Totally agree with you. GP community is passionate and love their product. And that's what I love about it. 🙂


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