WARNING – The Data Upgrade Elephant

Last Thursday I was at the QBShare event in Veghel, Holland. I’ve been attending these events ever since I joined ForNAV a few years back and since the audience is a bit different from my normal events (CEO vs. Developers) it took me a while to get to know people.

No matter who you talk to at these events, all that they have on their minds is moving their IP to Business Central and most are in the middle of that project, some with my help.

This is all great and it’s cool to see peoples growing entousiasm but at this event I raised a question that for me is very obvious but to my surprise it was not for others.

The reason for my question was this slide in the presentation from William van Voorthuijsen.

Once partners are ready putting their IP on AppSource the next step is onboarding customers. Naturally you will start with customers who are as current as possible.

These customers will want to migrate data, including transactions, to Business Central and in order to do that they first have to migrate their OnPrem NAV to BC15 with a more-of-less matching schema.


I hope that after following my blog nobody believes in the no-more-upgrade fairytales but this is a new chapter in this marketing bubble.

Right now, a customer on NAV2015 for example must first pay the partner for an upgrade OnPrem and every 6 months they wait the upgrade will get more expensive.

Remember that at the point of writing this blog, there is no direct upgrade path like we had in the old days where a customer could upgrade from Navision 2.01 to Navision 4SP3 without any issues. A friend of mine who does all of my upgrades even has his own tools that handles one-step datamigration from Navision 2.x to NAV2018 or Business Central Wave I.

The upgrade from Wave I to Wave II is tedious at best since C/Side is retired. Now everything has to be done in PowerShell and Microsoft even started promoting doing stuff directly on the SQL Database in order to speed up the process.

My recommendation to QBS, but also to Microsoft is to somehow make this process more affordable and guarantee that even if a customer wants to upgrade 5 years from now there is still a mechanism that allows doing that.

I expect that in the next years the SQL Schema of Business Central will undergo many changes which is expensive fort he technology that Microsoft uses fort he upgrade.

The good news is that Microsoft employs the smartest people in the world and they seem to have a subscription to my blog. Let’s see where this ends. I’ve already heard some rumours that this problem is under the attention of the teams and I hope this article helps leadership prioritise this issue.

There is an elephand in the room so big, that nobody seems to see it.


  1. davmac1 says:

    Talking about schemas – I would like to see Microsoft start using schematic names for company names and limit the company names to characters underscores and numbers
    This would become the company ID and the user friendly name would be used for display and reporting.
    No more sql tables starting with “this is the longest description I could come up with for a company name $


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