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Dynamics NAV is now Dynamics 365 Business Central, revamped as modular solution

Last year, Microsoft announced that its Dynamics 365 Business Central system would be available on-premises as well as in the cloud. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution had previously been largely cloud-centric, while Dynamics NAV, in comparison, was more focused on on-site implementations.

For those unfamiliar with Dynamics NAV, it is an ERP product that helps businesses with various tasks, that include the processing of orders, inventory management, employee payroll handling, and more. Now, in a bid to transform the aforementioned service into a cloud solution, Microsoft has reintroduced Dynamics NAV as Dynamics 365 Business Central System Application.

The collection of modules

The aforementioned move has, in turn, required fundamental changes to be made to the way Business Central operates. With its previously employed monolithic approach, several issues came up, including its code customization model that was difficult to understand, document, extend, and maintain. Therefore, the core application has now been modularized to address these problems.

As such, it is being completely revamped with only business logic functionality being allowed to initially remain. As the interface to the main Business Central platform, this low-level helper code has been dubbed System Application. The modules present in the first release of this service can be observed in the image above.

Microsoft has noted that the new modules will be offering the following advantages:

  • They separate concerns and are functionally coherent​
  • They have stable, well documented APIs that are exposed through facades
  • They encapsulate complexity and hide implementation details
  • They have a small attack surface, which makes them easier to secure
  • They are faster to compile and publish, which supports a good developer experience
  • Their size and clear purpose allow for a code contribution model and focused design discussions
  • They are easier to performance test and monitor
  • They allow for individual versioning and effective upgrading

Interested parties can expect new modules to crop up regularly, and the latest updates can be noted in the relevant GitHub repository. More details regarding the architecture of System Application and the working of individual modules will be unveiled by Microsoft in the coming days.

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