Future of Dynamics 365 Business Central is componentized, open source, says Microsoft

November 29 2018

As Microsoft prepares to scale Dynamics 365 Business Central globally, the R&D team has expanded on its plans to transition the solution fully to the newer AL language with an extensions-based development model. The end goal is a componentized application that gives partners more customization options and a product they can make open source on GitHub.

In the future, Microsoft expects Business Central to be constructed entirely of extensions, other than the platform and a thin system application. Today, they start from Dynamics NAV's application framework, which has evolved over 25 years.

"That's a truly old codebase. It has been modified a lot of times," said Peter "Bugsy" Christensen, group engineering manager at Microsoft, onstage at the NAVTechDays conference last week in Belgium (recording available here).

Microsoft representatives have been forecasting this move to AL in recent months, such as at Directions North America and Directions EMEA 2018. Likewise, they had hinted at moving extensions to an open source model but had not previously publicly committed to that direction.

But at last week's developer event, they provided more specific details on the future state of Business Central's development model and application structure.

About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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