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Mastering new methods for Dynamics 365 Business Central success

by Stefano Demiliani
Chief Technical Officer & Solution Architect--EID NAVLAB,

Editor's Note: This article is adapted from a post Stefano wrote for Simplanova.

Microsoft’s SMB ERP roadmap is now clear, after it was made publicly available at Directions North America 2018. Here are a few takeaways:

  • Dynamics 365 Business Central is the successor to Dynamics NAV
  • Start forgetting CSIDE and C/AL. From the year 2020 VS Code and AL will be the only way to modify the application.
  • Move-on from the Windows Client and become familiar with the Web Client
  • Start thinking about moving your solutions to extensions

This is probably the last year with C/AL and CSIDE, which will mean big impacts for the NAV partner ecosystem. Microsoft has clearly indicated at its most recent public event that they are ready for the jump. The team showed a full Dynamics 365 Business Central solution for which the base application is an extension and only some system objects are still in CSIDE. For future Dynamics 365 Business Central releases you will have no more side by side development, but rather AL and extensions exclusively.

Microsoft and its communities of MVPs have started a large scale evangelism campaign aimed at helping customers to make the jump, but the process is still in its infancy.

Directions EMEA 2018: A must visit conference this year

Directions EMEA 2018 is coming up, from October 29 to 31. I recommend you make it to the Netherlands for the event, if possible.

Directions EMEA will highlight key topics that a "2.0 Microsoft ERP solution developer" should know about today, including:

  • AL development
  • Docker
  • Source control
  • Azure cloud ecosystem
  • Integration aspects (web services, APIs)
  • SaaS vs. on-premises considerations
  • CDS and Dynamics 365 family overview

Directions EMEA is a great opportunity to learn more about all these topics and to be prepared for the future. Here you will have opportunities to speak with Microsoft teams, to speak with MVPs and to share ideas and questions with the entire Microsoft Dynamics partner community in the EMEA region.

A modern development model

To be proficient with the modern development model, source control, test automation and continuous delivery and continuous deployment are all areas that you will have to master in the near future. When working with large AL projects in a team, you will soon discover problems on managing .al files and if you’re out of source control, you will have trouble for sure. In the upcoming Directions EMEA 2018 event there will be some sessions about this.

As a source control platform, Azure DevOps is preferable to GitHub, in part because it's more powerful if you work in a company team. But naturally,

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About Stefano Demiliani

Stefano Demiliani is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Business Solutions, a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) and a long-time expert on other Microsoft-related technologies.

He has a Master's degree in Computer Engineering from Politecnico of Turin. He works as a Chief Technical Officer and Solution Architect for EID NAVLAB (

His main activity is architecting and developing enterprise solutions based on the entire stack of Microsoft technologies (Microsoft Dynamics NAV/Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Azure cloud services and distributed .NET applications).

He works as a full-time NAV consultant (15+ years of international Microsoft Dynamics NAV projects) and he is available for architecting solutions based on Microsoft's ERP, as well as for NAV database tuning and optimization (performance and locking management) and for architecting cloud solutions and applications.

He's the author of various Microsoft-related books for Packt Publishing and he has one of the most visited blogs on Microsoft-related technologies (

His most recent books include: