Questions when moving to Business Central SaaS

When moving from on-premise NAV to Business Central SaaS, there are many questions that may come up in your internal meetings or as a result of discussions with your Microsoft partner.

To help with your SaaS transition, and provide you with as much information as possible, here are our frequently asked questions and answers:

Can I still have SaaS even though I don’t have Office 365?

You can undergo a SaaS transition without office 365, but we wouldn’t recommend it as the integration with Office 365 provides so many time-saving functional benefits when using Business Central.

For example, your users can process orders with clients and suppliers directly in Microsoft Outlook without having to open Business Central, benefiting from a type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) called cognitive reasoning. They can view insights, customer dashboards, create new clients and suppliers and send quotes and invoices all from the Outlook.

Can I still access the underlying SQL Database?

The short answer is no, but clients have the ability to download a database export file. Many countries have legal requirements that clients must be able to access their data files. Additionally, this provides a way for customers to download the file locally in order to import into a local database.

How often are the databases backed up?

Microsoft hosted databases are protected by automatic backups. Full database backups are carried out weekly by Microsoft. Differential database backups are done hourly, and transaction log backups are done every five minutes. Automatic backups are retained for 14 days.

As an administrator, you cannot access or manage these backups because they are managed automatically by Microsoft.

How much storage will I get on the Microsoft Azure Server?

The limit for the size of each environment’s data in Business Central is currently (April 2020) set to 80 GB. If a tenant exceeds this limit, Microsoft contacts your Business Central partner and will work with them to reduce the size of the data. The database size limit is something Microsoft is working hard to remove. Microsoft are aiming for most customers operate without requirement for additional storage by extending data storage.

Can I transfer over my historic data from NAV?

We recommend starting with opening balances. However, you can take over historic data but this could take up as much as 80 GB before you’ve started. It will also require more of your time when performing the data migration.

You need to ask yourself why you want to have historic transactional data in your new system. If it’s just for reporting, then it would be worth considering using Jet Reports and Power BI. This works better for comparing old and new data without having to have your historic data taking up valuable storage, and allowing you to start from fresh.

Is Business Central On-premise still available?

Yes it is, but you will not have access to many of the benefits of an SaaS transition. This includes AI and Insight, and automatic updates. This would mean you’ll need to upgrade again in the future to have access to the latest functionality, which is likely to cost more in the long run.

We hope you’ve found these SaaS transition questions useful, if however, you have a question that hasn’t been answered and require more SaaS help, please get in touch with us here at TVision.