Business Central (BC) has been designed for small to mid-sized businesses. I’ve spoken to a few housing associations who are thinking about using the system so thought I’d have a deeper look into the product (it also supports the work I’m doing at charity).
What is it?
Business central is a substantial finance (ERP) system that sits within the Dynamics 365 eco system. It can be used to store stock info, invoicing, project management (so you can log project costs), all the ledgers, order processing and much more.
Like Dynamics 365 CE its cloud based, and Microsoft deliver 2 updates a year. You can set up roles so that users only see the financial detail they need along with an insights area that shows key detail around invoices/sales.
Cue cards help you identify what you should be focusing on and takes you through to the appropriate data (these screens can be amended by the user). Like D365 CE users can pull reports when required and export them to excel etc
It also plays nice with D365 CE with native integration. Here’s how BC and D365 Sales would look like out the box.
If they aren’t listed here you can go into the integration table mappings within the BC admin area to map missing entities. You can use the integration table to map tables (entities) between D365 and BC and set the direction of that integration so only the appropriate data gets pushed/pulled between the systems. You can also do this at Column (field). This prevents potentially sensitive data from going between the two applications.
Once integration has been set up you can also manually navigate from BC to D365
And from D365 to BC
Because it’s part of the Microsoft eco system it integrates with Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Platform and can surface data in Power Bi
If these don’t do what you need then you are able to extend the system by visiting the Microsoft App store and installing additional apps.
How do you set it up
Here’s the official Microsoft documentation – Deploy and configure Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central – Training | Microsoft Learn
Out of the box BC has a lot of functionality, generally based around business roles. Roles have been designed to surface specific data according to the needs of the user. Look at these first before developing others. I suspect that, being a Microsoft product, they’ll be pretty comprehensive.
As always its worth having a look at the free trial first – Business Central | Microsoft Dynamics 365
How much does it cost?
Starting with 2020 release wave 2, every new Business Central customer with a Business Central Premium or Essential subscription can use one production environment and three sandbox environments, at no extra charge.
However, this doesn’t include dataverse capacity. This can be bought separately so you can easily integrate with the rest of the power platform. If you already use D365 then you will have a Dataverse environment already.
Business Central Pricing | Microsoft Dynamics 365
Here are some useful resources I’ve used during this blog.
Business Central Learning Catalogue – Business Central | Microsoft Learn
Introduction to Business Central Demonstration
Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central by Azzure IT
Webinar – Introduction to Dynamics 365 Business Central
Dynamics 365 Business Central Integration with CRM (Sales)
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