Microsoft Dynamics NAV has been the core Enterprise Resource Planning application for many businesses for decades, having developed substantially since it began life as Navision back in the 1980s. This system is integral to the daily working of these businesses and so the end of mainstream support may come as a concern for many. When we discuss Dynamics 365 Business Central, this is just the latest name for the Dynamics NAV product you know and love.
It's worth noting that Microsoft have never provided functional fixes to individual installations of Dynamics NAV. You can't phone Microsoft and ask for a bug fix. However, TNP have always been on hand to support these kinds of requests (and always will be!) so you can get in touch today and discuss any issues you're currently experiencing. At some point in future, the Windows Operating System will be updated and the older versions of Navision and Dynamics NAV may simply not be able to run. At that point, a technical upgrade or a full upgrade would be the only option.
But don’t worry! However the Microsoft policy evolves, we support hundreds of customers today on older Classic versions of Dynamics NAV and Navision dating back from late 1990s, through to RTC versions and beyond. Our support is about helping you continue with your old version until you are ready to move to the latest version of Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Dynamics NAV support lifecycle
Before we look at the end of mainstream support for Dynamics NAV, we will explain and define the different lifecycle policies that Microsoft have for Dynamics NAV and Business Central.
It is important to understand the Dynamics NAV support cycle because this will indicate where the support for your product will be coming from, i.e. from Microsoft directly or from a partner like TNP. For compliance and security reasons, you may need to be on a supported version of Dynamics NAV because of industry standards and regulations. This also helps with cost management, long-term planning and making sure that the Dynamics NAV support lifecycle keeps you abreast of the changes being made to the product and how you can stay on a supported version.
The fixed lifecycle policy applies to those businesses with a licence for the first version of Navision through to (and including) Business Central version 14 (released at the end of 2018). This includes five years of mainstream support and additional years of extended support for the product. Continue reading on to find out more about mainstream support and what that includes. For Business Central versions 13 and 14 on-premise, see the support dates and releases here. You can read more from Microsoft about the fixed lifecycle policy here.
Now, the modern lifecycle policy for Business Central version 15 (released at the end of 2019) onwards consists of continuous support and service when your solution is hosted by Microsoft as software-as-a-service. This has no end date, as you're on a continuously upgraded platform, with bug fixes, security patches and support from Microsoft for as long as you continue to use the system and pay for your licence. If your Business Central is hosted on-premise, this does not apply. For Business Central version 15 onwards on-premise, see the support dates and releases here. You can read more from Microsoft about the modern lifecycle policy here.
Microsoft's continual investment into Dynamics 365 Business Central and the surrounding ecosystem of cloud-based applications, such as Power BI, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 and more, clearly states Microsoft's intended direction of travel. Business Central Online (Microsoft's software-as-a-service solution) offers modern features, frequent functional and developmental updates, and a cloud-first approach. It is the future of ERP as we know it. For Dynamics NAV users, however, transitioning to Business Central requires time, commitment and investment.
Staying up-to-date with the Dynamics NAV support lifecycle changes can keep you informed and make sure that business-as-usual activities can continue without interruption. Engaging with a partner like TNP can make this more straightforward, as we use our expertise to guide you towards whatever your end goal might be, whether that is upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central or simply being supported on your current version by a partner who knows the software inside and out.
What does the end of mainstream support mean for me?
Now that we've defined the change in lifecycle policy between Dynamics NAV and Business Central, let's understand what the end of mainstream support for Dynamics NAV means and how this affects you.
Mainstream support is typically provided by Microsoft for five years after the release of their product. Therefore, Dynamics NAV 2018 had a mainstream support lifecycle up until the beginning of 2023. For earlier versions of Dynamics NAV and Navision, this support had already ended. Mainstream support means that the solution would have received Microsoft ERP security updates, new functionality and other relevant updates to keep the solution running smoothly.
Dynamics NAV mainstream support coming to an end means that many customers may need to reassess their current position and plan for the future. Many partners are forcing their customers to upgrade and refusing to support the older versions of Navision and Dynamics NAV. This is not the only option - there are partners like TNP who will support you on any version, without forcing a costly upgrade.
Further to Dynamics NAV mainstream support is 'extended support'. This continues for an additional five years after mainstream support ends, but what does it include?
Extended support includes additional security patches that your system will receive after mainstream support ends. For Dynamics NAV 2018, this will continue until the beginning of 2028.
After the end of mainstream and extended support, your system will not receive the important updates it needs to remain healthy and secure. Microsoft encourage businesses to migrate from their older Dynamics NAV solution to Business Central when it is appropriate to them.
In this table, we detail the Dynamics NAV versions and the date at which mainstream and extended support end. If you'd like to ask our specialists any questions regarding the end of support, please do get in touch with us and we will assist you in any way we can!
|Dynamics NAV Version||When Does Mainstream Support End?||When Does Extended Support End?|
|Dynamics NAV 2013||01/09/2018||10/01/2023|
|Dynamics NAV 2013 R2||01/09/2018||10/01/2023|
|Dynamics NAV 2015||14/01/2020||14/01/2025|
|Dynamics NAV 2016||13/04/2021||14/04/2026|
|Dynamics NAV 2017||11/01/2022||11/01/2027|
|Dynamics NAV 2018||10/01/2023||11/01/2028|
|Business Central v13||10/01/2023||14/10/2025|
|Business Central v14||01/04/2024||14/10/2025|
We, at TNP, will support your system, no matter which version it is. We do, however, encourage you to make a plan to upgrade eventually to Dynamics 365 Business Central. This will mean you can bring your ERP onto a constantly upgradeable platform with our Evergreen solution, so that challenging and lengthy upgrading projects are a thing of the past. You will be compliant with international financial reporting standards, data privacy and has built in application security, which support several multi-factor authentication methods.
Make a plan for Business Central
Make a plan to get to Dynamics 365 Business Central. If your Dynamics NAV is no longer supported, you are potentially opening your system up to security flaws. It is also a great opportunity to get your business and your ERP into the cloud, where you will receive Microsoft's highest tier of security available, continuous monitoring of performance and adaptive adjustment of your server space to give you access to what you need.
Cloud-based ERP solutions are advancing rapidly and, by making a plan to do a Dynamics NAV upgrade, you will benefit from a continuously upgraded platform, Microsoft ERP security updates of a world-class standard and all of the additional features and functionality to boot!
Speak to our team today with any questions you might have, regarding your current Dynamics NAV solution or how to upgrade to Business Central. We'd love to hear from you!