One of the most sought after benefits of Microsoft Dynamics NAV was it’s ability to implement the system for multiple companies in one database. While this is still a strong benefit of Business Central online, the capacity of merging local functionalities has changed significantly. In this article we will explore differences when implementing Business Central for multiple foreign companies in on-premise/hosted vs. online models.
|Topic||Managed implementation (on premise or hosted)||Online|
|Licensing||Perpetual or subscription license||Subscription license|
|Updates/upgrade||Partner-managed (full influence on when and if to update/upgrade).||Microsoft-managed. Updates carried out twice a year.|
|Hotfixes||Easy to implement – direct access to an environment.||More difficult to implement, in some cases a new version of an App needs to be published to be able to apply a hotfix.|
|Multilocalization (possibility to include more than 1 country in a database)||YES (additional cost connected with object merge will apply)||NO|
|Estimated number of localizations||Hard to tell, but definitely more than online||30+|
|User efficiency||One user from Denmark/UK/US/Poland/other can perform operations on any other company in the same environment using just 1 user license.||Users need to switch between environments if they are to perform operations for multiple companies.|
|License cost||1 named user requires 1 license and can access one database (with multiple companies in it).||1 named user requires 1 license, but can access up to 3 production environments. Subject to change, as Microsoft is investigating this area.|
|Consolidation||Possibility to use standard Business Central tools AND external tools.||Possibility only to use external tools. This area|
|Introducing per tenant modifications||Done once in a single database.||Need to be carried out separately for each environment.|
|Upgradeability||More difficult and more costly when multiple localizations in one database.||More easy and straighforward.|
|Maintenance cost/effort||More complex and higher cost of maintenance.||Lower cost of maintenance.|
It’s clear that Microsoft with Business Central online is moving towards repeatability, ease of upgrades and higher reliability (due to less complex code composition). If other benefits are more valuable to you, including the ability to add multiple local functionality in one database, then managed solution (on-premise or hosted) should be your preferred choice.
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