Roadmap: Sana Commerce for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
A lot has changed for Microsoft Dynamics over the past year. Arno Ham, our Chief Product Officer, explains what Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central means for the Sana Commerce roadmap.
Microsoft Dynamics changes
We’ve seen a lot changes in Microsoft’s product portfolio over the last three years. Microsoft Dynamics AX has been relaunched as Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition. This was a success: we’re seeing a lot of momentum, especially in the North American market. I expect that Europe will follow suit early this year.
On the other hand, we have Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials and Operations, Business edition, which was a cloud-based version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Matters were less clear here. To cut to the chase: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials and Operations, Business edition and Microsoft Dynamics NAV will be combined into Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, previously code named “Tenerife,” which will be available both in the cloud and on premises.
Microsoft Dynamics roadmap
To keep things clear, here is a visual representation of the Microsoft Dynamics roadmap as it currently stands:
As you can see, there are three on-premises releases scheduled, and one cloud release:
- Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 (December, 2017)
- Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 R2 (Spring 2018)
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central on premises (ongoing)
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud (ongoing)
So what does this mean for the product Sana Commerce?
Sana Commerce for Microsoft Dynamics roadmap
With so many releases coming up, I think it’s easiest if we start with a graphic overview of what we have planned for our Microsoft Dynamics userbase.
Let’s break this down by release.
- Sana Commerce 9.2 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 (December 2017)
If you (or your clients) are getting started with or upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018, you can use the corresponding Sana Commerce version which was released in December 2017.
- Sana Commerce 9.3 for Microsoft Dynamics 2018 R2 (Spring 2018)
This spring, Microsoft will release Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 R2. We will soon follow with Sana Commerce 9.3 — yes, that’s a new version — for this on-premises version of Dynamics. Keep an eye on our channels for more information about this new Sana release.
- Sana Commerce 9.3 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (Spring 2018)
There will also be a version of Sana Commerce 9.3 specifically for the first cloud edition of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central , aka “Tenerife.”
- Sana Commerce 9.3 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (TBA)
Finally, once Microsoft Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” is available both on premises and in the cloud, a corresponding version of Sana Commerce 9.3 will be available soon after.
In short, our roadmap is closely aligned with Microsoft’s. “At Sana we have the philosophy to follow the ERP as much as possible,” says Matthijs van Arenthals, Product Owner at Sana. “Rather than building new logic in the ERP, we try to leverage what is already there, or what has been added by other ISV add-ons that we can integrate with. By following this practice we can ensure a seamless integration with Dynamics while also having a small footprint, making the implementation process very straightforward with minimal conflicts”
If you’ve been with us as a client or business partner for a while, this won’t come as a surprise to you. What you might not know, however, is what’s going on under the hood.
Sana Commerce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Technical changes
What I find most interesting about Business Central or “Tenerife” isn’t that it’s a single product available both on-premises and in the cloud. No, what I find most exciting is the Common Data Service.
I realize that doesn’t sound too exciting. Let me explain. Before Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, a business outgrowing its current Microsoft Dynamics ERP often meant they faced significant changes. Upgrading to a more feature-rich version required a considerable amount of time and effort.
This is set to change with Business Central because it’s part of a suite of solutions, rather than one big solution in and of itself.
Need more powerful support for your operations, but a simpler product for sales? No problem: you can select individual solutions that best meet your current business needs. And once you do need more extensive support for sales, you can easily upgrade that one product, without touching the rest.
Common data service
This is because Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a suite of specialized products, all connected by the Common Data Service. This CDS ensures that all individual products are connected and use the same source of truth. For instance, if you create a client in operations, it can also be used in sales and for CRM activities.
We already know that our existing integration works with a few of these individual Dynamics 365 products through our ERP integration. We’ll look into supporting more (or possibly fewer) products, based on client demand. We’re also investigating whether we need to integrate with the Common Data Service as well, or if we can use the CDS through our existing integrations.
“Because all products on the Dynamics 365 platform are connected it is possible to trigger various activities and actions in other connected products,” says Van Arenthals. “It is for instance possible to send an email when a quote is created or create a record in CRM when a sales agent creates a contact on the webstore, all without having to do any custom coding.”
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