Business Central Cloud Migration – A Testimonial Part 2

After the article Businss Central Cloud Migration – an experience report part 1 it now goes on here.

The decision for the migration has now been made, but before we could start with the actual migration, there was a lot of preparatory work to be done.

A description of the migration steps can be found directly on Microsoft docs.

Register a Business Central Cloud trial

First, we had to determine whether our customizations still work in the cloud. For this we created a test version in the cloud to see if the extensions can still be installed.

You can register for a trial version of Business Central at this link: Register a Business Central trial

Detailed instructions for registration can also be found free of charge on Learn4D365: Instructions for registering a trial version (German)

Upgrade der Business Central Apps

Now it was time to upgrade our apps. As is probably the case with many, a lot has accumulated over the years and so we decided to combine our various apps into a future app.

So it was all about programming and testing in the cloud version. In this step, however, we only looked at whether the new app is compilable and did not do any tests with our data.

Direct Business Central Cloud migration possible?

Depending on which initial version you come from, it may also be necessary to make one or more intermediate upgrades. For us internally, this was not necessary.

I have shown here for you an overview of which intermediate steps you may need:

Test migration from Business Central to the cloud

Now we started to test the migration for the first time. It is recommended to open the cloud client directly on the local server, as you can prevent connection problems due to firewalls or the like.

Detailed instructions can be found here (German):

Here it was recommended for me to create a database user on the local SQL Server. Otherwise, this step worked simply and well.

The next step is to actually migrate the data from the on-premises server to the cloud. This action can be found on the “Cloud Migration Management” page. On the Microsoft docs page it is described here that you can also plan the migration in a certain time window. However, after analyzing the underlying code, I came to the conclusion that this action is only available for the use of the “Cloud Insights” and not for a migration. So here only the action “Run Migration Now” remains.

Practical tip: Measure the time it takes for this test migration. The real migration will take about the same amount of time and no user will be able to work during it. Good planning is therefore necessary here.

Then select the action “Run Data Upgrade Now”. Again, you should measure the time for the real data migration. Finally, click on the tile “Not Initialized Companies” and initialize it.

Once you have successfully completed these steps, you can start testing the new system with the real data. Meanwhile, all users can continue to work freely in the local database.

Problems migrating Business Central data

Of course, migration can also cause problems. What you have to realize is that everything that has to do with system data is not migrated.

These include, for example:

  • User
  • User
  • Personalization
  • Saved Views

However, it can also happen that data from extensions or apps is not migrated. We also had to make this experience. But why is that? If you take a look at the “Tables with Warnings” tile, you can see that there is a GUID behind the table name.

Table Migration Status

This GUID corresponds to the App ID of the apps in the cloud version. If you do not find an app with the same ID for this table (or fields) in the local version, the data cannot be migrated, even if the table number and field number are the same.

Final migration from Business Central to the cloud

Once you have successfully completed the test, you continue in the direction of real migration.

Practical tip: Before the real migration you should try to clean up or reduce the database. This can be necessary both directly on the SQL Server and in Business Central.

Before performing the migration, you must stop all connections to external services and ensure that users do not continue to work in the local database.

Important: Also remember to stop the task maintenance in Business Central!

If you are so far you carry out the same steps as in the test migration, only here you migrate the data not into a sandbox but into your production environment.

This step also worked for us without any major problems.

Now it remains exciting what it looks like after the migration. More on this soon in part 3.

Regards, Michaela

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