enVista logo blue


Navigating a Smooth Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Upgrade


Staying up-to-date with the latest technology advancements within enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems is crucial for maintaining competitiveness. Microsoft encourages advancement with regular roll-outs of its own software updates, which eventually become mandatory for all Microsoft users.

Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Business Central Wave updates offer enhanced features and functionalities that can transform business operations. However, the process of upgrading and managing environments through these updates can be complex and challenging. It is important to have a partner you can trust to assist your organization in effectively managing Dynamics 365 Business Central Wave updates to ensure seamless transitions and optimized system performance. In this blog, we will share best practices and strategies that will help your organization navigate the evolving ERP landscape with confidence, driving efficiency and innovation across your operations.

Update Waves and Cadences

Microsoft maintains a pretty consistent upgrade cadence for its software systems. Knowing what this cadence is will help your organization stay aware and prepared when a new update is coming up.

There are two ‘Major’ releases each year, which include new functionality. These updates follow a similar timeline with several different periods, including:

  • A preview period when you can familiarize yourself with the new functionality
  • The upgrade window, from the date the upgrade becomes available to the last date to schedule the upgrade
  • The end of the upgrade window, when the system will automatically install the upgrade

The first ‘Major’ release, Wave 1, is released on April 1 and must be installed by June 1. The second ‘Major’ release, Wave 2, is released on October 1 and must be installed by December 1.

 Update is availableUpdates startLast date to schedule updateOutside upgrade window
Release Wave 1April 1April 8June 1June 2 and on
Release Wave 2October 1October 8December 1December 2 and on

Microsoft also offers ‘Minor’ releases, which are scheduled each month for ‘critical performance improvements.’ These releases also consist of a common timeline.

Minor releases become available on the 7th of the month and must be installed by the 28th of that same month.

 Update is availableUpdates startLast date to schedule updateOutside upgrade window
Minor releasesMay 7May 14May 28May 29 and on

Best Practices

Follow the Update Cadence

Microsoft provides its upgrade timeline to ensure that your organization is maintaining software with the best functionality and maximum support at all times. Knowing the cadence and timeline and following them diligently is absolutely critical to the value and success of your organization’s technology.

To ensure your organization is on top of its upgrade schedule, consider creating a timeline of your own with key tasks and deadlines for completing them. Make sure to assign clear roles and responsibilities across the organization so everyone knows how they will need to contribute to the upgrade, and leave ample time for each task to be completed. Consider the below when creating your timeline.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the new upgrade features prior to the start of the upgrade period
  2. Schedule the upgrade the week of the upgrade release
  3. Uninstall and reinstall ISV and third-party software to maintain compatibility prior to, or in tandem with, the installation of the new version in your production environment
  4. Perform regression testing to ensure there are no technical issues with the new version prior to installation of the new version, and then immediately after the installation

These upgrades are not plug-and-go solutions. They require methodical planning, execution and testing to ensure that they provide the most value possible to your organization. An important piece of the process in regression testing.

Regression testing is the process of retesting your existing software application or system to ensure that the newly introduced updates do not negatively impact the software’s functionality or performance. This step should be completed after you have installed the latest upgrade to your Business Central platform.

We recommend installing the ‘Major’ Wave releases in a Dev and UAT environment and performing full regression testing on all effected functionality. During regression testing, you will run a predefined set of tests that cover the critical functions of your software, checking that they work as expected.

During testing, if any abnormalities or issues arise due to the Microsoft update, you should document them and prioritize them for resolution. This will ensure that the upgrade is as valuable as possible.

Maintain Compatibility With Other Software

Most organizations have multiple software systems operating their business, some of which even integrate with their ERP. Since this is the case, it is important during the Business Central upgrade process to give attention to all of your third party tools and ensure that they are still working together effectively. Whether it be customer relationship management, supply chain management, business intelligence or some other tool, it may be necessary to uninstall and reinstall that system to the latest version to maintain compatibility between all of your systems.

Microsoft’s version upgrades are critical to the viability and value of your Business Central ERP. The best practices in this blog are a great place to start when strategizing your system upgrades. Many organizations choose to partner with a third-party that can guide them through the entire upgrade process, ensuring all strategy, implementation and testing is completed for maximum success. enVista is your one-stop-shop for Business Central implementation, upgrade and testing support. Learn more about our Microsoft Solutions and contact us to learn how to get started. Let’s have a conversation.®

About the Author

Related Posts

Shopping Basket

Contact enVista

Thousands of clients across a variety of industries consider enVista an integral and important part of their business strategy. You should, too.
Notification Header
The leading news agency comes to your smartphone.  Download now.