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Home » Dynamics 365 vs. Business Central: Evaluating the Key Differences and Features

Dynamics 365 vs. Business Central: Evaluating the Key Differences and Features

Are you considering implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365? Before you proceed with your plans, make sure it is the right solution for your business. Microsoft also offers Business Central, an alternative to its complex enterprise-level suite.

Depending on the specifics of your business and its needs, Business Central may well be the better solution for you. In this article, you will find a comparison between the two products which can help you make a better choice.

dynamics 365 vs business central

Scope and Architecture

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is designed to support a large variety of business tasks, including workflows typically managed by enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This software suite is based on a modular architecture, meaning users can select one or more applications from a variety of products for finance, supply chain management, customer service, field service, and other aspects of business operations.

The comprehensive task coverage of Microsoft Dynamics 365, combined with powerful scalability, makes this suite particularly attractive for large enterprises.

At the same time, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central contains core functions needed for financial management, supply chain management, as well as service management, sales, and marketing. Unlike Microsoft Dynamics 365, it is a compact standalone solution, which makes it an optimal choice for small and medium-sized businesses.

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Deployment Options

Both Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Dynamics Business Central offer users two forms of deployment: on-premises and in the cloud. The second option is becoming increasingly popular, especially among the users of Business Central.

Some companies have to opt for on-premise deployment to ensure data security, comply with certain industry regulations, or take advantage of more extensive software customization options.

Security and Data Safety

A role-based security system that allows users to control access to software features is available to the users of both Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Business Central. This is a convenient way to limit or extend users’ ability to manipulate data through this software.

The cloud versions of these software products can also leverage powerful backup features that protect data from loss due to various incidents such as natural disasters and intentional or accidental removal.


The security role configuration offered to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Business Central users, described above, has a major impact on licensing costs. This is one more similarity between the two products. The more access to the software features a user gets, the higher the license fee, while the total number of users also determines the final payment. These parameters can be changed at any time. However, it should be noted that the possibility of changing users’ access to the software features is more limited in the case of Business Central. In its case, users are just divided into Essentials and Premium according to the number of functions they can use.

Both Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Business Central are flexible solutions that offer their users many ways to manipulate and configure their features and facilitate integration with other software products. Nevertheless, due to its module-based structure, the functionality of Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be modified to a greater extent than is possible in the case of Business Central.


As mentioned earlier, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is dedicated to large companies and can successfully handle further growth. Yet, due to its complexity, it may not be a good idea to implement this ERP and CRM system for smaller businesses to keep this solution in case of future growth.

In the meantime, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central can support the transition from a small to a mid-sized business, but it has limitations in scalability for further transformation to support large businesses. In addition, the functionality may not be sufficient to meet all the needs of large enterprises.

Testing and Maintenance Requirements

Because of its smaller scope, limited functionality, and reduced complexity, Microsoft Business Central’s maintenance and testing requirements are naturally lower than those of Microsoft Dynamics 365. For example, because Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows companies to use multiple modules as well as additional Microsoft and third-party applications, this suite requires more extensive integration testing.

Still, both software products need to be tested before they are launched in the company and after any future modifications whether those changes are introduced by Microsoft or are made by the organization itself to customize standard features and functionality. Some of the test types that are useful for evaluating the quality of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Business Central are performance testing, regression testing, functional testing, and data migration testing.

Dynamics 365 vs. Business Central - Which One Is Better?

Both solutions from Microsoft have their advantages, but they target two different markets. While Microsoft Dynamics 365 aims to meet the complex needs of large enterprises, covering the scope of both an ERP system and a CRM platform, while Business Central helps small and large businesses mostly with ERP functionality.

Which solution is the better one depends on the exact specificity of your business and its requirements. At the same time, it is highly recommended to implement the software product designed specifically for companies of a certain size and complexity. Otherwise, the software may either fail to meet your company’s requirements or, on the contrary, overprovide it with unnecessary functions, which will result in high costs.

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, on the other hand, is primarily an ERP system with small CRM functions for managing sales and marketing. Business Central is aimed at small and medium-sized companies with less extensive requirements.