In 20 countries, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central currently offers the same out-of-the-box support for local features as Microsoft Dynamics NAV does. Local features cover country-specific needs, such as requirements for reporting tax, formats for exchanging information with banks, and so on. For Dynamics NAV, those 20 countries are just the start - the flexibility of the solution has enabled Microsoft partners to customize it to deliver local functionality to their markets around the world. Until now, that wasn’t an option for Business Central.
As announced in our October ‘18 Release Notes, we’ve worked to close this gap and enable partners to add local features as upgradable, easy-to-maintain apps in the countries we don’t already support. There’s a lot of buzz about this new opportunity, and many partners are already on-board. For example, our partners in South Korea, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa have already wrapped their local functionality into apps for those countries, and partners in many more countries are following suit.
How does it work?
We provide the platform and the nuts-and-bolts needed to build an app for Business Central, and partners use their knowledge of local requirements to build apps that address them.
Without going into detail (that guidance is available here), some examples of what we do on our end include:
- Setting up the data center, or data plane, and preparing the base application.
This is largely invisible to partners, but it’s a fundamental part of the process.
- Providing Docker images with the required collations.
For example, collation enables the use of special characters, such as the “ø” and “å” vowels in Danish.
- Offering a W1 build, which is the global base application that partners can build on.
On the partner side, the effort boils down to:
- Translating the texts in their apps.
- Translating the global base application to the local language.
- Developing the local functionality as apps.
- Submitting their apps for approval and deployment on AppSource.
One advantage of going the app route is that you can deliver smaller chunks of functionality that are easier to maintain and upgrade. For example, functionality for Denmark includes four apps that each address a specific need. One app offers standard formats that banks require when exchanging electronic files. If a bank changes its formats, only that apps needs to be updated.
Making local features available globally
We also found features that more than one country uses but were duplicated in the feature sets. To deliver a stronger, richer base application that all countries can benefit from we moved these features from local functionality to the core application.
What does this mean for you?
In short, we’re providing a complete cloud solution, reliable service, a stronger application base, and an easy-to-extend product to help you deliver your own localization. If you’re interested, more information about how to build localization apps is available in this article: https://aka.ms/BusinessCentralLocApps.