System Admin Role Changes as Business Central Adoption Grows 

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System Admin Role Changes in Business Central

Midsize companies are growing and are searching for software solutions that help them scale growth. That is why companies are turning to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP software. Business Central offers numerous benefits, including a platform approach, faster processing, and the ability to add application extensions that allow companies to add unique business functionality.  

Business Central offers application extensions in the form of web services or applications from Microsoft AppSource. Web services are a lightweight, industry-standard way to make application functionality available to various external systems and users. There are three common ways to expose data in Business Central: API, SOAP, and OData. Combined with the Power Platform, Business Central users can also create apps, reports, and intelligence.  

With this, the role of system admin is changing in Business Central compared to Dynamics NAV’s traditional software approach. Below is a brief comparison of how system admins worked in Dynamics NAV and how it is evolving with Business Central.  

How System Admins Found and Implemented Tools in Dynamics NAV

In the past, Dynamics NAV system admins were able to find online resources, articles, discussion boards, and even tools or utilities to improve business workflows. Tools included emailing utility, export to Excel utility, centralized reporting, and attachment manager updates, to name a few. 

The admin process would include:  

  • Review the code that was written within the tool 
  • Deploy tool/utility in a sandbox environment 
  • Execute the tool/utility in the sandbox environment and verify outputs 
  • Deploy the utility to Production  

New Admin Roles in Business Central for System Admins

With Business Central on-premises or SaaS, app files play a new role for system admins. You might not be able to review what’s written inside the app, and your ERP partner might not be able to support or upgrade your free tool/utility. As a system admin, your role is to make sure that whatever app is available in your tenant comes from a verified Source (Microsoft App Source/Add-on Partner) or from your Business Central partner. In addition, the admin group should be allowed to publish and install a new app.  

The Problem with Unverified Apps in Business Central

Below are two reasons why your business should stay away from unverified apps and rely on Microsoft’s AppSource.  

  1. Your ERP Partner will not be able to:  
    • Support an issue with an unverified free app 
    • Upgrade unverified free app 
  2. An unverified app (without source code) also comes with risk, such as malware that can corrupt your data or execute processes without your knowledge.  

Business Central’s new app driven and web services model offers numerous ways to customize business operations, but at the same time adds risk. Below this article, Avoid These 100 Android Apps Hiding ‘Malicious’ Malware: New ‘Fraud Arms Race’ Underway, emphasizes what you get with “free” apps:  

“Right at the heart of this issue is free, often nonsensical apps. As I’ve written many times, free is free for a reason. If you’re not paying for an app in an obvious way, then you’re paying for it in some other way. The ability to sneak countless ad displaying machines onto your device makes millions for the fraudsters—there is often common code, developers, operators sitting behind numerous bad apps. The concept is simple, develop something flippant and catchy, offer it for nothing, wait.” 

Find Solutions by Working with Your ERP Partner

With companies moving to Business Central, your partner is your best friend. With updates being made by Microsoft, partners, and ISVs, a trusted ERP partner offers peace of mind and efficiency in choosing apps that will serve your needs for the long term.  

If you have any questions about apps or other Dynamics NAV or Business Central questions for any version, contact ArcherPoint. 

Read more "How To" blogs from ArcherPoint for practical advice on using Microsoft Dynamics Business Central or NAV. 

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