Microsoft Universal Code Initiative and ForNAV

Microsoft recently announced the Business Central Universal Code initiative. Universal Code is about encouraging partners to develop and resell Business Central Universal Code offerings. Universal Code offerings can be defined as cloud-optimized extensions for Business Central. Universal Code solutions can be implemented everywhere, in Business Central online, and in on-premise or privately hosted environments.


As the ForNAV strategy is to follow the Microsoft and Business Central strategy, the ForNAV solution is already Universal Code today. You can implement the Customizable Report Pack on Business Central Cloud, OnPrem, or privately hosted. When running Cloud, we take advantage of a service on Azure, and when running OnPrem or privately hosted, the service is deployed locally.


The benefits of moving to our Universal Code solution (service based) for OnPrem customers include:

  • Rendering reports without the need for the ForNAV online service on Azure, which speeds up rendering, keeps your data internal on your own server, and does not require connection to the internet.
  • No requirement to install a DLL and no dependencies on Business Central .net.
  • Reports are upgraded simply by installing a new Report Pack, with no reconversion.
  • Requires the same license as ForNAV OnPrem.
  • Reports and report layouts can be deployed to Business Central Cloud without reconversion.
  • Supports Azure DevOps.
  • 1:1 binary compatible with the ForNAV Cloud report pack (Customizable Report Pack) – the code is exactly the same.


There are a few limitations:

  • Limited AL-api, because there is no .net DLL to code against.
  • Report output size is limited by memory and not diskspace (like ForNAV OnPrem).
  • Converted classic reports (using CurrReport.PageNo and/or using side-effects in section logic to control Showoutput) might not produce the expected output and the AL-code has to be modified. These constructs can easily be reconstructed in JavaScript, which is run in the service, and the report will work as before.


Because of these few limitations, we will continue to offer our DLL-based solution for OnPrem customers as an alternative, to give existing and new customers the choice. For example, if you are in an upgrade process from Dynamics NAV 2009 or earlier and you want to bring all your reports to the latest Business Central version, you might not be ready to move to our service-based solution just yet.


If you have any questions or comments, please send them to