Say Bye Bye to Developer License

Yes! you heard is right. You no longer need a partner/developer license to create a new component / customize in Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Conditions Apply! I am sorry the above statement is only true if you are developing using VS Code and AL language extension. But who is developing with C/AL and C/SIDE anymore? Not me definitely

Not only partner/developer license Microsoft did a brilliant job in doing away with object licensing. Business Central customers no longer need to buy objects if you are developing something for them using the objects from 50000-99999 range. Isn’t that cool?

Note: This holds true for Cloud version of Business Central at this moment. This may not be true for the upcoming Business Central On-Premise version [Roadmap says Fall 2018]. This will be more clearly stated by Microsoft when On-Premise Business Central is released.

Here are the excerpts from Microsoft documentation on Objects range licensing for your development –

“In Business Central running the Microsoft cloud, we operate with three different object ranges in terms of licensing. Developing for Business Central is done using Visual Studio Code with the AL Language extension. Developing for Dynamics NAV can be done either by using Visual Studio Code with the AL Language extension or by using C/SIDE with an appropriate license file.”

All tenants in Business Central as of April 2nd, 2018 are able to freely use objects in the following ranges:

  • 50.000-99.999
  • 1.000.000-60.000.000
  • 70.000.000-74.999.999


As in current on-premise implementations this range is for per tenant/customer customizations. A partner can develop an extension tailored to the individual tenant to fit the needs. The partner developing this will do this through either using a sandbox tenant (currently in preview) or by obtaining a Docker image of the current release of Business Central that matches the version of the tenant. Once the development is done, the extension can be deployed to the individual tenant


This is the RSP range which partners that have an ISV solution for on-premise have access to. By April 2nd, 2018 the partner can choose to use this range for developing extensions that can be used either in Dynamics NAV on-premise or in Business Central in the Microsoft Cloud. When used in Business Central these extensions are obtained as apps from


This range continues as it is today. Partners can obtain, for extension development that runs in Business Central in the Microsoft Cloud. This range is only available for extension development and only in Business Central. These extensions are obtained as apps from

So if you have migrated your skillset from C/SIDE and C/AL, its high time you do the same. And you will feel amazing. I myself moved from C/SIDE and C/AL more than a year back and I am bowled over this new development tool.

If you need any help in the process, do give me a shout at or

13 Replies to “Say Bye Bye to Developer License”

  1. not completely correct: for on-prem Extensions you need to buy objects in the range of 50.000-99.000 . (based on yammer discussions)

    1. Hi Arndt. if you read the excerpts carefully, there is a hint about it. You only need a partner license if you are developing in C/SIDE and C/AL.
      But yes, it is not very clearly spelled out.
      Though I mostly work in Business Central On-Cloud and hardly touch the on-premise version, after reading your comment, this is what I did –

      – I have installed Business Central developer preview on-premise in my local machine.
      – Prepared it for AL extension development
      – Tried creating a new Codeunit from C/SIDE. It threw a permission error [You do not have permission to run the ‘Design, Codeunit, Basic’ System]. So yes we need a developer license if we are customizing anything in C/SIDE
      – Connected one of my VSCODE+AL projects to the local on-premise instance of Business central
      – Tried creating a new codeunit with id 50000.

      Voila! It allowed me to create the codeunit without any glitch. I never needed a license for it

      Further to it-
      1. I added a message in the codeunit [deliberately put the text “Bye Bye developer License” in that :)]
      2. I extended the customer Page and added a new action
      3. Called the codeunit from that action

      And yes, it displayed that message “Bye Bye developer License” 🙂

      So even in On-Premise instance Business Central, we are not really requiring a developer license for customizing anything new.

        1. I am sure, you have valid reasoning behind your belief and I will not dispute with you on that. Microsoft will come out with more definitive documentation on this soon

          Just to give you what my impression [solely my impression] about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business central on-premise deployment:

          – There will not be any perpetual licensing for on-premise deployment of Business Central
          – In every aspect, the on-premise deployment will act just like on-cloud deployment.
          – in all possibility, this will get continuously synced with an on-cloud instance. How will this happen? I am a bit hazy about the same at this moment.
          – This sync will remain intact until you customize something in C/SIDE
          – From a customer perspective, they need to buy either essential or premium license. There will not be any object licensing.

        2. Hi Arndt,

          Quite obviously my experiment was with a preview release and facts stated here is based on that. But probably you will be right. Because everything in pre-release is subject to change. We will wait for Microsoft release of on-premise Business Central before concluding on the license policy of On-premise instance.

          1. yes , your are right. Let us wait for Directions and we will see what MS will tell us about licensing on-prem. My experience based on customer installations on-prem with NAV 2018 and Extensions, customizing with page extensions and table extensions. Also we have a yammer discussion with the product team, because we all know that in traditionell C/Side development we don’t need additional license objects for standard pages and tables.

  2. The information we have, so far, is that nothing really is changing for on-premise deployments. On-premise customers will still have to buy objects, just as they always have. Including table and page extensions!
    That’s the facts we know so far, there are even rumors saying that it’s to give more reasons to move to the cloud. Personally I would have expected Microsoft to do the changes that you describe above, and I did hear other people talking about it, but that’s not in the scope for fall 2018.
    If they make the on-premise and cloud licensing/fees the same, then it may very well make it much more expensive for on-premise customers. A KEY price factor would change. Today you pay per concurrent session, in the cloud you pay per named users. Meaning you have to pay for ALL users, even if they only use the system a few hours per week/month. A typical 50 user NAV installation often have 70-90 or more named users. Even if some of them may be converted to “limited/team” users, then its still more than they save on not having to pay for objects.

    1. Thanks Eric. You gave a brilliant perspective to the discussion.

      The concurrent user license was always a great selling point for us. Having named user license literally will remove the major differentiator with other solution available. probably integration friendliness will remain as the only differentiator then

      Will wait for further notice from Microsoft.

  3. Hi,
    This article is “a bit” old, but seems there was no consensus at the time of how Microsoft handles the “developer license” (i.e. needed or not?) for on-prem. Has anyone discovered in the meantime the answer to this question?

    1. The current situation is – This license is still required
      But, This license will be inbuilt / incorporated in customer license
      So, in other words, this license is no longer required. Becuase nobody will notice it anymore
      In this context, we need to remember, Customer still need to buy objects for development in On-Prem version

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.