Set Up Company Configuration Packages
As you grow your business as a reseller of Business Central, you will likely come to rely on a set of company types that you use with most of your Business Central prospects. You can streamline your implementation process by turning these types into configuration packages that are available for reuse.
After you have set up a company in Business Central that suits your needs, you can create a configuration package that contains relevant setup data from this company. You can then use it when you create a new company that is to be configured in the same way.
To facilitate the import of master data, such as customer and vendor information, you can use configuration templates. Configuration templates contain a set of default settings that are automatically assigned to the records imported into Business Central. Configuration templates are an alternative to the cloud migration tools that you can use to migrate customer data from supported products. For more information, see Migrate On-Premises Data to Business Central Online.
Use these capabilities to scale your business as a reseller. Most of the relevant pages apply to both Business Central online and on-premises. However, some processes rely on access to the underlying database and are too complex to use for Business Central online. For Business Central on-premises, you probably want to use Windows PowerShell to help you deploy. For more information, see Administration of Business Central On-Premises and Administration of Business Central Online, respectively.
By default, Business Central online comes with one configuration package for Microsoft's default application, including local functionality. You can copy that and make relevant changes in the copy.
Many of our reselling partners create a configuration package for each functional area. For example, create a package for the manufacturing functionality and another for sales. That lets you apply and set up new areas in a company as you need them.
We recommend that you create configuration packages with most of the setup tables already filled in, so that only a few settings must be tweaked for each customer. For example, when you create a new company, the No. Series and the No. Series Line tables are filled in with a set of number series and starting numbers. The corresponding No. Series fields in the setup tables are also filled in automatically. You do not have to do the work of entering number series and other basic setup data. You can also manually change all default data that is used with RapidStart Services by using the configuration worksheet.
Another approach would be to create a package that includes the tables that define setup, such as the following:
- General Ledger Setup
- General Posting Setup
- VAT Posting Setup
- Inventory Posting Setup
- Purchases and Payables Setup
- Sales and Receivables Setup
- Warehouse Setup
- Inventory Setup
- Manufacturing Setup
- Fixed Asset Setup
- Marketing Setup
- Service Setup
To see a complete list of setup tables in Business Central, choose the icon, enter Manual Setup, and then choose the related link.
Optionally, use the configuration worksheet to gather together and categorize the information that you want to use to configure a new company, and arrange tables in a logical way. Formatting in the worksheet is based on a simple hierarchy: areas contain groups, which in turn contain tables. Areas and groups are optional but useful. You can then add the worksheet lines to a new configuration package.
Before you create a configuration package
There are some things to consider before you create a configuration package because they will impact you or your customer's ability to import it.
Tables that contain posted entries
You cannot import data to tables that contain posted entries, such as the tables for customer, vendor, and item ledger entries, so you should not include this data in your configuration package. You can add entries to these tables after you import the configuration package by using journals to post the entries. For more information, see Posting Documents and Journals in the business functionality content.
Table names that contain special characters
Use caution if you have tables or fields that have the same temporal name but are differentiated by special characters, such as %, &, <, >, and ,. For example, a table might contain the Field 1 and Field 1% fields.
The XML processor that generates the .rapidstart files accepts only some special characters, and will remove those it does not. If removing a special character, such as the % sign in "Field 1%," results in two or more tables or fields with the same name an error will occur when you export or import a configuration package.
The process of creating and importing a configuration package involves the following effective permissions for all tables in the package:
- The user who exports data for the configuration package must have Read effective permissions.
- The user who imports the configuration package must have Insert and Modify effective permissions.
When exporting and importing configuration packages between two company databases, the databases must have the same schema to ensure that all data is transferred successfully. This means that the databases should have the same table and field structure, in which the tables have the same primary keys and fields have the same IDs and data types. In practical terms, that means that your configuration package must be based on the same version of Business Central as the customer environments that you intend to apply it to.
You can import a configuration package that has been exported from a database that has a different schema than that target database. However, any tables or fields in the configuration package that are missing in the target database will not be imported. Tables with different primary keys and fields with different data types will also not successfully import. For example, if the configuration pack includes table 50000, Customer that has primary key Code20 and the database to which you import the pack includes table 50000, Customer Bank Account that has the primary key Code20 + Code 20, then data will not be imported.
To create a custom company configuration package
Create a new company. For more information, see Create New Companies in Business Central in the business functionality content.
Set up the new company in the way you need. Fill in all required setup tables.
Optionally, use the default configuration package in the Cronus demonstration company to set up the base application. Then, add your own best practices on top.
Next, you'll add this setup to a configuration package. You can set up the tables that you want to add to the package in the Configuration Worksheet page and then add a configuration package to the lines in that worksheet. Or you can add the tables directly to the package in the Configuration Package page. In the following steps, we assume that you prefer to set things up in the worksheet, but you don't have to.
Open the Configuration Worksheet page.
Add a new line of the type Area, and then add groups and the tables that you want to transfer to another company to the package. Hover over a field to read a short description.
Take a look at the default configuration package for the demonstration company for inspiration for how to set up the configuration.
Choose the Get Tables action. On the Get Config. Tables request page, specify the types of tables that you want to add to the configuration, and set the relevant filters. Then choose the OK button.
To exclude the configuration questionnaires, configuration templates, and configuration worksheet tables from the package, select the Exclude Configuration Tables check box on the Config Package Card page. Otherwise, these tables will be added to the list of package tables automatically when you export the package.
To add related tables, choose the Get Related Tables action.
Related tables will not be added with the Get Related Tables action if either of the following is true:
- The relation is conditional.
Example: If you get related tables for the Customer table, then the Location table will not be added, since it is only conditionally related to the Customer table, namely if the Location Code field in the Customer table is filled in.
- The related table is filtered.
Example: A field in the related table has a WHERE clause. The reason for this is that the involved relations information is stored in the Field system table, which is not fully accessible to the application.
You must add such types of tables manually.
For each table, you can specify which fields to exclude, and you can modify the default processing order for each field. Business Central checks if there are related fields that you must configure in the Config. Package Fields page.
- The relation is conditional.
Optionally, for each table, modify which fields must be included in the package.
Select a table for which you want to specify field information, and on the Actions tab, in the Show group, choose Fields.
- To select just the fields you want to include, choose the Clear Included action. To add all fields, choose the Set Included action.
- To specify that the field data should not be validated, clear the Validate Field check box for the field.
Assign the worksheet lines to an existing package.
Select the relevant lines, choose the Assign Package action, and then, in the Configuration Packages page, choose the relevant package, or create a new one.
If a table is not already included in the package, it will now be added. The package code field on the worksheet line will be filled in with the code of the package that the table is assigned to.
If you choose an existing package, you can see how many tables are already in the package by reviewing the information in the No. of Tables field.
Optionally, create a questionnaire for the most frequently used setup tables so that you can get specific information from your prospects and customers that will help you set up their Business Central.
On the Configuration Questionnaire page, add a new questionnaire, and then choose the Questions Areas action.
In the Config. Question Area page, in the Table ID field, choose the ID of the table for which you want to collect information. The Table Name field is automatically filled in.
Choose the Update Questions action. Each field in the table is added to the questionnaire with a question mark following its caption in the Question field.
You can rephrase the question to make it clear that it is a question that should be answered. For example, if a field is called Name, you could edit the related question to state What is the name of the account. You can also provide guidance in the Reference field, including a URL to a page that provides additional information for example.
You can also delete any questions that you do not want to include in the questionnaire.
The Answer Option field describes the format that the answer to the question must meet, such as Code or Text.
As needed, you can also define default answers in the Answer field. These values are used by default for custom setup. However, the person filling in the questionnaire can modify and update the answer.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 for any additional areas that you want to add to the questionnaire, and then return to the Configuration Questionnaire page.
Optionally, export the questionnaire to Excel. Then, you can use the Excel workbook to get answers from your prospects and customers. There are worksheets for each of the question areas that have been created for the questionnaire.
You may encounter the following error when you run an English version of Excel, but have your regional settings configured for a non-English language: Old format or invalid type library. To fix this error, make sure that the language pack for the non-English language is installed.
Optionally, create configuration templates to make it easier to import master data, such as customers, vendors, contacts, or items.
Use the built-in configuration templates, or create your own templates in the Configuration Templates page. This is mainly useful if you're going to migrate customer data to Business Central on-premises and then switch to the cloud. For more information, see Apply Company Configuration Packages.
You can export the templates as Excel workbooks so that you can work with customer data in Excel.
Export your package as a .rapidstart file, or export it to Excel.
The next time you're going to set up Business Central for a new customer, you can apply your configuration packages and get started fast. For more information, see Apply Company Configuration Packages.
Apply Company Configuration Packages
Migrate On-Premises Data to Business Central Online
FAQ about Migrating to Business Central Online from On-Premises Solutions
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