For business management solutions email us or call 020 3004 4600

What process is followed by Microsoft when updating Business Central?

As we all know, when it comes to updates, it can be a stressful process for many businesses as some are unsure or unaware of the full process that is followed when it comes to updating Business Central. This is why, in our latest blog article, we will take you through the whole process that is followed when it comes to updating Business Central. 

Before we delve into the process itself, we will quickly provide you with a few key milestones and dates for rolling out major updates based on the 2021 Release Wave 1 update which also apply to all updates rolled out throughout the year. 

Timelines for Major Updates 

In the table below, you will find some of the key milestones with example dates around the two release wave updates that are rolled out in April and October. 


Example date wave 1 

Example date wave 2 


Update is available 

April 1 

October 1 

The date when the new major version of Business Central becomes generally available 

Update starts rolling out 

April 15 

October 15 

The default date when Microsoft starts upgrading your environments. Once the update is scheduled, you can change that date, within allowed date range, to a date, which fits you better. 

Last scheduled update date 

April 30 

October 30 

The last date you can choose to extend your upgrade date to, typically 30 days after the update is available. 


Now that you know the dates for when Microsoft rolls out its updates for Business Central, we can now look at the process itself. 

The process followed by Microsoft when updating Business Central 

The process begins from the official release date as this is where Microsoft starts to schedule the update. Throughout this process, Microsoft will put into place a default update date for each environment, usually around 2 weeks after you receive the notification in your solution. You can see which date this is by looking in your environment details page from within the Business Central Admin centre. 

The following also can be achieved: 

  • You are able to edit the date set by Microsoft if you need more time to prepare. 
  • You will find that when the scheduled update date comes round, the update will run automatically from your update window that you’ve set for the specific environment. At this point, all your users will temporarily disconnected from this environment meaning that they will be unable to login and will see the following message ‘Service is under maintenance’. It is strongly recommended that you set the update to run outside of business hours to avoid any potential disruption. 
  • It is important to note that environments can fail for a number of different reasons such as internal update issues or per-tenant extension compatibility issues. This is why it is crucial that you get a Microsoft Gold Partner such as Advantage to guide you through the whole process. Furthermore, any environment that doesn’t update correctly will resort back to the original app version. At this point, you will then quickly be reassigned a new update attempt which will take place 7 days later. If you believe that the issue has been resolved by your Microsoft partner then you can change the date if you wish. 

Stalled update scheduling 

In some instances, even when the update becomes available, you may be unable to find out what the update date is (schedule environment update). This condition can occur for one of the following reasons:  

  • Your environment may not have been updated with the latest minor update rolled out for your version of Business Central.  

In order to update to the next major update, you need to ensure that all minor updates are taken care of first. If you are unsure which version you are on, you can check this by going to ‘Troubleshooting’ in the ‘Help and Support’ page in Business Central or the ‘Version Management’ part of the Business Central admin centre.  

  • Furthermore, you may have built a new sandbox environment as a copy of your production environment.  

In this instance, the sandbox environment will be on the same version as the production environment. Therefore, if your new sandbox environment is on the last minor update of the previous version, Microsoft will get it to update automatically in just an hour. You will get sent an email notification and it will appear within the Business Centre admin centre when this happens. You will also see that the scheduled update for this environment will be automatically set for 7 days from the current date which gives you the option of changing the date should you wish to have more time. 

  • Your per-tenant extensions are not compatible with the next major update. 

As part of the process for launching the next major update as well as during the update itself, Microsoft goes through per-tenant extensions in all your existing environments to check for compatibility around the next major update. If compatibility issues are discovered, you will be automatically sent a notification outlining exactly what the problem is then talk to your Microsoft partner on how to resolve this. 

  • The AppSource apps installed in your environment are not available for the next major version of Business Central. 

Even though, AppSource apps are normally updated by partners such as Advantage, it may be the case where an application needs extra time in order to be ready for the next update and is not yet available for it. In this situation, please get in touch with Advantage who will be able to help you. 

Updates that are on hold 

  • In exceptional circumstances, Microsoft may choose to put an update on hold, for example if a significant snag has been discovered in the latest major update. At this point, Microsoft will need to work on the issue and will therefore place an update on hold. If this is the case, you will be sent an email notification which will be displayed in the Business Central admin centre.  
  • Not being aware of the issue and the solution in advance, it would be difficult to say when the update will be rolled out. You will find that none of this information would be available in the admin centre on the expected resume date. Therefore, you would need to wait until Microsoft sent you another update with the new date. 
  • If this occurs when you are due to schedule the update of your environment on a date, you will find that this will not be completed. It is important to note that Microsoft will not inform you about this. You will need to either reschedule or wait until Microsoft informs you. It is worth noting that all environments that missed their scheduled update date will automatically be rescheduled for 7 days time but you can change this if you desire. 
  • If you didn’t set a date for your environment update from the Business Central admin centre, this environment will be updated automatically once these updates start again so it is worth being aware of! 

Next Steps? 

If you have read the above article and would like some additional Dynamics support or consultancy to help you through this whole process, then please get in touch with our team of Dynamics experts today to discuss your specific requirements. 

Want to get information like the above delivered straight into your inbox? Why not sign up to our mailing list today?