How Application Configurations Affect Performance

The sections in this article are tips and tricks on how to set up Business Central for performance and also describe how in-product configurations affect the performance of Business Central.

Uninstall extensions that you don't use

Any extensions that you install can affect the overall system performance. So if you've installed an app from AppSource, but later discover it's not needed, then uninstall it. The same advice applies to the extension that comes preinstalled in an environment. For example, uninstall all migration extensions after you've migrated data, or if you don't intend to migrate data.

Run things in the background

It's often desirable to offload work from the user session to happen in the background. Examples are:

Tip

don't run job queues too frequently.

Avoid locking

When the Business Central database needs to have exclusive access to a table or a data row, it will issue a lock. If another session needs to access a locked resource, it needs to wait until the session holding the lock is finished with its work. There are a few places in the Business Central application where you can reduce the risk of locking.

Use number series that allow gaps

Number series in Business Central are shared resources that sometimes cause locking issues. Not all records that you create in Business Central are financial transactions that must use sequential numbering. Customer cards, sales quotes, and warehouse activities are examples of records that are assigned a number from a number series. They aren't subject to financial auditing and can be deleted. For all such number series, consider using number series that allow gaps to avoid locking issues. For more information, see Gaps in Number Series.

Don't adjust cost item entries with too high a frequency

All sales transactions have to get their cost calculated at some point—either at the time they're posted or batched up for later, like nightly or weekly, where all sales transactions that haven’t had their cost calculated yet are "adjusted". The main reason for postponing this operation to off-hours is that it locks many tables while running for a long time. A good frequency to start with could be to do it nightly and then evaluate if it needs to be adjusted to happen more or less frequently.

Be cautious with the Rename/Copy company operations

The Rename company and Copy company operations aren't intended to run while business transactions are being applied to Business Central. First, the operations are likely to induce locks on the tables that data is copied from. These locks will block users from transacting in the company. Second, the operations use resources on the database, which can in turn cause resource starvation for users working in other companies.

If you must do a Rename/Copy company operation, it's highly recommended to do it outside working hours. Turn off scheduled jobs to avoid locking issues.

The Copy Company operation also has a number of long term effects including the following:

  • Increased database size

  • Upgrade operations take longer

  • Larger .bacpac files when requesting backups from the Business Central administration center

    This also means that export/import operations involving .bacpac files take longer

Note

For Business Central online, the Rename company operation is no longer supported. Instead, you can change a company's display name.

Periodic activities that maintain performance

Block inactive customers, vendors, or items to improve filtering and searching on document data entry

Performance effect of enabling integration on a table

There's a performance overhead involved in enabling integration on an entity such as Customer or Contact. Only enable integration if you intend to integrate with Dynamics 365 Sales. Enable it only on the required entities.

For more information, see Synchronizing Data in Business Central and Dynamics 365 Sales.

Functionality with known performance impact

These areas of the application are known to cause a performance impact and require extra testing with realistic data setup before they're rolled out.

If processing of Sales Order lines is slow

If you experience that processing of Sales Order lines that contain bill-of-materials (BOMs) is slow, then check if Stockout Warning on the page Sales & Receivables Setup, is set to true. If that is the case, then change this to false.

Why? Stockout Warning specifies if a warning should be displayed if a user enters a quantity on a sales document that brings the item’s inventory below zero. The calculation includes all sales document lines that have not yet been posted. Stockout Warning can still be used on items; this can be done by setting the individual Item’s Stockout Warning to true on the Item Card.

Manage the database access intent on reports, API pages, and queries

Business Central supports the Read Scale-Out feature in Azure SQL Database and SQL Server to load-balance analytical workloads. Read Scale-Out is built in to Business Central online, but it can also be enabled for on-premises.

Read Scale-Out applies to queries, reports, or API pages. With these objects, instead of sharing the primary, they can be set up to run against a read-only replica. This setup essentially isolates them from the main read-write workload. This way, they won't affect the performance of business processes.

A drawback of reading from a replica is that it introduces a slight delay compared to reading from the primary database. Read Scale-Out is controlled by the DataAccessControl property on objects. This property determines whether to use a replica if one is available. If this delay isn't acceptable for an object, you can overwrite the default database access intent from the UI. For more information, see Managing Database Access Intent

Number of companies

Having many companies can cause administrative tasks, like upgrades, point-in-time restores, and database exports, to take a very long time and potentially hit timeout values. If you have more than 50 companies, we recommend that you test these operations and typical usage scenarios extensively. Delete companies that are no longer needed.

Don't do these things

Finally, make sure that you don't repeat these performance mistakes that we have seen cause massive performance issues for customers:

  • Don't adjust cost item entries with a high frequency.
  • Don't set up a change log for everything. For more information, see Auditing Changes in Business Central.
  • Don't run job queues too frequently.
  • Don't adjust item costs automatically if you have many item entries. Run in the background instead.  
  • Don't postpone setting up global dimensions, because it can be a heavy operation when you have much data. Set up correct global dimensions to avoid changing them later on.
  • Don't run the Copy company operation during business hours.
  • Don't apply large configuration packages during business hours. See also Prepare a Configuration Package.

See Also

Performance Overview
Performance Topics For Developers
Performance tips for business users
Performance Online
Performance of On-Premises Installations
How to Work with a Performance Problem