Migrating On-Premises Data to Business Central Online

Organizations that run their workloads on-premises but are looking to move to the cloud can easily migrate to Business Central online. By moving to the cloud, users get the benefits of cloud scenarios such as Machine Learning, Power BI, Power Automate, and others to drive suggested actions.

First, get started with Business Central online tenant here.

The cloud migration tool in Business Central online supports migration from specific versions of specific software. For more information, see the following articles:

Data migration

Data migration is the process of securely migrating data from your on-premises SQL Server instance to your Business Central online tenant. The process uses the Azure Data Factory (ADF) to migrate the data between databases directly, meaning it does not look at any permissions within the applications you are transferring data between, only SQL permissions.


Before you start the migration process, please update statistics and reorganize indexes on all tables on the source database. This will ensure that the migration runs as fast as possible. For more information, see the documentation for sp_updatestats (Transact-SQL) and Resolve index fragmentation by reorganizing or rebuilding indexes.

To migrate data, in the target company in your Business Central online tenant, run the Cloud Migration Setup assisted setup wizard.


You must be signed in as an administrator of the Business Central online tenant and the Microsoft 365 tenant.

Once the wizard is complete and data migration is activated, an initial data migration will happen at the scheduled time. Alternatively, you can trigger the data migration process manually.


You can migrate the data that you want to take with you to the cloud. But if your Business Central online storage exceeds 80 GB, some administrative tasks are disabled. We recommend that you consider reducing the amount of data that you migrate so that it is less than 30 GB in each migration run. For example, reduce the number of companies that you are migrating data for, or delete outdated data in tables that contain log entries and archived records. Also, review how you can manage database capacity in a Business Central online environment.

Data is migrated table by table, and success and failures are tracked for each table. If a table fails to migrate, the error will be captured, and the migration moves on to the next table until completed. Tables will fail to migrate if they cannot be found, or if the schema does not match between the cloud and the on-premises tables.

The initial data migration time can vary depending factors such as the amount of data to migrate, your SQL Server configuration, and your connection speeds. The initial migration will take the longest amount of time to complete because all data is migrating. After the initial migration, only changes in data will be migrated so they should run more quickly. You do not need to run the migration process more than once if you don't want to, but if you are running the migration while users are still using the on-premises system you will need to run at least one more migration in order to ensure all data was moved to the cloud before you start transacting in the cloud tenant.

See also

Running the Cloud Migration Tool
Managing the Migration to the Cloud
FAQ about Connecting to the Intelligent Cloud from On-Premises Solutions
Migrate to Business Central Online from Business Central On-premises
Migrate to Business Central Online from Dynamics GP
Upgrading from Dynamics NAV to Business Central Online
Managing your intelligent cloud environment
Managing Capacity