Business Central – BC14, C/SIDE, C/AL in 2022

First launched in 2018, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system designed to replace its predecessors, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Navision. One notable difference is that the platform is primarily cloud based and introduced a new AL language for development. C/SIDE and C/AL were supported from its initial release till Version 14 (BC14). In other words, BC14 is the last version that one is able to operate both C/SIDE and AL development environment. That is particularly useful when migrating to an extension based solution.

What is the deal with BC14, C/SIDE, C/AL in 2022 you might ask? Since it is a software-as-a-service, why are we still digging up the past and “reminiscing” about it? Shouldn’t be everyone on cloud and running the latest version of Business Central? Well, unfortunately, there are still some customers who are running Business Central 14 and below and retaining their customisation in C/AL, for reasons incomprehensible.

C/AL

First introduced around 1995, C/AL stands for Client/server Application Language. It is the programming language used within C/SIDE (Client/Server Integration Development Environment) aka classic development environment in Microsoft Dynamics NAV and some versions for Microsoft Dynamics Business Central. It resembles Pascal language and has been replaced by AL.

AL

Similar to C/AL it is the programming language that is used for manipulating data such as retrieving, inserting, and modifying records in a Dynamics 365 Business Central database. It controls the execution of the various application objects, such as pages, reports, or codeunits. AL is more modern, more efficient, open-source, and Cloud-enabled.

Why AL and not C/AL for Business Central?

C/AL development allowed flexibility in customizations, but it has also created a number of upgradeability challenges. In C/AL, all code changes were made at the core of the system. If you are writing codes to change how the system works, it takes time and effort to make sure that those customizations works when it is time to upgrade. AL takes a different approach. The standard Business Central core is basically an app, and any customization you published in the system is one or more apps. In this way, you can upgrade the core Business Central app with minimal impact to the rest of the customizations. Everything is neatly compartmentalized.

Why stay on BC14?

There is little reason why one should stay on with BC14. At this point of writing, Business Central is at Version 20 (BC20). There are some reasons given by customers who insisted on staying. Some of them involves the cost of migrating to an extension based solution, in-house tech preference of using C/AL for maintainability, misconception of increased maintenance, lack of control/ownership, among others. The more popular justification from customers are because of the windows client. Most of them conveyed that their end-users are used to the windows client and retraining them takes too much effort or they cannot adapt to it. Hence by maintaining status quo (using windows client), it would reduce the loss in productivity. So they claimed.

Should you upgrade?

To be honest, the prudent way forward is to upgrade. Why? Avoid technical debt. The longer one waits, the more costly it will be, in terms of effort and money. Upgrading to Business Central on cloud would ensure that you have the latest fix and feature upgrades. It would also be easier to maintain and support in future. You won’t be limited to windows client, you have access to new clients (web, mobile, tablet) without being constraint by your desktop. You get to enjoy better integration tools and options to future proof your business operations.

What are you thoughts and/or experience?

Which Safe Haven for your Hard-earned Money?

Interest rates have been going up and needless to say, the topics going around these days are the attractive Fixed Deposits and Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB) rates. That has certainly generated a lot of excitement and for a good reason.

In the backdrop of COVID-19, we have the Ukraine war with the potential to escalate to a nuclear exchange, a gloomy global economy sleepwalking seemingly towards recession, US-China rivalry and climate change, just to name a few. Oh, and not forgetting all those cryptocurrencies meltdowns. All these negative news have solidify the default status of the color RED in markets worldwide.

Just as it looks like the dearth of safe havens for common folks like us, these headlines provided us the much needed hope and possibilities.

Banks in Singapore lift fixed deposit rates further with latest round of promotions

CNA, 6 October 2022

Singapore Savings Bonds 10-year average return hits record high of 3.21%

CNA, 03 October 2022

Looking at the queues at the banks around the neighborhood, I am definitely not the only one who sat up and got moving. Of course, there are many other options such as cash fund (robo-advisors), money market funds, treasury bills, and so on. However, we will focus on Fixed Deposits and Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB) as they are the more popular options.

What are Fixed Deposits

Fixed Deposit (FD) or Time Deposit, is a type of bank account that promises you a fixed rate of interest for your principal based on the agreed tenure, or term (i.e. 6 months/1 year/2 years/etc.). In return, you agree not to withdraw the amount of funds. Your deposits are protected if your bank is listed in Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC), up to S$75,000.

What are Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB)

Singapore Savings Bonds are debt instruments issued and backed by the Singapore Government. They enjoy good credit ratings and are considered to be safe investments. Fully backed by the Singapore Government, you can always get your investment amount back in full with no capital loss. Touch wood, if you cannot get your money back, you have more important things to worry about.

From 1 Feb 2019, you may subscribe to SSB using your Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) funds to grow your retirement nest egg. The Individual Limit has been raised from S$100,000 to S$200,000.

Similarities
  • Both provide a safe option for growing your money
  • Your deposits/capital are protected
  • Interest rates are about the same in general.
Differences
Fixed DepositSingapore Saving Bond
Insured up to S$75,000 by SDIC, depending on bankFully backed by the Singapore Government
Various Tenure Options10 years, can withdraw any time
Forfeit all interest for early withdrawalRetain existing payout prior withdrawal date
Interest payout end of tenurePayout every 6 months
Require account with bankRequire bank account with one of the 3 local banks and an individual CDP Securities account
At most 1-2 business day to process withdrawalsNeed to wait till specific payout date per month
Full capital amount will be investedAllocated amount subjected to allotment limit
No maximum limitMaximum limit of S$200,000
Can have joint accountPersonal account only
Promotional rates subjected to terms and conditionsStandard rate for all
Might have minimum requirementStart with as little as S$500
The Better Choice?

Fixed Deposit

  • Comfortable with short term lockdown funds
  • Only need a bank account / Unable to have a CDP account
  • Able to get cash fast at the expense of interest payout
  • Have lump sum for capital and want to place full amount
  • Fresh funds and/or minimum placement for promotional rates not an issue
  • Able go to a physical bank branch for certain transactions (for some banks)

Singapore Saving Bond

  • Comfortable with longer term horizon
  • Regular savings in small amount when lump sum is not possible
  • No requirement to get cash fast (because need to wait for payout date)
  • Already have or wants to create CDP account and have local bank account
  • Able to accept allotment limits
  • Can subscribe digitally (i.e. online banking, ATM, etc.)

You might be interested in a recent post from the Turtle Investor – “How To Check Singapore Saving Bonds Allotment Results And Useful Tools“.

Special Mention: Stablecoins (Cryptocurrency)

This would probably be the last thing on a lot of people’s mind after what has happened in the cryptocurrency world – Terra Luna, Celsius, Three Arrow Capital (3AC), Hodlnaut and other DeFi attacks. Hence, they are NOT recommended as a form of safe investment. Unless you know what you are doing, it would be prudent to avoid them. It is possible to lose all your assets with no legal recourse. There are no form of protection such as SDIC or FDIC, and they are not backed by any financial institution nor government.

Observations

Not sure if those are isolated incidents but some old folks might be obsessed with chasing after the rising fixed deposits interest rates. After hearing from their friends or relatives that XYZ bank is having a higher interest rate than what they had signed up for, they are bent on switching their accounts without considerations.

Why would you want to take out your fixed deposit account which is due in a month or two, and forfeit the interest, just to chase another one with a higher interest rate? Or to jump from a month or two year old account to another one just because of that increase in 0.5%?

I am not sure if that is a good idea unless they really have done their calculations. Or perhaps I am the one who got it wrong?

Updates

19 Oct 2022 – For fixed deposits, you can request to withdraw to a bank account of your choice or by cheque. For Singapore savings bond, the withdrawal will be to the bank account that you have set in your CDP account.

Growing Old

Growing old is something all of us are going through from the day we were born. At this very moment, we are all growing old. This is an inevitable fact of life. Some people take it in their stride, choosing to treasure every minute of their existence. Others look upon it with dread, opting to ignore and lead their life like an immortal. Such is life.

I was young and foolish once. I believe everyone was. When you were young, the thought of growing old and the limits of human life are the last thing on your mind – for most people. It is until when you reach your 40s, the mid-stage of a typical human lifespan that this reality strikes back hard for those who are aware. Middle age marks a major milestone in one’s life and it is no wonder most people are at their most depressed state during this time. When one is young, one leads life blissfully ignorant about their limited life span and when one is old, they humbly accept that they will soon leave this life. Quite a sobering thought.

I too have grown to sober up slowly and humbled by life.