New Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Publisher program coming in 2021

Later this year, Microsoft will launch a new Publisher program to modernize our Dynamics 365 Business Central ISV approach to support a cloud-first strategy. This new approach will ensure all future customers can choose Dynamics 365 Business Central online, while also finding the right apps on Microsoft AppSource to meet their unique requirements. This change will require ISVs to have a cloud-first strategy by the end of 2022 for their solutions listed as Microsoft AppSource apps.

The new Publisher program replaces the Registered Solution Program (RSP) and the Certified for Microsoft Dynamics (CfMD) program, which will be deprecated after being in place for more than a decade.

We’ll share details about the new Publisher program closer to launch. In the meantime, the following guidance will ensure that you are ready to transition:

  • Publishers with a cloud-first strategy in place are set up for success.
    ISVs who have modernized their existing C/AL solutions by converting them into AL and full extensions, and published those Apps to Microsoft AppSource, will be more competitive. These publishers will be able to adapt faster and can focus more on their prospects and customers, instead of writing code.

The Publisher program will reward partners with a cloud-first strategy by freeing them from program fees or additional test efforts, outside of what is required for publishing to Microsoft AppSource.

This policy doesn’t mean publishers are required to have a cloud-only approach. If partners comply with the cloud-first approach, they’ll be able to easily implement Business Central online, on-premises, and partner-hosted apps.

  • Better serve your customers by bringing existing Dynamics NAV or Dynamics 365 Business Central code-customized solutions into Microsoft AppSource.
    As of April 2021, Microsoft AppSource hosts almost 1,500 apps specifically built for Dynamics 365 Business Central. Over the past few years, hundreds of our partners have embraced this transition and incorporated a cloud-first strategy. Those who have transitioned to Microsoft AppSource have shared with us how they and their customers benefited from that investment.

To remain competitive, relevant, and provide digital transformation strategies to customers, we are asking all our partners to embark on a modernization journey. If there is a strong business case to continue selling to new customers, then you should avoid further delay and bring your apps to Microsoft AppSource.

From September 2022 onward, we will introduce gradually increasing fees for publishers whose resellers have sold on-premises solutions to new customers without an equivalent cloud-based solution. The fees will only be applied to sales in countries where the Dynamics 365 Business Central online service is available. Solutions registered to existing customer licenses before the program cut-off date will not be impacted by program fees. However, adding new non-AppSource solutions after the cut-off date will be impacted.

Avoid fees by creating a transition plan now. The longer you wait to bring your solutions into Microsoft AppSource, the more fees you will incur.

This change also means that publishers now have a shared responsibility with their resellers to only resell cloud-first solutions to new customers.

Just like the RSP and CfMD programs, the new Publisher program is designed to drive customer-obsession behavior, not revenue, and promote a cloud-first strategy for publishers. Our objective is to ensure customers can choose cloud deployments without exception.

Next steps

Further details about the program will be shared in the coming months. We understand that our partners are in different stages of their modernization journey. We’ve put together learning and coaching resources to support you in your transition journey. Please reach out to your regional operational center if you have any questions or concerns. We’ll connect you with the best resource to further your path forward.