Migrating Expense Management from Business Central On-Premises to Cloud

If your organization currently uses Continia Expense Management in Microsoft Dynamics NAV/Business Central on-premises but would like to move to the cloud, you can easily migrate to Business Central online using the guide below.

The migration of Expense Management to Business Central online is based on Microsoft's standard cloud migration tool. For more details, see Migrate On-Premises Data to Business Central Online (Microsoft article).

Note that there are a few things that you should consider before migrating to Business Central online. These are listed below under Considerations when migrating to the cloud.

To prepare your on-premises environment for cloud migration

Before migrating any data to Business Central online, you must carry out the following steps in your on-premises environment:

  1. Upgrade to the latest available version of Business Central. To do this, see Upgrading NAV/Business Central with Expense Management Installed.


    If Microsoft updates Business Central (BC) while you're in the process of migrating to Business Central online, Expense Management (EM) must also be upgraded in your premigration database. For example, consider the following scenario:

    • In February 2022, you have an on-premises environment that runs BC v18 and EM v8.02. At the same time, the online version of Business Central is running the following versions: BC v19.3 and EM v8.02.
    • On April 1, Business Central online is updated to BC v20 and EM v9.00.

    In this scenario, if you migrate to Business Central online after April 1, you must update to EM v9.00 before initiating the migration, as the EM version you have before you migrate must be the same as the one you're migrating to.

  2. As you complete step 1 above, be sure to also upgrade Expense Management to the latest version.

  3. When you've upgraded both Business Central and Expense Management, run the assisted premigration guide: Choose the Search icon, enter Pre-Cloud Migration Wizard, and then choose the related link.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the guide. This will execute the following actions for all companies in the database:

    • If Document Storage Type is set to File System, it will be changed to Database, and all files will be moved from the file share drive to the database.


    In order for documents to be moved to the database, they must be available on the file share drive at the time of transfer.

To migrate data to the cloud

Once you've prepared your on-premises environment for migration as described above, you're ready to migrate data to Business Central online. To do this, carry out the following steps in your new online environment:

  1. Run the Microsoft cloud migration tool: Choose the Search icon, enter Cloud Migration Setup, and then choose the related link to open the Cloud Migration Setup guide. For more information, see Run the assisted setup guide (Microsoft article).

  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the guide.


    To avoid interrupting the migration process, you can't use Expense Management when the cloud migration tool is running.

  3. Once the migration process is complete, go through the steps of the Post Migration Checklist to make sure that all necessary actions have been carried out.

  4. Disable cloud migration, and define user mappings between on-premises and cloud. For more information, see "Disable Cloud Migration" and "Define User Mappings" in the table under Manage the migration (Microsoft article).

  5. In the Role Center, the following notification is now displayed: "Continia Expense Management has been migrated from On-premises to Cloud. Would you like to activate it?" Select Yes to open the activation guide.

  6. Complete the guide to activate Expense Management as a cloud solution.


    If the Continia Web Approval Portal was enabled in the old on-premises environment, you must set it up again. For more information, see Setting up Web Approval.

All Expense Management data has now been migrated, and the app is ready for use in Business Central online.


When you migrate to Business Central online as described above, client credentials (client ID and password) are copied from your on-premises environment to the online one, no matter what type of environment you're migrating from (production or test) and to (production or sandbox).

However, when you disable cloud migration (step 4 above), the type of online environment is important:

  • If you're migrating to a sandbox environment, your original client credentials are automatically deleted. When you then activate Expense Management as a cloud solution (steps 5-6 above), new client credentials are created.
  • If you're migrating to a production environment, your existing client credentials are reused for the online environment.

Notifying Continia about the migration

When you migrate a Continia solution like Expense Management from an on-premises environment to the cloud, it's important that you take the necessary steps described below, to ensure that the invoicing process remains smooth and trouble-free:

As a partner or customer, it’s your responsibility to terminate your on-premises agreement with Continia once you've migrated the entire solution and it's fully operational in the cloud. Most customers migrate their solutions gradually during a period of transition that can last up to several months, but the process varies from organization to organization. In any case, once the migration process is complete, you must inform Continia about the termination by sending an email to accounting@continia.com. You'll then be credited for the remainder of your on-premises billing period.


For administrative purposes, please let us know about the termination before you're invoiced for a 12-month renewal of your on-premises agreement.

Considerations when migrating to the cloud

The following are some of the most important considerations to make and things to note before migrating:

  • The File System storage type isn't available in Business Central online, so you'll have to select a different storage type (Database or Azure Blob Storage) before you migrate.
  • If you choose Database, all documents are saved in the database, thereby taking up database storage space and making the transfer of data to Business Central online more time-consuming. In case you have a lot of data to transfer, you may want to consider selecting Azure Blob Storage instead, as you have limited space available (80 GB plus additional storage capacity based on your number of Business Central licenses) – unless you purchase additional space, which can be costly. For more information, see this Microsoft article.
  • If you do select Azure Blob Storage, we recommend that you change to this storage type before initiating the migration. This makes it much faster for you to transfer your database to Business Central online, as there are no documents stored in the database.

For more information on storage types and how to set them up, see Setting up Document Storage.

See also

How to migrate DC and EM to Business Central 2021 release wave 1 (BC18) in BC cloud