27 February 2024

How to setup a new user in Business Central cloud

That's strange, you'll think: "when I go to the users page in Business Central online, the New button is grayed out. Can't I create new users then?" Fortunately, you can create users, but in a different way than you were used to from an old NAV environment or your BC on-prem environment. User management in BC in the cloud starts at Microsoft 365 admin center.  

How to setup a new user in Business Central in the Cloud

(Difference between user maintenance in Business Central online and on-prem) 

User accounts in Business Central must be first created in the Microsoft 365 admin center. From the separation of responsibilities, this is no different than a system administrator previously had to create a new user as a Windows User before it could be added in Business Central or NAV. Your Microsoft Partner basically makes sure that the agreed upon number of subscriptions for Business Central are available online in the admin center. Your own admin center administrator can then create a user in Microsoft 365 and assign the appropriate subscriptions. 

After subscriptions are assigned to a (new) user in Microsoft 365 admin center, your application administrator can add the user in Business Central by using the "Update users from Microsoft 365" button. Depending on the License Configuration settings in Business Central (see more on this later in another blog), a new user is then assigned a number of default permissions. These permissions can then be adjusted to the required permissions that correspond to the new user's tasks and responsibilities. 

Ultimately, the method of managing users in the online environment seems similar to the old situation with NAV or Business Central on-prem. See the comparison in the table below. 



Business Central online 

Business Central on-prem/NAV 


License for number of users 

Update subscriptions in Microsoft 365 admin center 

Update license (.flf) file 

Microsoft Partner 

Create user 

Create user in Microsoft 365 admin center and assign BC license 

Create Windows user in active directory 

System manager 

Add user to BC 

Add user to Business Central by synchronizing with Microsoft 365 

Add user to Business Central / NAV by creating new user and selecting Windows user 

Application manager 

Assign authoriztaions 

Assign correct permission sets to new user 

Assign correct permission sets to new user 

Application manager 

From this we can conclude that from a management perspective, there is no difference between managing users online or on-prem.