Database backups constitute a crucial element of any business's continuity and disaster recovery strategy. When utilizing cloud solutions like Microsoft Business Central, you benefit from disaster recovery services, which encompass essential features such as backups and storage. Here's an overview of the backup and restore processes for Business Central:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central online service leverages Azure SQL Database as the underlying technology for database backups within its environments. Automated backups are continually generated and maintained by the Azure SQL service to safeguard all databases. The backup retention period for Business Central databases is established at 28 days, whether for production or sandbox environments. To gain a deeper understanding of this backup procedure, refer to Automated Backups – Azure SQL Database & SQL Managed Instance.

Restoring from a backup is a straightforward process. Administrators have the capability to restore an existing environment to a previous point in time, as long as it falls within the 28-day retention window. It's worth noting that an environment can only be restored within the same Business Central version, considering both minor and major versions.

What is the frequency of backups for production databases?

Production databases are safeguarded through automatic backups that are retained for a duration of 28 days. These backups are managed automatically by Microsoft, and as a result, administrators of a Business Central tenant do not have direct access to or control over them. Nevertheless, administrators retain the ability to restore their environments to a precise historical moment through the Business Central admin center.

Restoring Environments Using the Business Central Admin Center

Who Has the Authority to Restore Environments?

The capability to restore environments is restricted to particular user types, namely internal administrators and delegated administrators. The following user categories possess the ability to perform environment restoration:

Moreover, these users must be equipped with the D365 BACKUP/RESTORE permission set, which must be assigned to their user account within the specific environment they intend to export.

For additional insights into permission sets and user groups, please consult the documentation on Assigning Permissions to Users and Groups.

Important Considerations and Limitations!

  • Environments can only be restored if the customer has a paid Business Central subscription.
  • Each environment can be restored up to 10 times in a calendar month.
  • An environment can only be restored within the same Azure region and country (Business Central localization) as the original environment.
  • A production environment can be restored to an environment of type Production or Sandbox. A sandbox environment can only be restored to a Sandbox environment.
  • When restoring a sandbox environment, all development extensions (that is, extensions published directly from Visual Studio Code) won't be available in the restored environment—even if they were present at the point-in-time you're restoring to). Additionally, any per-tenant extensions that depend on such development extensions will also not be available.
  • Per-tenant extensions you may have uploaded that target the next version of the Business Central won't be available in the restored environment—even if they were uploaded at the point-in-time you're restoring to. Per-tenant extensions that were already installed will be available in the restored environment.
  • Every AppSource and Business Central app in the restored environment will have the latest available hotfix installed automatically—even if the hotfix was introduced after the point-in-time you're restoring to. The environment will be restored to the major/minor version it was on at the time you are restoring to.
  • Microsoft Entra app registration, status, and permissions in the environment will be restored to their state at the time you are restoring to. Apps that were authorized in the Business Central administration center will not be restored even if their permissions in the restored environment are.
  • The update window and application insights connection string that are specified for the source environment in the admin center at the time when the restore operation started will be retained on the target environment. The target environment will not be restored to the values for these settings that existed on the source environment at the time that the source environment is being restored to.

Before proceeding with a restore carefully review the latest Microsoft Documentation regarding the Restore of an Environment.

For more information, we recommend reviewing the documentation about the Azure SQL Database automatic backups at FAQ for Dynamics 365 Business Central.