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  • Writer's pictureNosh

Creating a dev environment - For the AL developer

Updated: May 1, 2020

If you are a developer working for a company that uses Dynamics Business Central (BC) or learned coding on the job, you may not know about all the links and websites out there to make your life easier.


To that goal let's get started. First thing you need to know are some useful links. I find myself constantly referring to my notes for these links. The first one is aka.ms/bcsandbox. If you want a virtual machine with business central installed, to develop or test, then use the above link. Answer a few questions and you have yourself a VM on azure ready to go. Note the docker image path should be mcr.microsoft.com/businesscentral/sandbox:us.


A note about the VM. The server uses docker. When someone asked me what docker is, I describe it as a 2nd (minimum) version of the windows server inside your VM. It has some rules but fortunately you don't need to know much about it to get started.


Once you have a VM, the first thing you need to do is install your license. Here you use the following power shell command. Replace the file path with yours on the VM. The server is navserver unless you change it.

Import-BCContainerLicense navserver -LicenseFile "c:\license.flf"

As you develop, being able to read BC code goes a long way. I miss the old days when you could just look through all the objects and read the code. The GitHub Microsoft/ALAppExtension project will become the alternative in the future, but today it only has the System app. You should check it out though. It's good to keep this site in mind. My alternative today, is to point a variable to the routine I want and then <right-click> and select Go to definition. Note you need to be connected to a server. If you are offline it doesn't work as well.


Stay tuned.

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