Running tests in Business Central Online Sandbox environments

For quite some time, it has been possible to run automated tests in Docker using the Run-TestsInBcContainer function and it is my strong belief that this is used by a lot of partners today. Since 17.2, the Test Runner is available in Online Business Central Sandbox environments for installation from AppSource. From Extension Marketplace, you can install the Test Runner, open page 130451 and run your test manually. With BcContainerHelper 2.0.4 or later, you can also run tests in online sandbox environments, this blog post explains how.

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Publishing apps to a Business Central Online Environment

There are 2 kinds of apps: AppSource Apps and Per Tenant Extensions (PTEs). These apps can be installed in the global scope in two kinds of environments: Sandbox and Production. In Sandbox environments you can also install apps to the development scope (like what VS Code does).

This blog post will describe how you can use BcContainerHelper 2.0.2 to install apps in any of those combinations.

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How to use Run-AlValidation

When releasing the first version of Run-AlValidation in BcContainerHelper, i did a quick blog post about the function here. This blog post serves to explain some common scenarios of how to run the function. The blog post will also explain the parameters of Run-AlValidation a bit more in depth, for people to have a good chance of using the function before submitting for AppSource Validation.

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Run-AlValidation and Run-AlCops

On December 1st, I co-hosted a webinar about how people can make sure that their app passes AppSource Validation. Until now, I have always been preaching that people should run CI/CD and include AppSourceCop validation in their CI/CD pipeline, which is supported in the Run-AlPipeline function. But…, as I prepared for the session, it became evident that it would be really helpful to have a function, which basically does exactly the same as our validation pipeline.

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Using GitHub for DevOps

For the last 2 years we have had the Hands On Lab (https://aka.ms/cicdhol) in a few iterations using Azure DevOps as the platform. Latest revision was published a few weeks ago.

There are however multiple platforms for DevOps out there and I wanted to investigate the functionality of Github, which also is part of the Microsoft family and probably the biggest provider of devops services to developers in the world.

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Run-AlPipeline

WARNING: Very boring long blog post ahead…

Run-AlPipeline is a new function in BcContainerHelper. It has been in preview for a number of releases while being worked on, and a number of partners have already tried to use it. My apologies for changing things under your feet, but to my defense – I did write that the function was in preview.

With version 1.0.8 of BcContainerHelper, Run-AlPipeline is ready for real-life usage… (I think)

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The Hello World CI/CD sample

Update 2021/2/10: BcContainerHelper has replaced NavContainerHelper. This blog post still reference NavContainerHelper, which is outdated.

Quite a few partners have build their CI/CD pipelines based on the HelloWorld CI/CD sample repository here: https://dev.azure.com/businesscentralapps/HelloWorld (the one used in the Hands On Lab – http://aka.ms/cicdhol).

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CI/CD and artifacts

Update 2021/2/10: BcContainerHelper has replaced NavContainerHelper. This blog post still reference NavContainerHelper, which is outdated.

Only a few days have gone since releasing information about how to run Business Central in docker using artifacts and already a lot of people have tried this out and a lot of people are looking into changing their CI/CD pipelines to use artifacts.

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Having Demo Data while developing Business Central Apps with Docker

Update 2021/2/10: Microsoft stopped creating images for Docker in the summer of 2020. We now publish artifacts, which can be used to spin up containers and BcContainerHelper has replaced NavContainerHelper. This blog post reflects the old way of using NAV/BC on Docker and references NavContainerHelper, which is outdated.

I have always preached that you shouldn’t try to keep your Docker containers running. Containers should be something, which easily can be dismissed and recreated for any developer. One of the frequent questions is then: But what about my demo/development data? Continue reading

Upgrading to 15.x from 14.x C/AL – our NAV TechDays 2019 demo

Update 2021/2/10: Microsoft stopped creating images for Docker in the summer of 2020. We now publish artifacts, which can be used to spin up containers and BcContainerHelper has replaced NavContainerHelper. This blog post reflects the old way of using NAV/BC on Docker and references NavContainerHelper, which is outdated.

WARNING: VERY LONG BLOG POST AHEAD!

My session at NAV Tech Days this year was together with Nikola Kukrika and we did an end 2 end walk-through of how to upgrade a code customized C/AL solution in 14.x to 15.x (AL), converting the code, upgrading the data, explaining all the pitfalls and in some cases, how to cope with missing functionality. Continue reading