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ArcherPoint Dynamics NAV Developer Digest - vol 232ArcherPoint's Developer Digest Weekly Blog

The NAV community, including the ArcherPoint technical staff, is made up of developers, project managers, and consultants who are constantly communicating, with the common goal of  sharing helpful information with one another to help customers be more successful.

As they run into issues and questions, find the answers, and make new discoveries, they post them on blogs, forums, social media...so everyone can benefit. We in Marketing watch these interactions and never cease to be amazed by the creativity, dedication, and brainpower we’re so fortunate to have in this community—so we thought, wouldn’t it be great to share this great information with everyone who might not have the time to check out the multitude of resources out there? So, the ArcherPoint Microsoft Dynamics NAV Developer Digest was born. Each week, we present a collection of thoughts and findings from NAV experts and devotees around the world. We hope these insights will benefit you, too.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Developer Preview

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Developer Preview was shared by Bill Warnke with the comment from Microsoft’s Susanne Windfeld, "The biggest announcement this month is that we are publishing a preview of the base application fully on AL language." 

Matt T likes what he reads: “Good stuff this month. They announced that they had BC completely in AL at Directions last year, but it wasn't ready for release yet.”
 
He continues: “To connect the dots on what this means a little more, they are moving to a point where you essentially have an easy-to-use development environment, one where you can rapidly build ANY application on the D365 SaaS platform. Not just any NAV application...ANY application. Developers don't have to worry about anything but designing a usable product.”

Jon adds: “So, base NAV is basically an extension, or extensions? Signed, Mr. Obvious.” 

Matt T responds: “Yeah, NAV or Business Central is an application (extension) built on the Dynamics365 platform, just like my random GlassFrog to Azure DevOps integration could be (just picking something weird).”

Bill W ponders: “Which is an interesting concept that begs the question, why on earth would you do that? Why not just start with typescript or javascript? We'll see how it plays out; maybe/hopefully the answer is that you get a transactional environment in a fraction of the time and hassle that performs about as well. AL seems designed to make an eventual jump to JS. Who knows.”

Matt T replies: “You get a transactional environment, don't have to worry about the GUI side of things, and automatic web access. Like Wix or Squarespace for websites, but for web apps.”

The Future of Dynamics NAV Upgrades

Kyle shared: “I conducted an experiment.

I took my current development AL project, which has been done against NAV 2018, and I applied it to a Docker container with Business Central OnPrem CU3. I had to make zero changes to my code—the publish just worked. I was also able to load my RAPID package with setup data without changes, and all of my customizations are working. Even the few C/AL customizations are working. My ‘upgrade’ took less than 30 minutes to do.

This all proves my theory that BC is nothing more than NAV 2018R2 with a different sticker on the box.”

Matt T adds: “In the future we'll do things like this automatically with the build process. We'll be able to provide measurable data about whether we are writing upgradable code.”

AL Development in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

If you missed Saurav’s blog series on how to develop in Business Central using AL code, you should check it out. Saurav updated the series with this new summary post, responding to feedback and clarifying and offers the short version if you already know the how-to part of it. I encourage you to provide comments here or on Saurav’s blogs via the links above.

The Only Way to Learn a New Programming Language 

Kyle shares a quote:

"The only way to learn a new programming language is by writing programs in it." 
- Brian Kernighan

If you are interested in NAV development, be sure to see our collection of NAV/BC Development Blogs.

Read the "How To" blogs from ArcherPoint for practical advice on using Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central.

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