Dynamics 365 Business Central SandBox Icon

December 4, 2019 - By Bredet Services

Dynamics 365 Business Central development environment is easy to set up and, very much portable with the help of containers. The developers do not need to login to a specific server to do customizations, add an extension or customize reports. If they have Windows 10 Pro and above, it will be enough of hardware. Let’s see how it is possible.

Containers are very lightweight and getting common these days. Windows Server 2016 has built-in functionality for containers. Containers are not actual VMs and do not have a GUI. However, with the help of PowerShell and Command Prompt, they can be managed and can run many services like a VM. Somebody cannot have remote [RDP] access into a container. Docker is also another extension which can be added to the Windows 10 Pro or above and Windows Servers to create and manage containers. Lastly, NAV-Container is an extension which can be used for creating containers.

To do coding, a developer also needs Visual Studio Code editor which is a free, extendable and easy to use code editor with many features. It needs.AL extension to be installed for Business Central programming and customization. Please use this link to download the Visual Studio Code: https://code.visualstudio.com/download

For report customization, you also need SSRS report builder which can be download from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53613


To create a container-based developer environment, click on ‘Search’ in Business Central:

D365 Business Central Sandbox Environment

Type ‘Sandbox Environment’ > click on ‘Sandbox Environment’.

Search for Page or Report

This will open a wizard. For the container, click ‘Use Container’.

Sandbox Environment Preview

There is a cloud option with Azure or it can also be downloaded on Windows 10 or Windows Server. When clicking ‘Host Locally’, it will download a PowerShell script.

Host Locally Make sure to open PowerShell editor as an administrator and open the script from there. While running the script, it will install the NAV-Container extension in PowerShell. The script can be changed according to your needs. I also recommend installing the Docker extension. The Docker makes it easier to manage containers. Please visit my blog Docker Useful Commands for more information.

Once the container created, three icons will be created on the desktop one for web client and two for PowerShell and CMD. C-side can also be created if the C-side argument is added before running the script.

That’s all, now, you have visual studio code editor, web client to test your code, PowerShell to manage the container.

Happy coding 😊

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