Enhancements for Application Lifecycle Management

Note

These release notes describe functionality that may not have been released yet. To see when this functionality is planned to release, please review What's new and planned for Dynamics 365 Business Central. Delivery timelines and projected functionality may change or may not ship (see Microsoft policy).

The April'19 release for Business Central brings enhancements for how you can manage your customers' Business Central tenants.

Manage upgrade schedule

Visibility and control of the upgrading of your Business Central environments is improved with the April '19 release. Business Central tenants will now be scheduled for upgrade on a predetermined date, allowing users and admins to better plan for the upgrade. Admins will also have the option in the Business Central Admin Center to reschedule the upgrade for a different date, or select to have the environment upgraded immediately by choosing an Upgrade now action. The admins can also view errors in telemetry that may be causing the upgrade to fail.

Monitoring and notifications

Business Central admins can subscribe to receive notifications of more events happening in their environments. The admins can use the Business Central Admin Center to select recipients that should receive notifications for each of the different event types. The new event notifications include details about upcoming upgrades, upgrade schedules, upgrade results, and available extension upgrades. Admins can also use a new page in the Business Central Admin Center to view the list and details of all notifications.

Version previews

Release candidates of new application versions will be available in sandbox environments. Tenant administrators and ISVs can upgrade a sandbox environment to the new release candidate version, or create a new sandbox environment on the new version. This will allow administrators and ISVs to do testing, verify extension compatibility, and review new application functionality in a sandbox environment prior to the upgrade happening in the production environment.

Multiple sandboxes

Sandbox environments are critical for successfully creating, testing, and upgrading extensions for Business Central. In many scenarios, there is the need to have more than one sandbox environment. In the April '19 release, admins will be able to create multiple sandbox environments for their tenant. Each sandbox is a different environment and can be modified, upgraded, and removed independently, without affecting the production environment.

Enhanced sandbox management

The April '19 release provides enhancements to the sandbox management experience in the Business Central Admin Center. The environment overview will display additional information about the sandbox environment and provide the ability to upgrade sandbox environments to preview versions of the application. The administrators can also upload and deploy per-tenant extensions to a sandbox just as they do with the production environment. The per-tenant extensions and AppSource apps that are deployed to a sandbox will also be upgraded in the same way they are upgraded in production, enabling the administrators to fully test the upgrade in a sandbox environment.

Enhanced extension management

Keeping per-tenant extensions and AppSource apps up to date and making sure they work with upcoming versions is critical. The April '19 release includes a number of features that help administrators with this task. The first is an automated service that validates per-tenant extensions against upcoming versions of the base application and notifies the admins/developers when an incompatibility is found. Notifications will also be sent to admins when a new version of an installed AppSource app is available. The administrator can then select to upgrade the app from the extension management page on their schedule.

Lifecycle Services (Preview)

Business Central ISVs can receive support for the lifecycle of their apps through Lifecycle Services (LCS). Lifecycle Services will be the portal for ISVs to perform full lifecycle management of their solutions, including deployment, upgrade, surfacing preview versions for early testing and evaluation, approval of VARs, monitoring, live site troubleshooting, and more.