API for continuous delivery of the Business Central apps via Azure DevOps services
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|Enabled for||Public preview||General availability|
|Admins, makers, or analysts, automatically||Apr 1, 2020||Jul 14, 2020|
Partners of Business Central can use Azure DevOps to orchestrate their build processes and deployments to Business Central online.
The global partner community and Business Central partner community, in particular, have a growing passion for continuous integration/continuous delivery and DevOps principles.
Azure DevOps services already provide a wealth of functionality for developers to manage their code following continuous integration practice:
- Code is written in Visual Studio Code.
- Then, code is stored, reviewed, branched, and merged in a source control repository.
- Finally, code is built and tested using build pipelines, targeting Business Central Docker containers.
The next step is to enable partners with the ability to implement continuous delivery of their apps to Business Central online service customers. The solution is the new Fixed App Management Endpoint API.
The Fixed App Management Endpoint (or FAME) API is a REST-based API. It requires that you're an authorized ISV and your apps have been registered by Microsoft. Once registered, you access the FAME API by using this global endpoint: https://apps.businesscentral.dynamics.com.
The API can be used for the following operations:
- Make major, minor, and hotfix app updates available to customers for installation from the Business Central administration center. You make the updates available by uploading them to the FAME App Repository. The new app versions will then be available on the Manage Apps page of the Business Central administration center.
- Retrieve the list of the customers' environments that have your app installed.
- Schedule the automatic deployment of the app hotfixes for their customers' environments.
FAME API lets you apply modern continuous integration (CI), continuous deployment (CD), and DevOps practices to your work; for example:
- Automate operations by using Microsoft Azure DevOps Services or other available process automation tools.
- Organize role-based access control.
- Manage your apps at scale, in multiple geo locations, supported by advanced and well-controlled build, test, and release flows.
In Business Central 2020 release wave 1, direct access to the FAME API is only available for the ISVs working with the Embed apps. It isn't available for Add-on and Connect apps. To manage Add-on and Connect apps, you use Partner Center to upload the new app versions to Business Central offers. The apps will then undergo a technical and marketing validation before becoming available on AppSource. After passing validation, the new versions are made available in Business Central administration center to the customers who have these apps installed.
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App Management API (docs)