The AL developer environment is evolving with frequent updates. To stay up to date on the latest information and announcements, follow us on the Dynamics NAV Team Blog.

JSON Files

In an AL project there are two JSON files; the app.json file and the launch.json file. These files are generated automatically when you start a new project. The app.json file contains information about extension that you are building, such as publisher information and specifies the minimum version of base application objects that the extension is built on. Often the app.json file is referred to as the manifest. The launch.json file contains information about the server that the extension launches on.

App.json file

The following table describes the settings in the app.json file:

Setting Mandatory Value
id Yes The unique ID of the extension. When app.json file is automatically created, the ID is set to a new GUID value.
name Yes The unique extension name.
publisher Yes The name of your publisher, for example: NAV Partner, LLC
brief No, but required for AppSource submission Short description of the extension.
description No, but required for AppSource submission Longer description of the extension.
version Yes The version of the app package.
privacyStatement No, but required for AppSource submission URL to the privacy statement for the extension.
EULA No, but required for AppSource submission URL to the license terms for the extension.
help No, but required for AppSource submission URL to the help for the extension.
url No URL of the extension package.
logo No, but required for AppSource submission Relative path to the app package logo from the root of the package.
dependencies No List of dependencies for the extension package. For example: "dependencies": [ { "appId": "4805fd15-75a5-46a2-952f-39c1c4eab821", "name": "WeatherLibrary", "publisher": "Microsoft", "version": "1.0.0.0"}],
screenshots No Relative paths to any screenshots that should be in the extension package.
platform Yes, if system tables are referenced in the extension The minimum supported version of the platform symbol package file, for example: "11.0.0.0". See the Symbols for the list of object symbols contained in the platform symbol package file.
application Yes, if base application objects are extended or referenced. The AL package will be compiled against the application that is present on the server that you connect to. This allows you to write a single AL Language extension for multiple country versions as long as you do not depend on country-specific code. If you do depend on country-specific code you should only try to compile your app against a server set up for that country. The minimum supported version, for example: "application": "11.0.0.0"
idRange Yes For example: "idRange": {"from": 50100,"to": 50149}. A range for application object IDs. For all objects outside the range, a compilation error will be raised. When you create new objects, an ID is automatically suggested.
idRanges Yes For example: "idRanges": {"from": 50100,"to": 50200},{"from": 50202,"to": 50300}. A list of ranges for application object IDs. For all objects outside the ranges, a compilation error will be raised. When you create new objects, an ID is automatically suggested. You must use either the idRange or the idRanges setting. Overlapping ranges are not allowed and will result in a compilation error. showMyCode No This is by default set to false and not visible in the manifest. To enable viewing the source code when debugging into an extension, add the following setting: "showMyCode": true
target No By default this is Extension. For Dynamics NAV, you can set this to Internal to get access to otherwise restricted APIs and .NET Interop. The Dynamics NAV Server setting must then also be set to Internal.
helpBaseUrl No The URL for the website that displays help for the current extension. The default URL is https://docs.microsoft.com/{0}/dynamics365/business-central.
supportedLocales No The list of locales that are supported for looking up help. The value on the list is inserted into the URL defined in the helpBaseUrl property. The first locale on the list is default. An example is "supportedLocales": ["da-DK", "en-US"].

Launch.json file

The following table describes the settings in the launch.json file. The launch.json file has two configurations depending on whether the extension is published to a local server or to the cloud.

Publish to local server settings

Setting Mandatory Value
name Yes "Publish to your own server"
type Yes Must be set to ".al". Required by Visual Studio Code.
request Yes Request type of the configuration. Must be set to "launch". Required by Visual Studio Code.
server Yes The HTTP URL of your server, for example: "http://localhost|serverInstance"
port No The port assigned to the development service.
serverInstance Yes The instance name of your server, for example: "US"
authentication Yes Specifies the server authentication method. Currently, AAD authentication is supported only for Dynamics 365 Business Central sandboxes. AAD authentication cannot be used for on-premise servers.
startupObjectType No Specifies whether the object to open after publishing is a Page type ("Page") or Table type ("Table") object. The default is "Page".
startupObjectId No Specifies the ID of the object to open after publishing. Only objects of type Page and Table are currently supported.
schemaUpdateMode No Specifies the data synchronization mode when you publish an extension to the development server, for example:
"schemaUpdateMode": "Synchronize Recreate"
The default value is Synchronize. For more information, see Retaining table data after publishing
This feature is not supported in Dynamics NAV.
breakOnError No Specifies whether to break on errors when debugging. The default value is true.
breakOnRecordWrite No Specifies if the debugger breaks on record changes. The default value is false.
launchBrowser No Specifies whether to open a new tab page in the browser when publishing the AL extension (Ctrl+F5). The default value is false. If the value is not specified or set to true, the session is started. If the value is explicitly set to false, the session is not started unless you launch your extension in debugging mode.

Publish to cloud settings

Setting Mandatory Value
name Yes "Publish to Microsoft cloud sandbox"
type Yes Must be set to ".al". Required by Visual Studio Code.
request Yes Request type of the configuration. Must be set to "launch". Required by Visual Studio Code.
startupObjectType No Specifies whether the object to open after publishing is a Page type ("Page") or Table type ("Table") object. The default is "Page".
startupObjectId No Specifies the ID of the object to open after publishing. Only objects of type Page and Table are currently supported.
tenant No Specifies the tenant to which the package is deployed. If you specify multiple configurations, a drop-down of options will be available when you deploy.

The platform symbol file

The platform symbol file contains all of the base app objects that your extension builds on. If the AL Language extension in Visual Studio Code detects that the referenced symbols are not present on local disk, you will get a visual prompt in Visual Studio Code to download the symbols from one of the servers specified in the launch.json file. For more information about the platform symbol file, see Symbols.

See Also

AL Development Environment
Debugging in AL
Security Setting and IP Protection