Sandbox Environments for Dynamics 365 Business Central Development

To get started developing for Dynamics 365 Business Central it is important to understand the different options you have at hand. You can either choose to run a sandbox environment deployed as a Dynamics 365 Business Central service, or you can run a container-based image either hosted as an Azure VM or locally. Both options provide the AL development tools; the container-based sandbox additionally provides access to the C/SIDE development tools. You can also choose to run a sandbox environment with production data using the Business Central Admin Center. For more information, see Business Central Admin Center.

Note

Extensions that have been published to a sandbox environment from Visual Studio Code or created using Designer are removed when the environment is updated or relocated within our service. For more information, see Production and Sandbox Environments and FAQ for Developing in AL.

Important

It is not supported to publish, from Visual Studio Code, an extension with the same identifiers as an extension published to AppSource. Identifiers include the combination of appID and version or name, publisher, and version. If you do publish such an extension, it can be removed at any time.

Development sandbox overview

The following table outlines the most important capabilities on the offered development sandbox environments for Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Capability Online Sandbox Container Sandbox
Deployment Dynamics 365 Cloud Service managed by Microsoft Azure VM or on-premises managed by ISV/VAR
Production data Manually uploaded using Rapid Start packages. Or, available through the Business Central Admin Center. Manually uploaded using Rapid Start packages
Production services Manually configured Not available
Cost Part of the Business Central subscription Locally hosted - free, Azure-hosted - cost incurred
Development Full capabilities of the development environment.
Designer functionality, such as:
Add/Remove components,
Move components,
Set/clear Freeze pane,
Edit captions
Full capabilities of the development environment.
Designer functionality, such as:
Add/Remove components,
Move components,
Set/clear Freeze pane,
Edit captions
Tools Visual Studio Code, Designer Visual Studio Code, Designer, on-premise tools such as SQL Server Management Studio, and C/SIDE.
Debugging Enabled Enabled
Database access No Yes
Extensions Must be manually installed. Must be manually installed.
From AppSource Available. Not available.
From File Available. Available.
From Visual Studio Code Available. Available.

Getting started

Based on the overview above and the requirements for your development environment, you can get started with a sandbox by following the links below:

See Also

Getting Started with AL
Keyboard Shortcuts
AL Development Environment
Production and Sandbox Environments