Get Started with Building Apps

Dynamics 365 Business Central is a business management solution that helps companies connect their financials, sales, services, and operations to streamline business processes, improve customer interactions and make better decisions. With this modern business platform, you can easily and quickly tailor, extend, and build applications so they fit your specific needs with little to no code development.

Build a line-of-business app, such as for a specific industry, process, or department such as HR, finance, marketing, or operations. Then, publish your app to the Microsoft commercial marketplace, where customers can find and try your app, and get in touch with you. For more information, see What is the Microsoft commercial marketplace?.

Learn how you can become a Business Central app publisher in six steps in this article.

Step 1: Become a partner

Becoming a Microsoft partner gives you access to the Microsoft resources needed to build, market, and sell your apps. You don't have to be a Microsoft partner to begin developing your apps. But all of the steps below are required to gain access to the programs that enable you to publish, market, and sell your apps for Business Central.

Obtain your work account

Your work account or work email is the email address provided to you by your company. This email is usually in the format you@yourcompany.com. More information on work accounts can be found here.

Join the Microsoft Partner Network

Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) membership unlocks our best resources to differentiate your business, take your product to market, and sell your solutions. To become a partner, you must join the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), at which time you will be assigned an MPN ID. MPN membership is free to all partners; you can enroll in the MPN here.

Once signed up, you will get an MPN ID – your gateway to access all the membership resources and benefits for your partnership with Microsoft. There is no cost to obtain a MPN ID as a Network member, and with options to upgrade to an Action Pack subscription or work toward a competency, you can access even more benefits.

Set up your Partner Center account

Once you have joined the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), you can set up your Partner Center (PC) account. The Microsoft Partner Center is a generic portal where partners can sell and manage customer subscriptions for Microsoft services, such as Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and others, as well as for some third-party products. For more information, see the Partner Center documentation.

Your Partner Center account provides you with access to pricing information, tools and services, and enables you to manage admin credentials for your company's work account. Partner Center is also where you can purchase or renew subscriptions to Microsoft Action Packs, create a business profile to receive and manage sales leads from Microsoft, and see if you qualify for co-selling opportunities.

Step 2: Register as a publisher

The first step to becoming a publisher is to register in Partner Center (PC). PC is where you submit your apps for publication, promote your apps, and manage your offers. To begin the registration process, you must complete these steps. One of our team members will follow up to help you complete your registration. Once registered, you can access PC.

For more information, see Partner Center Account.

PartnerSource Business Center (PSBC) account

Developing apps requires you to be known as Business Central developer and requires you to have a unique development license file with a specific object range.

To obtain an object range for developing a Business Central, you must first have access to PartnerSource Business Center (PSBC). You have access to PSBC if you have one of the following agreements:

The relevant contract can be requested through your local Regional Operations Center (ROC) Contracts and Agreements Team below:

Step 3: Your unique app specifications

Requesting an object range

When you develop an app for Business Central, you must request access to an object range that holds a certain number of objects for your solution. To avoid overlap between objects used in different solution, each partner is assigned a number of objects in a unique object range. For example, a partner is assigned the object range 70,001,000 – 70,001,999. The object range gives them 1000 numbered objects that they can use to develop Business Central solutions.

Depending on where you will deploy your Business Central solution, online or on-premises, you can use different licensing methods and object ranges.

There are currently two available ranges that you can request. Both have some characteristics to keep in mind:

  • RSP Object Range (ID range 1,000,000-69,999,999)

    This object range is tied to the RSP Program details.

    Important

    We currently advise new publishers to not request an RSP object range

  • App Object Range (ID range 70,000,000-74,999,999)

    This object range was originally designed just for apps in the Microsoft commercial marketplace to be used in Business Central online.

    Important

    We currently advise new publishers to request an app object range.

Currently, you can implement apps developed in both the RSP range and the app object range in Business Central online and on-premises, as well as partner-hosted.

You can request an object range by downloading the object range request form here. After completion, send them to your Regional Operational Center (ROC) for processing:

Downloading your development license file

After your Regional Operational Center has processed your Agreements and Object Range Request forms, download your company's unique developer license from PartnerSource Business Center. Find it in the license key configuration section under the developer tools section.

Register your unique prefix or suffix

In your extension, the name of each new application object must contain a prefix or suffix. This rule applies to all objects. Email d365val@microsoft.com with a prioritized list of three-letter affixes of your choice. You must also submit your MPN ID and the publisher name that you will use for the app. For more information, see Benefits and Guidelines for using a Prefix or Suffix.

Step 4: Getting access to preview bits

Get access to preview builds by joining Microsoft Collaborate.

In Microsoft Collaborate, you get access to a set of Business Central builds:

  • The current major version
  • An upcoming major version
  • Daily builds

You must have the following prerequisites to register on Microsoft Collaborate:

  • Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).

    Note

    If you have Microsoft 365, then your company most likely has Azure AD

  • Azure AD Global Administrator permission

    Note

    To find out if your company has an Azure AD account, check with your system administrator.

Step 4 A: How your Global Administrator must register for Collaborate

Only your company's Global Administrator can start the onboarding to Collaborate. They must register at https://aka.ms/Collaborate, choose the Get Started action, and then complete the registration form.

The administrator can then add the relevant colleagues.

Optional Step: Add your coworkers to Microsoft Collaborate

To add coworkers:

  1. Sign in to Microsoft Collaborate with your Global Administrator account at aka.ms/Collaborate.

  2. Choose the Settings icon icon in the top-right corner of the page, click on account settings, and choose user management.

  3. Choose the grey ADD USERS button, and leave the default choice to Add existing users as-is. Now you can search for the user(s) that you want to add to Collaborate. To add them you need to select them from the menu, and then click the grey ADD SELECTED button.

  4. You have successfully added your coworkers to Collaborate. Users can now sign in to Microsoft Collaborate using the following link: aka.ms/Collaborate

Step 4 B: Getting access to the available builds and engagements

Once you have successfully registered on Microsoft Collaborate, Microsoft must assign you to the right programs and engagements before you can see the preview bits. Contact Dyn365BEP@microsoft.com and provide them with information about the relevant users. the following table illustrates the type of information that you must submit:

Publisher Display Name MPN ID First Name Last Name Work account Email
Contoso 12345 Eugenia Lopez Eugenia.Lopez@Contoso.com
Contoso 12345 Quincy Watson Quincy.Watson@Contoso.com

After sending the email, expect a response from Microsoft within 1-2 business days.

Step 5: Resources while you develop your solution

Find below some guiding resources on how to develop your apps for Business Central.

Set up Azure DevOps for your development processes

Optionally, use the CI/CD workshop document at https://aka.ms/cicdhol if you want to do it yourself. Alternatively, choose between vendors offering tools or services around DevOps.

Talk to one of the ISV Development Centers for guidance.

Step 6: Publish your app in the Microsoft commercial marketplace

Once your app is ready for submission, you can list your app in the Microsoft commercial marketplace by submitting it in Partner Center. For more information, see Create a Dynamics 365 Business Central offer.

Before you submit, we recommend that you review the technical validation checklist and marketing validation checklist. The two articles list all requirements that you must meet before you submit an app for validation. If you do not meet these mandatory requirements, your extension will fail validation

See also

The SMB Opportunity for App Publishers
The Lifecycle of Apps and Extensions for Business Central
Update Lifecycle for AppSource Apps FAQ
Maintain AppSource Apps and Per-Tenant Extensions in Business Central Online
Microsoft Responsibilities for Apps on Business Central online