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 an online description of the extension. The link is used in AppSource and can be the same as the value of the contextSensitiveHelpUrl property or a different link, such as a link to your marketing page.
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"},{}].
For dependencies to the System Application and Base Application, you must have a reference such as: "dependencies": [{"appId": "63ca2fa4-4f03-4f2b-a480-172fef340d3f", "publisher": Microsoft", "name": "System Application", "version": "1.0.0.0"},{"appId": "437dbf0e-84ff-417a-965d-ed2bb9650972", "publisher": "Microsoft", "name": "Base Application", "version": "15.0.0.0" }]
For more information, see Overview of the System Application.
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.
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 Cloud. The setting currently has the following options: Internal, Extension, OnPrem, and Cloud. The Internal and Extension settings are being deprecated. For on-premises, you can set this to OnPrem to get access to otherwise restricted APIs and .NET Interop. The Business Central Server setting must then also be set to OnPrem.
contextSensitiveHelpUrl No, but required for AppSource submission The URL for the website that displays context-sensitive Help for the objects in the app, such as https://mysite.com/documentation. If the app does not support all locales currently supported by Business Central, then include a parameter for the locale in this URL, /{0}/, and also specify the relevant locales in the supportedLocales setting.
helpBaseUrl No The URL for the website that overtakes all Help for the specified locales. This property is intended for localization apps specifically since the setting overwrites the default URL of https://docs.microsoft.com/{0}/dynamics365/business-central. If you set this value, you must also specify one or more languages in the supportedLocales setting.
supportedLocales No The list of locales that are supported in your Help if different from all locales. The value on the list is inserted into the URL defined in the contextSensitiveHelpUrl and helpBaseUrl properties. The first locale on the list is default. An example is "supportedLocales": ["da-DK", "en-US"] for an app that supports only Danish and English (US).
runtime Yes The version of the runtime that the project is targeting. The project can be published to the server with an earlier or the same runtime version. The available options are: 1.0 - Business Central April 2018 release, 2.2 - Business Central October 2018 release CU 2, 3.0 - Business Central April 2019 release, and 4.0 - Business Central 2019 release wave 2.
features No Specifies a list of options for translations. The TranslationFile option generates a \Translations folder that is populated with the .xlf file that contains all the labels, label properties, and report labels that you are using in the extension. The GenerateCaptions option depends on the TranslationFile setting. It generates captions for objects that do not have a Caption or CaptionML specified, these are then written to the .xlf file. The syntax is "features": [ "TranslationFile", "GenerateCaptions" ]. For more information, see Working with Translation Files
internalsVisibleTo No Specifies a list of modules that have access to the objects that are marked as Internal using the Access property from the current module.
The syntax is { "appId": "d6c3f231-08d3-4681-996f-261c06500e1a", "name": "TheConsumer", "publisher": "Microsoft"}]. For more information see Access Property and InternalEvent Attribute.

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 "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 and can be set to "UserPassword", "Windows", or "AAD". 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": "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.
enableSqlInformationDebugger Yes Specifies whether the debugger shows the SQL information.
enableLongRunningSqlStatements Yes Specifies whether the debugger enables long running SQL statements in the debugger window.
longRunningSqlStatementsThreshold Yes Sets the number of miliseconds spent before a SQL statement is considered as long running in the debugger.
numberOfSqlStatements Yes Sets the number of SQL statements to be shown in the debugger.
dependencyPublishingOption No Available options are:
Default - set dependency publishing will be applied
Ignore - dependency publishing is ignored
Strict - dependency publishing will fail if there are any apps that directly depend on the startup project and these apps are not part of the workspace. For more information, see Working with multiple projects and project references.

Publish to cloud settings

Setting Mandatory Value
name Yes "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. This parameter must contain a tenant AAD domain name, for example mycustomer.onmicrosoft.com.
sandboxName No Specifies which sandbox to use in cases where multiple sandboxes are owned by the same tenant.
applicationFamily No The application family in the cloud server, for example Fabrikam. This property is reserved for Embed apps.
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.
enableSqlInformationDebugger Yes Specifies whether the debugger shows the SQL information.
enableLongRunningSqlStatements Yes Specifies whether the debugger enables long running SQL statements in the debugger window.
longRunningSqlStatementsThreshold Yes Sets the number of miliseconds spent before a SQL statement is considered as long running in the debugger.
numberOfSqlStatements Yes Sets the number of SQL statements to be shown in the debugger.
dependencyPublishingOption No Available options are:
Default - set dependency publishing will be applied
Ignore - dependency publishing is ignored
Strict - dependency publishing will fail if there are any apps that directly depend on the startup project and these apps are not part of the workspace. For more information, see Working with multiple projects and project references.

See Also

AL Development Environment
Debugging in AL
Security Setting and IP Protection
AL Language Extension Configuration
Configure Context-Sensitive Help