AL Development online course

General Information

This AL development online course is targeted at Dynamics NAV developers who want to bridge the gap to developing extensions with AL in VS Code for Business Central. It’s a new world with many new possibilities and it can be quite overwhelming even if you are very experienced in C/SIDE and C/AL. No worries, this training will get you started! You will learn how to set up your environments, create objects, and how to deploy your extensions as apps to end-customers. Whether you develop for the SaaS platform or on-premises, or both, it doesn’t matter, you will get all the information you need, including tips and tricks based on three years experience with developing extensions in AL.

The training will be delivered online and is divided into 7 different topics. Each topic is focusing on a different aspect of developing extensions for Business Central and together they form a complete story.

Quote from a student:

The structure of the lessons was great. You can actually look at lesson 1 when you start a project and if you want to deliver a project look somewhere at the last lessons.

Schedule

DateTopic
Monday, January 11, 2021Getting started with AL
Wednesday, January 13, 2021The AL Language
Friday, January 15, 2021Extending application logic
Monday, January 18, 2021Developing with VS Code
Wednesday, January 20, 2021AL Language features
Friday, Janurary 22, 2021Deploying and upgrading
Wednesday, January 27, 2021UI and UX enhancements
TimeYour local time (based on your browser)
16:00 – 18:00 CET (UTC+1) Click here for your local time

All sessions will be 90 to 120 minutes long, including Q&A. After the sessions, you will receive a recording, and exercises to work on. Between the sessions, you will be able to ask questions via Teams or by email.

Costs

This online training series is offered as a complete series of 7 sessions. Price per session is € 100 excl. VAT per attendee. If you register for the complete series, then you will receive the first session for free. That’s a discount of 14%!

The total number of seats is 15. It is possible to register for individual sessions, but those who register for the complete series will be given precedence. If you want to register with a group of attendees, please contact me for group discount options!


Registrations are handled first come first serve. Registration for the full series will be given precedence. You will receive an invoice and payment link within 3 business days after registration. The link to attend to the webinar will be sent after the payment has been received.

Prerequisites

  • Computer with VS Code installed
  • Business Central development environment

If you don’t have a development environment, no worries! The first session will exactly tell you what you need and how to get it!

Any questions? Don’t hesitate and contact me!

Content

Session 1 – Getting started with AL

To get started with AL you first need to understand the playground. We start with the context: what are extensions and what is their role in Business Central? Then we continue with the environment and tools you need to create extensions. You will learn how to create and use an online Business Central sandbox and how to create local docker containers. Furthermore, you will get tips how to configure VS Code, including recommended apps and settings. Finally, you will learn how to create a valid AL workspace with VS Code and get started with your first extension.

Session 2 – The AL language

Now that you have learned how to create an AL workspace, it’s time to learn the AL language itself. You will learn the structure of objects and how to work with the extension objects for tables and pages. As we go along, you will discover how AL objects compare to C/AL objects and learn that they are in fact very similar. And you will be introduced to some new object types. We will also pay attention to the structure of the AL workspace, how to navigate between objects and keep it organized.

Session 3 – Extending application logic

The Business Central base application has a lot of events that can be used to hook into the business processes. You will learn how to find those events and how to properly use them. And with ‘properly use’ we mean not just creating event subscribers, but also how to organize them and how to reduce performance impact as much as possible. Finally, now that we are into code, you will also learn how to debug your extensions with VS Code.

Session 4 – Developing with VS Code

By now, you should have a good understanding of the AL language and how to create extensions. It’s time to look at some more features and tools in VS Code. In this session, we will first look at debugging your code and how to organize the workspace in VS Code. We will then look at the Visual Designer that is built into Business Central and how to work with it from VS Code. We will also discuss how to deal with multiple languages, what translation files are, and how to handle them. Finally, we will discuss dependencies and how they can help you to organize your solutions. And of course, we will not forget to discuss some 3rd party tools that are available.

Session 5 – AL Language features

AL contains features to better structure your application code and to enable you to work with web services, JSON, and XML. We will first look at Enums and Interfaces and how they can be used to build well-designed apps. Then we look at some new features that come directly from .Net. AL has also built-in support for calling web services. You will learn how to make web service calls and handle responses, which are mostly JSON but sometimes also XML, directly in AL code. Please be warned, this session will probably be the longest session in the series!

Session 6 – Deploying and Upgrading extensions

Deploying extensions to your development environment is easy with VS Code. Deploying to a production environment is a different story. Are your customers running in the cloud and do you want to deliver your apps via AppSource? That’s totally different from deploying apps to on-premise customers. In this session, you will learn the different options and how to deploy apps to the SaaS platform and on-premise installations. And of course, this includes the PowerShell commands that are used for publishing and installing extensions. You will also learn how to manage upgrades with the usage of the new feature Upgrade Tags.

Session 7 – UI en UX enhancements

Business Central has a lot of features that improve the user experience. In this session, you will learn how to make use of these features. Think about Application Areas, Wizards, Notifications, Role Centers and profiles and Views. You will learn how to use these features and create solutions that are attractive to end-users. Another feature that will be introduced is JavaScript control add-ins. That’s an area that is very wide and there are so many possibilities that we can only scratch the surface. But you will get the basics and see some nice examples.