There are many areas in Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS that are source of headaches for users and partners and I see often that one of that areas is the online sandbox environment .
With this quick post, I want to try clearing some “foggy aspects” related to the online sandbox environment that I see every day and that generates noise and doubts/confusion:
- You can currently create a single sandbox environment as a copy of the prodution environment
- Possibility to have multiple sandbox environments is planned for the upcoming Spring ’19 release.
- During this copy, the extensions (.app files) installed on the production environment are not automatically copied to the sandbox environment .
- When you create a sandbox from production environment, data of your extensions are copied from the production enviroment to the newly created sandbox environment .
- In the newly created sandbox environment, you need to install again your extensions (.app file) and you can’t do that manually (manual upload of extensions to a sandbox environment is something maybe planned for Spring ’19 release).
- As per announced plans, in the Spring ’19 release, per-tenant extensions and AppSource extensions will be automatically copied from production to sandbox.
- The main hidden noisy point: as said in point 5, after creating the sandbox as a copy of the production environment, you need to install the extensions again and for deploying that extensions to the online sandbox you need Visual Studio Code. Things to remember here: if you want to see your extension’s production data in the new sandbox, the deployed extension must have the same Package ID , AppID , Name , Publisher and Version as in the production environment. When you deploy that extension from VS Code on the sandbox, don’t recompile the project! By recompiling, you create a new Package ID and your per-tenant extension will appear as a different PTE, so no data will appear to you (for the happiness of your users).
Point 7 is something discussed with the product team many times and I hope it will be a “temporary problem” because this behaviour is something very very noisy and a source of many many problems.
Please remember these tips and your days with the online sandbox will be less crazy 😉