The November 2019 release of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) is bringing into public preview a feature that developers have been wanting for quite some time—localized development tools. A recurring pain point for the Microsoft D365FO developer has been the constraint that every environment requires its own virtual machine. This has been more of an infrastructure constraint, as the codebase for the application needs a place to compile and execute as well as a database to read. This issue comes into play when a developer needs to have a different codebase. For example when main is required instead of dev for testing or issue reproduction, or when transitioning between different versions of the product.
With the standalone developer tools, it will be possible to have multiple instances of Microsoft D365FO running installed side-by-side, which will consolidate the hardware required for development as well as greatly reduce the administrative time required for developers to provision additional machines, or wait for them to start, shut down, and update.
This is an especially big deal for partners, who need to support multiple codebases as well as multiple versions of the product. Being able to consolidate the requirements of multiple clients times multiple codebases per client down to a single machine is absolutely huge for the partner developer.
Another benefit that comes along with this feature is the ability to utilize hosted builds. For as long as automated builds have been utilized for Microsoft D365FO, the typical deployment utilizes a dedicated build machine which is hosted on the client or the partner’s hardware, or on Azure. This requirement is sub-optimal, because the environment must be provisioned even though it is only utilized during builds, which typically happen at designated times, and thus do not require high availability. Having the ability to utilize hosted builds frees up the hardware requirements, allowing that hardware to be used for other purposes that more directly benefit the client project.
Have questions about D365FO development tools? Be sure to contact us at any time!