AL Extensions: Automated Builds with VSTS

Hello there,
I recently spent a few hours with Soren Klemmensen, whom I have known for many years. He was actually the one who introduced me to source code management, at which I swore I’d never be happy using it because it was just “development overhead”. Story for another day, but rest assured, that’s not at all how I feel now. I cannot live without Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS)!
In any case, aside from catching up on things, we decided to put together a series of articles on automating builds using VSTS and AL Extensions.Having been the person who has spent countless hours manually doing “the build”, I cannot express how happy I was to push all of that off to automation so that “it just happens”.
Below is where you can find the articles. They’ll walk you through setting up a simple build to start, and from there we’ll build on it with some more advanced topics, such as having VSTS sign your app during the build!
Part 1: How to setup a build agent in VSTS
Part 2: Prepping your build server for creating Apps from source
Part 3: Creating a build definition
Part 4: Preparing your build server for code signing
Part 5: Updating your build server for code signing
There you have it, the first articles covering automating builds for AL extensions using VSTS.
Also, don’t forget that you can sign up for a VSTS account for free, and with that account you can have up to 5 developers use it, so for some, you just might be able to make use of the free account! There’s really no reason to not use it!
That’s all for now, this is not the end of the articles on this topic, so keep an eye out here and on Soren’s blog for more information in the future.
Happy coding….

2 Comments

  1. Are you guys running VSTS on a Windows 2016 server or are you running it as a cloud service?
    Im having some troubles following along when running the agent on visualstudio.com.
    On another note: It is somehow possible to download the symbols automatically in the CI process just before the actual build starts?

    • Hi Andreas,
      We run VSTS in the cloud. My build server is an Azure-based Windows Server 2016 machine which is where we have the build agent installed. Are you [perhaps trying to use the cloud-based agent? I’m not sure that will work for NAV/AL builds.
      As for the symbol download, right now I manually do it, but I plan to change that to have the build spin up a container and then download the symbols from there. Just need to find the time….. 🙂

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