Creating Environments in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, the user can easily create an environment to test, train, or troubleshoot without any interruption to daily business processes or data. Isolated from production, a sandbox environment/production environment is the place to safely explore, learn, demo, develop, and test various capabilities without the risk of affecting the data and settings of your production environment. Environments tab of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central administration center provides you with an overview of production and sandbox environments for the tenant, where you can manage updates for each environment as well.
Types of Environments
The user can create environments in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central according to the intended use of the environment. The most popular ones are the production environment and the sandbox environment. The type of environment to choose depends on the need-based aspect of the business.
Production environments are designed for businesses that can run their daily business operations in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, deployed on performance tiers in Azure with a guaranteed high level of availability and support. Production environments are backed up automatically and frequently to help protect business data. The user can create additional production environments for training or performance testing, for example. However, for training purposes, organizations may choose to create a sandbox environment with production data. The user can also create additional production environments to support offices in different locations.
Sandbox environments are best used for certain types of development scenarios because the debugging endpoint is open by default. The user can deploy apps straight from Visual Studio Code to a sandbox environment and can attach a debugging session to a sandbox. It also allows the user to publish directly to the environment from Code. Sandbox environments are meant for businesses that can play around with or use as a testbed for development and delete at will. The user can also safely use sandboxes for training, such as for following a learning path from Microsoft Learn, because it’s a safe environment to experiment with. The user can create a sandbox environment that includes data from your production environment for debugging purposes. If the user wishes to run performance tests, or similar benchmarking, the sandbox is not reliable enough for that purpose. This is because sandboxes run in a different performance tier on Azure than the production environments. We suggest that you create a dedicated environment based on the Production environment type – this gives you the exact experience and performance that users will experience in the actual production environment.
Each Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central tenant is limited to three sandbox environments. If the business has more than one sandbox environment, the user can switch between environments by opening the App Launcher, choosing the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central tile, then choose the Business Central Sandbox tile. The sandbox environment picker shows the available sandboxes, so choose the one that you want to switch to.
Caution for Sandbox Environment with data from the Production Environment
If a sandbox is created with a copy of data from a production environment, several precautions should be considered for that sandbox:
- The job queue is automatically stopped
- Any base application integration settings are cleared
- Outbound HTTP calls from extensions are blocked by default and must be approved for each extension
- To enable outbound HTTP calls, go to the Extension Management page in Business Central, and choose Configure. Then, on the Extension Settings page, make sure that Allow HttpClient Requests is selected. This setting must be enabled for each extension.
- Any General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) action must be handled separately and repeated for the sandbox. There is no synchronization with the production environment after the sandbox has been created. The internal administrator has the same tools and responsibilities for a sandbox environment as they do for a production environment. As a data processor, Business Central offers the same level of data protection and data handling restrictions that we apply to production environments.
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