Azure DevOps


There’s a new version and a new task for our release pipelines that use the Azure-hosted agents. These changes have been introduced recently to support the new MSAL authentication libraries for the LCS service connection used to upload and deploy the deployable packages.

The current service connections use Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Authentication Library (ADAL), and support for ADAL will end in June 2022.

This means that if we don’t update the Asset Upload and Asset Deployment to their new versions (1.* and 2.* respectively) the release pipelines could stop working after 30th June 2022.

Now that Microsoft will also update additional Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Sandbox environments, partners and customers will only need to take care of updating cloud-hosted environments, as we’ve always done.

I’m sure each team manages this differently, maybe leaving it to each developer to update their VM, or there’s someone in the customer or partner side that will do it. That’s in the best cases, maybe nobody is updating the developer machines…

If you want to know more about builds, releases, and the Dev ALM of Dynamics 365 you can read my full guide on MSDyn365 & Azure DevOps ALM.

Today, I’m bringing you a PowerShell script that you can run in a pipeline that will automatically update all your developer virtual machines!

You can read my complete ALM guide on Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations and Azure DevOps.

Moving data from the production to a sandbox environment is something we regularly have to do to have real updated data to do some testing or debugging. It’s a process that takes time and that can be automated as I explained in the post LCS DB API: automating Prod to Dev DB copies.

In this post, I’ll add an extra step to the database refresh: restore a data package (DP). Why? Because I’m sure we all need to change some parametrization or some endpoints in our test environments after a prod refresh.

You can learn more about the DMF REST API, which I’ll use, reading this post from Fabio Filardi: Dynamics 365 FinOps: Batch import automation with Azure Functions, Business Events and PowerBI.

You can learn more about the LCS DB REST API by reading these posts I wrote some time ago. You might want to read them because I’m skipping some steps which are already explained there:

The end of Tier-1 Microsoft-managed build VMs is near, and this will leave us without the capacity to synchronize the DB or run tests in a pipeline, unless we deploy a new build VM in our, or our customer’s, Azure subscription. Of course, there might be a cost concern with it, and there’s where Azure DevTest Labs can help us!

This post has been written thanks to Joris de Gruyter‘s session in the past DynamicsCon: Azure Devops Automation for Finance and Operations Like You’ve Never Seen! And there’s also been some investigation and (a lot of) trial-and-error from my side until everything has been working.

If you want to know more about builds, releases, and the Dev ALM of Dynamics 365 you can read my full guide on MSDyn365 & Azure DevOps ALM.

If you receive the LCS email notifications for your projects you already know this: all Tier 1 virtual machines from Microsoft’s subscription will be gone as early as 1 December! This is what the emails say: As communicated previously, Microsoft is removing the use of Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to access environments managed by Microsoft. As RDP access is required for development, going forward customers will be required to develop using a Cloud Hosted Environment or…

I bet that most of us have had to develop some .NET class library to solve something in Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. You create a C# project, build it, and add the DLL as a reference in your FnO project. Don’t do that anymore! You can add the .NET project to source control, build it in your pipeline, and the DLL gets added to the deployable package!

I’ve been trying this during the last days after a conversation on Yammer, and while I’ve managed to build .NET and X++ code in the same pipeline, I’ve found some issues or limitations.

If you want to know more about builds, releases, and the Dev ALM of Dynamics 365 you can read my full guide on MSDyn365 & Azure DevOps ALM.

After waiting for it for a long time it’s here! If any of your customers has self-service sandbox environments you’ve been doing this by hand. We’ve been on self-service for over a year and a half with a customer, since the private preview, and we’ve REALLY missed this feature in Azure DevOps.

All the documentation is available in the marketplace page for the tools.

You can read my complete guide on Dynamics 365 and Azure DevOps here.

If you want to learn more about self-service environments you can read these posts:

I’m sorry for my English-speaking readers because, maybe, this post will be a bit useless for you as all the content I’ll talk about is in Spanish. But it’s always good to know!

In the last few days I’ve taken part in a community event, the 365 Saturday online, and I’ve also started a podcast. I want to talk a bit about this.

Dynamics Power Spain Online 2020

This has been my fourth participation as a speaker in the last three years and as usual I’ve presented a session with Juanan. This time we’ve talked about using Azure DevOps with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

It’s a topic I write about a lot, but we really think there’s still many people using it in a wrong way or just using the source control part. And that’s bad!

Behold #XppGroupies! The day we’ve been waiting for has come! The Azure-hosted builds are in public preview with PU35!! We can now stop asking Joris when will this be available because it already is! Check the docs!

I’ve been able to write this because I’ve been testing it for a few months with access to the private preview. And of course thanks to Joris for inviting us to the preview!

What does this mean? We no longer need a VM to run the build pipelines! Nah, we still need it! If you’re running tests or synchronizing the DB as a part of your build pipeline you still need the VM. But we can move CI builds to the Azure-hosted agent!

You can also read my full guide on MSDyn365FO & Azure DevOps ALM.

Remember this is a public preview. If you want to join the preview you first need to be part of the Dynamics 365 Insider Program where you can join the “Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Insider Community“. Once invited you should see a new LCS project called PEAP Assets, and inside its Asset Library, you’ll find the nugets in the Nuget package section.