We’re in an era where we are expected to deliver software more often and to deliver it faster, in other words, we’re expected to be agile.
In order to be agile, we need continuous integration, continuous integration is a practice where members of a team integrate their work several times a day into a shared mainline.
Each integration should be verified by a build (including tests) to detect integration errors as quickly as possible.
This is just a brief explanation of continuous integration as I just want to set the stage for the official release of my generic build service called NAVBaaS!
The idea of a generic build service came to mind more than a year ago when a colleague and I were having a chat about the lack of continuous integration in the Dynamics world.
Even if a partner would have some kind of CI for their solution, it’s most likely very specific and not reusable for other partners (in case you would consider sharing the IP) and this requires other partners to reinvent the wheel, we like doing that, right? Well, I don’t!
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve partnered up with MVP Luc van Vugt and The Learning Network to further develop and test the build service for hybrid scenarios (C/AL and AL) and last Friday we managed to build The Learning Network’s entire solution containing 7300 (including standard) objects and 7 extensions through the build service!
Big thanks to Luc van Vugt and the guys at The Learning Network for being front-runners, it’s very much appreciated!
With The Learning Network being able to build their solution through the service I’m now confident to launch the service into the public world.
What is Build as a Service?
In order to get Continuous Integration up and running for your C/AL and AL solutions, there are a lot of things to do, varying from scripting to arranging infrastructure, let alone the investment you need to do and the knowledge you need to have in order to do so.
Because of that, most NAV partners are not having CI at all, while it’s such an essential part of developing quality software.
NAVBaaS (NAV Build as a Service) takes away all this complexity and lets you and your company profit from all the benefits that come with CI out of the box!
With NAVBaaS setting up CI is just a matter of configuring the build step(s) in Azure DevOps and let our service do the job.
Just like any other SaaS product, the build service will be in continuous development, meaning that new features/fixes will simply appear and you will always be running on the latest version.
How does it work?
NAVBaaS is a complete solution that provides the actual building of C/AL, AL and Hybrid (C/AL + AL) solutions as well as the infrastructure.
The service is fully integrated with Azure DevOps (formerly known as VSTS) and once you decide to sign-up for a NAVBaaS subscription the required build steps and infrastructure will be provisioned for you.
So in order to benefit from the service, Azure DevOps is required, if you’re not using Azure DevOps yet, please look into it, it’s the best cloud ALM solution available.
Want to read more? Head over to the product page.
Why choose NAVBaaS over ‘do it yourself’?
Doing it yourself requires knowledge, a huge investment (time/money) and you’ll need to maintain the code that builds your solution, which again, costs time and money.
Even with all the available tools, scripts that are being shared on GitHub and presentations that are given on Directions, TechDays and probably some more conferences, I’m convinced that using a standardized build service is the way to go and for the price I’m offering it, it really is a no-brainer.
If you’ve made it to the end of this post, thanks for reading!
Feedback, questions and everything else is more than welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org