Running a Container-Based Development Environment

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Dynamics 365 Business Central is available as a container-based image, ready for running on a Windows system with Docker installed. The container-based approach is used when you need access to both the AL development environment and the C/SIDE development environment.

Install and configure Docker

Install Docker and configure it for Windows Containers. Please choose the version of Docker that is appropriate for the host operating system.

Run the container-based image

Run the following command in a Command Prompt as Administrator to run a Docker image of Dynamics 365 Business Central:

docker run -e accept_eula=Y -m 4G microsoft/dynamics-nav


When you run the Docker run command, it will start downloading the image if it does not already exist. A container consists of multiple layers, only the needed layers are downloaded.

At this point, you can open your internet browser and type in the Web client URL. You will be prompted with a login dialog, where you can login with the NAV Admin Username/Password displayed.

The NavContainerHelper module

To support the use of containers, optional PowerShell scripts are available, which support setup of development environments. Use the NavContainerHelper to work with containers. On a Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016, start Powershell as an Administrator and type:

install-module navcontainerhelper -force

To see which functions are available in the NavContainerHelper module use the following command:


To get quickly get started, run the following command from the NavContainerHelper module:

new-navcontainer -accept_eula -containerName test -imageName microsoft/dynamics-nav:devpreview

The NavContainerHelper will create a folder on the C:\ drive called DEMO and will place all files underneath that folder. The DEMO folder will be shared to the container for transfer of files etc. If you do not specify a username and a password, it will ask for your password and use the current Windows username. If you specify your windows password, the container setup will use Windows Authentication integrated with the host. The NavContainerHelper will also create shortcuts on the desktop for the Dynamics 365 Business Central Web client, a container prompt, and a container PowerShell prompt.

The navcontainerhelper module also allows you to add the -includeCSide switch in order to add the Dynamics 365 Business Central Windows client and C/SIDE to the desktop and export all objects to a folder underneath C:\DEMO\Extensions for the object handling functions from the module to work.

See Also

Getting Started with AL
Keyboard Shortcuts
AL Development Environment
FAQ for Developing in AL


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