Friday, March 25, 2022

Getting Access to The Top Secret Business Central Insider Program

by Steve Endow

If you are a Dynamics 365 Business Central developer or ISV, you should definitely get access to the Business Central Insider program.

Business Central Insider Program

I don't know why the BC Insider program is so cumbersome to join, but I'm guessing it involves lots of lawyers. Which is unfortunate, since I think BC Insider is an essential program for any BC developer.

I thought I had a link to the BC Insider program on my BC Resources page, but apparently not, as it seems to require several steps, and is not available through a single URL, unfortunately.

I did a few DuckDuckGo searches, but came up with nothing.  I then did several Google searches, but still couldn't find any Microsoft pages explaining how to join the BC Insider program.

After several searches, I finally found Daniel Rimmelzwaan's excellent blog post from February 9, 2022:

Thankfully, he documented the process for signing up for Business Central Insider after going through the same puzzling search for one of his clients.  

Start with Daniel's blog post and walk through each step, and then go to Microsoft Partner Center -> Engagements -> Join to try and join the "Ready! for Dynamics 365 Business Central" program.

Partner Center -> Collaborate -> Engagements -> Join

If you don't see the "Ready! for Dynamics 365 Business Central" engagement option or can't join it, then email to request access.

If you review the sign up process and look at all of the pages and names used in the "program", it's quite confusing.  

Here is a list of the names and terms in the hopes that search engines will improve the indexing of this article:

Microsoft Partner Center

Microsoft Collaborate

Microsoft Collaborate Engagements

Ready! for Dynamics 365 Business Central 

Working with Business Central Insider Builds

Once you get access to the "Engagement", you will then need to click on Packages, the click on Working with Business Central Insider Builds.

Business Central Insider Package

If you click on that link, you will be taken to a Package page for Working with Business Central Insider Builds.

You should see a "Files in this Package" section, with a small link to Download File.

Package Page -> Download File

Save the Working_with_Business_Central_Insider_Builds.txt text file:

Download Text File

That text file will contain the $sasToken value that you can use in Power Shell scripts and DevOps pipelines to download Business Central Insider Docker images for development, testing, and validation.

This $sasToken value will also be used when calling the Run-AlValidation script, which you should use when testing Business Central apps or extensions, and should be part of your Business Central DevOps pipelines.

Hopefully this helps shed some light on the Business Central Insider program and adds another entry that someone can find in the search engine results.

Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP in Los Angeles.  He works with Dynamics 365 Business Central and related technologies.

You can also find him on Twitter and YouTube, or through these links:

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