Showing posts with label Dynamics 365 Business Central. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dynamics 365 Business Central. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Docker Engine Enterprise and Mirantis Container Runtime for Business Central Developers

by Steve Endow

NOTE:  This post relates to Docker Engine Enterprise and Mirantis Container Runtime on Windows Server.  I don't believe this relates to or affects Docker Desktop.  But let me know if I missed anything regarding Docker Desktop, and let me know if I have any details wrong regarding Mirantis Container Runtime and its use with BcContainerHelper and Business Central Docker containers.


On September 27, 2021, Tobias Fenster shared a Microsoft announcement about the future of Docker Engine Enterprise, sometimes referred to as "Docker EE".  

https://twitter.com/tobiasfenster/status/1442533006812631047?s=20


This Microsoft announcement comes almost 2 years after Docker was acquired by a company named Mirantis, in November 2019.

The Microsoft announcement indicates that technical support for the Mirantis Container Runtime will be transitioned to Mirantis.

Mirantis also published a post explaining the transition, and discussing options for receiving support for Mirantis Container Runtime (aka "MCR"), and free licenses for up to 9 "nodes" for Windows Server users.


So what does this mean for Business Central developers who use Windows Server?

When I first read the Mirantis blog post, I assumed I would need to contact Mirantis to take advantage of their "special offer" to receive a free license for MCR for my Business Central development on Windows Server.

This page on the Mirantis web site explains the "beta pricing" offer is available until December 31, 2021.


I thought that I would request licenses for a few nodes, which would cost me $0.  But, that would NOT include any support.  

I'm okay with the $0 price tag, and if I did need support for some reason, I would be open to paying a reasonable price for support.  I would even be open to paying $50 per node to receive limited support, but based on the information on the web page shown above, it is not included by default with the 1-9 or 10-50 note packages by default.  But it may be possible to purchase support separately for 50 nodes or less.

I'm assuming that after December 31, 2021, Mirantis will come up with new pricing, and MCR will not be free for Windows users.


What about "Moby"?

But today I re-read the Mirantis blog post and noticed this.


Wait, what?

I'm a Business Central "developer".  I am not using my containers in "production".

Does that mean that I can use the "default Moby engine"?  Whatever that means?

I posted my initial thoughts about this to the hive mind called Twitter:

https://twitter.com/steveendow/status/1445494238955720713


I tagged our resident Business Central Docker expert, Tobias Fenster to see if I was missing anything.

I'm glad I tagged him, because he shared some important information about how Docker works and additional considerations about the Mirantis announcement that I believe are pretty important to Business Central developers.

Tobias replied, and mentioned that the free Moby engine has "No client component".


I didn't know what this meant, so he generously explained further.

So while we could run BC containers using Moby, technically we would not have a docker.exe "client" to manage or create the containers on Windows Server.


It seems we will need MCR

You can read the rest of the Twitter thread if you would like, but after a few more questions from me, and answers from Tobias, these are the points I think are important for BC developers who use Docker Engine Enterprise on Windows Server.

1. If you do NOT get a license for the Mirantis Container Runtime (MCR), and choose to use the "Moby engine", that is ONLY the "server" (daemon) portion of the solution.  Moby will allow you to host containers, but technically, that does not include the docker.exe "client" or any tools or utilities to help you manage your containers.  You could try to find other Docker tools, but Tobias suspects that limited interest in Docker on Windows means limited options for Docker tools on Windows.

2. As a Business Central developer, I regularly use the docker.exe "client" command in PowerShell to manage containers and images.  So I believe I will still need that, and therefore will need MCR.

3. The BcContainerHelper PowerShell module that BC developers use to create Business Central containers relies on the docker.exe "client" tool to create and maintain and interact with containers, so I assume that the full MCR solution will be required in order to continue using BcContainerHelper.  (there may be other ways to download a docker.exe client or equivalent, but I have no yet researched that)


Given this, I will want to request the MCR licenses from Mirantis so that I can have access to the full MCR product suite on my Windows Servers and continue to reliably use BcContainerHelper.


If you are aware of other solutions that provide a Docker client and related tools on Windows Server and work well with BcContainerHelper, please let me know.


Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP in Los Angeles.  He works with Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft Power Automate, Power Apps, Azure, and .NET.

You can also find him on Twitter and YouTube

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Restoring data from a broken Business Central Docker Container

 By Steve Endow 

(This blog post is inspired by a forum question. Credit to Arvydas for the question and sharing the solution.)

What if I made the mistake of storing some "worthwhile" data in a Business Central Docker container over the course of several months?  Perhaps it was test data or data imports that I didn't think I would ever need--but then 3 months later I realized that the accumulated data was valuable.

In theory, no big deal.  If you realize that you want to keep the data from a working container, Stefan Maroń has a blog post with instructions on converting that Container into an Image using "docker commit".  Just create an image and you can make new containers from that image.  You could also backup the SQL databases from the Docker Container to the local file system.  

But, what if the Business Central Docker Container with your valuable data stops working due to a Windows Update?  And you only realize you need that data after the container stops working.  If the Container can't be started at all, how can you extract the Business Central data?

This solution appears to allow me to copy the SQL mdf and ldf files from the broken container to my local file system, then copy the mdf and ldf files to a new working container to effectively "restore" them.

This may not work for all situations where a BC container has issues, but should work if the container is intact, but just won't start up due to a Docker or Windows issue or error.  

Let me know if there are any issues or caveats with using this method to restore the data from a container.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Creating a simple text file using AL in Business Central - Sample Code

 By Steve Endow

On January 23, 2021, I recorded a video showing how to create a simple text file using AL in Business Central.


Here is the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GUzlFKJFQk


Below is the sample code from that video.

PowerShell script to remove old Docker Images without deleting the base OS image

 By Steve Endow

If you are creating Business Central Docker Containers and regularly updating the artifacts and images for your containers, you may be familiar with this problem.

When you type "docker images" in PowerShell, you are greeted with a pile of old unused images consuming tons of disk space.

A digital junk drawer

I want to delete the old, unused Docker images.  But I do not want to delete the 10.4 GB "base OS" image that is listed at the very bottom.  As long as my OS version remains the same, that image can be used repeatedly, and if I deleted it, I would have to download it again.

Disable Browser Autofill with Business Central

 By Steve Endow

While using Business Central with Google Chrome, I started to notice strange words appearing in Business Central fields while I entered data in the browser.

Why are you doing this?

In this example, the word "test" was appearing when I clicked on the drop down list for bank accounts in Business Central.  The suggested value was in a text box displayed over the standard Business Central list box.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Page Inspection Keyboard Shortcut CTRL+ALT+F1 Doesn't Work on Laptop

By Steve Endow


Update: I originally wrote this post referencing my Lenovo ThinkPad P1 laptop, but it appears that similar Intel Graphics software is used on several different laptop brands and models, causing the same issue.  The name or appearance of the specific Intel Graphics software may vary, but the concept still applies.


If you use Dynamics 365 Business Central, you should be aware of the Page Inspection feature.

Inspect my page

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/business-central/across-inspect-page

One of the ways to open the Page Inspection pane while viewing a Business Central page in a browser is to press the keyboard shortcut CTRL + ALT + F1.

Handy Keyboard Shorcut


While doing some BC development and testing on my new Lenovo ThinkPad P1 laptop, I pressed CTRL + ALT + F1 to open Page Inspection.

But nothing happened.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Why Business Central is Amazing #5: Community

 By Steve Endow

The Business Central Community is amazing.

Want proof?  

Here's a great example from my Twitter timeline this afternoon:

https://twitter.com/steveendow/status/1306667765369991168?s=20

This is Community

"Business Central Twitter" is in constant conversation.  Business Central community members from around the globe, quite literally, are asking questions, answering questions, posting updates, blogs, videos, and MS Docs articles.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Why Business Central is Amazing #4: Native Web Interface

By Steve Endow

Do you know how I access Business Central?

I pull up my web browser, and I click a shortcut on the browser shortcut bar.

Single click

And you probably know what I see next.

I've arrived

A glorious, modern, rich, interactive, attractive, customizable user interface.  Take a moment to appreciate this significant feature of Business Central.

A "native" web interface.  A native web application.  Pretty amazing.

I didn't have to install an application on my computer.  I didn't have to configure anything on my computer.  I didn't have to setup a web server or install a web client.  In fact, I can access Business Central from any computer.  I just need a web browser.  Or I can install the Business Central mobile application.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Why Business Central Is Amazing #3 - No Access to SQL Server

 By Steve Endow

"What? Are you crazy, Steve? Not having access to SQL is a limitation! It's a weakness! That's not amazing!"

I am not trying to change anyone else's mind--I'm just sharing a few thoughts why I think that NOT having access to SQL Server is amazing.

I've been working with on-prem ERP systems since 1996, when I implemented Solomon IV for Windows, then MAS 90, then Peoplesoft, then Dynamics GP.  I'm aware of all the arguments for wanting or needing access to SQL. I get it.

But that direct access comes at significant cost.  And responsibility.  And risk.  And those things are not amazing.  Mid-market companies want to sell their product or service, to provide customer satisfaction, and to make revenue.  

They don't want to be in the ERP database administration business.  Or the ERP database backup business.  Or the ERP disaster recovery business.  Or the ransomware defense business.

Do you really want to be in the database administration and maintenance business?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Why Business Central Is Amazing #2 - No More VPNs!

By Steve Endow

I have an ERP joke for you...

Find a consultant who supports an on premises ERP application for dozens or hundreds of customers.

Ask them which of the 7 different VPN clients on their laptop is their favorite.

(rim shot)  

Just say no

Monday, August 17, 2020

Why Business Central Is Amazing #1 - Automatic Upgrades

 By Steve Endow

After seeing a few very cool Business Central features the other day, I was so impressed and in such a good mood that I might have posted a slightly overly enthusiastic tweet.

Can't a guy be in a really good mood?

Does Business Central do my dishes?  My laundry?  Paint my house?

Sadly, it does not.  Yet.  😉

But it does do lots of awesome things and it has some amazing features and benefits.  And after posting my happy tweet, I think a few people are wondering why I think Business Central is so amazing.

So now I feel obligated to explain why I think it's amazing, and in the process, share my enthusiasm for the new ERP platform that I'm learning about.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Updating from NavContainerHelper to the new BcContainerHelper

 By Steve Endow

UPDATE: If you're interested in a convenient way to run the BcContainerHelper PowerShell commands, check out Krzysztof's Azure Data Studio Notebook with sample BcContainerHelper commands.  Jupyter Notebooks are a great way to include documentation and commands in a single convenient format.

On August 11, 2020, Freddy Kristiansen announced that he had released BcContainerHelper.

You can read his blog post here:

          https://freddysblog.com/2020/08/11/bccontainerhelper/

You will definitely want to read the entire blog post carefully, and perhaps read it a few times, as he shares quite a few important details about the new BcContainerHelper.

Same Great Container Helper, But Updated and Upgraded!


I made a video showing how I updated from NavContainerHelper to BcContainerHelper.  The process went flawlessly.


Here are the PowerShell Docker commands that I used to perform my update.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Learning Business Central Development from Scratch Video Series

By Steve Endow

If you are new to Dynamics 365 Business Central development, join me on a journey to learn how to develop Business Central Extensions using VS Code and the AL language.

I have been developing business software for many, many years, but I am completely new to Business Central, AL, and VS Code.  And I am also new to Docker and PowerShell.  

Basically, I'm having to learn everything from scratch.  

I'm writing blog posts and making videos to share the learning resources I'm using and share my learning journey.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Business Central Download Symbols Error: No such host is known

By Steve Endow


UPDATE:  After researching this type of Windows hosts file name resolution issue, it seems there are dozens of possible reasons why the problem can occur.  I suspect my case was one of the simpler versions, and fortunately flushdns worked for me.  Here is a forum thread with examples of several rather odd causes and solutions.


This morning I tried to create a new Business Central AL project in VS Code.  I used AL Go! to create the project, set the server name in the launch.json file, and then tried to Download Symbols.

Very simple, very easy, right?

Nope.

No soup for you!

What? I performed these exact same steps 2 days ago on this same machine, and I was able to download symbols without any issues.

Here is the full video of the troubleshooting process:




I closed VS Code, relaunched it, created a new project, and tried again.  Same error.

Looking at the error log in VS Code, I saw "Error: No such host is known".  Say what?

Monday, August 3, 2020

Automatically Update BcContainerHelper - Improved Script

By Steve Endow

UPDATE: I have updated the script to work with the newer BcContainerHelper rather than the older NavContainerHelper


UPDATE: If you're interested in a convenient way to run the BcContainerHelper PowerShell commands, check out Krzysztof's Azure Data Studio Notebook with sample BcContainerHelper commands.  Jupyter Notebooks are a great way to include documentation and commands in a single convenient format.


I previously wrote about creating a simple scheduled task to automatically update NavContainerHelper.

While that simple script does work, it didn't have any logging or notification. I never knew when NavContainerHelper / BcContainerHelper was updated.

I recently created a fancier PowerShell script to automatically build my Business Central Docker Containers every day, and while working on that script, I learned how to record elapsed time, log all activity, and send an email notification.

Based on that new learning, I wanted to upgrade the script that updates BcContainerHelper.

I wanted logging, elapsed time, and email notification if BcContainerHelper was updated to a new version.

Email notification when an update occurs


Here's what I came up with.  You'll need to adjust the file paths and email address, and generate your own email password file.

If you think of any other features the update could have, let me know!

 #v1.0 - March 27, 2021
#
$server = $env:COMPUTERNAME
#Define date values
$simpleDate = Get-Date -Format "M/d/yy"
$dateTime = Get-Date -Format "M/d/yy HH:mm"
$fileDateTime = Get-Date -Format "yyyy-MM-dd HHmm"

#Define the module name
$moduleName = 'BcContainerHelper'

$body = ""
$message = ""
$updated = $false

#Specify file location for activity transcript log file
$transcriptFile = "D:\BCPowerShell\Logs\" + $fileDateTime + " " + $server + " " + $moduleName + " Update Log.txt"

#Start recording transcript
Start-Transcript -Path $transcriptFile

#Record the start time
$StartTime = $(get-date)


#Define email configuration
$emailFrom = "myemail@gmail.com"
$emailTo = "myemail@gmail.com"
$smtpServer = "smtp.gmail.com"
$port = "587"
#Email password file created using:  Read-Host -AsSecureString | ConvertFrom-SecureString | Out-File -FilePath D:\BCPowerShell\Gmail_password.securestring
$passwordFile = "D:\BCPowerShell\Gmail_password.securestring"
$securePassword = ConvertTo-SecureString (Get-Content -Path $passwordFile)
$smtpCred = New-Object -TypeName PSCredential ($emailFrom, $securePassword)

$subject = $server + ": " + $simpleDate + " " + $moduleName + " Update Log";

$started = "Start time: " + $StartTime
$body += $started + "`n`n"

Try
{
    #Get currently installed version
    $currentVersion = (Get-InstalledModule $moduleName -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue).Version.ToString()
}
Catch 
{
    $currentVersion = "(not installed)"
}

#Get the latest version available
$latestVersion = (Find-Module $moduleName).Version.ToString()



#If we don't have the latest version installed
If ($currentVersion -ne $latestVersion)
{

    $message = "Current version: " + $currentVersion + "`nLatest version: " + $latestVersion;
    $message += "`n`nUpdating to version " + $latestVersion;
    #Remove existing version(s)
    Uninstall-Module $moduleName -Force -AllVersions -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

    #Install latest version
    Install-Module $moduleName -Force

    $updated = $true;

    #Verify version number
    $currentVersion = (Get-InstalledModule $moduleName).Version.ToString()
    $message += "`nUpdate complete";
    $message += "`nCurrent version is now " + $currentVersion;
        
    $body += "`n" + $message;

    Write-Output $message
}
Else
{
    #If we are on the latest version, log that info
    $message = "You are on the latest version of " + $moduleName + ": " + $currentVersion;
    Write-Output $message
}



#Record end time
$EndTime = $(get-date)
$output = "`nEnd time: " + $EndTime
$body += "`n" + $output 
Write-Output $output 

#Calculate elapsed time
$elapsedTime = $EndTime - $StartTime
$totalTime = "{0:HH:mm:ss}" -f ([datetime]$elapsedTime.Ticks)
$output = "Elapsed time: " + $totalTime
$body += "`n" + $output 
Write-Output $output

$body += "`n`nFull log file is attached" 

#Finish the transcript recording
#The Transcript must be stopped before trying to send the email,
#otherwise the log file will be locked, causing the email to fail
Stop-Transcript
        
if ($updated)
{
#Send the email
Send-MailMessage -From $emailFrom -To $emailTo `
    -Subject $subject `
    -Body $body `
    -Attachments $transcriptFile `
    -SmtpServer $smtpServer `
    -Credential $smtpCred `
    -Port $port `
    -UseSsl
}  


Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP in Los Angeles.  He works with Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft Power Automate, Power Apps, Azure, .NET, Dynamics GP, and SQL Server.

You can also find him on Twitter and YouTube

https://www.precipioservices.com

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Fully automate the Business Central Container build process

By Steve Endow

I don't like maintenance tasks.  I don't like having to remember to do something on a regular basis.  I don't like having to do low value tasks constantly.

While it has been valuable for me to manually run NavContainerHelper the last several months, I think I am finally at a point where I sufficiently understand how it works and what it does.  I'm now ready to automate my Business Central Container build process so that I don't have to do it manually.

Just tell me how it went...

This isn't anything new--I'm just finally getting around to doing it for me with the features that I want.  If there are other ways or better ways to do this, let me know.

I share the background, my thinking, and my journey creating the script in this video.



In short, I've just wrapped the call to New-BcContainer in some additional PowerShell script to enable full logging, some basic error handling, and email notification.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Recording Business Central NavContainerHelper benchmarks

By Steve Endow

As I've been using NavContainerHelper, it's become clear that there can be a lot of waiting as it downloads gigabytes of data for the images and hundreds of megabytes for the artifacts.  It then has to mash all of that together to build a Business Central Container.  It can take a while.

Sometimes it seems the process is pretty quick.  But sometimes the process seems to take forever.  When it's in the middle of doing its thing, I can't tell whether it's taking longer than normal, or if it just feels like it's taking a long time.

So I'm now measuring how long it takes for NavContainerHelper to create containers.

Ya gotta measure things

If the container setup process takes longer than normal, I'll want to know why.  Was it a performance issue downloading images or artifacts?  Or is there a performance issue with the VM?  Or did some error cause the script to fail prematurely?


Here's the PowerShell script I've setup to record the start time, end time, and elapsed time of the New-BcContainer process.  This is a sample that uses the values for building a BC container in my environment--you'll want to adjust the New-BcContainer parameter values to your preferred values.


 $StartTime = $(get-date)   
  Try {   
   $output = "Started: " + $StartTime   
   Write-Output $output    
   $containerName = 'bc1'   
   $password = 'P@ssw0rd'   
   $securePassword = ConvertTo-SecureString -String $password -AsPlainText -Force   
   $credential = New-Object pscredential 'admin', $securePassword   
   $auth = 'UserPassword'   
   $artifactUrl = Get-BcArtifactUrl -type 'Sandbox' -version '' -country 'us' -select 'Latest'   
   New-BcContainer `   
    -accept_eula `   
    -containerName $containerName `   
    -credential $credential `   
    -auth $auth `   
    -artifactUrl $artifactUrl `   
    -imageName 'myimage1' `   
    -dns '8.8.8.8' `   
    -updateHosts   
   }   
   Catch {   
    Write-Error "Um, something didn't go well:"   
    Write-Error $_   
   }   
   Finally {   
    $EndTime = $(get-date)   
    $output = "End time: " + $EndTime   
    Write-Output $output    
    $elapsedTime = $(get-date) - $StartTime   
    $totalTime = "{0:HH:mm:ss}" -f ([datetime]$elapsedTime.Ticks)   
    $output = "Elapsed time: " + $totalTime   
    Write-Output $output   
   }   


At the top of the script, I record the start time, then output that time in the log so that I can see when the script started.

I added a try/catch block so that even if the script fails, my script outputs the end time and elapsed time.

In the finally block, I record the time again, then calculate elapsed time.  The elapsed time is then output to the log.

Building a new named image vs. using an existing named image

In this example, I see that when the script had to build a new named image, it took 13 minutes to create the named image and then create the container.  But when it was able to use an existing named image, it only took 1 minute.

Good to know!

Now I can use this script to see how my dedicated physical server compares to my VMs.  I assume that the VMs will be slower, but I'm curious to see how much slower.


Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP in Los Angeles.  He works with Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft Power Automate, Power Apps, Azure, .NET, Dynamics GP, and SQL Server.

You can also find him on Twitter and YouTube

http://www.precipioservices.com



Automatically Updating NavContainerHelper

By Steve Endow

One of the challenges I've had using the Business Central NavContainerHelper module has been managing the versions and updates.  Freddy Kristiansen is constantly updating NavContainerHelper to add features or fix issues, so a new version might be released within 24 hours of the prior release.

It seems like there is at least one update per week.  As a result, I always forget to update NavContainerHelper and often end up using an older version, which can sometimes result in errors.

I wanted to automate the update process so that I always know that I have the latest version of NavContainerHelper installed.  And ONLY the latest version--making sure that I don't have any older versions installed side-by-side.

I don't know if this is the best method, but I think it should work.  If you know of a better way, let me know!

Here's the script I'd like to run automatically every day:

 $MyModuleName = 'NavContainerHelper'  
 Uninstall-Module $MyModuleName -Force -AllVersions  
 Install-Module $MyModuleName -Force  

The Script

I want to install the latest version, but I want to make sure that I don't have an older version still installed.  There are a few ways to do this, but I figure with this script, it removes all existing versions, and then installs the latest version.

I normally don't recommend Install-Module -Force if you are running the script manually, but in this case, I believe I need -Force in order to bypass the verification dialog that appears during installation.  Also, since I know that I've just uninstalled all versions before installing the latest version, I think using -Force should be okay in this particular case.

I saved the above 3 line script to a .ps1 file.

I then opened Windows Task Scheduler using Run As Administrator.

Windows Task Scheduler
I created a new folder called Steve to make it easier to find my tasks.

I then created a new task (not a Basic task).

Task - General Info

I gave the task a name.  Then I set the task to use the Local Administrator user.  This is on one of my dev VMs, and I know the PowerShell script will need Admin rights, so I chose Administrator just to avoid any hassles.  If you are on a company network / domain, you'll need to figure out which domain user / rights you need to allow the script to run as a task.

Nightly update
On the Triggers tab, I setup a schedule to run Daily at 8pm.

On the Actions tab, I created an action to call powershell with the -File argument, based on this blog post.



The argument I used looks like:

     -File C:\BCPowerShell\UpdateNavContainerHelper_v1.ps1


I then saved the task and tested it. 

It seems to work, so I'll keep an eye on it for a week or so to verify that NavContainerHelper is always on the latest version and that I don't have any old versions installed side-by-side.


Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP in Los Angeles.  He works with Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft Power Automate, Power Apps, Azure, .NET, Dynamics GP, and SQL Server.

You can also find him on Twitter and YouTube

http://www.precipioservices.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Basic Business Central Docker Commands That I Use

By Steve Endow

On July 1, 2020, I made a video showing the basic Docker commands that I use to manage Business Central Docker Containers.

PowerShell isn't too bad

Here is a complete list of the commands that I've collected to manage Business Central Containers, as of July 2020.  If you have any others that you recommend, please comment below and let me know!


Thanks to Daniel and Tanya and Džoka for some additions!


   
 Open Powershell / Powershell ISE on HOST machine using Run As Administrator  
   
 
 NOTE: When referring to a Container ID or Image ID, you can use the first 
       few characters of the ID if they are unique--you do not have to always
       use the full ID.


 Check NavContainerHelper Version  
   
      Get-InstalledModule NavContainerHelper  
   
   
 Fresh Install of NavContainerHelper  
   
      Install-module navcontainerhelper  
      Import-Module navcontainerhelper  
   
   
 Install Latest NavContainerHelper  
   
 If you KNOW you don't have multiple versions installed:  
   
      Update-Module NavContainerHelper -Force  
   
 If you MIGHT have multiple versions installed:  
   
      $MyModuleName = <modulename>  
      Uninstall-Module $MyModuleName -allversions   
      Install-Module $MyModuleName
   
      NOTE: I do not recommend using the -Force option with Install-Module. 
            It can bypass valuable warnings that you want to know about.


 Alternate method to Remove Old Versions of NavContainerHelper  
   
      $ModuleName = 'navcontainerhelper';  
      $Latest = Get-InstalledModule $ModuleName;   
      Get-InstalledModule $ModuleName -AllVersions | ? {$_.Version -ne $Latest.Version} | Uninstall-Module -WhatIf  
   
   
   
 Container Management Commands  
   
   	Compact Container listing:
    
      docker ps --format "table {{.Names}}\t{{.ID}}\t{{.CreatedAt}}\t{{.Status}}"
      
    Full listing:
    
      docker ps  
      docker ps -a  
        
      docker start <id>  
      docker stop <id>  
   
      
      docker container inspect 


 Remove Container  
   
    Recommended method:

      Remove-BCContainer <containername>


    Manual Docker method:

      docker stop <id> 
      docker rm <id> 
      Manually clean up hosts file
      Manually remove desktop icons
      Manually remove extensions from C:\ProgramData\NavContainerHelper\Extensions\
   

 Stop all running containers:  
        
      docker stop $(docker ps -aq)  
   
   
 Images  
   
       docker images  
       docker images -a  
   
 Remove Image  
   
      docker rmi <id>  
        
      docker rmi <repository>:<tag>  
   
   Remove all images:

      docker rmi $(docker images -aq)

   
 Clean up old images  
   
   Remove orphaned images with "< none >" identifiers:

      docker images -q -f dangling=true | % { docker rmi $_ }  


   Remove orphaned images:
   
   	  docker image prune -f
      
   Remove orphaned AND UNUSED images:
   
   WARNING: Be careful with this: It will remove generic OS images used by NavContainerHelper!

      docker image prune -a -f
   

   
 Get Artifact Info for an existing BC Container:  
   
      Get-BcContainerArtifactUrl containername  
        
      Get-NavContainerArtifactUrl containername  
   
   
 Diagnostics  
   
      Get-BcContainerEventLog  
   
   
   
 Create New BC Container  
   
      New-BcContainerWizard  
   
   
 https://blog.baudson.de/blog/stop-and-remove-all-docker-containers-and-images  
   




Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP in Los Angeles.  He works with Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft Power Automate, Power Apps, Azure, .NET, Dynamics GP, and SQL Server.

You can also find him on Twitter and YouTube

http://www.precipioservices.com

Friday, July 10, 2020

The New-BcContainerWizard! And working through Docker errors...

By Steve Endow

UPDATE: If you're interested in a convenient way to run the BcContainerHelper PowerShell commands, check out Krzysztof's Azure Data Studio Notebook with sample BcContainerHelper commands.  Jupyter Notebooks are a great way to include documentation and commands in a single convenient format.

Have you used the new New-BcContainerWizard tool?  If not, settle in!  And I'll throw in a story about a puzzling Docker error and how Freddy helped me work through it.

Here's a video where I walk through my recent Docker learning:



Yesterday I planned on working through Erik Hougaard's video about calling an external web API from AL and processing the JSON response.  

Since I needed a new BC Docker Container to work on the demo code, I thought it would be a good opportunity to test Freddy's new BC Container Wizard tool.  So I made sure I had the latest version of NAV Container Helper, and typed New-BcContainerWizard.

The wizard is a really nifty PowerShell utility that asks you a series of questions that walk you through the different options available when using the NewBcContainer command.  After I completed the questions, it provided me with this script.

 $containerName = 'sandbox1'  
 $password = 'P@ssword'  
 $securePassword = ConvertTo-SecureString -String $password -AsPlainText -Force  
 $credential = New-Object pscredential 'admin', $securePassword  
 $auth = 'UserPassword'  
 $artifactUrl = Get-BcArtifactUrl -type 'Sandbox' -version '' -country 'us' -select 'Latest'  
 $licenseFile = 'c:\zdisks\business central\2020-06bcv16license.flf'  
 New-BcContainer `  
   -accept_eula `  
   -containerName $containerName `  
   -credential $credential `  
   -auth $auth `  
   -artifactUrl $artifactUrl `  
   -updateHosts `  
   -assignPremiumPlan `  
   -licenseFile $licenseFile `  
   -dns '192.168.25.21' `  
   -imageName 'mybc16'   
 Setup-BcContainerTestUsers -containerName $containerName -Password $credential.Password -credential $credential  

This is a really great tool.  When I first started using NavContainerHelper, it seemed very confusing and I had no idea which options to include and which values made sense for my needs.  This wizard resolves that and will be a great resource for people who are new to Docker.

Now that I had my nifty PowerShell script, I ran it.  

Sad Trombone
Sad Trombone

"This request is not supported"

Um.  What?

After a bit of googling, I eventually made my way to the NavContainerHelper GitHub repository to see if I could learn anything from the Issues list.  I saw another issue that also had "CreateComputeSystem", but the specific error was different.

So I submitted a separate issue on GitHub.  This was the first GitHub issue I've ever submitted, so I didn't know how or what to include.  I used another issue as an example, and I stumbled through the process, including what I was trying to do, a copy of my New-BcContainer script, and as much information about the error that I had available.

Freddy responded within a few hours asking for the full build log from a successful container build (excluding the imageName parameter).  I was able to attach that full build log as a text file.

Within a few minutes, he replied, explaining that the log showed I was using a very old version of windows.

The last few digits are the important ones

Sure enough, Windows Update had a few failed updates.  Those failed updates had prevented ANY updates from being applied to my server.  Once I cleared those errors and updated my server to the latest windows build, the New-BcContainer script worked successfully with the imageName parameter.

I then looked through the full container build log that I had submitted to the issue, and sure enough, there it was.

I'm talkin' to you!


Among the hundreds of lines that scrolled by during the build process, the warning was right there, showing that I had a very old Windows build and that the generic image didn't match.

While this did delay me by over a day in my AL learning process, this side adventure was very valuable, as it helped me understand a little bit more about Docker and the NavContainerHelper build process.


Docker Engine Enterprise and Mirantis Container Runtime for Business Central Developers

by Steve Endow NOTE:   This post relates to Docker Engine Enterprise and Mirantis Container Runtime on Windows Server .  I don't believe...