Business Central Docker on Windows 10

In Advania we are switching more and more to using the Docker images for Dynamics NAV and Business Central development.

Since version 1809 of Windows 10 and the latest blog post from Arend-Jan Kauffmann we are moving to using the Docker EE engine instead of the Docker Desktop setup.

Using the latest Windows 10 version and the latest version of Docker means that we can now use “Process Isolation” images when running NAV and Business Central.

Not using process isolation images on Windows 10 requires Hyper-V support. Inside Hyper-V a server core is running as the platform for the processes executed by the container created from the image. If using process isolation images then the Windows 10 operating system is used as foundation and Hyper-V server core is not needed. Just this little fact can save up to 4GB of memory usage by the container.

Freddy Kristiansen announced in this blog that his PowerShell Module, NAVContainerHelper, had support for selecting the proper Docker Image based on the host capabilities.

We have had some issues with our Windows installations and I wanted to give you the heads up and how these issues where resolved.

First thing first, make sure that you are running Windows 10 version 1809 or newer. Execute

in Windows-R to get this displayed.

Optional, make sure to remove the Hyper-V support if you are not using any virtual machines on your host. If you have version 1903 or later I suggest enabling the Hyper-V feature.

Restart your computer as needed.

Start PowerShell ISE as Administrator.

Copy from Arend-Jan‘s blog the Option 1: Manual installation script into the script editor in Powershell ISE and execute by pressing F5.

If you have older Docker Images download you should remove them. Executing

in your PowerShell ISE prompt.

Now to the problems we have encountered.

The NAVContainerHelper added a support for the process isolation images just a few releases ago. Some of our machines had older versions installed and that gave us problems. Execute

in PowerShell ISE prompt to make sure you have version 0.5.0.5 or newer.

If you have any other versions installed use the File Explorer to delete the “navcontainerhelper” folder from

and

Then execute

in PowerShell ISE prompt to install the latest versions. Verify the installation.

We also had problems downloading the images. Getting the error “read tcp 172.16.4.17:56878->204.79.197.219:443: wsarecv: An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host.“.

My college in Advania, Sigurður Gunnlaugsson, figured out that multiple download threads caused network errors.

In PowerShell ISE prompth execute

to remove the docker service. Then re-register docker service using

in the PowerShell ISE prompt.

This should result in only one download thread and this way our download was able to complete.

More details on Docker images for Dynamics NAV and Business Central can be found in here.

Waldo’s Blog on Docker Image Tags

AdvaniaGIT and Docker

Tobias Fenster on Docker

Freddy´s Blog

Using AdvaniaGIT – Docker Containers

There is a new kid in town.  His name is Docker.

Microsoft is saying:

We are currently investigating how we can use Docker for deploying NAV. For test purposes we have created a Docker Container Image with the NAV Developer Preview, which you can try out.

Docker Containers is a technology where you, instead of virtualizing the entire machine, only virtualize the services and share resources from the host computer. Read more about it here: https://www.docker.com/what-docker

Read more about how to get started with Docker here: https://docs.docker.com/docker-for-windows/install/

So what does this mean?

We can install NAV environments as container both in Azure and on premise.  We can have multiple NAV versions to work with without having to install, so there is no conflict.  We can also get access to container images that are still in preview.

Note what Microsoft says, they are investigating.  The NAV Container Image service is not public yet.  You need authentication to get access.  This project has a place on GitHub.  To get access please contact Microsoft or send me a line and I will point you in the right direction.

The easiest way to get started is to try the NAV Developer Preview template on Azure,  http://aka.ms/navdeveloperpreview.  This will give you a full development environment for NAV Extension2.0 using VS Code.

It should be straight forward to install AdvaniaGIT on top of the NAV Developer Preview and start from there.  We can also start from Azure template called “Windows Server 2016 Datacenter – with Containers”.

The local option is to install Docker on our Windows laptop.  If you would like to use Docker on your laptop you need to change one setting after installation.  You need to switch to Windows containers.  Your laptop will most likely restart during installation and configuration of Docker so make sure to have your work saved.

If you are planning to run a Docker-Only environment you don’t need to install NAV.  Still there are prerequisite components that you must install.  These components can be found on the NAV DVD folder “Prerequisite Components”.  From the “Microsoft SQL Server” folder install sqlncli64.msi and ReportBuilder3.msi.  From the “Microsoft Visual C++ 2013” folder install vcredist_x64.exe.  From the “Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Redist” install vstor_redist.exe.  From the “Microsoft Report Viewer” folder install both SQLSysClrTypes.msi and ReportViewer.msi.  You should now be ready for the next step.

So, let’s get started

In your C:\AdvaniaGIT\Data folder open DockerSettings.json

That’s all.  Your are now ready to use Docker with AdvaniaGIT.  Make sure to always have the latest version of AdvaniaGIT installed.

You can even use the “devpreview” build of NAV TENERIFE to do vNext development both in C/AL and AL.

Stay tuned, the AdvaniaGIT journey will continue…