Visual Studio Code – what you need to know as an AL Developer

Visual Studio Code is a free and open source, source code editor which supports multiple programming languages. It is developed by Microsoft for Windows, Linux and macOS .

visual studio code
Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a powerful development environment tool which can be extended via plugins and can be customized extensively.  You can change theme, icon sets etc..

It actually has a lot of features, definitely more than it appears to have at first sight. Very few features are exposed through the menu or user Interface. All the features of Visual Studio Code can be accessed via Command Palette or via  a .json file.

visual studio code command palette
visual studio code command palette

Features of Visual Studio Code

IntelliSense – performs Syntax Highlighting & Auto Completion

Built-in Git – works with Git and other SCM (Source Code Management) providers

Extensions –extensions can be installed to add new languages, themes, debuggers etc..

Debugging – code debugging from the editor

 

AL extension for Visual Studio Code

To work with AL in Visual Studio Code, we need to install an AL extension. From the extensions menu, choose Install from VSIX and install it.

Al extension for Visual Studio Code

Al extension for visual studio code

Symbol File

Symbol file contains metadata of the application, and extensions are built on top of it. Symbols are a prerequisite for writing extensions for Dynamics 365 Business Central. To download symbols, navigate to command palette or click Ctrl+Shift+P and enter AL: Download symbols

After Symbols are downloaded you can see two .app files created as shown below.

Symbol file for visual studio code

Now Visual Studio Code is ready to create our first AL project.

Stay tuned for further information

 

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