This December marks the two year anniversary of the very first AL Developer preview back in December 2016. And we want to use this opportunity to say "Thank you!" to all the partners that have dived into AL, installed the Visual Studio Code, and AL Language tools. We are now at 47K downloads, and an impressive 20K installs and the numbers keep growing. Thank you for providing us with feedback on GitHub, submitting Ideas, bugs, as well as enhancements to make the product even better. Some of your suggestions have already shipped in the product.

With this December preview we are mainly releasing bug fixes (closed bugs in December), as the whole team is working hard on the process of converting the base application to AL, improving tools performance when working with large projects and building the infrastructure pieces allowing us to eventually switch to working in AL on W1 and country versions of the base application. We still have a couple of new features, though, read more about these below.

We have lots of exciting news to come in the next year, so we encourage you to keep up the work and continue providing feedback. Please do, however, notice the recent change of feedback channels described here: https://community.dynamics.com/business/b/financials/archive/2018/12/04/find-the-right-resources-and-provide-feedback. To recap, the AL GitHub from now on only accepts bug reports related directly to AL and developer tools for Business Central insider builds. Bugs for shipped versions should go through support. App and event requests should go to: https://github.com/microsoft/ALAppExtensions and ideas to https://aka.ms/bcideas to allow other partners to vote for these.

This Developer Preview is available only through the Ready to Go program. Read more at http://aka.ms/readytogo. To get all fixes and features described in this blog post, please make sure that you are running an image with build number 26685 or newer.

HttpClient support for Windows Authentication (NTLM)

In an on-premises environment, you can now use one of the two new methods introduced on the HttpClient to authenticate using Windows Authentication. You can decide if you either want to specify user name, password and optionally domain yourself or if you want to authenticate as the currently logged in user in Windows.

Pruning dependencies for extensions created in the Designer

As part of the multiple bug fixes we did over the last month, we also worked on the extension dependency issue of the Designer. Until now, when creating a new extension from the Designer, the extension would take a dependency on all extensions installed on the server, even if it actually did not need all of them. It was then not possible to publish a new version of any of the extensions taken as dependency without uninstalling and re-installing the Designer extension. The upgrade process of tenants for our internal teams was also harder due to these extra dependencies created by Designer extensions.

We have now fixed the Designer in order to take a dependency only on the extensions that are actually needed. The fix is available in the daily deployments from our master branch, but also as part of the Fall 2018 CU2 release. If you haven't saved your Designer extension (by giving it a name and a publisher) and you want its dependencies to be pruned, just move one control, revert the change and it will be done automatically. If your Designer extension has been saved already, you need to update its dependencies manually in the app.json file from VS Code. We hope this will help you saving time developing, but also help us during the future upgrades of your tenants.

That was it for 2018. Happy holidays and best wishes for the year to come!