What do you do when you need to kill some time in a hotel before the NAV TechDays break loose? That’s right, write a blog post!
This one has been on my list for quite some time now but there were always more interesting things to blog about, but now it’s time to finally take care of the Upgrade Tags.

Somewhere in the development of Business Central the table Upgrade Tag and codeunit Upgrade Tag Mgt. appeared, but what are they meant for?
Let’s find out!

With NAV2015 we got upgrade codeunits, codeunits that will trigger whenever the Invoke-NAVDataUpgrade cmdlet is called or when the data upgrade is started from the C/SIDE development environment.
Whenever the data upgrade is started, all upgrade codeunits will be triggered and this is exactly what the problem is.
If you deliver your software cumulatively you need to make sure that you either write upgrade codeunits in such a defensive way that executing them again won’t hurt or you should think of some kind of mechanism that knows if a certain upgrade codeunit has been executed already.

This is where Upgrade Tags come into play, the API is really simple, it only contains two straight-forward functions:

  • SetUpgradeTag(Tag : Code[250])
  • HasUpgradeTag(NewTag : Code[250])

The API is also accessible from AL but in AL the same can be achieved by using the ModuleInfo data type, however, for logging purposes, it might still make sense to use the upgrade tags.

This is basically all you need to know, in the object itself Microsoft wrote some documentation about how the upgrade tag should be formatted:

In my opinion, the upgrade tag format is something you should decide with your team but I would definitely create a codeunit to format the upgrade tag itself, this way you’re sure that everyone’s using the same format.

 

So let’s look at an example upgrade codeunit that implements the Upgrade Tag API:

The code is self-explanatory so let’s go straight to the more strict API that implements the custom tag formatting of choice.
I’ve decided to create a new codeunit that implements the exact same API as the Upgrade Tag Mgt codeunit, but then with strict parameters:

We can now implement it like this in our example upgrade codeunit:

This way you’re sure that every developer applies the same formatting and of course, you’re fully flexible to format the tag so that it contains the information that you find important!