Are you ready to move forward “WITH”-out AL?

Sometimes I just have to write my frustration away in order to clear my head. Don’t expect technical tips and tricks in this post, but maybe some inspiration.

Today I was absolutely flabbergasted. Both on Twitter and on LinkedIn (I am a social media junky) there were actually threads about Microsoft removing the WITH statement in AL. I was litterally like OMG! Go spend your time on the future!!

https://github.com/microsoft/AL/issues/5817#issuecomment-617004754

I’m not going to spend more time on this idiotic topic than this. AL is a horrible programming language and in my future programming career I expect to spend less and less time each year using it.

What does your toolbox look like?

My father-in-law, may he rest in piece, could litterly make anything with his hands. He was a carpenter as a proffession but he could paint, masonry, plastering, pave roads, you name it and he could do it as long as he has the right tools, a good mindset and look at someone do it for a while to pick up some tricks.

As programmers we seem to be married into languages and frameworks and I can only guess why this is the case. In the old world were we came from which was called “On Premises” it was hard to have multiple frameworks, operating systems and databases work side-by-side.

THIS IS NO LONGER TRUE!!! WAKE THE F*CK UP!!

We live in a new world called cloud, preferably the Microsoft Azure cloud and in this new world frameworks, databases and programming languages co-exist side-by-side just fine. Not C/Side is your toolbox but Azure is!

How I am migrating our 200GB+ Database to Business Central with 2000 custom objects? BY USING AZURE!!!!!

– Mark Brummel –

Quote me on that.

For the last year or so I’ve been preparing “our” Business Central SAAS migration and the first thing I did was NOT look at AL code and extensions. The first thing I did was to implement Azure Blob Storage.

The second thing I’ve implemented was Azure Functions replacing C/AL code with C# code.

The third thing I’ve implemented was JavaScript Add-Ins to work around limitations of the Web Client. I did this together with the fantastic team of Global Mediator which gave birth to a product called Meta UI which for those of you not to stuborn to “want to do it themselves” make the Web Client a fantastic place to live in.

Number four on my list was Logic Apps to replace Job Queue processes scanning for new files and enhance our EDI

Right now we are implementing Cosmos Database, with Logic Apps and custom API to reduce our database size and improve scalability of our Power BI

FIVE PROJECTS to move to Business Central SAAS WITHOUT a single line of AL code written and we started our project about 18 months ago.

The plan is to move to Business Central SAAS within the next 24 monhts with as few AL customisations as possible.

You know what is funny? The things we are moving OUT of Business Central are the things that make us agile. These are the things that we always have to make ad-hoc changes to why we love C/Side so much.

Please implement a new EDI Interface. Boom, done. With Logic Apps and an Azure Function.

Please change this KPI. Boom, done with Power BI.

Please make this change to the UI. Boom, done with Meta UI.

Oh, and off-course to not forget my friends in Denmark.

Please change the layout of this report. Boom, done with ForNAV!

My frustration is probably not gone, it won’t be gone as long as I read people on the internet still treating AL as if it were C/AL WHICH IT IS NOT!

Fortunately I have a fantastic new job at QBS which allows me to evangalise thinking out of the box and helping people get started with Azure. Only last week in a few hours I got a partner up and running with an Azure Tenant running Business Central on a scalable infrastructure to run performance tests.

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