Converting an ISV solution to an extension: The Beginning

I’ve been a bit neglectful of this blog for the past couple of months, but with good reason. I’ve been jumping around multiple projects, and have now landed on a project that will involve taking a roughly 3000 object ISV solution and converting it to an extension.

Easy task? Far from it.
Challenging? Most definitely……but that’s why we do what we do right!?
Will I be able to convert it all to an extension? Not likely. (Yes, extensions still have limitations)

What I want to do is post my journey through this project. It’s not going to be a step by step of what to do as this is the first time I’m doing this. Up to this point, my extension experience was building them from scratch, or taking small pieces of existing features and recreating them as extensions. Nothing on this level yet. In all likelihood, I will make some mistakes, or perhaps do things in a less than ideal way, but that’s what I hope to capture in these posts, so that hopefully others can learn form them……and so I don’t make the same mistakes the next time I might have to do this. 🙂

Now first off, I want to be clear that having a 3000+ object extension is not ideal. It’s not the actual end-goal of this project. The overall solution will eventually be broken down into a set of smaller extensions, but as the current design and code is so tightly integrated, we’re moving it all to AL now and will break it apart later.

My “plan” (I use that word loosely) for this project when I began was to do the following:

  1. Convert all net new ISV objects to AL.
  2. Convert modified base tables and pages to AL (e.g. table/page extension files).
  3. Rework existing C/Side objects to move to an AL-based solution.

The first 2 steps leave me with a large portion of the solution in AL, but also a portion back in C/Side. The objects in C/Side would be the base codeunits, xmlports, reports, etc. that were modified by the ISV solution but can’t be directly converted to AL. That’s where step 3 comes into play. Reworking the objects to use events and/or redesigning the ISV solution is going to be required to clean up those objects. All in all, a lot of work, and I know for a fact that I will come across some design that cannot be replicated in an extension…..so stay tuned for however I’m going to deal with that!

Look for more posts on this as I move through this process. I hope to show both the good and the bad so that people can get a sense of what they’re in for if they come across a similar project.

Happy coding!

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6 thoughts on “Converting an ISV solution to an extension: The Beginning

  1. Pingback: Converting an ISV solution to an extension: The Beginning - Mark Brummel - Dynamics 365 Business Central/NAV User Group - Dynamics User Group

  2. Pingback: Converting an ISV solution to an extension: Update 1 | NAV Bits and Bytes

  3. Pingback: Converting an ISV solution to an extension: Update 1 - NAV Bits and Bytes - Dynamics 365 Business Central/NAV User Group - Dynamics User Group

  4. Pingback: Converting an ISV solution to an extension: Update 1 | Iwantings|Article, media, sports, TV, conversations &more

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