This post is part of the series and of the wider In Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, how do I… series which I am posting as I familiarise myself with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
As I say in the introduction to this series, I a only really started learning Business Central in 2022, although I’d done some work with it before then. I’ve done a few posts already on personalising Business Central, to change pages, card pages, fact boxes and action bars as well as moving personalisations to another environment.
More recently, I discovered an option when working in a sandbox environment to Design as well as Personalise. I checked in live and this Design option isn’t present. After doing some investigation I found confirmation from Microsoft that Design is not and will not be available in a production database. This makes sense as you should make changes in a development sandbox first and then deploy to production only when you’re happy with the changes.
One of the differences between design and personalise is that when you personalise it is for your user account or the selected profile only, whereas changes made through design mode will effect all users in the environment. Design more works by creating an extension for Business Central, which you can then deploy by exporting from the development sandbox and importing to the production environment.
In theory, design seems like it might be a good function for rolling out changes to everyone, but the major flaw is that every time you click the Design button a new extension is created. This means that you could in a fairly short time have many extensions installed into your environment.
From an admittedly fairly short look at design mode, I think you are better sticking with personalisation for most changes to pages, fact boxes, action bars and so on and have a developer create an extension through VS rather than using design mode as this will give you much more control over the extension.
Microsoft, on the Using Designer page on Microsoft Learn, also not that extensions created using design more are removed whenever the sandbox environment is updated or relocated and should not be used to control the extensions; instead you would need to export and manage them yourself.
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