11 Troubleshooting and Debugging Tools in Dynamics 365 Business Central
This year at Directions North America, a partner conference, Microsoft presented a fascinating session on both old and new ways to troubleshoot and gain insights from your Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud environment. They listed off several in-client tools that can help save you from seemingly unsolvable or baffling issues that may arise while working in your environment. Below are some of the tools they highlighted that I will explain in more detail in this article:
- Help and Support
- Inspect Pages/Data
- Scheduled Tasks
- Effective Permissions
- Table Information
- Table Data
- Database Locks
- Report Data and Metadata in Excel
- Event Recorder
- Connectivity Test
- Analyze Performance – In Client Profiler
Help and Support
The Help and Support page may be one that you’re already familiar with. Within your environment, it can provide tips and support on how to use Dynamics 365 Business Central, where to learn more, and how to find technical information about your environment and session.
To access this page, click the “?” in the top-right corner of your environment and then click ‘Help & Support’.
The Page Inspection feature allows you to get details about the page you’ve navigated to, providing information about page design, the elements that make up the page, and the data model behind the page data you’re seeing. Using the information on this page, you can assist administrators with troubleshooting data issues without having to do tasks like copying the production database.
To access this pane, click the “Inspect Pages and Data” hyperlink on the Help & Support page or press Ctrl+Alt+F1 when on the page you wish to inspect.
For more technical users, the Scheduled Tasks page shows you which operations or processes are scheduled to run in your environment for specific companies. A task can be either a codeunit or report scheduled to run at a specific date and time. It also allows multiple tasks to run at one time without tying up your existing session.
Running the Effective Permissions action allows you to get an overview of a particular user’s permissions. This can help solve why a user can or cannot view a page or perform a particular action. The system reads each database object and shows you the level the user has access to. The information displayed is read-only. You can also view the “By Permission Set” part to see which permission set assigned to the user gives them the listed permissions for the selected object in the top part of the page.
The Table Information page gives you important statistics about system and business tables in your environment. This information can be particularly useful in diagnosing performance issues. In one snapshot, you can see the record count and data size of a table.
The table data page shows you the complete set of data contained in a table. When you navigate to a particular page in Business Central, you may only be able to see a subset of all the data contained in a table, based on which fields you’re allowed to display on the page. Navigating to the Table Data page can show you additional fields, along with any other records that may have been pre-filtered on a normal page.
To access this page, open the Page Inspection pane (see instructions in the Inspect Page/Data section above) and click ‘View Table’ under the table name.
Database locking occurs when multiple users attempt to modify the same data at the same time. When a user performs a transaction, a lock is put on the data until the transaction is done. The Database Locks page shows which data has a lock on it and which user prompted it.
Report Data and Metadata in Excel
One feature that users of Business Central have long awaited for is the ability to display the underlying dataset when running a particular report. When you run reports, you will have the ability to run a file type of “Microsoft Excel (data only)”. This will output unformatted data for the report in an Excel file. A second tab will show additional information such as filters and other report properties.
The Event Recorder will log UI activities to generate the list of events that are called over a short session where the user carries out workflows and navigates around their environment. This will help administrators and developers determine which objects are getting hit and in which order. This can be useful when debugging and testing code. A new recording will erase any events that have previously been recorded.
The Connectivity Test can help a user or admin determine what may be causing connectivity to their environment. It will specify which areas of connection are able to successfully get through, and which are failing. You can run the Connectivity Test from the following URL: https://businesscentral.dynamics.com/connectivity
Analyze Performance – In Client Profiler
Like Event Recorder, the Performance Profiler will log a workflow you perform and provide feedback for analysis that can assist in diagnosing why a process took so long to run or why a page took so long to load. It will also help to log the interactive abilities between the base application, customizations, and other extensions used. You can access the profiler from Help & Support by clicking ‘Analyze Performance’.
Armed with these tools, you will have a more complete picture as to what may be causing any problems within your environment and can ensure that your objects are designed and deployed in an efficient manner.
Contact us if you have any questions about Dynamics 365 Business Central.
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