Copy a Production or Sandbox Environment in the Admin Center

INTRODUCED IN: Business Central 2021 release wave 2


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You can create an environment that is a copy of an existing environment, such as a sandbox that is based on production for troubleshooting, or a production environment that is based on a sandbox, for example. When you create an environment as a copy of another environment, the new environment is created on the same application version as the environment that you are copying. The new environment will contain all per-tenant extensions and AppSource extensions that are installed and published in the original environment that is being copied.

To copy an environment

  1. In the Business Central administration center, select Environments, then select the environment that you want to copy.
  2. On the Environment Details page, choose the Copy action.
  3. In the Copy environment pane, specify the type of environment that you want to create based on the current environment.
  4. Specify a name for the new environment.
  5. Choose the Create action.

When the process starts, you can go to the list of your environments and see the status of the new environment. At first, you'll see the new environment with the state Preparing, and then Active once the new environment is fully up and running. Further status details of the copy operation can be found on the Operations page. The original environment that the new environment is based on remains active.

Environment copies

When an environment is created as a copy of another environment, a number of precautions are taken for that copy:

  • Tasks in the job queue are automatically stopped

    To see which scheduled jobs are stopped, and to decide which jobs to restart in the new environment, go to the Scheduled Tasks page in Business Central. There, you can set tasks to be ready to run in the job queue. However, only tasks that are marked as belonging to the current environment can run. For more information, see View Scheduled Tasks in the business functionality content.

  • Any base application integration settings are cleared

  • Any irreversible features that were enabled in the original environment will also be turned on in the copy. For more information, see Features that can't be turned off.

  • Development extensions that are published from AL-Go for GitHub or Azure DevOps and any extensions that depend on them are uninstalled when the source environment is a sandbox. Any data that was created in the original environment by the extensions that are now uninstalled in the copy will not be deleted. Any updates to per-tenant extensions that are slotted to be upgraded with the next minor or major upgrade will be retained.

  • Outbound HTTP calls from extensions are blocked by default and must be approved for each extension, otherwise instead of an external call, the system will display the following error message: The request was blocked by the runtime to prevent accidental use of production services.

    To enable outbound HTTP calls, go to the Extension Management page in Business Central, and choose Configure. Then, on the Extension Settings page, make sure that Allow HttpClient Requests is selected. This setting must be enabled for each extension, including libraries.

  • Any action taken for the purpose of complying with privacy laws and regulations must be handled separately and repeated for the environment. There is no synchronization with the original environment after the copy has been created.

    The internal administrator has the same tools and responsibilities for the copy as they do for the original environment. As a data processor, Business Central offers the same level of data protection and data handling restrictions to all types of environments, both sandboxes and production environments.

  • The following setups are set to status disabled
    • Doc. Exch. Service Setup
    • Curr. Exch. Rate Update Setup
    • VAT Reg. No. Srv Config
    • Graph Mail Setup
    • CRM Connection Setup
    • CDS Connection Setup
    • All webhooks
    • All records in the Service Connection table
    • All records in the Exchange Sync table
  • The following data is cleared
    • Password in the OCR Service Setup table
    • SMTP Server in SMTP Mail Setup
    • Exchange Service URL in the Marketing Setup table
  • The following changes are made for first-party extensions
    • AMC Banking 365 Fundamentals
      • The Service URL in AMC Banking Setup is reset to default for Sandbox environments
    • Email - Outlook REST API
      • All email accounts of types "Microsoft 365" and "Current User" are deleted. Deleting these records turns any existing field monitoring setup non-valid.
    • Email - SMTP Connector
      • SMTP Server details are deleted
  • The following changes are made for specific localizations
    • Spain
      • SII Setup is set to disabled
    • United Kingdom
      • Password in GovTalk Setup table is deleted
    • Netherlands
      • All Digipoort related fields in the Elec. Tax Declaration Setup table are cleared
  • The environment settings set in the admin center, including the Application Insights connection string and update window, are copied over to the target environment. If you don't want the target environment to emit telemetry to the same Application Insights resource as the source environment, you can remove or change the connection string after the copy completes or use Data Collection Rules on the Application Insights resource to filter out telemetry from any environments from which you don't want to collect telemetry on that resource.

See also

Managing Production and Sandbox Environments in the Admin Center
Managing Tenant Notifications
Managing Apps
Updating Environments
Managing Sessions
Rename Environments
Restoring an Environment
Move an Environment to another Microsoft Entra organization
Introduction to automation APIs The Business Central Administration Center