Snapshot creation tutorial

In this guide you will be introduced to creating a snapshot as an essential feature in Object Analyzer.

The advantages of uploading your objects is to centrally store your client’s NAV or Business Central objects in Object Analyzer. All users within your organization can use the objects for support, installation compares, cumulative update upgrades, merge with other installations, and furthermore to activate Source Control and the Change Log Cloud.

Learn how to create snapshots in Object Analyzer

This walkthrough will show you how Object Analyzer’s “create snapshot” function works. A snapshot means a copy of your objects stored in Object Analyzer centrally with or without C/AL code, and shared with your users.

Imagine having to prepare a report regarding the time estimation of a C/AL upgrade project. Snapshots become useful as you can easily make a compare of the installation, and gather analysis data of the installation before a meeting with your client or manager. A snapshot also becomes handy, if you want to compare a LIVE installation with a development installation. 

Maybe you want to upgrade a vertical solution, where the client has customizations. You can then store the two different versions as snapshots and add the client’s installation with customizations as a third, and afterwards perform a 3-way-merge.

Where to create a snapshot

Assuming that you already logged on with your confirmed account and have your NAV objects ready, let’s start.

1) On the dashboard go to the “SNAPSHOTS” tab on the main menu

2) Press the green “Create snapshot” button

3) Next, you will have to fill in the snapshot information

Filling out the snapshot information

You will have to specify the following about the standard BC/NAV version for your custom objects:

Optional "Client" field

If a client has been created before, you can also select one of these and automatically have the information filled out. 

Learn more about creating clients here

Snapshot Details

In this section you will have to add the following:

Optional fields:

Version: You can specify the version of your snapshot for better customization (examples: “Demo”, “dev”, “live”)

Description: Here you can add additional information that may be important or relevant for the snapshot (example: The source file type, or the processing of data)

Snapshot Source Control Management

If you want to have the objects updated automatically, mark the “Auto Update Snapshot” field, which also means you can activate the Source Control function.

Adding the snapshot data

Object information

Upload your objects

You will now have two options for uploading your objects.

Option 1

By copying objects directly from the Microsoft Dynamics Development Environment

Option 2

By uploading the object code in a .txt file

Option 1)
The fastest way
  1. Open your Microsoft Dynamics Development Environment
  2. Be sure to have set the language to English
  3. Select the “all” tab
  4. Mark all objects with CTRL + A  and copy the objects
  5. Paste the objects into Object Analyzer at the grey line

You should now be able to see the objects being processed with a green bar on screen

When to use:  Pasting objects directly to Object Analyzer is the fastest way to get a quick overview of:

  • The difference between the standard and custom objects
  • Installed and available hotfixes
  • The current cumulative update level

This, however, does not support any features related to C/AL code handling or cumulative update upgrade or code compare. 

Option 2)
For better handling of C/AL code
  1. Open your Microsoft Dynamics Development Environment
  2. Select all objects you want to export
  3. Export the objects in a file in .txt format and save it
  4. Upload the saved .txt file into Object Analyzer by dropping it to the grey box
This will process all the objects, including C/AL code (optional), and prepare everything for comparisons. 

When to use:  The real benefit of using this method is, when you want to specifically handle the C/AL code for:

  • Comparisons between custom objects and standard objects
  • Code compares between standard or hotfix objects
  • Perform a cumulative update to a higher level
This is the best upload option to choose, but may take longer because of the processing. You might get a warning for incomplete objects and missing objects during the upload. 

You can also choose to create a snapshot without uploading any objects. The Change Log Cloud feature can be used without having objects. Simply mark the “Auto Update Snapshot” to proceed to create the snapshot. 

Optionally, managing the object settings

The most important option here is to mark the “include C/AL code” to get the most out of Object Analyzer’s features. The rest will be set by default. 

Details about the Object Settings

Date and Time formats:

Did you get an unrealistic amount of incomplete objects? Often, the date format will be the issue. The default is “dd-mm-yy” and is used to find expected date formats in your custom objects. If this format is not aligning with the format your actual objects use, it cannot parse the date format into our system and is seen as invalid. The time format option is either 12h or 24h. 

We recommend you check these formats before pasting or uploading your custom objects, but if you happen to process your custom objects before changing this option, all you have to do is change the option, and the process of handling your objects will be redone.

Include C/AL code:

This option will include Microsoft system objects if selected. Default is to not include them.

Include system objects:

Mark this checkbox to get access to features related to C/AL code. Object Analyzer offers a range of features such as comparing your custom object against standard objects on code level, but also for compared your custom objects against hotfixes. Furthermore, this also enables you to perform the effective cumulative update merges, where you can go from your current cumulative update level to the newest available and supported cumulative update.

The final step

Lastly, press “create” to start processing your snapshot. The upload may take several minutes. In the meantime you will see a red process bar at the top of the interface. 

After a while you will be sent to the “Snapshot Details” page, which indicates that the objects are nearly processed. When the file upload progress is at 100%, you will be notified about a successful upload. 

 For more info about managing snapshots, please visit this tutorial.

Explore more about Object Analyzer during webinars

If you’re curious about certain functions and features, we personally welcome to join one of our informative webinars. Ask questions during the webinar, and our expert will be happy to give you an answer. The webinar is a unique chance to see, what Object Analyzer is capable off. 

Join a fantastic webinar for a LIVE demonstration of Object Analyzer – all of course, free to attend

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