As described here, it can be kind of a Catch-22 to try to install Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central if you don’t have a local SQL Server, but want to use AzureSQL.
Although I know the approach in the before mentioned Kine Info blog post works, I came across a easier solution during my struggles with this issue.
Although the installer setup.exe does not have a “Postpone Server Startup” setting in the GUI, it actually support it.
You just need to create a configuration and hit Save before actually starting the installation. You can do that when you finish filling out all the settings on the setting page (the one with port numbers, database server and database name etc.). After you saved the configuration, close the setup.exe installer.
Now open the XML file you saved, locate the “PostponeServerStartup” setting and change it’s default value of “false” to “true”:
<Parameter ID="PostponeServerStartup" Value="true"/>
Now restart setup.exe and load the configuration – and start the installation. The installer will not try to start the service tier, so it won’t fail that and roll back the installation.
We can only hope that Microsoft at some point will add this option to the setup.exe GUI :-).
2020-02-28 Update: I’ve suggested it to Microsoft. It is not a high priority issue (because of the above described workaround). For anybody interested it has been logged with internal Microsoft ID 346773.