MSDyn365FO. Code to build cross reference data without a full compile.

After 8.1 there is no need to do code upgrade and build standard code supplied by Microsoft or at least we’ve been told so. However, it’s impossible to refresh cross references without building model with Visual Studio tools and we need this because now hotfixes and monthly updates are cumulative and include binaries and X++ code as well, so cross reference data on dev VMs becomes outdated quite quickly.

While MS is working on actual solution, I dug a bit into xppc that compiles X++ code and build cross references and here you are, this code can be used to build cross references for a module without compile, that is way faster!

using Microsoft.Dynamics.AX.Framework.Xlnt.XReference;
using Microsoft.Dynamics.AX.Metadata.XppCompiler;
using System;

class XRefBuilder
{
    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        try
        {
            string moduleName = "ApplicationCommon";
            string metaDataPath = @"K:\AosService\PackagesLocalDirectory";

            ICrossReferenceProvider xRefProvider = CrossReferenceProviderFactory.CreateSqlCrossReferenceBatchProvider(".", "DYNAMICSXREFDB", moduleName, true, true, new DiagnosticsHandler());
            xRefProvider.StartBatch();
            new MetadataXRefSweeper( metaDataPath, moduleName, xRefProvider, DateTime.MinValue, new DiagnosticsHandler()).Run();
            xRefProvider.CommitBatch();
        }
        catch (AggregateException ae)
        {
            ae.Handle(ex => {
                    Console.WriteLine(ex.InnerException != null ? ex.InnerException.Message : ex.Message);
                return true;
            });

        }
    }
}

Note catch section, it was a big surprise for me, but standard code has lots of compile issues, for example, KanbanMultiDelete action menu item has EnumParameter property populated but EnumTypeParameter is not. In 2012 days it was not possible to do this, but now you can literally type anything into EnumParameter without specifying enum and save it. Cross reference builder would try to find that enum and throw an exception saying that cannot find an enum with empty name. That’s why I have that catch section and that’s what xppc does, just skip all these errors and probably log them somewhere.

Another gotcha here is OutOfMemoryException that you can get with ApplicationSuite model, so don’t forget to handle it as well.

 

UPDATED:

MetadataXRefSweeper build cross references only for objects like EDT or Tables, but does not cover source code. To build cross references for source code you have to actually compile it 😦

 

 

MSDyn365FO. How-to send PDF document to a printer from X++

SendPDFToPrinter.png

In AX 2012 it could be done with 2 lines of X++ code:

#WinAPI
WinApi::shellExecute(fileName,'', fileFolder, #ShellExePrint);

Now it’s not that easy. Files are in Azure BLOB storage instead of a folder, printers are in a local network that is not accessible from the cloud and WinApi is deprecated. To print standard reports Document Routing Agent should be installed. We need it to send PDF directly from the system as well.

Let’s say we want to print PDF file saved in document attachments (DocuRef). First, we need to check if a printer selected by a user is active and get printer details:

SrsReportPrinterContract activePrinterContract = SrsReportRunUtil::getActivePrinter(printerName);
if (!activePrinterContract.parmPrinterName())
{
    return;
}

printerName value should come from somewhere, for example a field on a form. In this case we can use SrsReportRunUtil::lookupPrinters() method to add a lookup with all available printers:

public static void lookupPrinters(FormStringControl _ctrl)
{
    SrsReportRunUtil::lookupPrinters(_ctrl);
}

Then we need to create print destination settings:

SRSPrintDestinationSettings srsPrintDestinationSettings = new SRSPrintDestinationSettings();
srsPrintDestinationSettings.printMediumType(SRSPrintMediumType::Printer);
srsPrintDestinationSettings.fileFormat(SRSReportFileFormat::PDF);
srsPrintDestinationSettings.printerName(activePrinterContract.parmPrinterName());
srsPrintDestinationSettings.printerWhere(activePrinterContract.parmPrinterPath());
srsPrintDestinationSettings.numberOfCopies(1);
srsPrintDestinationSettings.collate(false);
srsPrintDestinationSettings.printOnBothSides(SRSReportDuplexPrintingSetting::None);
srsPrintDestinationSettings.printAllPages(true);
srsPrintDestinationSettings.fromPage(0);
srsPrintDestinationSettings.toPage(0);

srsPrintDestinationSettings.printerWhere() is important bit here. This parameter accepts path to a printer. It’s possible to install multiple DRA on different servers and path for DRA installed on a print server could be different to path for DRA installed on any other server, so watch for this.

To send document we need to read file into a memory stream:

container fileCon = DocumentManagement::getAttachmentAsContainer(_docuRef);
var stream = Binary::constructFromContainer(fileCon).getMemoryStream();

And create new DocumentContract:

DocumentContract documentContract = DocumentContractFactory::Instance.Create(DocumentContractType::Pdf);

documentContract.Name = _docuRef.Name;
documentContract.Contents =  stream.ToArray();
documentContract.TargetType = TargetType::Printer;
documentContract.Settings = srsPrintDestinationSettings.printerPageSettings();
documentContract.ActivityID = newGuid();

If you send multiple documents ActivityID should be initialized for each document. Don’t forget to add a reference to Microsoft.Dynamics.AX.Framework.DocumentContract:

using Microsoft.Dynamics.AX.Framework.DocumentContract;

And finally send the contract to DRA:

SrsReportRunPrinter::sendDocumentContractToDocumentRouter(documentContract);

Whole method:

public static void sendToPrinter(DocuRef _docuRef, str _printerName)
{
    SrsReportPrinterContract activePrinterContract = SrsReportRunUtil::getActivePrinter(_printerName);
    if (!activePrinterContract.parmPrinterName())
    {
        return;
    }

    SRSPrintDestinationSettings srsPrintDestinationSettings = new SRSPrintDestinationSettings();
    srsPrintDestinationSettings.printMediumType(SRSPrintMediumType::Printer);
    srsPrintDestinationSettings.fileFormat(SRSReportFileFormat::PDF);
    srsPrintDestinationSettings.printerName(activePrinterContract.parmPrinterName());
    srsPrintDestinationSettings.printerWhere(activePrinterContract.parmPrinterPath());
    srsPrintDestinationSettings.numberOfCopies(1);
    srsPrintDestinationSettings.collate(false);
    srsPrintDestinationSettings.printOnBothSides(SRSReportDuplexPrintingSetting::None);
    srsPrintDestinationSettings.printAllPages(true);
    srsPrintDestinationSettings.fromPage(0);
    srsPrintDestinationSettings.toPage(0);

    container fileCon = DocumentManagement::getAttachmentAsContainer(_docuRef);
    if (fileCon)
    {
        var stream = Binary::constructFromContainer(fileCon).getMemoryStream();
        if (stream)
        {
            DocumentContract documentContract = DocumentContractFactory::Instance.Create(DocumentContractType::Pdf);
            documentContract.Name = _docuRef.Name;
            documentContract.Contents =  stream.ToArray();
            documentContract.TargetType = TargetType::Printer;
            documentContract.Settings = srsPrintDestinationSettings.printerPageSettings();
            documentContract.ActivityID = newGuid();
SrsReportRunPrinter::sendDocumentContractToDocumentRouter(documentContract);
        }
    }
}

If you want to check documents printed or see if there are any in a queue you can go to Common -> Inquiries -> Document routing status

DRA status

MSDyn365FO. How-to pass generic types to .Net method

sorcery.png

There is a wonderful blog post about Generic types in X++. And as It says, the easiest way to work with generic types in X++ is to create .Net library and expose non-generic interface, because X++ compiler has lots of limitations.

However, if you really want to have some fun and stick to X++, it’s possible with a help of reflection.

Let’s say we have a C# class that accepts  List<string[]> and we want to invoke it from X++:

public class Class1
{
    public static string myMethod(List<string[]> list)
    {
        string res = string.Empty;

        foreach (var array in list)
        {
            foreach (string s in array)
            {
                res += s;
            }
        }
return res;
    }
}

We cannot simply declare:

var stringList = new System.Collections.Generic.List<String[]>();

Looks like X++ parser cannot handle “<” and “[” combination, as it gives “Invalid token ‘<‘. ” compile error.

Therefore, instead of 2 lines of code in C#:

var stringArrayList = new System.Collections.Generic.List<string[]> { new string[] { "a", "b", "c" } };
string res = Class1.myMethod(stringArrayList);

We need a bit more in X++:

System.String string;

//array we want to put into a list
System.String[] stringArray = new System.String[3]();
stringArray.SetValue('a', 0);
stringArray.SetValue('b', 1);
stringArray.SetValue('c', 2);

//Type[] array for MakeGenericType
System.Type[] typeParams = new  System.Type[1]();
typeParams.SetValue(string.GetType().MakeArrayType(), 0);

//instantiate System.Collections.Generic.List<String[]>
System.Type listType = System.Type::GetType("System.Collections.Generic.List`1");
var constructedListType = listType.MakeGenericType(typeParams);
var stringArrayList = System.Activator::CreateInstance(constructedListType);

//invoke "Add" using reflection because we cannot cast it back to List<String[]>
var  bindingFlags =  BindingFlags::Instance | BindingFlags::Public;
System.Reflection.MethodInfo methodsInfo = constructedListType.GetMethod("Add", bindingFlags);
System.Object[] params = new  System.Object[1]();
params.SetValue(stringArray, 0);
methodsInfo.Invoke(stringArrayList, params);

info(Class1::myMethod(stringArrayList));

X++ is lacking in .Net features and often it’s easier to create intermediate C# class library. However, as you can see, some limitations are caused by X++ compiler that could be overcome using reflection.

MSDyn365FO. How to playback a task recording from X++.

s-l300

Warmup of a VM is an old issue and everyone tries to find a workaround. It is critical for demo VMs that are turned off most of the time and you don’t want to demo a product that is slow as hell.

Well-known workaround is to manually open all the forms you are going to use but it’s boring and time-consuming task. One of the yammer users came up with an idea to use task recording and here is an implementation in its dirtiest way (calling private methods on object without any validation) that is good enough for demo anyway, so feel free to improve this code:

class WarmUpRunnableClass
{
    public static void main(Args _args)
    {
        var currentRecording = SysBPMHelper::LoadLocalizedRecordingFromLCS(80244103); //BpmLineId here.

        Args args = new Args();
        args.name(formstr(SysTaskRecorderPane));

        FormRun formRun = ClassFactory.formRunClass(args);
        formRun.init();
        formRun.run();
        formRun.loadRecording(currentRecording);
        formRun.maintainExistingRecording();
        formRun.playToStep(100000);
        formRun.wait();
    }
}

This runnable class could be executed from URL, so you can add it to Windows Task Scheduler and execute it on the VM start automatically.

80244103 is a task recording id that is hardcoded here for simplicity. Previously I recorded it and saved to BPM. You can improve this code and add some smarties to grab it from BPM using search by keyword or any other logic you like.

For those who think that hardcode is good enough to get this number you need to go to LCS, open BPM and find task recording you want to run. PLID value from URL is a number you need:

PLID.png

 

MSDyn365FO. How to switch from IIS Express to IIS on development VM.

All new environments starting from PU12 are using IIS Express in debug mode and often due to random issues we have to restart it using “Restart IIS Express” option in the Dynamics 365 menu. There are multiple discussions on community and yammer forums regarding these issues and Joris de Gruyter mentioned that it is possible to switch back to IIS if you have admin access (environment deployed to customer’s or partner’s own Microsoft Azure subscription), but did not explain how 🙂

All we need to do is to edit DynamicsDevConfig.xml file that could be found in ‪K:\AosService\PackagesLocalDirectory\Bin folder (drive letter could be different for your VM). Change RuntimeHostType value from IISExpress to IIS and that’s all.

DynamicsDevConfig

You may find same file under %userprofile%\Documents\Visual Studio 2015\Settings\ , however, Visual Studio rolls back any changes to RuntimeHostType if value is different to value in \AosService\PackagesLocalDirectory\Bin\DynamicsDevConfig file, so don’t try to change it for individual user.

D365FOE. How to override form data source field lookup method.

A long time ago, I wrote a blog post explaining how to override form data source field methods. I skipped lookup, most popular method, because it did not work and logged a bug with MS hoping that it would be fixed soon. It took more time than I expected, but finally, it works!

Here is a small example how to override it. I’m going to use approach similar to previous post, full example is available on GitHub. Version I’m using is 7.3 PU13.

/// <summary>
/// Handles events raised by <c>SalesTable</c> form.
/// </summary>
public class SalesTableEventHandler
{
    /// <summary>
    /// Post event handler for <c>SalesTable</c> <c>SalesLine</c> Initialized event.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name=“_sender”></param>
    /// <param name=“_e”></param>
    [FormDataSourceEventHandler(formDataSourceStr(SalesTable, SalesLine), FormDataSourceEventType::Initialized)]
    public static void SalesLine_OnInitialized(FormDataSource _sender, FormDataSourceEventArgs _e)
    {
        var overrides = SalesTableFormExtensionOverrides::construct();

        _sender.object(fieldNum(SalesLine, ItemId)).registerOverrideMethod(methodStr(FormDataObject, lookup),
            methodStr(SalesTableFormExtensionOverrides, ItemId_OnLookup), overrides);
    }
}

/// <summary>
/// Contains methods which are used to override <c>SalesLine</c> data source field methods.
/// </summary>
public class SalesTableFormExtensionOverrides
{
    protected void new()
    {
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Constructs a new instance of <c>SalesTableFormExtensionOverrides</c> class.
    /// </summary>
    /// <returns>
    /// A <c>SalesTableFormExtensionOverrides</c> class.
    /// </returns>
    public static SalesTableFormExtensionOverrides construct()
    {
        return new SalesTableFormExtensionOverrides();
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Provides a lookup for the <c>InventTable</c> table
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name = "_callingControl">
    /// The form string control object with which to perform the lookup.
    /// </param>
    public void ItemId_OnLookup(FormStringControl _callingControl)
    {
        SysTableLookup sysTableLookup = SysTableLookup::newParameters(tableNum(InventTable), _callingControl);

        sysTableLookup.addLookupfield(fieldNum(InventTable, ItemId));
        sysTableLookup.addLookupfield(fieldNum(InventTable, NameAlias));

        sysTableLookup.performFormLookup();
    }
}

As you may notice, signature of this method is different to signature of other methods, like validate or jumpRef. They accept FormDataObject as a parameter and lookup() accepts FormStringControl. It looks a bit inconsistent for me and we need to be extra careful here because you can register override method with any signature and get error in the run-time.