Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

C/AL internals: Some more invalid object states

If you have followed the posts about how C/AL really executes in NAV, you know that C# and C/AL can sometimes be in a state where C/AL compiles, but C# does not, causing you some headaches during run time.

However, what might not be obvious is that there are situations where C/AL does not compile anymore (typically due to a changed dependency signature, or due to an object that went AWOL) but C# not only compiles, but also happily runs as if nothing is wrong in the first place.

These situations can be confusing, and after having read my original post, my friend Heinz has pointed out to those situations and asked me if I can explain them. So, here it goes.

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Quick Tip: Extension Demo Data

Extensions are a hot topic these days. There was a ton of sessions at both Directions events, likely also at NAVUG, and most of the talks you could hear while mingling around was extensions this, extensions that.

Chances are – you are going to be writing your extensions in a foreseeable future.

However, there is a catch with extensions – while it may be easy to load them up into an environment, unlike Cronus database your extensions must populate the database with their own demo or starter data. Otherwise, they will be pretty much useless.

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Dynamic certificate validation when calling Web services

There are situations when you’ll want to call Web services from C/AL, and those Web services might be protected by certificate that your local machine cannot validate directly. Web service might be secured with a self-signed certificate, or by a certificate obtained from an authority that is not globally trusted.

In all those situations, you might need to have a facility to validate certificates yourself. That’s something that’s at the fingertips of all C# developers through the ServerCertificateValidationCallback delegate. However, in C/AL, delegates are unfortunately not (yet) supported.

A friend of mine had this specific problem today, so I remembered that a short while ago I made a “how do I” video on this specific topic. Thanks, Mathias, for giving me a prod, and reminding me of a quick blog topic.

Here’s the link:

Dynamically loading assemblies at runtime

When you spend more time in C# than C/AL, and you still tell yourself and the world around you that you are developing for NAV, then this post is for you.

I already wrote a three-article series about “DLL hell” and how to resolve it, and in my last post in the series ( I delivered some code that help you take control of your .NET assemblies.

This time, I am delivering an updated solution, one that solves all the problems others, and myself, have encountered in the meantime.

So, fasten the seatbelt, and let’s embark on another .NET interoperability black belt ride.

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Getting out of the DateTime mess, or how to get Utc DateTime in C/AL

Today at work I was trying to untangle one big bowl of spaghetti called DateTime. It’s the C/AL DateTime I am talking about, not System.DateTime from .NET.

The problem with C/AL DateTime is that no matter what you do it’s, according to documentation, “always displayed as local time”.

Another problem with C/AL DateTime is that C/AL is a bit rude when it comes to System.DateTime: whenever C/AL compiler (or runtime) encounters a value of System.DateTime it’s automatically converted to C/AL DateTime.

When you combine those two problems, you get the following problem: even though System.DateTime is perfectly capable of handling time in both UTC or local kind, C/AL isn’t.

To prove this point, just run this:

MESSAGE(‘Current local time: %1\Current UTC time: %2’,SystemDateTime.Now,SystemDateTime.UtcNow);

It will show this:


And I am currently sitting in a UTC+1 time zone, mind you.

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