Tag Archives: Control Add-in

Deploying control add-ins during development in NAV 2016

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 brings many new features, one of which is a set of PowerShell cmdlets to manage add-ins. These are:

While these cmdlets are certainly useful for installation and deployment, I find them even more useful during development. When I blogged about deploying resource files automatically during development some months ago, I showed how you could use PowerShell during build process in Visual Studio to invoke a codeunit that registers control add-ins. Now, in NAV 2016, these tasks are a lot simpler with these new cmdlets.

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Sorting out the DLL hell, Part 1: The Problem

Let me tell you right away if you need to read this post at all. If you never wrote a single .NET class library intended to be used as a .NET interoperability assembly from C/AL, or if you never ever deployed a .dll file into the Add-ins folder of either Service or RoleTailored Client, then you probably don’t want to read this post.

Good, since you are still reading it means that you either deployed your own or somebody else’s .NET stuff into NAV’s client or server’s Add-ins folders. If you ever did so, you probably did not enjoy the experience too much. If you did enjoy the experience, maybe you should not read any further either.

Even better! Since you are still here it means that you didn’t enjoy deploying assemblies. Let me break some good news – all your problems are now gone! And I am not talking NAV 2016, I am talking NAV 2013 and anything newer.

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What’s New in NAV 2016: Control Add-ins

Well, control add-ins are not new in NAV 2016, they have been around for a long time now. But, they have been improved and this blog post is about these improvements.

Of course, the improvements are exclusively in the Web client framework, not the Windows client, and I am educated-guessing here that we won’t really see many improvements in the control add-in framework for Windows in the future. Why would we? All control add-ins should target all clients and use the Web framework, anyway so the case for Windows client is getting weaker and weaker.

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Capturing unhandled errors in JavaScript Control Add-ins

Not that I am saying it’s a good thing, but trial and error is a fairly common approach to debugging in the NAV world. We’ve all done it. Heck, even with the comprehensive testability framework built in, we all still do it more often than we’re happy to admit while sober.

But the overlord of trial and error in NAV is development of control add-ins in JavaScript. JavaScript itself is making it difficult in the first place, and then integration with NAV makes it even harder.

There is one situation in particular that’s adding a cherry on top of all of problems, and it’s the creepy “A script error has occurred” error message. It’s the equivalent of the BSoD.

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Deploy your resource automatically from Visual Studio

In most of my JavaScript client extensibility demos, I develop the whole content of my resource ZIP files inside Visual Studio. When I press F6, magically my NAV gets updated with the latest version of JavaScript that I just wrote. So, how do I do that?

Here’s the cookbook.

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