Whoa! This has been quite an event, the Directions EMEA 2016 in Prague. There has never been this many people (1.700+) and it was quite a pleasure connecting again with old friends, and meeting new friends. Also, it has been quite a pleasure listening to many good sessions, and an even bigger pleasure delivering four of them.
And this is why I am blogging now – to follow up on my promise during my Polymorphic Event Patterns for C/AL. I promised you that I’d post my pattern proposal online, and here I am doing it.
Web services in NAV have an interesting feature: they are stateless. For a system which is pretty stateful otherwise, this feature can be outright annoying. You must get used to it, and then make sure you never ever write code as if there was any state preserved on the other end.
The reason for this is simple – there is no actual protocol that you use to communicate with NAV through SOAP. Calls are ad-hoc, essentially atomic, each one can accomplish a great deal of things in a single go, and it makes programming a whole lot simpler. The price you pay is the state. Once you close the connection, the session ends and the transaction commits (or rolls back). Next call starts from scratch.
If you need to preserve any state between the calls, whatever that state might be, you are toast. NAV simply doesn’t support it out of the box. A common misconception is that single-instance codeunits help. They don’t. The single instance is always single per session, and since each call is an isolated session, it means that each single instance codeunit dies at the end of the call.
Pretty annoying, isn’t it?
Well, it is, and it isn’t. I won’t argue about validity of situations where you need to preserve state across multiple web services calls – I am going to show you how to do it when you need it.
And what I’m going to show you works in both NAV 2009 R2 and 2013.