Tag Archives: Tips and Tricks

NAV TechDays 2018 Demos: Keyboard Shortcut Listener

The last of the NAV TechDays 2018 demo series comes with a little story.

While Waldo and I were preparing the “Evolution of the Titan” session, on Sunday before the conference, we were brainstorming the ideas of what would constitute a cool non-visual JavaScript demo. I wanted to showcase the things that JavaScript can do for you in control add-in context, but a less obvious thing. Everyone is expecting to see some cool visual demos, but I wanted to point out the vast possibilities in the non-visual area. Then Waldo asked me: can you make it run an action on a keypress, like post a document on F9?

And that was it! An amazingly cool demo that shows how you can do really cool stuff that falls beyond the visual realm.

Okay, I’ll calm down a bit. Keyboard shortcuts? Seriously? Well, unfortunately, yes. In NAV/BC web client (universal client included) there are almost no keyboard shortcuts. Microsoft is working on some improvements here, but the important thing, allowing developers to bind specific keyboard shortcuts to specific actions, is still conspicuously missing from NAV/BC.

So, I did this demo.

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NAV TechDays 2018 Demos: User Profile Picture

One of the more effective, and probably completely unexpected, demos at Waldo’s and mine NAV TechDays 2018
session was the user profile picture demo. I say “completely unexpected” is that it shows something that you normally don’t expect from control add-ins. When hearing “control add-in”, most developers (but also most Microsoft people) have in mind a visual control that visualizes some data from NAV/BC and possibly allows you to interact with (C/)AL through that piece of UI. However, there are many other things possible, like having a completely non-visual “controls” that tap into the functionality of the web client and extend its functionality beyond what it was originally designed to do.

One of these is the user profile picture.

If you didn’t attend (or watch) the session, this is what the demo is about: it makes use of the user silhouette icon in the upper-right corner (that actually doesn’t represent anything, just sits there) and allows you to take your selfie and then uses that selfie as your profile picture that’s showing there instead. Pretty neat and cool..

How did I do it?

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Extending the HTML trick: using actual images

Eric Sevareid famously said that the chief cause of problems is solutions. The same applies to the HTML trick I blogged about yesterday. As soon as you solve the problem of using HTML directly in your control add-ins, another problem arises: what do you do with actual images your control add-in includes?

This post explains how to solve that problem, and how to make it possible for your control add-in to both use HTML for defining UI and use relative control add-in paths to images.

Let’s dig in.

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Preventing trampling over $

In my previous post, I’ve written about the situation when you (or somebody you trust) redeclares the $ variable, thus inadvertently breaking all your jQuery code. I’ve also explained how to remedy for it inside the code you write by applying the Immediately Invoked Function Expression (IIFE) or Self-Executing Anonymous Function pattern.

However, is there anything you can do to prevent anyone from trampling over $ or jQuery variables in the first place?

As I said in my last post, yes, and no.

Let’s take a closer look at it.

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Why doesn’t my jQuery work?

First, a disclaimer. This post is written for (C/)AL developers who are struggling with JavaScript, who copy and paste JavaScript code from Stack Overflow right into VS Code and are happy when it works, and confused when it doesn’t. Still, if you are not a (C/)AL developer but want to learn a bit of JavaScript yourself, this post is not at al about AL, it’s purely about JavaScript, and about demystifying a piece of it that JavaScript developers take for granted, and that developers with experience only with simpler languages (such as AL) find confusing.

Now let’s jump into the point. A friend asked me for help with a control add-in in which “jQuery doesn’t work, I can do jQuery() but I cannot do $()”

This is one of the schoolbook examples of what happens when you don’t isolate scope in JavaScript, so let’s first see what happened, and then let’s see how you can fix it.

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