Activity Log or Activity Lock pattern?

Today at NAV TechDays 2015 in Antwerp, I attended a presentation by Nikola Kukrika, Ciprian Iordache, and Gary Winter, at which Ciprian presented a new design pattern based on a new feature in NAV 2016: Activity Log.

In a nutshell, this new feature, and thus the design pattern, aim at helping trace issues and facilitate troubleshooting by leaving information in the database about what was done, by whom, if it failed, and if it did, why.

All pretty and nice, but – as Ciprian pointed out – there is a bad aspect about it: when an error happens, and everything is rolled back – the activity entry is rolled back together with everything else. Nikola later explained how this could be solved through writing into temporary tables, but this either requires redesign by Microsoft or special coding techniques by you.

However, there is a bigger caveat than this. Non-persisting data in case of errors is a problem, but the bigger problem lies elsewhere. Let me explain that bigger problem here, and then give a silver-bullet solution to solve it all.

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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 3: The Code

[Update, February 8, 2016: there is a new version of code from this post. Please check https://vjeko.com/dynamically-loading-assemblies-at-runtime]

Okay here we go. In this post I deliver the promised code that handles automatic deployment of all your assemblies to client and server, as needed.

For any of you who haven’t read the last two posts, I am talking about automatically deploying .NET assemblies to clients and server, from the database, on demand, at runtime.

This will be heavy on code, so fasten your seatbelt and brace for impact.

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Sorting out the DLL hell, Part 2: The Solution

Deploying .NET assemblies to clients and servers in need is no simple affair. In my last post I have explained the problem, and announced the solution.

As promised, in this post I bring you the solution.

To be fully honest, this post only brings the conceptual solution, just a little brain game for you to train your .NET brain muscles a bit. The actual code I’ll deliver in the next post.

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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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