Abusing Images property to load HTML in control add-ins

One of major limitations of control add-ins is not being able to define HTML. It seems so unbelievably unbelievable, that anyone looking at it from the outside of the NAV/BC playground may say “obviously, you must be missing something!”. But I am not. The one thing that you would expect to find first when defining a control add-in (and control add-ins in NAV/BC are nothing more than pieces of HTML that live within the allocated area of your browser real estate) is to be able to define the HTML. And yet, you can’t define it. The only way to show any UI from your control add-in is to procedurally create any of your control add-in HTML.

This makes no sense. No. Sense.

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Accessing a control add-in in a dependency extension

Long time no see, eh? Time flies, what do you know…

I am thrilled to still find you here. Honestly, I wasn’t sure this morning if I was about to even find this blog where I left it seven months ago. Cool to find both my blog and you in good shape, patiently waiting for my contribution.

This morning I had a call with a partner asking if it was possible to deploy a control add-in in such a way that other partners could use its functionality from their own extensions. My answer was, and it still is – well, it should be possible, but I don’t know for a fact because I never tried it.

So let’s try it and find the answer together.

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TicTacToe challenge winner announcement

In my last post I announced a challenge: the first pull request on my TicTacToe for AL GitHub repository that contains a properly written event handler with “AI” that either beats the human player or ends in a draw gets a special reward. Honestly, I didn’t expect to see any submissions there, because NAV community is not too GitHub savvy. I rarely get any hands up in the air when in my sessions or workshops I ask who uses GitHub. But, three forks arrived soon and one submission quickly followed. It provides a clean and working solution that properly applies the handler pattern and never loses a game.

And, the winner is: Bartel de Leeuw!

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A couple of AL controladdin demos – Google Maps and Tic Tac Toe

As a part of preparation for my last event of this year that concludes the conference season 2017 for me, I played around with the latest addition to the AL language stack for VS Code: control add-ins.

If you haven’t already tried it out, or heard about it, then you should get yourself a copy of NAV developer preview, and then visit the Control Add-In Object documentation for AL on MSDN to learn a little bit about how it works. The demo provided over there is, well, basic, to say the least, so I prepared two demos.

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