Abusing Images property to load HTML in control add-ins

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

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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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Invoking Azure Functions from AL

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One elegant way of replacing your .NET interoperability code with something else is by using Azure Functions. Sounds good in theory, but what does it take in practice? And what are Azure Functions, anyway?

Let me not take too much latitude, and let me just say that Azure Functions are a way of running simple pieces of code as a service that you can invoke like any other RESTful web services. And of course, they run in Azure. To learn more about them, follow this link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-functions/functions-overview

Creating them is as simple, as invoking them, so let’s get started with an extremely simple demo that will illustrate how amazingly powerful they are, and why they are a perfect solution for replacing your .NET code with something better.

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Better late than never: NAV TechDays 2016 goodies

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This year my work got a better of me. For five years in a row I have posted all my demos and materials from NAV TechDays sessions right after them. However, this year, I failed. And I apologize for this.

But, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait, and here it is – all the materials from my “JavaScript Architecture: Turning Pain into Gain” session are here.

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Visual Studio Control Add-in Project Template

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If part of your daily job includes creating control add-ins for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, then you know that creating control add-ins that target all clients requires quite a lot manual work. There are a lot of small steps that you must do every time.

To avoid all that work that adds no value, only frustration, here’s a Visual Studio project template that you can use to automate the process of creating a new control add-in.

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