Getting out of the DateTime mess, or how to get Utc DateTime in C/AL

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Today at work I was trying to untangle one big bowl of spaghetti called DateTime. It’s the C/AL DateTime I am talking about, not System.DateTime from .NET.

The problem with C/AL DateTime is that no matter what you do it’s, according to documentation, “always displayed as local time”.

Another problem with C/AL DateTime is that C/AL is a bit rude when it comes to System.DateTime: whenever C/AL compiler (or runtime) encounters a value of System.DateTime it’s automatically converted to C/AL DateTime.

When you combine those two problems, you get the following problem: even though System.DateTime is perfectly capable of handling time in both UTC or local kind, C/AL isn’t.

To prove this point, just run this:

MESSAGE(‘Current local time: %1\Current UTC time: %2’,SystemDateTime.Now,SystemDateTime.UtcNow);

It will show this:

image

And I am currently sitting in a UTC+1 time zone, mind you.

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Sorting out the DLL hell, Part 3: The Code

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[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

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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

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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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Client Extensibility Demos

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On Monday, June 15th I have delivered another session in Microsoft’s Road to Repeatability series of online demos about technical NAV features, this time covering Client Extensibility. The session went…

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