Generics in .NET Interop for NAV 2013

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image.NET Framework is full of programming conceptual gems, that are now at the fingertips of us poor C/AL folks. One of those is generics. However, the C/AL support for generics at the first glance seems rather limited, and the help file says that you can’t specify data types, and that all generics will be instantiated with System.Object as their type. However, with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, there is a very simple way which allows you to use generics with other data types, as well. So, if .NET Framework Interoperability interests you a slightest bit, here’s a solution. The example below will be for the System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary<,>, and I will show how to use instances of the Dictionary<,> object with any desired data type, without having to pull in any external assemblies. (more…)

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Passing strongly-typed data to Web services

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imagePassing strongly-typed data to NAV Web services can be trickier than it seems. If you are lucky, you can make your method accept strongly-typed parameters, and you are good to go. However, if you just can’t avoid sending text data, your text must be encoded in EN-US format, otherwise it will cause problems (see this).

What the heck, just encode the data as EN-US, right? Not quite. There are a myriad of reasons why data can come in non-EN-US encoding, one of which is this: it’s the Web services, for Pete’s sake – anyone or anything can call them.


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Web Reference vs. Service Reference, Part 3

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Al Pacino in "Devil's Advocate"Fasten your seatbelts, you are in for the next round of Web Reference vs. Service Reference, which brings an unexpected twist to the story. After giving reasons why not to use Web References, I’ll now put my devil’s advocate’s hat on, and try to have you change your mind.

It’s simple: there are situations where Service Reference won’t work as expected, and Web Service will.


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Web Reference vs. Service Reference, Part 2

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imageA beauty of Web services is that they don’t need to care at all about who’s consuming them. Whether there is .NET on Windows, Java on Linux or some proprietary stuff on an iPad on the other end, they do exactly the same stuff.

To make it short: if something works on one platform and fails on another platform, it’s not the fault of the Web service being called, it’s the fault of the caller platform.

As I said in the last post, there are two ways, or platforms if you wish, native to .NET Framework, which you can use to connect to any Web services. And they don’t work exactly the same.


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Web Reference vs. Service Reference, Part 1

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Smorgasbord! by Charles RoffeyOnce upon a time, Freddy has delivered a great series on connecting to NAV Web Services from a smorgasbord of technology flavors. If you are a .NET enthusiast, like me, the obvious choice is to connect through the tools that are at your disposal in Visual Studio: the proxy classes.

A proxy class is a class which wraps a Web service functionality into a strongly-typed .NET object, and allows simpler communication through Web services. It hides away all intricacies of SOAP communication, authentication, serialization and deserialization, and exposes simple, easy-to-use objects. Every NAV Web service results in a series of proxy classes, and in Visual Studio the generation of those classes is as simple as clicking a mouse a couple of times.


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