Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Show SharePoint Documents on the Main Form

Here’s an easy way to embed the SharePoint document window you’d normally get by navigating to “Documents” under related records, which includes all the native functionality like search, upload,
This might fall under the area of semi/not supported but if it happens to break one day you won’t have invested too much.

You’ll need to create an iFrame for the SharePoint content, probably within it’s own tab. Remember what you name the iFrame as you’ll need to modify with that value.

When configuring the iFrame...

On the General tab:
  • Restrict cross-frame scripting… to Unchecked
On the Formatting tab:
  • Number of Rows to 34
  • Scrolling to Never
  • Display Border to Unchecked
You could set the rows to a lower number, you’d just end up with a scrollbar despite the never scroll setting.

Take this code and update the iFrame name and add it to the form. Call SetDocumentFrame during the form’s OnLoad event.

If you’re doing this, you might also consider turning on the option to auto-create SharePoint folders. Otherwise people are going to be getting prompted. You can find this under:

Settings –> Document Management –> Document Management Settings and then it’s on the 2nd page.

With any luck, you’ll end up with something like this:

Friday, December 30, 2016

New Tool - CRM Code Editor

If you’ve ever tried to make a quick change to some JavaScript code inside CRM you’ve probably come to the conclusion that the experience isn’t so great, in fact it’s terrible. Not being able to tab to indent code alone drives me nuts. Of course you can’t blame the product as it wasn’t designed to be an IDE and all the development money goes into things like editable grids and such. If you keep up on some of the news on the developer front you’ve probably heard of Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s newish IDE which lets you edit a huge variety of code and runs on Windows, Linux, & Mac. The reason they can be able to support versions for multiple different operating systems is that it’s ultimately built on HTML & JavaScript which runs anywhere. I stumbled across a reference to the Monaco Editor which happens to be what VS Code is built on. If you follow the link you’ll see the editor running in your browser. And as it turns out, all the code is available on GitHub, so I decided to try and incorporate it into a CRM solution because it didn’t look like it would be all that hard. So in the the tradition of generically my named solutions I’ve created the CRM Code Editor.

For those that care, this was built using AngularJS and TypeScript.

To display the  web resources to edit I built my own grid to list the items. Remembering that natively finding a web resource is also difficult, I added the ability to filter by type, filter by managed/unmanaged and search on the name fields. At the grid level I also added some buttons to quickly:
  • Delete
  • Copy a link to the file
  • Copy a script tag (which in hindsight shouldn’t be available for non-JS files)
  • Open the native dependency window

As you would expect the editing experience is top notch now that we have a real editor. We no longer have to worry about tabbing out the code, it actually indents! There are the obvious things like syntax highlighting, intellisense, code folding, formatting code, etc. If you right-click inside the editor you’ll see a similar window & command palette like in VS Code which lets you do all kinds of things. Since CRM only supports a finite number of files types, I’ve enabled editing of JS, HTML, CSS, and XML files. FYI - if someone figures out a way to transpile TypeScript in a browser let me know as I’ll add that in as well.

I also enabled the diff. editor so you can easily compare the published version of a file to the working copy.

A few more features I added on top of everything else:
  • Save/Save As/Save & Publish
  • Copy code
  • Drag/drop files into the editor to upload/edit
  • Code snippets
If you follow my blog you probably saw that I created an extension for VS Code which contains code snippets for the entire CRM JavaScript SDK. I took all those and included them in this editor. You can find a full list of what’s available on that project’s site. For the most part if you start typing part of a known function like “getValue” you’ll be prompted with some options to choose from.

This solution probably isn’t for the full-time developer as I would expect they are already using a desktop based editor with source control integration to do all their work but this might be of use for those that aren’t or something you can keep installed in a sandbox to play around with and test things out easily.

Checkout the project on GitHub:

For 2015 & 2016 use the v2.0.0.0 release
For 2011 & 2013 use the v1.0.0.0 release

Friday, December 9, 2016

CRM REST Builder v2.5.0.0

New in this release:
  • Added 8.2 endpoint
  • Changed functionality to reload CSDL when endpoint changes to ensure metadata is correct
  • Added 8.2 option to return full entity on create & update
  • Added option to retrieve, update, and delete via alternate keys
  • Added header options for upsert (prevent create & prevent update)
  • Added ability to optionally select non-required parameters for actions & functions
Checkout the project on GitHub:

For 2015 & 2016 use the v2.5.0.0 release
For 2011 & 2013 use the v1.5.0.0 release

Monday, October 31, 2016

CRM REST Builder

Long overdue but here’s an update I’ve been working on for awhile.
  • Added support for Web API actions & functions
  • Added Web API endpoint selection
  • Added Web API filtering on related records
  • Added Retrieve via odata.nextlink
  • Enhanced formatting of code output
  • Added format code option for code editor & FetchXML queries
  • Set exception alerts to Xrm.Utility.alertDialog when >= 6.0
  • Added button to launch from application ribbon to open full screen
  • Fixed handling of multiple Prefer headers
  • Misc. bug fixes, like the one where it was generating the wrong code for lookups
  • Moved project hosting to GitHub

Web API Actions and Functions
You’ll notice the buttons don’t light up immediately. In order to determine which actions and functions (including custom actions) are available in your org., we need to download and parse the metadata/CSDL (https://org/api/data/v8.1/$metadata) which happens to be quite large. This happens in the background so it won’t hold you up if you’re wanting to use other functionality.

Some actions and functions take complex objects (entities / entity collections) as parameters. Due to the complexity I didn’t want to try and tackle building one of those complex objects inside building the parameters for the action/function so instead in the parameter lit you’ll see something like this instead of fields to enter actual data:
  • entity logical name Entity
  • (Variable Types) Entity
  • Collection (entity logical name)
  • Collection ((Variable Types))
In these cases the parameter is an entity of a specific type, an entity which could be of variable types (think adding an account, contact, or lead to a marketing list), a collection of a specific type of entity, or a collection of variable types of entities. The generated code will provide the base to set the entity as the parameter (to to a collection) but for this version you’ll need to set the entity id and name (for variable types). This implies that the associated entity is already created, you could also insert code to create the associated record on the fly like if you are using WinOpportunity. You could insert the object code for a new opportunityclose entity and send that as the parameter to handle everything in one transaction. 

Web API RetrieveMultiple with Related Records
When using an ‘expand’ operation when querying a group of records you’ll notice the collection of child records for each parent record being retrieved is empty. This is by design. The max amount of records able to be retrieved by a query is 5,000, then they when you figure in a potential 5,000 child records for each of the 5,000 parent records you’d end up with a result set containing 25,000,000 records which just isn’t practical. So instead you’ll see returned a url for a standard Retrieve request for each of the sets of child records (relationship_name@odata.nextlink) that would need to be executed for each set of records. Make things easier and speed things up I’ve added the ability to generate code for these requests specifically.

Checkout the project on GitHub:

For 2015 & 2016 use the v2.4.0.0 release
For 2011 & 2013 use the v. release

Monday, October 24, 2016

VS Code JavaScript Snippets Extension

I had a few extra hours free this weekend and decided to convert the JavaScript code snippets from my CRM Developer Extensions project into an extension for VS Code (because that’s what all the cool kids are using). Should be fairly complete and include everything from 2011 all the way up until 2016 (5.0 – 8.1).


I honestly haven’t spent a lot of time in VS Code as of yet but it seems promising for quickly editing web resource code. It certainly launches a lot quicker than Visual Studio does anyway. I think I’d be more apt to use it for business if it had native TFS/TFVC support. On a side note, David Yack has created a gulp task for automatically deploying changed web resources. It relies on Web API/OAuth so anybody pre-2016 is out of luck but it appears that the nature of the extension model for VS Code forces us into writing code capable of running on Windows, Mac, and Linux (which is good) but means using the CRM SDK assemblies to talk to CRM probably isn’t in the cards.

You can download from the Visual Studio Code Marketplace

Or install directly from VS Code using: ext install dynamics-crm-js

The project is also up on GitHub: