Monthly Archives: October 2015

NAV2016 | Getting started with Extensions (NAV Apps)

After returning home from NAVUG where I tried to inspire people to develop software in a less intrusive way I found out that some of you might not start working with the new extension model because the DLL does not load.

What are Extensions?

Extensions are packages of Delta files that you can run as an “App” inside NAV. They are compiled on top of your NAV code. In other words, you can customise NAV without doing raw source code modifications.

I’ll post a video on YouTube about this as soon as all the conferences are over

Who is this for?

People have different opinions about this, but my own is that ISVs should start using this first to ship their horizontal solutions as extensions. In future we might also be able to ship vertical solutions or localisations.

Can I customise an extension?

No! This is one major change compared to shipping raw sourcecode modifications. You cannot make changes except personalisation. The Delta files (which are text files) are scrambled so you cannot change them either.

So why would I do this?

To make upgrades easier. With Liberty Grove Software (the partner I work for) we do the integration for some ISVs, and their interface is typically not to be changes. Another example is Anveo which is also designed not to be modified by partners, except for one module which could work as events.

Events? Are you making this more complex now?

Eventing is another new model that we have in NAV2016 which is stolen from .NET. We can now subscribe to triggers in the product. This, in combination with Extensions might be a new model to develop modifications in our product.

So how do I get started?

This was the intention of the blog. The DLL you need to create your own extension as described in my previous blog is (apparently) might not load.

Thanks to Erik Hougaard for trying to figure this out:

Erik Hougaard (@eHougaard) says:

  • For those how cannot find the commands, use this to register the missing DLL from the RTC folder:

    Import-Module .\Microsoft.Dynamics.Nav.Apps.Tools.dll

    Then it should works (It did that on my machine).

More soon

I will post more about this since I think we should all start experimenting with this and give our feedback to Microsoft.

Meanwhile, please start reading MSDN:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt574414%28v=nav.90%29.aspx

Download Example

UPDATE: Download the files and script from the new Mibuso

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NAV2016 | My first extension (UPDATED) | NAVUG Summit

UPDATE: Download the files and script from the new Mibuso

This blog is written from Reno Nevada where the folks from the NAVUG content committee asked me to talk about how to integrate add-ons with NAV. This session was intented to inspire people to think about alternative approaches to the traditional raw source code modification.

Part of the session was about Web Services and the new Eventing framework. I also wanted to show how the new extensions allow you to enhance NAV without customisations. Hence I had to figure out how this works.

Step 1 – Create the Delta

The first step is to have Delta files that are within the limitations of the extension framework. These are New tables, Pages and Codeunits and adding fields to tables and pages.

Reports, XMLPorts and Query objects are not supported.

Delta

Once we have the delta files we need aditional PowerShell

Step 2 – Manifest

The extension needs an XML file that tells us what the version of our extension is, the name and the publisher.

The easiest way to have that is to create it with PowerShell

Manifest

The XML looks like this

Manifest2

Step 3 – Create NAVX File

NAVx

That is how easy it is to create an extension.

Step 4 – Publish the Extension

Now we need a new clean database to use it in. So in PowerShell we move to a new service tier.

Publish

This makes the extension available in our database, but it is not activated

Step 5 – Install

The last step is to install the extension.

Install

Done!

Now the extension is available in our database.

You can hopefully download this example from the new Mibuso website soon.

Here are the commands for copy/paste

New-NAVAppManifest -Name “NAVUG Summit” -Publisher “Mark Brummel” -Version “1.0.0.0” |

New-NAVAppManifestFile -Path “C:\Users\marq\Documents\DynamicsExt90\Manifest.xml”

Get-NAVAppManifest -Path “C:\Users\marq\Documents\DynamicsExt90\Manifest.xml” |

New-NAVAppPackage -Path “C:\Users\marq\Documents\DynamicsExt90\NAVUG.navx”

-SourcePath “C:\Users\marq\Documents\DynamicsExt90\Delta\”

Publish-NAVApp -ServerInstance Clean2016 -Path “C:\Users\marq\Documents\DynamicsExt90\NAVUG.navx”

Install-NAVApp -ServerInstance Clean2016 -Name “NAVUG Summit” –Version 1.0.0.0

UPDATE

The orriginal post was created with NAV 2016 RTM. Microsoft has now made an upgrade codeunit mandatory. Read here.

Directions EMEA | Pre Conference Day(s) | NAV2016 is getting close

Tomorrow, on Monday morning the keynotes will start here at Directions EMEA. 1354 People have registered. That is like a 25% increase from last year. Amazing.

Yesterday and today we already had a lot of pre-conference community fun.

On Saturday morning Andrew Good and Soren Klemmensen arrived to The Netherlands to stop at my place for a night. We had pancakes to fight their jetlags.

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After they had their beauty sleep (called it a jetlag) we went to Luc van Vugt for a mini MVP Summit called birthday.

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They “rehersed” the build session.

On sunday morning we took off to drive to Mannheim. A 4 hour drive from my place.

It was really nice meeting so many friends. Soren wanted to go early to prepare. We ended up at the lobby having lunch and one after the other people came and said hi. At 4pm we had to send Soren up to make slides.

Sunday evening there was welcome reception. A lot of fun and catching up with people. I was off course advertising my book.

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Did you know we have a new fellow on the NAV MVP Team? James Crowter is now one of us. I was the first groupie to take the picture.

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We’ll hear from James a lot. He is a great asset with a lot of functional knowledge.

After the reception some MVP’s were hungry, so we tried to grab food in Mannheim on Sunday evening at 10pm.

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See you in Mannheim for a great community and a great release of NAV2016!