Welcome to my Development Blog

Welcome to my new Development Blog.  This is a place for me to share Development news, tips and experiments.

Hopefully this site will become a useful source of information regarding Development, in various languages, using various applications.

Removing a Code Analyser from your machine during development

This post is just a quick tip for anyone that may be developing a Code Analyser withing Visual Studio using the Roslyn Compiler.

I got in a position where I was developing a code analyser using Visual Studio and the Roslyn SDK, I abandoned a project that was broken, but, whenever I launched Visual Studio afterwards, the analysis package would still be loaded and start crashing all over the place.

I really struggled to find a standard way of removing it from my machine (there probably is a way, but I could not find it), until I discovered this.

If you navigate to the following folder, you can simply delete the appropriate folder and it will be gone forever (I hope) :).


C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\15.0_a85fe1c6Roslyn\Extensions\{user}

The actual file path may differ depending on versions of SDK and VS, but I am sure you can work it out 🙂

CRM Utilities for Visual Studio – Update to menus, and class generation options

Today I have released a new version of my CRM Utilities for Visual Studio 2017.

Good usefull LinqPad post (external)

Found this post in my twitter feed and thought I would share it.

Describes using LinqPad as a quick AWS dashboard.

Debugging Visual Studio Extensions

Whenever I set up a new machine, re-install Visual Studio, or simply re-download my Visual Studio Extensions from TFS, I always have to remember how to set up the environment so that I can debug the extension from within Visual Studio.

To be able to do this, here is the solution, in case you were wondering.

Problem

When hitting F5, or running/debugging the VSIX extension, you get a message in Visual Studio, something like:

a project with output type of class library cannot be started directly

Solution

In Visual Studio, in the project properties for your VSIX extension, the following options tell Visual Studio that when building the project, the VSIX compiled executable is created so that it can be run directly from Visual Studio.

To be able to run an “experimental” instance of Visual Studio which will then allow you to debug and set breakpoints in the original Visual Studio Instance that you have run the project from, you need to set the following options in the Debug tab of the Project Properties.

Note that the Start external program box is actually pointing to:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Community\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe

 

This allows you to debug the extension by pressing F5.  A new clean instance of Visual Studio will launch and allow you to test your extension.

CRM Utilities for Visual Studio – Generating Entity Classes

Most CRM Developers either use, or have at least heard of CrmSvcUtil for generating early bound classes for developing code and using the resulting classes to manipulate CRM data.  I personally do not like working with early bound entities as the resulting class files are huge, and I personally prefer working with the standard Entity Framework for creating and updating entities, and for Linq queries.

Often, I use some helper class libraries that I can use to represent the custom entity names and attributes, so that they can be referenced in code and provide a degree of separation from the actual Schema names and to make code easier to write, and support Intelli-sense.

Something like the code sample below:


public static class Contact
{
    public static const string EntityName = "contact";
    public static const string Name = "fullname";
}

This would then allow you to do the following:

public void createContact()
{
    Entity contact = new Entity(Contact.EntityName);
    contact[Contact.Name] = "Joe Blogs";
    service.Create(contact);
}

I was offered a suggestion by a fellow developer that wouldn’t it be good if my CRM Utilities for Visual Studio allowed you to generate this kind of Class file automatically.  Well, I thought it was a brilliant idea, and so thanks to the wonderful gentleman  of XRTSoft, here it is.

Its split into two options, one to generate classes for your Custom Entities, and one to do the Standard CRM entities.

The resulting file will look something like this:

Notice that for each Entity, it will add the Logical Name, Primary ID Attribute, and the Primary Name Attribute as standard, and then all of the attributes as well.  It will also add sub classes for any Option Sets to allow you to reference specific Option Set Values without having to look them up in CRM.

 

Download
Please note this feature is only available in the Visual Studio 2017 version. This version may still install on VS2015, although I have not personally tested it.

 

CODIAD – Self hosted cloud IDE for Microsoft Dynamics

When developing web resources for use in Microsoft Dynamics, I am a big fan of using Visual Studio with Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), but for smaller organisations, or less experienced developers, sometimes this is overkill.  I know a lot of people who just make do with Notepad++, and why not, as it’s perfectly capable of editing code, syntax highlighting and formatting.

In my journey to discover and use as many self hosted web-based systems as I can (stay tuned for an upcoming post for more information), I wondered if there was anything that might help Dynamics developers (and other small project developers).

That’s when I happened upon CODIAD ( http://codiad.com/ ) which is an online IDE for developing JS, HTML, CSS, XML and many more file formats.  It offers full syntax highlighting, project collections and an extensible plugin system.

Continue reading “CODIAD – Self hosted cloud IDE for Microsoft Dynamics”

Chat Bots

One of the new technologies that I have seen a lot of lately in the news, and tech blogs about Dynamics is the idea of using Chat Bots to improve customer service and to reduce the pressure on customer service front line staff.

I thought I would give them a go and see how they are created.

Read more here…

LinqPad Utilities for Microsoft Dynamics – New Release

Today I have just released the first official version of my LinqPad Utilities for Microsoft Dynamics plugin library.

I use this tool in my everyday life working with CRM and its gradually grown in to a fully fledged tool.

It allows you to configure a number of reusable CRM Connection Strings to connect to Microsoft Dynamics (all versions) and has a number of useful utilities for working with Dynamics.

Feel free to download and try it.

LinqPad Utilities for Microsoft Dynamics

To begin with, you will need LinqPad (which is free, but you can also purchase a license) from the following site.

https://www.linqpad.net/