PDF Lite Viewer

I have decided to release the PDF Lite Viewer app that I built initially for my own personal use, but others may find it useful.

Its a keyboard driven PDF viewer that allows me to read PDF Books on my GPD Pocket 2 computer, rotated, like a book, and using the arrow keys to page through it.

Trying to emulate the traditional eBook experience, but as none of the eReaders seem to have decent PDF support, I thought I would see if this works. Check out the video below, and you can download it from its own page.

It can be downloaded here.

How it was built

This application is actually built using the Windows Presentation Framework for the main application in C#, however, it actually uses the Windows 10 API’s to work with the PDF files as it has suitable methods built in. It reads the PDF, and renders each page to a bitmap and is then displayed on screen.

Standard Keyboard events are used to trap the keys.

The main window itself is simply a canvas to which the bitmap versions of the PDF files are displayed.

Its a fairly simply application, but I am pleased with the result.

CRM Utilities for Visual Studio – Publish All option

A recent request for a new feature has resulted in a quick update to my CRM Utilities for Visual Studio.

There is now a Publish All Web Resources feature which will publish all files that have already been linked within a Project.

Hopefully this will be very useful for making sure all the Web Resources part of a solution are up to date in CRM before doing a Solution release.

Get it from here

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.

 

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 🙂

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”

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/

 

Dynamics CRM Utilities for Visual Studio

I have decided to release a small utility that I developed and have been using for a long time when developing Web Resources for CRM within Visual Studio.

It allows you to publish Web Resources to CRM straight from within CRM, and if you attach it to a Keyboard Shortcut, means you can publish it with a press of a key as soon as you have finished editing it.

It allows you to edit JS, HTML, XML and images as part of a Visual Studio Solution.  It saves your connection string locally within a project, and remembers which files relate to which CRM Web Resources.  It also allows you to run FetchXML queries, and you can save your queries as part of your Project.

It can be downloaded from here, and full instructions on how to use it are also available.

CRM Utilities for Visual Studio

There are two versions, one for Visual Studio 2017 and one that is compatible with Visual Studio 2013 and 2015.