Microsoft Dynamics Template for Visual Studio updated

I have recently updated my Visual Studio Template for holding Microsoft Dynamics Assets. Its available on the Marketplace by searching for Hallstudios, or you can download it using the button below.

  • I have added a new Project within the Solution Template for holding TypeScript files for use in the Entity Forms. Creating and editing a TypeScript file will automatically create a matching JavaScript file which can be uploaded to Dynamics.
  • The solution also includes Intellisense for the Xrm Client API within the TypeScript files.
  • The Solution Unpacker tool has been updated with the latest version so it now supports packing and unpacking Dynamics Solutions that contain Flow’s.

Update to CRM Utilities for Visual Studio

Just recently updated the CRM utilities extension with the following fixes :

  • Supports SVG files correctly. Although publishing files to an SVG Web Resource was working, if a file in Visual Studio had the SVG extension, when right clicking it, it would not offer the option to Link or Publish.
  • When extracting a solution from Dynamics, if the Web Resource naming convention does not have a file extension, then the Publish and Linking features would not work properly. Now, if it detects that the file has a corresponding “filename.data.xml” file (which it will if its been exported and unpacked from Dynamics), then it will offer the Publish and Linking options.
  • When trying to link or publish a TypeScript file, if an equivalent JavaScript file exists in either the same folder, or in an alternative JS folder, then its that file that will get linked or published. This means you can directly edit a TS file, save it and publish, without having to select the JS file.
  • An Entity Filter has been added to the Class Generation options allowing a list of entity logical names (separated by a semi-colon) to be entered. When creating a class file, any entities that are found in this list are not added to the file. This is very useful when you have a similar named custom entity that always clashes with a system entity. For example, if you have your own address entity, you can exclude the system address entity.

As usual, you can get the update from the Marketplace, or by downloading here :

Solution History

The other day, I was investigating some solution import issues, and I need to see who was guilty of importing a solution into an environment that it should never have been imported into.

I fired up the old XrmToolbox, to use the Plugin called Solution History which I always found a nice handy little tool for getting at the history of when and who imported solutions.

It was at that point that I realised that CRM now supports a Solution History view within the user interface. I have no idea when this appeared, but it seems to be sometime this year.

Since then, I have found this invaluable for investigation solution issues, and also for updating environments where you need to follow the exact pattern of solution imports that were done within a test environment.

To use it, simply get to your Settings area of Dynamics, and choose Solution History from within the Customization section.

This will then give you a nice list of the solutions that were imported, exported, succeeded and failed.

Adxstudio 7 solutions do not import into Dynamics 365 V9

Here is a bit of useless information for you!

I setup a trial of a V9 instance of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for some testing, and I found that the Adxstudio 7 solutions would not import.  The installer goes in, but installing the base portals solution fails.

To get round this, I converted the instance to a sandbox, reset it to V8.2, installed the solutions, and I intend to upgrade it to V9, although I will have to wait a week for the scheduled update to work.

So there you have it.  You cannot set up a new V9 instance to run old portal code on.

Solution export error, check SLA’s

Recently I had an issue where all of a sudden, a solution would not export from the development environment, even though it was previously fine, and as far as I knew, it had not changed.  Dynamics would throw a very unhelpful error, with no details of what went wrong.

I tried creating a new solution, and adding the exact same components and that one also failed, so I knew it was not the solution itself, but its contents.

After a bit of trial and error, I discovered that it was the SLA’s that were causing the issue.  Turns out that it was because one of the SLA’s had not been activated.  Never thought it needed to be, but in this case, it was causing an issue.

So, if it ever happens to you, make that one of the first things you check, it might save you some time.

This was a version 8.2 on premise install, but I didn’t have access to the actual server.

DevOps Home Server – Part two – Software

For the purposes of my own home DevOps server, I decided to use the range of Atlassian software.

Source Code Control Atlassian Bitbucket
Project and Issues tracking Atlassian JIRA
Documentation Atlassian Confluence
Build and Deploy server Atlassian Bamboo
Code Analysis SonarQube

The main reasons for this are :

  • I have used these applications in a previous job
  • They all integrate really nicely with each other
  • They are affordable (even though there are free open source equivalents)

Once they are all set up, and connected together, you can quickly change between them when browsing the web interfaces.

In terms of price, each one of these applications (apart from SonarQube which is free) costs $10 for a permanent license for 10 users.  If you wish to get software maintenance, then you can pay that price every year (actually, its half that for extending the maintenance after the initial purchase), but in my case, the initial purchase is going to be fine, costing not much more than a decent takeaway.

Continue reading “DevOps Home Server – Part two – Software”

DevOps home server – part one – the equipment

Ah, DevOps, such a buzz word now.  It seems that everyone wants to bring Operations and Development together, in a harmonious gathering of intellectual minds.  To get in on the action, I wanted to do some hands on development, with a little saucy operation to go with it, and so wanted to experiment with some home server shenanigans.

Why bother, I hear you say, why not just use the existing cloud services I hear you cry.  Well, I really don’t have an explanation, other than to say, why not.  Sometimes, a workplace environment may not be in a position to use the various cloud services, and may have to host everything themselves, so its worth having a bit of experience with such a situation.  So, I bring to you my experience of setting it all up, using Windows Hyper-V.

Firstly, a little bit of background as to what I already had, before I get in to the most recent information with regards to my little home development environment.

Continue reading “DevOps home server – part one – the equipment”