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API – Business Central Part-2

In our previous post we saw basics of API in Navision. Let’s explore further.

If you missed the earlier post you can find here API – Business Central Part-1

Continuing from where we left in previous post.

Someone asked me why we require API when we have web service in place and can achieve same OData either query or filter in same fashion.

So what I am going to explain below will answer to that query.

The API will generate a REST service which returns OData.  The API is not the same as the OData web services that we discussed in our earlier post.

There we created an OData web service based on a card page.  If there were fields that need to be displayed on a card in the client application but you do not want those fields to expose in the OData web service, you will have to create a second card page to solve this problem.  In this case, we create a separate page for our API and only for the API.  This page cannot be requested in the client application.  It’s also much better concept to separate them from the regular pages.

Also we can apply templates for default value of field, which we will discuss later in below post.

Let’s start with creating our own API.

Each resource is uniquely identified through an ID. As discussed in our earlier post. So let’s start with this, I will start with my earlier created Table LoadoutPoint and add one field ID.

api009

Any new entry in my table will have a unique ID for Loadout Point, so I have added code in OnInsert trigger of the table.

api010

To create an API, you should create a page of type API, instead of a card page or list page.

Use tpage, Page for type API snippet for page structure. You get all the bare minimum properties to be added for API Page.

api011

Then you have to define which fields you would like to include.

api012

Some important rules to be followed for API Pages:

  • Fields should be named in the APIs supported format, Any Captions cannot have spaces and special characters. Only AlphaNumeric values permitted.
  • When you insert an entity through API endpoint, Business Central don’t run OnInsert trigger on the table.
  • And we have assigned the ID for the new record there. So Add Insert(true) for OnInsert Trigger.
  • Add business logic to Modify trigger. As external user can change values through API, even the value of the primary key field.
  • Add Delete(true) for On Delete trigger. The reason same as above.

So let’s add these 3 trigger in our page too.

api013

Ok so now we have modified Table and Created new API page, now it’s time to publish our app/extension.

Use command palette to publish your app.

Now it’s time to test, let’s access our API page from client and do setup for same.

Search for API Setup Page in the client.

api014

You can define and assign your Template from Template Code field, check with available same Templates how to do it.

api015

Also the conditions when this Template should apply as discussed in earlier post also.

Now let’s access the API from outside the Navision/ Business Central.

I will use Postman to test this.

To get the list of 44 standard APIs.

https://KSD-DESKTOP:7748/BC130/api/beta/

api016

To get the list of custom APIs.

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/api/ksdconsultancy/app1/v1.0/

Hope you remember when we created API page we assigned few Properties like

APIPublisher = ksdconsultancy, APIGroup = app1, APIVersion = v1.0.

Now we will use those values to access my custom APIs.

See the url those are included after /api/

api017

All information is available in JSON format and further can be confirmed that there are 1000 records. Thus, the number of records integrated here depends on the Max Page Size parameter setup in Navision Server.

What else you can do with APIs:

  • Get to fetch or List
  • Post to insert records
  • Patch to modify records
  • Delete to Delete records
  • And so on.
  • You can extend existing API Pages too, I have yet not tried.

That we may discuss in some other post. Not to complicate this topic more for now I conclude this post here.

Will come up with more details in my upcoming posts, till then keep exploring, learning and take good care of yourself.

 

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API – Business Central Part-1

In today’s post we will discuss about API’s in Business Central.

A Connect app establishes a point-to-point connection between Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and a 3rd party solution or service and is typically created using standard REST API to interchange data.

Any coding language capable of calling REST APIs can be used to develop your Connect app. Because the API uses standard REST, we can use OData to query the results.

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central API allows you to read and modify business data through apps that are connected and integrated through a single endpoint.

For Example:- You can use the API to get access to customer, vendor and other information, update sales orders, or view overdue payments etc.

Endpoint

Production Endpoint

https://api.businesscentral.dynamics.com/v1.0/api/beta

Development and Test Endpoint

https://api.businesscentral.dynamics.com/v1.0//api/beta

On Premise

https://Server Name:Odata Port/Service Name/api/beta/

I am going to use my as I am running on On Premise :-

https://KSD-DESKTOP:7748/BC130/api/beta/

Enter the URL to get the list of 44 standard APIs. (Format of the URL for Business Central on-Premise is given as above:

api001

I am using Postman to send GET request to my API endpoint.

Authentication

Azure Active Directory (AAD)

Basic authentication. Username and web service access key as password.

 

How to get web service access key?

api002

 

Tips for working with the APIs

Some tips for working with the APIs are:

When you call the endpoint via GET, you get a list of all the available API’s.

When you call the endpoint via GET with $metadata, you get a list of all the available API’s with their metadata.

When you call the endpoint via GET with $filter, you can use the OData Filter Expressions as discussed in earlier post.

Each resource is uniquely identified through an ID.

Microsoft has added to its most of the tables as:

Enabled Field No. Field Name Data Type Length Description
Yes 8000 Id GUID

If you had to make your any table data available through API add this field to your tables. We will look into other aspects later in below post.

The resource ID must be provided in the URL when trying to read or modify a resource or any of its children. The ID is provided in ( ) after the API endpoint. For example, to GET the “CRONUS International Ltd.” company details, you must call:

https://KSD-DESKTOP:7748/BC130/api/beta/companies

api003

From above request I get id of my company as : ab76c7b4-3c72-4805-86f7-7d91a10612ce now I will query Entity Item.

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/api/beta/companies(ab76c7b4-3c72-4805-86f7-7d91a10612ce)/items

api004

To enable API we need minimum 2 of the below conditions to be met.

  • ID field in table of type GUID
  • Page of type API

Let’s see in Business Central how it is setup and understand before we create our own API.

Open the Page API Setup.

api005

If you Lookup the Page ID, you will get list of Pages that Microsoft have provided as API.

AllObjWithCaption.”Object ID” WHERE (Object Type=CONST(Page),Object Subtype=CONST(API))

This relation is used for the Lookup. Means the Subtype should be defined as API.

Next you have Template Code – Since may be possible we don’t expose all fields or not necessary the values for every field is provided when API is submitted. To fill the default values for those field we assign the Template Code.

api006

Description – you can setup as required.

Conditions – You can define condition when this Template should apply.

api007

Before we move further ensure below setup to Server Instance properties and OData properties. Check and set the ‘Max Page Size’ to number of records you want to integrate.

api008

At the time of writing this post have no idea of how to alter the number of records that can be integrated in Business Central on Cloud may update in future.

I stop here for today’s post. Will come up with more details in my next upcoming post.

Till then keep learning and exploring and take good care of yourself.

Meet you again in my next post with more details.

 

Web Services – Business Central Part- 2

Today in this post we will continue from where we left our previous post, if you missed or wish to have a look you can find her in this link.

Web Services – Business Central Part- 1

We saw in our previous post, you expose an OData service that can be accessed from a URL by using a web browser or any other HTTP client.

You need the URL of the OData page or query web service

https://server:webserviceport/serverinstance/oData/web service”

If you use the attribute ?$format=atom you will get an AtomPub document

https://KSD-DESKTOP:7748/BC130/OData/Customers?$format=atom

If you use the attribute ?$format=json you will get an JSON document

https://KSD-DESKTOP:7748/BC130/OData/Customers?$format=json

You can obtain service metadata documents for either page or query web services.

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/OData/$metadata

SOAP Web Services

If your client requests another transport protocol than HTTP or HTTPS, then you can use SOAP as it also supports, for example, SMTP.

Microsoft is heavily investing in REST and OData, and certainly with the online apps like Power BI, PowerApps, and others.  So at this point SOAP isn’t the primary choice for web services anymore.

We can find the available SOAP web services at the same page where we define the OData web services.

If we go to the search box and then search for web services, This page is used to enable access to OData and SOAP web services.

ws-001

We could enable OData web services only with the object types of query and pages, and for SOAP web services, we can only enable it for pages and codeunits and not for queries.

For example soap url for my Customers Service will be as below:

https://KSD-DESKTOP:7747/BC130/WS/CRONUS%20International%20Ltd./Page/Customers

You can find some post related to consuming web service and working with web service for older versions but it can be used with business central too.

Exposing & Consuming the Web service from & inside Navision – Part-1

Exposing & Consuming the Web service from & inside Navision – Part-2

Exposing & Consuming the Web service from & inside Navision – Part-3

Exposing & Consuming the Web service from & inside Navision – Part-4

When you are exposing your object for web service, ensure that you use GUIAllowed function to supress the UI. Encapsulate the code that could cause in error, not your entire code.

Also the exceptions must be handled in order to facilitate that your web service don’t end the execution unexpectedly.

You must check with the GuiAllowed function when you are using one of the following dialog functions:

Close, Confirm, Error, Open, StrMenu, Update

The Message function is the only dialog function that doesn’t cause an exception.

Other keywords that you shouldn’t use are:

Page.Run, Page.RunModal, Activate, Report.Run, Report.RunModal, Hyperlink, File.Upload, File.Download

Hope you got some insight on Web Services.

I will come up with more features in other posts, till then keep exploring and learning, and take care of yourself.

Web Services – Business Central Part- 1

You can use web services in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central to expose data to the outside world.

You can use web services to get data from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and use it in other applications.

Any application, programing language or program that can work with XML and/or JSON for example: – Power BI, Microsoft PowerApps, a custom .NET program, etc. can connect to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central fetch the available data.

A web service can also be used to create new or update existing data in the application.

Both XML (Extensible Markup Language) and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) are open-standard file formats that are readable by humans. They are used to send information between clients over web services.

In this post we will discuss some terminology and differences between SOAP and OData. We will also learn on how to configure these services in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

SOAP relies on HTTP(S), SMTP, FTP for message negotiation and transmission.

The most common type of messaging pattern in SOAP is the Remote Procedure Call (RPC), where one network node (the client) sends a request message to another node (the server), and the server sends a response message to the client. It uses SOAP envelope, which defines the message structure and how to process it.

A SOAP service exposes a WSDL (Web Services Description Language) file that describes how the service can be called, what parameters it expects and what data structure it returns. This file is an XML based document, and is targeted to be read by machines, not by humans.

OData (Open Data Protocol) is an open protocol that is designed to use and query RESTful APIs. An API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of routines and protocols that is used to communicate between different software components.

OData is built upon REST services and can be used to query REST services. By providing extra query parameters to a URL, you can for example limit or filter the result set.

SOAP exposes a WSDL document, OData exposes an EDMX document, which contains metadata for all the published web services.

You can see all the available OData web services by going to the search box and search for web services.  This page is used to enable access to OData and SOAP web services.

ws-001

OData web services can only be used with object types pages and queries, not with codeunits.  There are two versions of OData you can use, version 3 and version 4.  Version 4 is an enhanced version, and important to know is that version 4 returns JSON where version 3 returns AtomPub documents which are XML documents.

From this window you can add new or manage existing Web Services.

It is simple 2 Step task Add new object give service name and enable Publish checkbox. You will get your OData and/or SOAP URL.

For example: – object type page can be used in OData and in SOAP web services.

Let us explore the Web-Service Urls. For test purpose, I have created a Service with the name Customers for Page Customer Card.

https://ksd-Desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/Company(‘CRONUS%20International%20Ltd.’)/Customers

When we open, for example, our Customers web service, we can have a look at the URL.

First we have our server name and the port it’s using.  “https://ksd-Desktop:7748”

Then we have our instance name, which in our case is BC130.

Then our OData version, so version 4.  “ODataV4”

And then our company name, “Cronus International Ltd”.

And then finally our web service name, which is, in our case, “Customers”.

Let’s try this url, when we execute this url in our browser we get json file listing customers similar to below:

WS-003.jpg

Here etag is the unique identifier of each records, it will be required when you update records, will discuss later.

If I remove my service name then:

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/Company(‘CRONUS%20International%20Ltd.’)

{“@odata.context”:”https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/$metadata#Company/$entity”,”Name”:”CRONUS International Ltd.”,”Evaluation_Company”:false,”Display_Name”:”CRONUS International Ltd.”,”Id”:”ab76c7b4-3c72-4805-86f7-7d91a10612ce”,”Business_Profile_Id”:””}

If I remove my Company Name then:

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/

WS-004.jpg

If I open the metadata url

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/$metadata

You will get EDMX file which shows metadata about the information in the OData web service.

ws-002

You can see some properties with our data types.  For example, if we scroll down, if we go to Customers, we have our entity type Customers, we can see some properties which our data types and max lengths.  We can also see what properties are primary key.  So this is number and so on.  So all useful information when you’re creating applications that use these OData web services.

Filtering the OData

You can set filter expression to the url few examples as below:

We will use the filter option top for limiting the result to top 5 records of customer.

After our service name, we type question mark, then the dollar sign, and then the word top equals 5.

For example :

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/Company(‘CRONUS%20International%20Ltd.’)/Customers?$top=5

Now the query will result in only first 5 records for customer.

If we want to see next 5 records then we can append &$skip=5 on above url

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/Company(‘CRONUS%20International%20Ltd.’)/Customers?$top=5&$skip=5

If you want to see specific customer you can modify url as:

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/Company(‘CRONUS%20International%20Ltd.’)/Customers(‘10000’)

Please refer to EDMX file to find correct name of the fields if wants to filter on specific fields.

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/Company(‘CRONUS%20International%20Ltd.’)/Customers(‘10000’)?$select=Name

You will get the result as below for above url query

“@odata.context”:”https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/$metadata#Company(‘CRONUS%20International%20Ltd.’)/Customers/$entity”,”@odata.etag”:”W/\”JzQ0O044eFNmcWdXV0NpYlhTZDhUdTlrdytZUmdQbWRkL2U4TzZ4UEsxNGtod0

E9MTswMDsn\””,”Name”:”The Cannon Group PLC”}

You can add other fields too by appending the url with ‘,’

Customers(‘10000’)?$select=Name,City,Address……………

As told earlier please refer to EDMX file for correct Fields Name or Property it is case sensitive.

You can remove the Primary Key from the url to get list of selected fields for all customers.

Customers?$select=Name,City,Address……………

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/Company(‘CRONUS%20International%20Ltd.’)/Customers?$orderby=City&$select=Name,City,Address

You can use orderby to sort the data from other than Primary key, by default it is sorted by Primary Key.

You can use desc for descending sort.

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/Company(‘CRONUS%20International%20Ltd.’)/Customers?$orderby=City desc&$select=Name,City,Address

You can use filter to filter specific field values as:

https://ksd-desktop:7748/BC130/ODataV4/Company(‘CRONUS%20International%20Ltd.’)/Customers?$filter=City eq ‘Zutphen’ or City eq ‘Atlanta’&$select=Name,City,Address

you will get output as:

WS-005.jpg

You can use expressions like [filter=Balance_LCY gt 0] or [filter=Location_Filter eq ‘BLUE’] etc.

I stop here for today. We have seen how the Web Services OData can be used to query records.

We will discuss about other stuffs in our next post in more details.

Till then keep exploring and learning, see you in next post. Take Care of yourself.

 

Important

Most of the contents you find in this blog will be either inherited from MSDN or Navision Developer IT Pro Help. Some places images are also directly taken from these sites. Purpose is simple to try those stuffs and re-produce adding few things as per my understanding to make easy understanding for others and quick reference.

Here nothing under my own brand or authorship of the content. At any point of time we are just promoting Microsoft stuffs nothing personnel with same.

Hope stuffs used here will not violate any copyright agreement with them. In case by mistake or in-intestinally it happens and the Microsoft feels these should not be used Microsoft have full right to inform me about same and will be glad to take down any such content which may be violating the norms.

Purpose is to promote Navision and share with community.

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