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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.

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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.

 

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App for Power BI REST APIs for Streaming Data

In this post we will see how to create app to use the Power BI REST APIs for Streaming Data.

Full documentation: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/documentation/powerbi-service-real-time-streaming/

To run this app follow the steps discussed in my previous post: [Real-Time Dashboard Tile & Streaming Dataset– in Power BI]

Summary as below:

  1. Go to app.powerbi.com
  2. Go to streaming data management page by via new dashboard > Add tile > Custom Streaming Data > manage data
  3. Click “Add streaming dataset”
  4. Select API, then Next, and give your streaming dataset a name
  5. Add a field with name “Customer ID”, type Number
  6. Add a field with name “Customer Name”, type Text
  7. Add a field with name “Sales Value”, type Number
  8. Click “Create”
  9. Copy the “push URL” and paste it as the value of “realTimePushURL” in below app

We will start with new project in Visual Studio.

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Create a new Visual C# Console Application.

Open the Program.cs File and write a code as shown below.

This app Uses the WebRequest sample code as documented here: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/debx8sh9(v=vs.110).aspx

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For your easy here is the code of Program.cs below:

 

using System;

using System.Collections.Generic;

using System.Linq;

using System.Text;

using System.Threading.Tasks;

using System.Net;

using System.IO;

 

namespace RealTimeStreaming

{

class Program

{

// Paste your own push URL below as obtained from while creating Streaming Dataset and saved in step 9 above

private static string realTimePushURL = “https://api.powerbi.com/beta/4e7ca966-123e-4ce7-9833-3e858854b98f/datasets/7d154cd7-11e0-4d5e-9569-12fa3f82f224/rows?key=mD1nkJOf426PjPPaEQsW9xEg%2FN1EENQ2hRZvXIpHr%2BTXNk3XQpKsR2Jbe5CATiMoLmxjlzSp%2FIMlbe9HL8G4xQ%3D%3D”;

static void Main(string[] args)

{

while (true) { //Set Infinite Loop

try

{

// Declare values that we will be sending

Random r = new Random();

int currentValue = r.Next(0, 100);

String Name = “Dummy Name”;

// Send POST request to the push URL

WebRequest request = WebRequest.Create(realTimePushURL);

request.Method = “POST”;

 

//Here you will retrieve the data from the source and format as per the request.

//In this example we are sending Random Value generated by above code for testing purpose.

string postData = String.Format(“[{{ \”Customer ID\”: {0}, \”Sales Value\”:{1} }}]”, currentValue,currentValue);

Console.WriteLine(String.Format(“Making POST request with data: {0}”, postData));

 

// Prepare request for sending

byte[] byteArray = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(postData);

request.ContentLength = byteArray.Length;

// Get the request stream.

Stream dataStream = request.GetRequestStream();

// Write the data to the request stream.

dataStream.Write(byteArray, 0, byteArray.Length);

// Close the Stream object.

dataStream.Close();

// Get the response.

WebResponse response = request.GetResponse();

// Display the status.

Console.WriteLine(String.Format(“Service response: {0}”, ((HttpWebResponse)response).StatusCode));

// Get the stream containing content returned by the server.

dataStream = response.GetResponseStream();

// Open the stream using a StreamReader for easy access.

StreamReader reader = new StreamReader(dataStream);

// Read the content.

string responseFromServer = reader.ReadToEnd();

// Display the content.

Console.WriteLine(responseFromServer);

// Clean up the streams.

reader.Close();

dataStream.Close();

response.Close();

}

catch (Exception ex)

{

Console.WriteLine(ex);

}

// Wait 5 second before sending

System.Threading.Thread.Sleep(5000);

} //Infinite Loop ends here.

}

}

}

Compile and Run the Program.

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Leave the Program Running and switch to Power BI dashboard. You will see your newly created Tile in previous post will be displaying the Random Value generated by this program updating every 5 seconds.

That’s all with little tweaking to this program you can fetch your data and send the updated data to your Real Time Streaming Dataset.

That’s end to this post.

I will come up with more details in my upcoming posts.

Till then keep Exploring and learning.

 

 

Real-Time Dashboard Tile & Streaming Dataset– in Power BI

Power BI have introduced real-time dashboard tiles – a lightweight, simple way to get real-time data onto your dashboard. Real-time tiles can be created in minutes by pushing data to the Power BI REST APIs or from streams you’ve created in Azure Stream Analytics or PubNub, a popular real-time streaming service. Let’s see how we can do in no time.

Login to your Power BI using your credentials.

Go to your dashboard where you wish to add Real Time Streaming Tile, choose “Add a tile”

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Select the “Custom streaming data” option

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Click on Next.

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At first usage you may not be having Streaming Dataset, if you have List will be shown.

Let’s create one for our Example, Click the link – Manage Data.

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Click on Add Streaming Dataset.

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From New Streaming Dataset, Select API and click on Next.

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Add your Dataset Name, Fields and Datatypes.

Once you are done, Click on Create.

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Copy your Push URL, we will require this to push data to Data Stream.

Click On Done.

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Returning to our Previous Step, Now we can see Streaming Dataset Available.

Select your Dataset and Click on Next.

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Select the Type of Visualization you want, and Fields to display.

Click on Next.

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Give Title, Subtitle to your Tile and click on Apply.

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Bravo, you are done, your Tile will be added on your Dashboard.

But hold on, the Value will not come until you add logic to push data to the Tile.

Now we will move to our Next Step, where we will create a program to call Power BI REST API and push Streaming data to our Dashboard. Checkout my next post for same. [App for Power BI REST APIs for Streaming Data]

Till then keep Exploring & Learning. I will return soon with my next post.

 

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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