Parse XML and JSON easily in MSDyn365FO

Some time ago I had to create an interface between MSDyn365FO and a web service that returned data as XML. I decided to use X++’s XML classes (XmlDocument,  XmlNodeList, XmlElement, etc…) to parse the XML and get the data. These classes are terrible. You get the job done but in an ugly way. There’s a better method to quickly parse XML or JSON in MSDyn365FO.

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Update to Visual Studio 2019 for #MSDyn365FO

Tired of developing in Visual Studio 2015? You feel you’ve been left and forgotten in the past? Worry no more, you can use Visual Studio 2017/2019 to develop Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations!

What are the advantages?

Absolutely none at all! Visual Studio will still go non-responding whatever the version is because it’s the dev tools extension what’s causing the issues.

Of course we get the option to use Live Share, and for screen sharing sessions that’s way better than teams. Hey, and we’ll be using the latest VS version!

Is it difficult?

No, zero mysteries. The first thing we need to do is downloading Visual Studio 2019 Professional (or Enterprise but it won’t make such a difference for D365 development) and install it:

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Select the .NET desktop development option and press install. When the installation is finished we log in with our account.

The next step is installing the Dynamics developer tools extension for VS. Go to drive K and in the DeployablePackages you’ll find some ZIP files that have the extension in the DevToolsService/Scripts folder:

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An alternative is, for example, downloading a Platform Update package which also has the dev tools extensions, and maybe with some update to them.

Install the extension and the VS2019 option is already there:

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Once installed open VS as the admin and…

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And also…

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Don’t panic! The extension was made for VS2015 and using it in a newer version can cause some warnings, but it’s just that, the tools are installed and ready to use:

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As I said in the beginning, the dev tools extension is the one causing the unresponsiveness or blocks in VS, and Visual Studio 2019 is letting us know:

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But regardless of the warnings working with Visual Studio 2019 is possible. I’ve been doing so for a week and I still haven’t found a blocking issue that makes me go back to VS2015.

Update: it looks like opening a report design will only display its XML instead of the designer. Thanks to David Murray for warning me about it!

Dev tools preview

In October 2019 the dev tools’ preview version will be published, as we could see in the MBAS in Atlanta. Let’s see which new features this will bring us both in a possible VS version upgrade or performance.