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An Informative Walkthrough on How to Write a Simple Dynamics 365 Plugin: A Guide for Beginners

An Informative Walkthrough on How to Write a Simple Dynamics 365 Plugin: A Guide for Beginners

Title: Writing a Simple Dynamics 365 Plugin: An Easy Guide

Introduction

Microsoft Dynamics 365, a suite of intelligent business applications, has empowered firms to transform their operations in unimaginable ways. This blog post aims to demonstrate how one can write a simple plugin for Dynamics 365, a component that extends its functionality, in an easy-to-understand language. Let’s dive right into the fascinating world of Dynamics 365 plugin development.

Understanding Dynamics 365 Plugins

A Dynamics 365 plugin is essentially a .NET Framework assembly (DLL) that is created using the Dynamics 365 Software Development Kit (SDK). It communicates with Microsoft Dynamics 365 to trigger actions based on specific events or conditions. With these plugins, developers can customise and extend the standard behaviour of the application to meet their unique business requirements.

Getting Started – Setting Up Your Environment

To begin writing a Dynamics 365 plugin, you will need:

1. Visual Studio – a powerful code editor and compiler that supports multiple programming languages, including C#.
2. Dynamics 365 SDK – contains libraries and sample code required for plugin development.
3. .NET Framework – the core platform for building and running applications.

Writing Your First Dynamics 365 Plugin

Step 1: Create a New Project

Open Visual Studio, click on ‘File’, then ‘New’, and select ‘Project’. To streamline the process, select ‘Class Library’ under the ‘C#’ approach.

Step 2: Add References

After creating the project, the next step is to add references. In the solution explorer, right-click on ‘References’, then select ‘Add Reference’. In your Dynamics 365 SDK bin folder, you will find ‘microsoft.xrm.sdk.dll’. Add this DLL file to your project.

Step 3: Start Coding

We’ll be writing a basic plugin that fires whenever an account is created. This plugin will set the description field of the new account to ‘Account created’.

Below is the C# code you’ll need to write:

“`csharp
using System;
using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk;

namespace MyPlugin
{
public class AccountCreatePlugin: IPlugin
{
public void Execute(IServiceProvider serviceProvider)
{
//Obtain execution context
IPluginExecutionContext context = (IPluginExecutionContext) serviceProvider.GetService(typeof(IPluginExecutionContext));

// Check if the primary entity is an ‘account’
if (context.PrimaryEntityName != “account”) return;

// Cast the target entity to ‘Entity’
Entity account = (Entity) context.InputParameters[“Target”];

// Check if the ‘description’ attribute exists
if (!account.Attributes.Contains(“description”))
{
// Add a description
account.Attributes.Add(“description”, “Account created”);
}
}
}
}
“`

Step 4: Build Your Plugin

Once done with coding, it’s time to build our plugin. Click ‘Build’ on the menu bar, then ‘Build Solution’. It should generate the DLL file.

Step 5: Register Your Plugin

The last step is registering our plugin with Dynamics 365. The Plugin Registration Tool comes to play here. Open the tool, connect to your Dynamics 365 instance, and register your plugin.

Final Thoughts

This simple guide should help you get started with writing a Dynamics 365 plugin. Further exploration will uncover more advanced functionalities that can turn your Dynamics 365 system into a powerhouse of customisation.

Remember, testing is crucial in development, so always thoroughly test your plugins in a secure environment before deploying them.

Happy coding!

Keywords: Dynamics 365, plugin, SDK, Visual Studio, .NET Framework, DLL, C#, coding, customisation, assembly.

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