Solving Problem with Retrieving Data in REST with a Period in the ID

What happens if you are using Catalina’s API for Dynamics SL and your ID you are searching for (example a CustID, Vendor ID, etc) has a period in it? It will fail with standard installation. This is because the .NET web application is looking for a period in the final parameter so that it can route.

You will get a return that looks something like this with a 404 status and HTML coming back:

This can be solved by changing the web.config.

NOTE: if you make this change, then you wont be able to run SOAP and REST in the same application. SOAP will stop working and you would need to install a separate instance with it’s won web.config to make this work.

If you look in the Web.config, you will see the following line:

<add name="ExtensionlessUrlHandler-Integrated-4.0" path="*." verb="*" type="System.Web.Handlers.TransferRequestHandler" preCondition="integratedMode,runtimeVersionv4.0" />

NOTE how the path=”*.” Has a period in it.  Remove it and make it look like this:

<add name="ExtensionlessUrlHandler-Integrated-4.0" path="*." verb="*" type="System.Web.Handlers.TransferRequestHandler" preCondition="integratedMode,runtimeVersionv4.0" />

This will break SOAP.  But should work.  I created a vendor with a vendor ID of B.WHARTON and then ran this:

curl --location --request GET 'http://catalina.local/ctDynamicsSL/api/financial/accountsPayable/vendor/B.WHARTON' \
--header 'Accept: text/html' \
--header 'Authorization: Basic MY_AUTH_HERE' \
--header 'CpnyID: 0060' \
--header 'SiteID: DEFAULT'

This worked fine:


How to add a Quick Query in SL without using Quick Query (for Catalina’s API)

Ok, so using Catalina’s API for Dynamics SL makes it easy to get data out of SL through it’s quick query endpoint (/ctDynamicsSL/api/quickQuery). But what if you really don’t actually use QuickQuery in SL. But you still want to use it in Catalina’s API? Easy, just create your view and then add a reference to it in QVCatalog table in your System Database.

Step 1: Creating the View

What I first am going to do is create a view in my Application Database. This will be a simple view that will retrieve customers. And only retrieve the CustID and Customer Name. Below is the SQL code to create my view named QQ_Brian.

/****** Object:  View [dbo].[QQ_Brian]  ******/
SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO
SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER OFF
GO
CREATE VIEW [dbo].[QQ_Brian]
AS
SELECT	
     CustId AS [Customer ID],  Name AS [Customer Name]
FROM	Customer with (nolock)

GO

Step 2: Create a Reference to the View in QVCatalog

Next step is to insert a record into the QVCatalog table to reference the view. This table will be in your System Database. Below is what my insert looked like

INSERT INTO QVCatalog
(SQLView,BaseQueryView,QueryViewName,Module,Number,ViewDescription,ViewFilter,ViewSort,ColumnsRemovedMoved,DrillPrograms,VisibilityType,Visibility,SystemDatabase,CompanyColumn,CompanyParms,CreatedBy)
VALUES
(
	'QQ_Brian',
	'QQ_Brian',
	'QQ_Brian',
	'01',
	'QQBRIAN',
	'Your Description Here',
	'<criteria><or /></criteria>',
	'',
	'',
	'',
	0,
	'',
	0,
	'',
	0,
	'[DynamicsSL]'
)

Looking at the above insert statement, you see where I am using the name of my view (QQ_Brian) for SQLView, BaseQueryView, and QueryViewName. I am also using QQBRIAN as my number. You would change these values to what your view name is. I also entered a description (“Your Description Here”). Set that value to something that will allow you to remember what this view does.

Testing it!!!

Now all you have to do is test it. here is some curl code that shows you what I did to test my view in the Catalina’s API for SL, using Postman and our RESTful API for SL.

curl --location --request POST 'http://yourServerHere/ctDynamicsSL/api/quickQuery/QQ_Brian' \
--header 'Accept: application/json' \
--header 'Authorization: Basic YOURAUTHHERE' \
--header 'CpnyID: YOURCPNYHERE' \
--header 'SiteID: YOURSITEIDHERE' \
--header 'Content-Type: text/plain' \
--data-raw '{
    "filters":[
        {
        }
    ]
}'

Because you aren’t adding any filtering, the above curl will bring all records back. You can try this in Postman like below:

If you want to get fancier, you can add some filtering like this to limit the return (you can see more information about filtering and using Catalina’s API here: http://blog.catalinatechnology.com/2019/03/tips-tricks-on-using-catalinas-quick-query-api-to-get-the-data-you-want-out-of-a-sql-database/)

Below is code to show how you can use your custom QuickQuery view and filter it by Customer ID (CustID):

curl --location --request POST 'http://yourServerHere/ctDynamicsSL/api/quickQuery/QQ_Brian' \
--header 'Accept: application/json' \
--header 'Authorization: Basic YOURAUTHHERE' \
--header 'CpnyID: YOURCPNYHERE' \
--header 'SiteID: YOURSITEIDHERE' \
--header 'Content-Type: text/plain' \
--data-raw '{
    "filters":[
        {
            "name": "Customer ID",
            "value": "C300",
            "Comparison": "="
        }
    ]
}'

The above curl code will bring back all records that have the “Customer ID” field equal to “C300” (in my case, There Can be Only One). You can see what it would look like in Postman here:


Use PowerScript to Manage API Keys in Catalina’s RESTful API for Dynamics SL

I did a demo on how to manage API Keys, for our RESTful API for Dynamics SL, using PowerScript. We are rolling out PowerScript management and installation tools for our products. Please contact us (sales@catalinatechnology.com) if you are interested in receiving an early release.

Usage:

ApiKeyManager.ps1 -apikey <APIUsername> -sitekey <SiteKey> -xctfiles <xctfilesLocation> -apipass <password> -addapisites <SITE1,SITE2,SITE3> -delapisites <SITE1,SITE2,SITE3> -h -delete -list

Where

  • apikey: API Key to manage
  • sitekey: The encryption key used to encrypt connection strings and configurations
  • xctfiles: Root location of your xctfiles
  • addapisites: Comma Delmited list of sites to add to an API Key. Ex: ‘SITE1,SITE2,SITE3’
  • delapisites: Comma Delmited list of sites to remove from an API Key. Ex: ‘SITE1,SITE2,SITE3’
  • h: Help
  • delete: Will delete the key passed.
  • list: Will list the APIKeys. If a SiteID is passed, it will only list what was passed. If no siteID was passed (ex. ApiKeyManager.ps1 -list) it will list all APIKeys.

Examples

If you want to get a listing, you would enter: ./ApiKeyManager.ps1 -h

Passing the -list parameter will get you something similar to this

If you want to create a new API Key with the username = “APIKEY1”, password = “Passw0rd1”, give access to 3 sites (“TEST”, “LIVE”, “DEVEL”), your SiteKey (encryption key) is “1234567”, and the location of your xctfiles is c:\inetpub\xctFiles, you would enter the below:

./ApiKeyManager.ps1 -apikey 'APIKEY1' -sitekey '1234567' -apipass 'Passw0rd1' -addapisites 'TEST,LIVE,DEVEL' -xctfiles 'c:\inetpub\xctFiles'

If you wanted to delete the Site “TEST” from user “APIKEY” you would do something like this

./ApiKeyManager.ps1 -apikey 'APIKEY1' -sitekey '1234567' -delapisites 'TEST' -xctfiles 'c:\inetpub\xctFiles'

If you want to delete the API Key ‘APIKEY1’, you would enter something like this:

./ApiKeyManager.ps1 -apikey 'APIKEY1' -sitekey '1234567' -delete -xctfiles 'c:\inetpub\xctFiles'


Manage API Keys for Catalina’s RESTful API for Dynamics SL

You may want multiple users access Catalina’s API for Dynamics SL. When using the RESTful version of Catalina’s API, you can do this by managing the APIKEYSCONFIGFILE.xml (usually located on the web server at c:\inetpub\xctFiles\config — But could be somewhere else depending on the installation. Check with your installer)

NOTE: before doing any changes to Catalina configuration, make sure you backup the files you are updating first.

The APIKEYSCONFIGFILE.xml can be managed by a Catalina management tool called ctConfigEditor. (Normally located in C:\inetpub\xctFiles\ctConfigEditor — but could be in a different location based on installation). Once the ctConfigEditor is loaded, you will see a screen similar to this:

You will need to get your License Key and Site Key (found in the web.config file of the Catalina API for SL. — usually located c:\inetpub\xctFiles\web\ctDynamicsSL or c:\inetpub\wwwroot\ctDynamicsSL but could be located somewhere else based on installation). You will also need to point to the proper Config File.

Once you have loaded the APIKEYSCONFIGFILE.xml with the proper license key and site key, you will see a screen similar to this:

Here you can manage Authentication logins for the RESTful API. In the above example, there are 4 different keys. You can add new ones by just adding a line. and you can delete keys by clicking on the line item and hitting the delete key.

The columns of these API Keys are defined:

  • APIKey: the username of the authentication
  • SECRETKEY: The password of the authentication
  • SITES: a comma delimited list of sites the user has access to

(NOTE: A site is a configuration pointer. If you look at your DSLCONFIGFILE.XML file — usually in the same location as the APIKEYSCONFIGFILE.xml — you will see different Sites and SiteID’s. It is that SITE ID that you would put in the SITES column. If you want to give a user access to more than one site, you would then list all the sites comma delimited. Below is an example of what a DSLCONFIGFILE.XML looks like. You can see that there are two sites: LIVE and TEST.

Once you have finished editing your API Keys in the ctConfigEditor tool, you can then finish it and save by clicking on the “Finish” tab. You can click the Preview button to see what your APIKeys file will look like. You can also Save your file by clicking on the Save button.

Clicking on the save button will allow you to save to a file. You will need to save it on top of the existing APIKEYSCONFIGFILE.XML (NOTE: make sure you have this file backed up before overwriting it).

After you save the file, you will also need to reload your Application Pool in IIS to make the change stick.


Sending Information to Catalina Support

There are times that you might have questions or problems when developing using an API. You contact support and they will ask you to send you the “payload” you are using when communicating with the Catalina API for Dynamics SL. The easiest way to do this, if you are using Postman as your testing environment, is to export the code. This is done in these simple steps

Step 1:
Got to your postman tab you are making the API call from and click on the “Code” link on the right of the screen

Step 2:
On the popup, click on cURL and then copy the text provided, paste it into an email, and send to Support.


Debugging Catalina API for Dynamics SL

There are several settings that you can set to log messages to a log file for Catalina’s API for Dynamics SL.

Look in your web.config (normally in c:\inetpub\xctFiles\web\ctDynamicsSL or c:\inetpub\wwwroot\ctDynamicsSL — but could be located in a different location based on your installation). There will be 3 variables that are important:

<!--def:DEBUGMODE: TRUE/FALSE default:FALSE-->
<add key="DEBUGMODE" value="TRUE" />
<add key="DEBUGLEVEL" value="VERBOSE" /><!--BASIC,VERBOSE-->
<!--def:ERRORLOGFILE: full path to the txt file to writeout error and status messages-->
<add key="ERRORLOGFILE" value="C:\\inetpub\\xctFiles\\errorLogs\\DSLerrorLogFile.txt"/>
  • DEBUGMODE: There are 2 different settings for this
    • TRUE if you want to have messages saved to a logfile.
    • FALSE if you don’t want to have messages saved to a logfile. Normally DEBUGMODE would be set to FALSE for performance reasons.
  • DEBUGLEVEL: There are 2 different levels that you can set
    • VERBOSE: This will save extra information to the logfile. This will create a larger file but will store more information about what is going on in the service.
    • BASIC: This generally stores just errors and less information
  • ERRORLOGFILE: This is the location of the logfile. NOTE: You need to make sure you “escape” this value. So, when you have a backslash (\), make sure you do 2 backslashes (\\) so that it wont create an invalid XML string.


Turn off Transactional Processing in Catalina’s API for SL

Catalina’s API for Dynamics SL wraps saving of data into transactions which allows for “rollback” if there is an error. Meaning if there are multiple tables/records that are in a transaction, and an error occurs, everything will get rolled back as if nothing happened.

There are some times when there are problems with this. Mainly when some type of external force (like a trigger) updates the same data that Catalina is trying to save. This could cause table locking and not allow transactions to save properly. One way to get around this is to turn transactional processing off.

NOTE: Only do this in a test environment first. This should be done if other methods don’t work.

This is done easily by changing the web.config of ctDynamics SL. Search for the keyword “DISABLETRANSACTIONS”.

Once you have found the keyword, make sure that the value=”TRUE” and that will turn off transactions.

<add key="DISABLETRANSACTIONS" value="TRUE"/>

If you only want to disable the transactions on a single web service and not all of Catalina’s API, Keep the value of DISABLETRANSACTIONS to FALSE. But add a key to web.config similar to this:

<add key="PROJECTCHARGEENTRYDISABLETRANSACTIONS" value="TRUE"/>

The above will only disable transactions for the Project Charge Entry web service. The syntax is like this:

<serviceName> + “DISABLETRANSACTIONS

So, if you wanted to disable transactions for customerMaintenance, the key would look like this:

<add key="CUSTOMERMAINTENANCEDISABLETRANSACTIONS" value="TRUE"/>


Call Stored Procedures Using Catalina’s API for Dynamics SL and Postman

It is simple to call a stored procedure through a RESTful API call if you have Catalina’s API for Dynamics SL. You can call any stored procedure and pass parameters and retrieve data.

This is a demo on how to call a stored procedure using Postman and Catalina’s API for Dynamics SL.

First, to do this demo, you need to download and install Postman. Postman is a developer tool that allows you to interact with API’s easily so that you can test API calls to see how you call them and what data is returned. You can get Postman here: https://www.postman.com/

In the demo, we are going to call the stored procedure SOHeader_all. This stored procedure retrieves all Sales Order Headers (SOHeader) for a particular CpnyID and OrdNbr. NOTE: this is just an example. With Catalina’s API, you can call any stored procedure.

SOHeader_all has 2 parameters:
– @parm1: This parameter is for the CpnyID
– @parm2: This parameter is for the OrdNbr (can use a wildcard like ‘O000%’ which will bring back all orders that start with O000.

You can see what the procedure looks like here:

PROCEDURE [dbo].[SOHeader_all]
	@parm1 varchar( 10 ),
	@parm2 varchar( 15 )
AS
	SELECT *
	FROM SOHeader
	WHERE CpnyID = @parm1
	   AND OrdNbr LIKE @parm2
	ORDER BY CpnyID,
	   OrdNbr DESC

So, if you wanted to retrieve all orders that started with “O000” for CpnyID = “0060” you would call the stored procedure like this:

exec SOHeader_all @parm1='0060', @parm2='O000%'

So, now how to call this using Postman through Catalina’s API for SL?

First you need to know where your Catalina API is installed. I am going to use the server name yourserver.com as the domain name. So, for this example, we would look at the endpoint as the following:

http://yourserver.com/ctDynamicsSL/api/customSQL/<ProcedureName>

As you can see above, you would replace yourServer.com with wherever your server is. And you can see <ProcedureName> in the URL. this would be replaced with the actual stored procedure name you want to call (in this example, we are going to replace it with SOHeader_all). So, the new URL for the endpoint would look like the following:

http://yourserver.com/ctDynamicsSL/api/customSQL/SOHeader_all

In Postman, you would make it look like below. NOTE: when calling a customSQL stored procedure, you must use the action type of “POST”

Next, you need to set the authentication. This is done on the “Authorization” tab. Catalina’s API uses “Basic Auth”. So, make sure that you set the type for “Basic Auth” in the dropdown. And then enter the username and password that was given to you from your installer.

After that, you will have been given a SiteID from your installer. You will need to create a Header for that SiteID. You do this on the headers tab. You should enter that SiteID (in my example it is “DEFAULT”, but you would use the SiteID given to you by your installer) and the default CpnyID (in my example that is “0060”, but you would use your CpnyID of your database)

Finally, you will want to enter the body of the parameters that are being passed. There are 2 parameters for SOHeader_all (@parm1 and @parm2). The format of the body that you would set is below.

{
    "parameters": [
        {
            "name": "parm1",
            "value": "0060"
        },
        {
            "name": "parm2",
            "value": "O0005121"
        }
    ]
}

So, your Body tab in Postman would look like this (NOTE: make sure you select the “raw” radio button as shown below)

Then all you have to do is simply hit the “Send” button and the system should retrieve the results from your stored procedure call. In my example, it looks like below


Create a Contact Free Payment Solution for Dynamics SL (Mobile App)

This is a demo that shows you how to create a mobile app to interact with Dynamics SL to provide a “Contact Free” payment solution to help protect your employees and customers during COVID 19. The intended user of this example app would be a customer service rep, sales person, or field service rep who needs to collect payment from a customer (handy for collecting a deposit or down payment before delivery, installation, or service work to be done).

This demo uses Catalina’s API to search customers in SL and then lets the user to request a payment from a customer by generating a link and emailing it to the chosen customer. That customer then can click on the link and pay the amount which automatically creates a payment in SL’s AR.

NOTE: Source code for the mobile app can be found on Github here: https://github.com/CatalinaTechnology/SL-Mobile/tree/main/ctPayment

Check out the video of the demo on our Youtube channel here:

Below is a screenshot of the Android app from the above demo. First you can search for a customer by a keyword. That search will then bring back a list of results. You can then click on the customer you want to request funds for. The app will automatically fill in the email address of the customer (from the Customer record in Dynamics SL). You can change the email address if you want. You then enter a requested payment amount and hit submit. Once you do this, Catalina’s SLQuickCollect will send off an email to the customer with a link which will then allow them to make a PCI compliant secure payment. Once authorization occurs, SLQuickCollect will then create a payment in Dynamics SL automatically.

As mentioned below, if you want to have starter code on creating an Android App (with Visual Studio and Xamarin), you can check out an example on our Github here (NOTE: I would only consider this a starter. This is in no means something finished but enough to get you started)

https://github.com/CatalinaTechnology/SL-Mobile/tree/main/ctPayment


EDI Integration with Dynamics SL Using Catalina

If you need EDI integration between your trading partners and Dynamics SL, you can use Catalina’s API for SL to get data in and out of Dynamics SL. One of the simplest of transactions is order management. If you have a trading partner that needs to send you PO’s so that you can then fulfill, the most common documents used are:

  • Inbound Documents
    • 850: This is a purchase order to fulfill
  • Outbound Documents
    • 855: An immediate response sent back to your trading partner acknowledging that you received the transaction
    • 997: An acknowledgement that you have received the transaction and often when you will pass back a reference number for your internal order number
    • 856: A shipper notification that notes what has shipped on the PO when a shipper is generated

The key to this is a data mapping layer that allows you to translate the inbound EDI documents and transform it into something that the Catalina API can understand. The reverse is true when data needs to be sent from SL out to your trading partner. The Catalina API will retrieve the data and then the translation will transform that data into an EDI document to send back to your customer.

If you have questions or need assistance with EDI integration with DynamicsSL, you can contact Catalina at sales@catalinatechnology.com