Catalina XML Configuration File Editor: ctConfigEditor

ctConfigEditor is the stand-alone executable used to create and edit the custom XML documents used to configure our full line of web services. Our xml structure supports storing sql connection data and a range of name/value pairs. All data is easily encryptable for added security.

Step 1:

Choose whether you are editing an existing file or creating a new config file from scratch. If loading an existing config file, you will need to fill in your catalina software license key as well as your sitekey.

Step 2:

Either load an existing Site ID or create a new Site ID.
You can identify which Site ID you are editing on all screens at the top of the screen where it says, “Currently Editing: SiteID“. If this value is blank, it means you are creating a new SiteID entry.
Note: TO DEFAULT ALL KEYS: Load an existing Site ID, then enter a New Site ID and hit the “Create Site” button.

Step 3:

Set your Database connection strings. Both the .NET format and OLE String format.
.NET Format:  user id=USERNAMEHERE;password=PASSWORDHERE;database=DATABASENAMEHERE;server=SERVERNAMEHERE
OLE Format:  Provider=SQLOLEDB;User Id=USERNAMEHERE;Password=PASSWORDHERE;Initial Catalog=DATABASENAMEHERE;Data Source=SERVERNAMEHERE
For more information on sql connection strings and other options available, we recommend reading at: http://www.connectionstrings.com/

Step 4:

Edit the config options available or create custom entries. Note: you can optionally encrypt any field by just checking the “encrypt” checkbox next to a key. We recommend only encrypting sensitive data.

Step 5:

On the “Finish” tab you will see the option to Preview the XML file or Save it to a file. Click the appropriate button.
You can optionally change your siteKey/encryptKey by filling in the new key in the SiteKey text field. Note: You will need to remember to update any client applications to use the new siteKey.


Access Catalina’s API for Dynamics SL using .NET Core

If you are looking to build a cross platform application in .NET Core that can access Dynamics SL, you can use Catalina’s API for Dynamics SL. This is a demo on how you can do it using Visual Studio and deploy the client to Windows, Mac, and/or Linux (or any OS that supports .NET Core).

Demo on Connecting to Dynamics SL through .NET Core

You can get the source code for this demo on our GitHub site: https://github.com/CatalinaTechnology/dotNETCore/MyConsoleApp


Minimum SQL Security Requirements for Catalina API

Minimum:
db_datawriter
db_datareader
db_ddladmin

If you are going to use our userMaintenance web service, to manage SL user logins, it will also need:
db_securityadmin
db_accessadmin

Also note that by default, we normally install our scripts under the dbo schema. So, you also have to give the user, we are connecting as, execute on that schema.

eg. grant  execute on schema :: [dbo] to usernamehere



Example of building a Form Client to use the Catalina Quick Query SOAP Web Service

This is an example of how to use Quick Query as a data delivery tool for external systems using Catalina’s API for Dynamics SL.  This example is for those who want to use a SOAP based interface.

For an example on how to retrieve Quick Query data through a REST interface, check out this article: Dynamics SL Quick Query through Catalina’s RESTful API

1.     In Visual Studio, we select the Visual C# Template for a Windows Form Application. Our client will be named: client.ctDynamicsSL.quickQuery.

ss1

Note: you can call the Catalina web services from any type of client that is able to make http/https calls, but for this example, we will use a Form Application.

2.     Add a reference to our Quick Query Web Service
a.     Right click on “References” and select “Add Service Reference” 

ss2

b.     On the “Add Service Reference” screen, click the “Advanced” button in the bottom left. (Image: qqcclient3.png)

c.      On the “Service Reference Settings” screen, click the “Add Web Reference” button. (Image: qqcclient4.png)

d.     On the “Add Web Reference” screen, enter in the URL to the web service. 

E.g.: http://localhost/ctDynamicsSL/quickQuery.asmx

Click the arrow button to discover the web service schema.

After the service definition loads, enter in a name to refer to this service in your client.

E.g.: ctDynamicsSL.quickQuery

ss3

e.     Click the “Add Reference” button.

f.       The new web reference will show up in your project.

ss4

 

3.     Create code to instantiate an object referencing our web service.

a.     I like to store values that are required in the Soap Header in the app.config file using System.Configuration, so we will first add a reference to the System.Configuration assembly. References -> Add Reference -> System.Configuration

ss5

b.     Create a private variable to store the actual object and a property to auto create the instance if the variable is null. This get{} property will pull the required header values from the app.config

ss6

Now whenever we want to call a function in the web service, we just reference it like so: myQQObj.functionName().

4.     Add the necessary elements for our main Form.

a.     TextBox for typing in a QueryViewName (tbQueryViewName)

b.     Button for a QueryViewName search (btnSearch)

c.      Button for executing our search (btnGetQuery)

d.     DataGridView for holding our search parameters (dgvFilters)

e.     ss7DataGridView for holding our search results (dgvQueryResults)

 

5.     Add a popup form for QueryViewName searches.

a.     The QueryViewName is the root of the Quick Query Service; they are names of SQL Views built in to SL. This is a required element, so let’s build an easy way to lookup them up.

b.     Add another Form object to the project: queryViewsPopup.cs

ss8.png

c.      Add a DataGridView to the new Form object.

d.     Click on the little arrow at the top right of the Grid and add ctDynamicsSL.quickQuery.vs_qvcatalog as the Data Source.

ss9.png

e.     For ease of use, edit the DataGridView Columns.

  • Move the QueryViewName column to the first position.
  • Change Name to “QueryViewName” we will use this to reference the cell later.

ss10

f.       On our main Form, tie an EventHandler to open this form.

g.      Add a CellDoubleClick Event Handler, to take the selected row and return the QueryViewName back to the tbQueryViewName on the main Form.

ss11.png

6.     Setup Filters DataGridView 

a.     The Quick Query Service getScreen call requires 2 parameters: queryViewName, filters[]. The filters parameter is of type: ctDynamicsSL.quickQuery.queryFilter.  

b.     The Filters is an array of triplets holding 3 required fields:

  • name – This must match the name of a column in the query view)
  • value – This is the value we are to filter/compare against)
  • comparisonType – This is any valid SQL comparison operator. E.g.: =, <, >, LIKE, IN, NOT IN

c.      Select the Data Source as ctDynamicsSL.quickQuery.queryFilter

ss12

7.     The Quick Query Service, is a V2 service by Catalina Technology and by design uses a screen() object for most calls that replicate the SL screen. Create a private variable to hold an instance of the screen object for all of our subsequent calls to the service.

ss13

8.     Write the code to call the web service, pass the parameters and tie the results to the Result DataGridView (dgvQueryResults)

ss14.png

9.     Test our Web Service Client:

a.     Find a Query View with our popup.

ss15

b.     Enter in some filters then Search and View the Results

ss16.png

 Note:     You can download the sample client Visual Studio Project at the following link: https://github.com/CatalinaTechnology/ctAPIClientExamples/tree/master/client.quickQuery

 


Catalina’s Queue Engine

Catalina has a simple queuing engine that allows you to track changes on any table in SQL server. There is then an API that allows you to retrieve items that have been queued so that you can take action on them.  This is mostly done when you need to send Dynamics SL data, that has changed, to an outside system.

Example: A customer in Dynamics SL is modified in the SL Customer Maintenance Screen. You want to make sure that the customer terms, class, and other information makes it out to Salesforce.com (or other CRM system). Continue Reading


How to call a custom SQL call using the Catalina API for Dynamics SL

How many times have you wanted to just make a SQL call from an app, website, or other system, but you don’t have direct access to a SQL connection or other easy method to call SQL?

Well the Catalina API for Dynamics SL has a secure way for you to make SQL calls over to your SL database using the Catalina common.asmx web service call.

Below is a quick tutorial on how to do this using .NET and the Catalina API for Dynamics SL (SOAP calls) Continue Reading


Posting Dynamics SL API examples to GitHub

We are now posting our Catalina API for Dynamics SL sample client code to GitHub(under a MIT license.  Which means that you can use the sample client code for your own purposes).

I am posting the SOAP based sample clients here: https://github.com/CatalinaTechnology/ctAPIClientExamples

I just put up one for customer maintenance.  I will be posting more throughout the week (as I get them ready for consumption).  If you have any questions, feel free to Contact us.  Also, if you are a current Catalina API for Dynamics SL user and have any sample code that you would like to share with others, feel free to forward and we will see if we can get it out there for you.