4 Tips for Building an OData API with Dynamics Virtual Entities

You read my last post and decided Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Virtual Entities (VE) may be the right solution for you. Welcome to Step 2: Building a custom OData API to leverage VE within Dynamics 365.

There are numerous tutorials for creating an OData API in .NET, but we’ll be focusing on how to ensure your OData API integrates with Dynamics with minimal headaches. The current dearth of VE documentation can be frustrating, so we did some homework to make your life easier. Here are our 4 main discoveries, shared to help you avoid shooting yourself in the foot:

  1. Overview of how Dynamics makes OData Calls
  2. Limitation of entity joins
  3. .NET Configuration
  4. Debugging

Continue reading →

Virtual Entities: Are they a fit for your production environment?

If you were excited about the release of Virtual Entities as part of Microsoft Dynamics 365, you were probably equally puzzled about the limited documentation available. There is virtually (pun intended) no information on integrating Virtual Entities (VE) into a production environment. Many examples online don’t go beyond a “Hello World” integration using the Purdue course API. Fortunately, we have investigated Virtual Entities for a few  of our clients and wanted to share our discoveries as to the limitations and benefits.

Continue reading →

Passing the Azure Exam 70-535 – Tips and Tricks

6 minute read

Prior to 70-535: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions, I’d never taken a Microsoft Certification exam, nor did I have much experience with Azure. I was definitely out of my wheelhouse. Then I had a senior architect, who works in Azure daily, tell me it took him three tries to pass. Not the most encouraging pep talk.

Continue reading →

Custom Webhooks in .NET with Emma API (Easily test with Postman)

6 minute read

Overview

Don’t you hate it when the documentation you’re looking for doesn’t exist? So do we. That’s why our MINDs bit the bullet and created instructions to make your life easier:

If you’ve tried to build a custom Webhook in .NET, you‘ve probably noticed the lack of tutorials explaining the process. We had a client who wanted a real-time sync between their CRM and their Emma mailing platform. We didn’t want to query the Emma API on a regular basis checking for updates. It was more efficient for all parties involved to leverage Emma Webhooks to notify our system immediately when a change occurred. The out-of-the-box options in .NET support services for Github, Azure and others, but if the API you’re searching for isn’t offered, it’s hard to find documentation. The following tutorial is intended to fill in the Emma gap.

Continue reading →

When You Get Stuck, Talk to the Duck

3 minute read

What It Means to “Rubber Duck Debug”

Do you ever get stuck on a coding problem and, to help figure it out, you begin talking to yourself, or to a rubber duck on your desk?  Just me? Okay. Well, it’s unfortunate society associates self-talk with lunacy, because this underutilized problem-solving tool is excellent for debugging.

Continue reading →