Walkthrough: Creating and Using a Windows Client Control Add-in

The following walkthrough demonstrates how to develop a Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client add-in and use it on a Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client page. Add-ins are Microsoft .NET Framework assemblies that enable you to add custom functionality to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client. An API lets you develop add-ins without having to access the Dynamics NAV source code.


With Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 you can develop control add-ins that are displayed on both Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client and Microsoft Dynamics NAV Web client. For more information, see Extending Any Microsoft Dynamics NAV Client Using Control Add-ins.

In a typical business scenario, .NET Framework developers create add-ins using Microsoft Visual Studio Express, Visual Studio 2008, Visual Studio 2010, or Visual Studio 2012. Implementers of Dynamics NAV solutions then use the add-ins on Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client pages.

About This Walkthrough

This walkthrough illustrates the following tasks:


This walkthrough demonstrates tasks performed by the following user roles:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework developer

  • Dynamics NAV developer and IT Professional


To complete this walkthrough, you will need:

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 with a developer license. For more information, see System Requirements for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

  • CRONUS International Ltd. demonstration database

  • Microsoft Visual Studio Express, Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, or Microsoft Visual Studio 2012.

  • Microsoft .NET Strong Name Utility (sn.exe). This is included with Visual Studio SDKs.

    By default, the Microsoft .NET Strong Name Utility is located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bin\NETFX 4.0 Tools.

  • Experience using Visual Studio.


Simon is a software developer working for CRONUS International Ltd. He has been told that users of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client want a way to see all the content of page fields when the content extends beyond the field size. He decides to create an add-in that can be applied on a field that enables the user to select the field to display its full content. Fields that have add-ins are displayed in blue. When the user selects the field, a pop-up window opens that shows all of the field's content.

Creating an Add-in with Visual Studio

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 includes the Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.UI.Extensibility.dll assembly that defines the model for creating Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client add-ins. The Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 API provides the binding mechanism between the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client add-in and the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 framework.

To create the add-in

  1. In Visual Studio, on the File menu, choose New, and then choose Project.

  2. Under Installed Templates, choose Visual C#, and then choose Class Library.

  3. In the Solution Name text box, enter the name of your solution. For example, you can enter MyCompany.MyProduct.RtcAddins and then choose the OK button.

    Yow will add references to the following assemblies:

    1. Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.UI.Extensibility.dll

    2. System.Windows.Forms

    3. System.Drawing

  4. In Solution Explorer, right-click your project, and then choose Add Reference.

  5. In the Add Reference window, on the Browse tab, navigate to the location of the Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.UI.Extensibility.dll assembly on your computer and then choose the OK button. By default, the path of the assembly is C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics NAV\100\RoleTailored Client.


    The assembly cannot be placed outside of the RoleTailored Client folder.

  6. In Solution Explorer, choose Reference, and on the shortcut menu, choose Add Reference.

  7. In the Add Reference window, choose the .NET tab, then under Component Name, choose System.Windows.Forms, and then choose the OK button.

    The namespace contains classes for creating user interfaces for Windows-based applications.

  8. Repeat the previous step and add a reference to the System.Drawing namespace. This namespace provides access to basic graphics functionality.

  9. Open the Class1.cs file and add the following using directives.

    using Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.UI.Extensibility;  
    using Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.UI.Extensibility.WinForms;  
    using System.Windows.Forms;  
    using System.Drawing;  
  10. In the ClassLibrary1 namespace, add the following code to declare a new class named MyFieldPopupAddin for the add-in.

    public class MyFieldPopupAddin : StringControlAddInBase  

    The class uses the ControlAddInExportAttribute attribute and derives from the Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.UI.Extensibility.WinForms.StringControlAddInBase class and Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.UI.Extensibility.IStringControlAddInDefinition interface. The Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.UI.Extensibility.ControlAddInExportAttribute attribute declares the class in the assembly to be a control add-in that is identified by its ControlAddInExportAttribute.Name property, which is MyCompany.MyProduct.FieldPopupAddin. Because an assembly can contain more than one control add-in, the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client uses the Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.UI.Extensibility.ControlAddInExportAttribute attribute to differentiate each control add-in that is found in an assembly.


    You will use the name MyCompany.MyProduct.FieldPopupAddin later in the walkthrough when you register the add-in in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018. When naming the control add-in, it is good practice to follow the .NET Framework naming convention for classes, which is CompanyName.ProductName.ControlName.

    The Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.UI.Extensibility.IStringControlAddInDefinition interface determines how data transfers to and from the add-in and how events are raised to call triggers on the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Server.

  11. In the MyFieldPopupAddin class, add the following code to implement the abstract WinFormsControlAddInBase.CreateControl method and define the add-in functionality.

    /// Defines the text box control.  
        protected override Control CreateControl()  
            TextBox control = new TextBox();  
            control.MinimumSize = new Size(50, 0);  
            control.MaximumSize = new Size(500, Int32.MaxValue);  
            control.BackColor = Color.LightBlue;  
            control.Font = new Font("Tahoma", 9, FontStyle.Bold);  
            control.DoubleClick += control_DoubleClick;          
            return control;  
    /// Raises an event when the user double-clicks the text box.  
        private void control_DoubleClick(object sender, EventArgs e)  
            int index = 0;  
            string data = this.Control.Text;  
            this.RaiseControlAddInEvent(index, data);  


    If you want to create an add-in that spans both the caption column and the data column of the page, override the IWinFormsControlAddIn.AllowCaptionControl property and return false (default value is true).

    An assembly must be signed that can be used in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client. You will now sign the assembly.

To sign the assembly

  1. In Visual Studio, on the Project menu, choose MyCompany.MyProduct.RtcAddins properties.

  2. In the Properties window, choose Signing, and then select the Sign the assembly check box.

  3. In the Choose a strong name key file drop-down list, select New.

  4. In the Key file name text box, enter RtcAddins and clear the Protect my key file with a password check box.

    In this walkthrough, you will not protect the key file with a password. However, you can choose whether to use a password. For more information, see Strong-Name Signing for Managed Applications.

  5. Choose the OK button.

  6. In Solution Explorer, choose the Class1.cs file to open it. Notice the RtcAddins.snk file that is added in Solution Explorer.

  7. On the Build menu, choose Build <Your Solution> to build the project. Verify that the build succeeds. In this example, your solution is MyCompany.MyProduct.RtcAddins.

Copying the Add-in Assembly to the Microsoft Dynamics Windows Client

After you build the add-in, you copy the output assembly file to the computer that is running the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client.

To copy the add-in assembly to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client

  1. On the development computer, locate and copy the add-in assembly file (.dll file) in the add-in project's output folder.

    By default, this folder is C:\ Documents\Visual Studio\Projects\[Your Addin Project]\[Your Class Library]\bin\Debug. In this case, the location of the assembly is C:\ \Documents\Visual Studio 2012\Projects\MyCompany.MyProduct.RtcAddins\ MyCompany.MyProduct.RtcAddins\bin\Debug.

  2. On the computer that is running the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client, paste the assembly in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client\Add-ins folder in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 installation folder.

    By default, the path of this folder is C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics NAV\100\RoleTailored Client\Add-ins.

Registering the Add-in in Microsoft Dynamics NAV

To register an add-in, you include it on the Control Add-ins page in Dynamics NAV. To include an add-in on the page, you must provide the following information:

  • Control Add-in name.

    The control add-in name is determined by the Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.UI.Extensibility.ControlAddInExportAttribute attribute value of add-in class definition that you specified when you created the control add-in. The name in this walkthrough is MyCompany.MyProduct.FieldPopupAddin, as shown in the following code snippet from interface definition.

    public class MyFieldPopupAddin : StringControlAddInBase  
  • Public key token.

    This is a 16-character key that is given to the assembly when it is signed and built in Visual Studio. You can determine the public token key by running the Microsoft .NET Strong Name Utility (sn.exe) on the assembly. You must run the utility from the Visual Studio command prompt. The sn.exe utility is available with the Visual Studio 2008, Visual Studio 2010 SDKs, and Visual Studio 2012.

To determine the public key token for the add-in

  1. On the Windows taskbar, choose Start, choose All Programs, choose Microsoft Visual Studio 2012, choose Visual Studio Tools, and then choose Visual Studio Command Prompt (2012) to open the command prompt.

  2. At a command prompt, change to the directory that contains the assembly that you copied.

    For example, C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics NAV\100\RoleTailored Client\Add-ins.

  3. Type the following command.

    sn -T <assembly>  

    Replace <assembly> with the assembly name, such as ClassLibrary1.dll.

  4. Press Enter and note the public token key that is displayed.

To include the add-in on the Control Add-ins page

  1. In the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Windows client, in the Search box, enter Control Add-ins, and then choose the relevant link.

  2. On a new row, in the Control Add-ins page, enter the Control Add-in name, and the Public Key Token.

    In this walkthrough, the add-in name is MyCompany.MyProduct.FieldPopupAddin.

  3. Choose the OK button to close the Control Add-ins page.

Setting Up the Add-in on a Page

In this section, you will modify the Customer Card page to use the new add-in on the name field. This involves the following tasks:

  • Setting the ControlAddin Property of the field to the add-in.

  • Setting the OnControlAddin Trigger.

    In the C/AL Editor, you set the trigger that is called when a user selects the field to open a pop-up window. When a field is double-clicked, the add-in raises the IEventControlAddInDefinition.ControlAddIn event, which in turn calls the trigger.

To set the ControlAddIn property on the field

  1. In Dynamics NAV, in Object Designer, choose Page.

  2. Select page 21, Customer Card, and then choose Design.

  3. In the Page Designer, in the Name column, select the Name field, and then on the View menu, choose Properties.

  4. In the <Name> Properties window, in the Property column, locate ControlAddIn.

  5. In the Value column, choose the up arrow, and then select MyCompany.MyProduct.FieldPopupAddin from the Client Add-in window. Choose the OK button to close the Client Add-Ins window. The public key token is inserted into the Value field.

  6. Close the Properties window.

To set the add-in trigger in the C/AL Code

  1. On the View menu, choose C/AL Code.

  2. In the Page 21 Customer card -C/AL Editor, locate the following trigger.

    Name - OnControlAddIn(Index : Integer;Data : Text[1024])  
  3. Add the following code.

  4. Close the C/AL Editor.

  5. On the File menu, choose Save, select the Compiled check box, and then choose the OK button.

  6. Close the C/AL window.

To test the add-in

  1. In Object Designer, choose Page. In the Name column, select the Customer Card page, and then choose Run. The customer card view is displayed. Notice the color of the Name field.

  2. Double-click the Name field. The contents of the Name field are displayed in a pop-up window.

  3. On the Action menu, choose Next until you find a name that extends beyond the field size, and then double-click the field. All of the content for the field is displayed in a pop-up window.

See Also

Windows Client Control Add-in Overview
Developing Windows Client Control Add-ins
Client Extensibility API Overview
Binding a Windows Client Control Add-in to the Database
Exposing Events and Calling Respective C/AL Triggers from a Windows Client Control Add-in
How to: Create a Windows Client Control Add-in
How to: Determine the Public Key Token of the Windows Client Control Add-in and .NET Framework Assembly
Installing and Configuring Windows Client Control Add-ins on Pages
How to: Install a Windows Client Control Add-in Assembly
How to: Register a Windows Client Control Add-in
How to: Set Up a Windows Client Control Add-in on a Page