Work with column definitions

Note

Unsure about entity vs. table? See Developers: Understand terminology in Microsoft Dataverse.

This topic describes a number of common operations that can be applied to column definitions (attribute metadata).

Create columns

You create columns (attributes) by defining one of the AttributeMetadata types and then passing it to the CreateAttributeRequest message.

The following code sample defines the AttributeMetadata for a number of different types of columns and adds them to a List<AttributeMetadata>. At the end of the code the column definitions are passed to an instance of the CreateAttributeRequest class and the column is created using the IOrganizationService.Execute method.

The following sample code assumes that the current customization prefix is ‘new’ because that is the default customization prefix for the organization solution publisher. You should use the customization prefix for the solution publisher that makes sense for your solution context.

// Create storage for new attributes being created
addedAttributes = new List<AttributeMetadata>();

// Create a boolean attribute
BooleanAttributeMetadata boolAttribute = new BooleanAttributeMetadata
{
    // Set base properties
    SchemaName = "new_Boolean",
    LogicalName = "new_boolean",
    DisplayName = new Label("Sample Boolean", _languageCode),
    RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.None),
    Description = new Label("Boolean Attribute", _languageCode),
    // Set extended properties
    OptionSet = new BooleanOptionSetMetadata(
        new OptionMetadata(new Label("True", _languageCode), 1),
        new OptionMetadata(new Label("False", _languageCode), 0)
        )
};

// Add to list
addedAttributes.Add(boolAttribute);

// Create a date time attribute
DateTimeAttributeMetadata dtAttribute = new DateTimeAttributeMetadata
{
    // Set base properties
    SchemaName = "new_Datetime",
    LogicalName = "new_datetime",
    DisplayName = new Label("Sample DateTime", _languageCode),
    RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.None),
    Description = new Label("DateTime Attribute", _languageCode),
    // Set extended properties
    Format = DateTimeFormat.DateOnly,
    ImeMode = ImeMode.Disabled
};

// Add to list
addedAttributes.Add(dtAttribute);

// Create a decimal attribute	
DecimalAttributeMetadata decimalAttribute = new DecimalAttributeMetadata
{
    // Set base properties
    SchemaName = "new_Decimal",
    LogicalName = "new_decimal",
    DisplayName = new Label("Sample Decimal", _languageCode),
    RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.None),
    Description = new Label("Decimal Attribute", _languageCode),
    // Set extended properties
    MaxValue = 100,
    MinValue = 0,
    Precision = 1
};

// Add to list
addedAttributes.Add(decimalAttribute);

// Create a integer attribute	
IntegerAttributeMetadata integerAttribute = new IntegerAttributeMetadata
{
    // Set base properties
    SchemaName = "new_Integer",
    LogicalName = "new_integer",
    DisplayName = new Label("Sample Integer", _languageCode),
    RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.None),
    Description = new Label("Integer Attribute", _languageCode),
    // Set extended properties
    Format = IntegerFormat.None,
    MaxValue = 100,
    MinValue = 0
};

// Add to list
addedAttributes.Add(integerAttribute);

// Create a memo attribute 
MemoAttributeMetadata memoAttribute = new MemoAttributeMetadata
{
    // Set base properties
    SchemaName = "new_Memo",
    LogicalName = "new_memo",
    DisplayName = new Label("Sample Memo", _languageCode),
    RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.None),
    Description = new Label("Memo Attribute", _languageCode),
    // Set extended properties
    Format = StringFormat.TextArea,
    ImeMode = ImeMode.Disabled,
    MaxLength = 500
};

// Add to list
addedAttributes.Add(memoAttribute);

// Create a money attribute	
MoneyAttributeMetadata moneyAttribute = new MoneyAttributeMetadata
{
    // Set base properties
    SchemaName = "new_Money",
    LogicalName = "new_money",
    DisplayName = new Label("Money Picklist", _languageCode),
    RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.None),
    Description = new Label("Money Attribue", _languageCode),
    // Set extended properties
    MaxValue = 1000.00,
    MinValue = 0.00,
    Precision = 1,
    PrecisionSource = 1,
    ImeMode = ImeMode.Disabled
};

// Add to list
addedAttributes.Add(moneyAttribute);

// Create a picklist attribute	
PicklistAttributeMetadata pickListAttribute =
    new PicklistAttributeMetadata
    {
        // Set base properties
        SchemaName = "new_Picklist",
        LogicalName = "new_picklist",
        DisplayName = new Label("Sample Picklist", _languageCode),
        RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.None),
        Description = new Label("Picklist Attribute", _languageCode),
        // Set extended properties
        // Build local picklist options
        OptionSet = new OptionSetMetadata
        {
            IsGlobal = false,
            OptionSetType = OptionSetType.Picklist,
            Options =
        {
            new OptionMetadata(
                new Label("Created", _languageCode), null),
            new OptionMetadata(
                new Label("Updated", _languageCode), null),
            new OptionMetadata(
                new Label("Deleted", _languageCode), null)
        }
        }
    };

// Add to list
addedAttributes.Add(pickListAttribute);

// Create a string attribute
StringAttributeMetadata stringAttribute = new StringAttributeMetadata
{
    // Set base properties
    SchemaName = "new_String",
    LogicalName = "new_string",

    DisplayName = new Label("Sample String", _languageCode),
    RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.None),
    Description = new Label("String Attribute", _languageCode),
    // Set extended properties
    MaxLength = 100
};

// Add to list
addedAttributes.Add(stringAttribute);

//Multi-select attribute requires version 9.0 or higher.
if (_productVersion > new Version("9.0"))
{

    // Create a multi-select optionset
    MultiSelectPicklistAttributeMetadata multiSelectOptionSetAttribute = new MultiSelectPicklistAttributeMetadata()
    {
        SchemaName = "new_MultiSelectOptionSet",
        LogicalName = "new_multiselectoptionset",
        DisplayName = new Label("Multi-Select OptionSet", _languageCode),
        RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.None),
        Description = new Label("Multi-Select OptionSet description", _languageCode),
        OptionSet = new OptionSetMetadata()
        {
            IsGlobal = false,
            OptionSetType = OptionSetType.Picklist,
            Options = {
        new OptionMetadata(new Label("First Option",_languageCode),null),
        new OptionMetadata(new Label("Second Option",_languageCode),null),
        new OptionMetadata(new Label("Third Option",_languageCode),null)
        }
        }
    };
    // Add to list
    addedAttributes.Add(multiSelectOptionSetAttribute);
}

// NOTE: LookupAttributeMetadata cannot be created outside the context of a relationship.
// Refer to the WorkWithRelationships.cs reference SDK sample for an example of this attribute type.

// NOTE: StateAttributeMetadata and StatusAttributeMetadata cannot be created via the SDK.

foreach (AttributeMetadata anAttribute in addedAttributes)
{
    // Create the request.
    CreateAttributeRequest createAttributeRequest = new CreateAttributeRequest
    {
        EntityName = Contact.EntityLogicalName,
        Attribute = anAttribute
    };

    // Execute the request.
    _serviceProxy.Execute(createAttributeRequest);

    Console.WriteLine("Created the attribute {0}.", anAttribute.SchemaName);
}

Retrieve a column

This code sample shows how to retrieve the AttributeMetadata for a column using the RetrieveAttributeRequest. This sample retrieves the definition for a custom StringAttributeMetadata column called ‘new_string’ from the Contact table that was created in Create columns.

Note

Because RetrieveAsIfPublished is true, this request returns the current unpublished definition of this column. You might use this if you are creating a column editor and you want to retrieve the unpublished definition of the column. Otherwise, you should not specify RetrieveAsIfPublished. More information: Retrieving unpublished definitions.

// Create the request
RetrieveAttributeRequest attributeRequest = new RetrieveAttributeRequest
{
    EntityLogicalName = Contact.EntityLogicalName,
    LogicalName = "new_string",
    RetrieveAsIfPublished = true
};

// Execute the request
RetrieveAttributeResponse attributeResponse =
    (RetrieveAttributeResponse)_serviceProxy.Execute(attributeRequest);

Console.WriteLine("Retrieved the attribute {0}.",
    attributeResponse.AttributeMetadata.SchemaName);

Update a column

This code sample code shows how to update a column (attribute). This sample uses the UpdateAttributeRequest to change the AttributeMetadata.DisplayName property of a previously retrieved custom column for the Contact table.

// Modify the retrieved attribute
AttributeMetadata retrievedAttributeMetadata =
    attributeResponse.AttributeMetadata;
retrievedAttributeMetadata.DisplayName =
    new Label("Update String Attribute", _languageCode);

// Update an attribute retrieved via RetrieveAttributeRequest
UpdateAttributeRequest updateRequest = new UpdateAttributeRequest
{
    Attribute = retrievedAttributeMetadata,
    EntityName = Contact.EntityLogicalName,
    MergeLabels = false
};

// Execute the request
_serviceProxy.Execute(updateRequest);

Console.WriteLine("Updated the attribute {0}.",
    retrievedAttributeMetadata.SchemaName);

Create a lookup column

A lookup column is created by using the CreateOneToManyRequest.

CreateOneToManyRequest req = new CreateOneToManyRequest()
{
    Lookup = new LookupAttributeMetadata()
    {
        Description = new Label("The referral (lead) from the bank account owner", 1033),
        DisplayName = new Label("Referral", 1033),
        LogicalName = "new_parent_leadid",
        SchemaName = "New_Parent_leadId",
        RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.Recommended)
    },
    OneToManyRelationship = new OneToManyRelationshipMetadata()
    {
        AssociatedMenuConfiguration = new AssociatedMenuConfiguration()
        {
            Behavior = AssociatedMenuBehavior.UseCollectionName,
            Group = AssociatedMenuGroup.Details,
            Label = new Label("Bank Accounts", 1033),
            Order = 10000
        },
        CascadeConfiguration = new CascadeConfiguration()
        {
            Assign = CascadeType.Cascade,
            Delete = CascadeType.Cascade,
            Merge = CascadeType.Cascade,
            Reparent = CascadeType.Cascade,
            Share = CascadeType.Cascade,
            Unshare = CascadeType.Cascade
        },
        ReferencedEntity = "lead",
        ReferencedAttribute = "leadid",
        ReferencingEntity = _customEntityName,
        SchemaName = "new_lead_new_bankaccount"
    }
};
_serviceProxy.Execute(req);

Create a customer lookup column

Unlike a lookup column, a customer lookup column is created using the CreateCustomerRelationshipsRequest message, which adds two relationships to the lookup column: one to the Account table and the other one to the Contact table. You cannot add relationship to any other table except for Account and Contact for a customer lookup column.

CreateCustomerRelationshipsRequest createCustomerReq = new CreateCustomerRelationshipsRequest
{
    Lookup = new LookupAttributeMetadata
    {
        Description = new Label("The owner of the bank account", 1033),
        DisplayName = new Label("Account owner", 1033),
        RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.ApplicationRequired),
        SchemaName = "new_customerid"
    },
    OneToManyRelationships = new OneToManyRelationshipMetadata[]
    {
        new OneToManyRelationshipMetadata()
        {
            ReferencedEntity = "account",
            ReferencingEntity = _customEntityName,
            SchemaName = "new_bankaccount_customer_account",
        },
        new OneToManyRelationshipMetadata()
        {
            ReferencedEntity = "contact",
            ReferencingEntity = _customEntityName,
            SchemaName = "new_bankaccount_customer_contact",
        }
    },
};
_serviceProxy.Execute(createCustomerReq);

Create a choice column that uses global choices

This sample code shows how to create a PicklistAttributeMetadata choice column that is associated with global choices.

The following sample uses CreateAttributeRequest to set the options for a PicklistAttributeMetadata column to use global choices with a name represented by the string variable _globalOptionSetName. More information: Customize choices

// Create a Picklist linked to the option set.
// Specify which entity will own the picklist, and create it.
CreateAttributeRequest createRequest = new CreateAttributeRequest
{
    EntityName = Contact.EntityLogicalName,
    Attribute = new PicklistAttributeMetadata
    {
        SchemaName = "sample_examplepicklist",
        LogicalName = "sample_examplepicklist",
        DisplayName = new Label("Example Picklist", _languageCode),
        RequiredLevel = new AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.None),

        // In order to relate the picklist to the global option set, be sure
        // to specify the two attributes below appropriately.
        // Failing to do so will lead to errors.
        OptionSet = new OptionSetMetadata
        {
            IsGlobal = true,
            Name = _globalOptionSetName
        }
    }
};

_serviceProxy.Execute(createRequest);

Insert a new status value

This sample code shows how to insert a new Status Reason choice for StatusAttributeMetadata column.

The following sample code uses the InsertStatusValueRequest to specify a new choice for the Contact table Contact.StatusCode column that is valid when the Contact.StateCode is 0 (Active). The IOrganizationService.Execute method processes the request.

The following sample code allows two valid Status Reason choices for active contacts: Active and Dormant.

// Use InsertStatusValueRequest message to insert a new status 
// in an existing status attribute. 
// Create the request.
InsertStatusValueRequest insertStatusValueRequest =
    new InsertStatusValueRequest
{
    AttributeLogicalName = "statuscode",
    EntityLogicalName = Contact.EntityLogicalName,
    Label = new Label("Dormant", _languageCode),
    StateCode = 0
};

// Execute the request and store newly inserted value 
// for cleanup, used later part of this sample. 
_insertedStatusValue = ((InsertStatusValueResponse)_serviceProxy.Execute(
    insertStatusValueRequest)).NewOptionValue;

Console.WriteLine("Created {0} with the value of {1}.",
    insertStatusValueRequest.Label.LocalizedLabels[0].Label,
    _insertedStatusValue);

Update a state value

This sample code shows how to change the label for a choice in a StateAttributeMetadata column.

The following sample code uses UpdateStateValueRequest to change the Contact.StateCode choice label from Active to Open.

// Modify the state value label from Active to Open.
// Create the request.
UpdateStateValueRequest updateStateValue = new UpdateStateValueRequest
{
    AttributeLogicalName = "statecode",
    EntityLogicalName = Contact.EntityLogicalName,
    Value = 1,
    Label = new Label("Open", _languageCode)
};

// Execute the request.
_serviceProxy.Execute(updateStateValue);

Console.WriteLine(
    "Updated {0} state attribute of {1} entity from 'Active' to '{2}'.",
    updateStateValue.AttributeLogicalName,
    updateStateValue.EntityLogicalName,
    updateStateValue.Label.LocalizedLabels[0].Label
    );

You cannot add or remove StateCode choices, but you can change the labels for the choices.

Insert a new choice in local choices

This sample code shows how to add a new choice to local choices. The following sample uses InsertOptionValueRequest to add a new choice to a custom PicklistAttributeMetadata column for the Contact table.

// Create a request.
InsertOptionValueRequest insertOptionValueRequest =
    new InsertOptionValueRequest
{
    AttributeLogicalName = "new_picklist",
    EntityLogicalName = Contact.EntityLogicalName,
    Label = new Label("New Picklist Label", _languageCode)
};

// Execute the request.
int insertOptionValue = ((InsertOptionValueResponse)_serviceProxy.Execute(
    insertOptionValueRequest)).NewOptionValue;

Console.WriteLine("Created {0} with the value of {1}.",
    insertOptionValueRequest.Label.LocalizedLabels[0].Label,
    insertOptionValue);

Change the order of choices in local choices

This sample code shows how to change the order of choices in local choices. The following sample retrieves a custom PicklistAttributeMetadata column and changes the order of the original choices using the OrderByLINQ function to sort items in ascending order by the label text. Then it uses OrderOptionRequest to set the new order of the choices for the column.

Use the OrderByDescending linq function to order the items in descending order.

// Use the RetrieveAttributeRequest message to retrieve  
// a attribute by it's logical name.
RetrieveAttributeRequest retrieveAttributeRequest =
    new RetrieveAttributeRequest
{
    EntityLogicalName = Contact.EntityLogicalName,
    LogicalName = "new_picklist",
    RetrieveAsIfPublished = true
};

// Execute the request.
RetrieveAttributeResponse retrieveAttributeResponse =
    (RetrieveAttributeResponse)_serviceProxy.Execute(
    retrieveAttributeRequest);

// Access the retrieved attribute.
PicklistAttributeMetadata retrievedPicklistAttributeMetadata =
    (PicklistAttributeMetadata)
    retrieveAttributeResponse.AttributeMetadata;

// Get the current options list for the retrieved attribute.
OptionMetadata[] optionList =
    retrievedPicklistAttributeMetadata.OptionSet.Options.ToArray();

// Change the order of the original option's list.
// Use the OrderBy (OrderByDescending) linq function to sort options in  
// ascending (descending) order according to label text.
// For ascending order use this:
var updateOptionList =
    optionList.OrderBy(x => x.Label.LocalizedLabels[0].Label).ToList();

// For descending order use this:
// var updateOptionList =
//      optionList.OrderByDescending(
//      x => x.Label.LocalizedLabels[0].Label).ToList();

// Create the request.
OrderOptionRequest orderOptionRequest = new OrderOptionRequest
{
    // Set the properties for the request.
    AttributeLogicalName = "new_picklist",
    EntityLogicalName = Contact.EntityLogicalName,
    // Set the changed order using Select linq function 
    // to get only values in an array from the changed option list.
    Values = updateOptionList.Select(x => x.Value.Value).ToArray()
};

// Execute the request
_serviceProxy.Execute(orderOptionRequest);

Console.WriteLine("Option Set option order changed");

Delete a column

This code sample shows how to delete columns stored in a List<AttributeMetadata> that were created for the Contact table in Create columns. For each AttributeMetadata the DeleteAttributeRequest prepares the request that is processed using IOrganizationService.Execute.

// Delete all attributes created for this sample.
foreach (AttributeMetadata anAttribute in addedAttributes)
{
    // Create the request object
    DeleteAttributeRequest deleteAttribute = new DeleteAttributeRequest
    {
        // Set the request properties 
        EntityLogicalName = Contact.EntityLogicalName,
        LogicalName = anAttribute.SchemaName
    };
    // Execute the request
    _serviceProxy.Execute(deleteAttribute);
}