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Working with Picklists using Advanced Developer Extensions RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am trying to change the gender code on a contact using the advanced developer extensions.  I have found a contact.gendercode and contact.gendercode label(read only).  I want to look up the gender code for male so that I can write it to contact.gendercode.

     

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 6:31 PM

Answers

  • I believe that it's worth noting that a comment on this CRM Team Blog post by Daniel Sabater says:

    "Thanks for this great summary! There is something I am missing, though: the Developer's guide included in the SDK states that crmsvcutil "Generates enumeration types for Picklist values". I've been searching all over and still can't find anything like that in the generated code."

    This seems to indicate, as there was no response to him, that the Advanced Developer Extensions are indeed meant to provide an automatic enumeration of Picklist values , but presently no documentation on the usage thereof is available.  The Adxstudio Xrm Portals Sdk , however, apparently provides this functionality as well.

    So, the traditional Metadata service message approach may be the most sensible.  Especially if you don't want to recompile your code every time you modify the available Picklist options (since the generated enumeration code by CrmSvcUtil.exe would be instantly out of sync with the platform).


    Dave Berry - MVP Dynamics CRM - http:\\crmentropy.blogspot.com
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 7:36 PM
    Moderator
  • I've gone for the MetadataService approach with Picklists; I've seen the same reference to the Xrm library's generation of enumerations, but I haven't been able to find any reference to them in the code either.  Phantomware, I suspect.

    Anyway; start building yourself a library of "helper" code; there're plenty of places around the web for samples.  The following is what I've been using for Picklists (Service.MetaDataService defined elsewhere, but it's basically a staticly declared class that wraps the Crm MetadataService):

    using System;
    using System.Collections;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.Text;
    
    using Microsoft.Crm.Sdk;
    using Microsoft.Crm.Sdk.Metadata;
    using Microsoft.Crm.SdkTypeProxy;
    using Microsoft.Crm.SdkTypeProxy.Metadata;
    
    namespace MrCRM.CRM.Metadata
    {
    	public class Picklist
    	{
    		#region PicklistItem Class
    		public struct PicklistItem
    		{
    			private int _value;
    			private string _text;
    			public int Value
    			{
    				get { return this._value; }
    			}
    			public string Text
    			{
    				get { return this._text; }
    			}
    
    			internal PicklistItem(int value, string text)
    			{
    				this._value = value;
    				this._text = text;
    			}
    		}
    		#endregion
    
    		public static List<PicklistItem> GetList(string entityname, string attributename)
    		{
    			RetrieveAttributeRequest req = new RetrieveAttributeRequest();
    			req.EntityLogicalName = entityname;
    			req.LogicalName = attributename;
    			req.RetrieveAsIfPublished = true;
    
    			RetrieveAttributeResponse response = (RetrieveAttributeResponse)Service.MetaDataService.Execute(req);
    
    			PicklistAttributeMetadata picklist = (PicklistAttributeMetadata)response.AttributeMetadata;
    
    			List<PicklistItem> theList = new List<PicklistItem>();
    
    			foreach (Option o in picklist.Options)
    			{
    				theList.Add(new PicklistItem(o.Value.Value, o.Label.UserLocLabel.Label.ToString()));
    			}
    
    			return theList;
    		}
    	}
    }
    
    

    --pogo (pat)
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:43 PM

All replies

  • Please forgive the following, gentle quibble about the appropriate use of CRM terminology: the attribute "gendercode" from the Contact entity is a Picklist, and not a Lookup, which was implied by the title of your post.

    However, I see that your inquiry is about how to "look up" a specific value for a Picklist, given some title.  For this, you would pretty much need to use the Metadata Service, and either the "RetrieveEntityRequest " or "RetrieveAttributeRequest " messages (the later is more appropriate when you know the entity and attribute you intend to target, as with this case).  Then, you'll be able to examine the available options for the Picklist, and determine which matches your criteria.

    Consider, however, that the values of Picklists (and generally their labels) are intended to be largely static throughout the entire life of a CRM deployment (and that the removal of an option causes data-loss upon every record that had referenced it).  Indeed, I can hardly think of a situation when you may want a gender that is neither Male or Female, or that you would ever actually switch/alter the labels for the underlying integer values.

    I would advise making static declarations of named variables to represent the available values, and use those declarations when assigning those values in your code:

    public static int ContactGenderMale = 1; 
    public static int ContactGenderFemale = 2;
    

    That would be far easier, and require less overhead than examining the Metadata for potential values, simply to provide "search" capacity on a known, likely static, label/value pairing.


    Dave Berry - MVP Dynamics CRM - http:\\crmentropy.blogspot.com
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 6:48 PM
    Moderator
  • David,

    I appreciate the correction on my terminology.  This is my first project in CRM and terminology is important!  Could you post a small code sample on how to do this using the Metadata Service?  I am interested in generally how to look up codes for picklists some of which may be more dynamic than gender code.  Thank you for your prompt response.

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 7:04 PM
  • Here's a short forum posting showing the mechanics of RetrieveAttributeRequest:  http://www.eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet/31732082/retrieve-picklist-values.aspx

    The MSDN article from the CRM SDK is beneficial as well.


    Dave Berry - MVP Dynamics CRM - http:\\crmentropy.blogspot.com
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 7:13 PM
    Moderator
  • David,

    Thank you again for your responses.  In searching on this I found a method that looks like it might work as well.  The only problem is I'm not finding the object MetaDataContext.  Would this method work also?


    http://community.adxstudio.com/Default.aspx?DN=d589dc6c-b2bf-4ae1-a8ca-06ac55f2a177&topic=5e343c6a-9ae6-4dc8-a60e-dd4c51496397&page=1#post-3d60bf18-8e63-44a1-b2bc-ce30ffaf776b
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 7:30 PM
  • I believe that it's worth noting that a comment on this CRM Team Blog post by Daniel Sabater says:

    "Thanks for this great summary! There is something I am missing, though: the Developer's guide included in the SDK states that crmsvcutil "Generates enumeration types for Picklist values". I've been searching all over and still can't find anything like that in the generated code."

    This seems to indicate, as there was no response to him, that the Advanced Developer Extensions are indeed meant to provide an automatic enumeration of Picklist values , but presently no documentation on the usage thereof is available.  The Adxstudio Xrm Portals Sdk , however, apparently provides this functionality as well.

    So, the traditional Metadata service message approach may be the most sensible.  Especially if you don't want to recompile your code every time you modify the available Picklist options (since the generated enumeration code by CrmSvcUtil.exe would be instantly out of sync with the platform).


    Dave Berry - MVP Dynamics CRM - http:\\crmentropy.blogspot.com
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 7:36 PM
    Moderator
  • I've gone for the MetadataService approach with Picklists; I've seen the same reference to the Xrm library's generation of enumerations, but I haven't been able to find any reference to them in the code either.  Phantomware, I suspect.

    Anyway; start building yourself a library of "helper" code; there're plenty of places around the web for samples.  The following is what I've been using for Picklists (Service.MetaDataService defined elsewhere, but it's basically a staticly declared class that wraps the Crm MetadataService):

    using System;
    using System.Collections;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.Text;
    
    using Microsoft.Crm.Sdk;
    using Microsoft.Crm.Sdk.Metadata;
    using Microsoft.Crm.SdkTypeProxy;
    using Microsoft.Crm.SdkTypeProxy.Metadata;
    
    namespace MrCRM.CRM.Metadata
    {
    	public class Picklist
    	{
    		#region PicklistItem Class
    		public struct PicklistItem
    		{
    			private int _value;
    			private string _text;
    			public int Value
    			{
    				get { return this._value; }
    			}
    			public string Text
    			{
    				get { return this._text; }
    			}
    
    			internal PicklistItem(int value, string text)
    			{
    				this._value = value;
    				this._text = text;
    			}
    		}
    		#endregion
    
    		public static List<PicklistItem> GetList(string entityname, string attributename)
    		{
    			RetrieveAttributeRequest req = new RetrieveAttributeRequest();
    			req.EntityLogicalName = entityname;
    			req.LogicalName = attributename;
    			req.RetrieveAsIfPublished = true;
    
    			RetrieveAttributeResponse response = (RetrieveAttributeResponse)Service.MetaDataService.Execute(req);
    
    			PicklistAttributeMetadata picklist = (PicklistAttributeMetadata)response.AttributeMetadata;
    
    			List<PicklistItem> theList = new List<PicklistItem>();
    
    			foreach (Option o in picklist.Options)
    			{
    				theList.Add(new PicklistItem(o.Value.Value, o.Label.UserLocLabel.Label.ToString()));
    			}
    
    			return theList;
    		}
    	}
    }
    
    

    --pogo (pat)
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:43 PM