Power Portal Web API Helper – An XrmToolBox Plugin

Web API for Portals is a new feature where you can finally issue Web API calls from your portal to the CDS. This post doesn’t go in the details of this feature, everything you want to know can be found here. The summary is that when you want to enable an entity for web api on the portal, you need to configure few site settings and some entity permissions and then call the Web API’s using some JavaScript code. This plugin is super simple and it just helps you in enabling/disabling the entity and any attribute for that entity for the WebAPI feature on the Portal. In addition to that, it provides you with simple JavaScript snippets that you can use as a starting point in your project.

How to use this plugin?

  1. Install the plugin from the Tool Library in XrmToolBox.
  2. Open the plugin and connect to your organization. The plugin should look like this

3. Click on Load Entities button from the command bar and the system and custom entities will be listed for you. You can search for your entity name in the filter box. You can also notice that a website selection appears in the command bar, you need to select the target website in case you have more than one in your target organization. Enabling an entity on Website A will only create the proper site settings for Website A, if you change the website, you need to enable the entity again as new site settings need to be created.

Note: Microsoft Docs clearly says that this feature should be used with data entities such as contact, account, case and custom entities. This feature shouldn’t be used on configuration entities such as adx_website or other system entities that store configuration data. Unfortunately and to my knowledge, I couldn’t find a very deterministic way for filtering every entity that shouldn’t be used with the Web API so if you know of a way, please do tell so that I can fix the filtering logic. The current logic is to exclude the list provided by Microsoft which consists mostly of the adx_ entities. I also did some judgment calls on other entities that store configuration data and not business data.

4. Once you select an entity, you can either enable or disable it and you also can select the fields you want to expose. When you are done, just click Save changes from the command bar and all the site settings will be created/updated for you.

5. If you are not very involved in JavaScript, and to help you get started quickly, clicking on Generate Snippets in the command bar will provide you with Create/Update/Delete snippets in addition to the wrapper ajax function that you use to issue the web api calls.

6. As an additional small feature, the JSON object you use for Create and Update snippets will have the selected attributes with default values. If you don’t see some of these attributes in your output JSON string, it is mostly because the attribute is not available for Create or Update as the plugin does the check for those conditions. For example, if you are creating an account record, you can provide the accountid in the create call but not in the update call as the accountid is not updatable.

That’s it, a simple plugin that will save you sometime when looking for those attributes logical names and when you want to enable entities for portal web api feature.

Project Link on GitHub: https://github.com/ZaarourOmar/PowerPortalWebAPIHelper/issues

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