JSON-based custom service with parameters (AX 7)

Dynamics 365 for Operations deploys custom web services in two ways: as SOAP-based services and JSON-based services. AX developers are often familiar with SOAP services (which were used in AX 2012), but JSON-based ones are new to them.

One particular challenge is passing arguments to a service. Let’s say we have an Add operation, which can sum two numbers.

public int Add(int a, int b)
{
    return a + b;
}

To call the service, we have to provide values for both arguments, a and b. Because the expected format is JSON (Java Script Object Notation), we have to provide a JSON string describing an object with two properties (a and b) and their values. This is it:

{ a: 2, b: 5 }

Note that names of the properties are important – they must match parameter names in the X++ method.

Because building JSON strings by yourself can be cumbersome (especially with more complex parameters), a better approach is working with objects and leaving conversion to JSON to a serializer.

For example, you can build a simple class,

public class AddContract
{
    public int a { get; set; }
    public int b { get; set; }
}

create an instance with required values and call JsonConvert (from Newtonsoft.Json) to convert it to string:

AddContract contract = new AddContract { a = 2, b = 5 };
string json = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(contract)

If you need AddContract class just at this single place, maybe it’s not worth creating it at all. We can use an anonymous object instead and it will still work the same.

var contract = new { a = 2, b = 5 }; // Anonymous object
string json = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(contract)

When we have the JSON string, we have to send it to the service. The implementation below assumes that you use AuthenticationUtility from the sample solution from Microsoft.

// Prepare HTTP client, including authentication
HttpClient client = new HttpClient();
client.BaseAddress = new Uri(ClientConfiguration.Default.UriString);
client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Add(OAuthHelper.OAuthHeader, OAuthHelper.GetAuthenticationHeader());
 
// Define parameters
var contract = new { a = 2, b = 5 };
 
// Create a request
HttpRequestMessage request = new HttpRequestMessage(HttpMethod.Post,
                                                    "api/services/MyServiceGroup/MyService/Add");
request.Content = new StringContent(JsonConvert.SerializeObject(contract),
                                    Encoding.UTF8,
                                    "application/json");
 
// Run the service
var result = client.SendAsync(request).Result;
 
// Display result to console
if (result.IsSuccessStatusCode)
{
    Console.WriteLine(result.Content.ReadAsStringAsync().Result);
}
else
{
    Console.WriteLine(result.StatusCode);
}

If you’re using WebRequest instead of HttpClient (as in Microsoft sample code), you can use add parameters to the request in this way:

var contract = new { a = 2, b = 5 };
string json = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(contract);
 
Byte[] byteArray = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(json);
 
request.ContentLength = byteArray.Length;
request.ContentType = "application/json";
 
using (Stream dataStream = request.GetRequestStream())
{
    dataStream.Write(byteArray, 0, byteArray.Length);
}

It’s clearly nothing difficult, just make sure that your properties in JSON exactly match parameter names. For example, if parameters of my Add operation were prefixed with underscore (as usual in X++), the JSON string would have to be { _a: 2, _b: 5 }.

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