I was recently approached by one of my team members for an issue which she faced with a customization. The error message was nothing but a famous “Illegal Address field …” error message for some field.
The code was perfect and everything looked fine from the surface. I asked her about the chunk details and she responded that she was doing the testing by using TEST MODE directly from the development dictionary. A piece of her custom code access a PA Customized Form (PA Vendor Maintenance, if I remember it correctly).
Now, what exactly is the issue? What’s wrong with this method? What needs to be done to avoid such issues while testing a customization? Too many questions, but the answers are very simple.
Test Mode: Is typically used only when we develop a customization whose scope is limited to just Dynamics.dic. In other words, if you are developing a customization which is limited to the core Dynamics GP functionality, then Test Mode is the best option to do the testing. The external resources that we access from our customization will be limited to that of Dynamics GP, and hence when we test the customization, the scope of access is limited to only Dynamics GP. For more details on Test Mode, please refer to Microsoft Dexterity Help Manual.
Chunk: A more professional way of testing Customizations. Simply put, this is nothing but simulating a Chunk Installation on a typical GP environment. That means, we are good go with any kind of accessibility, be it Dynamics GP or other 3rd Party Products. It’s not just what you have developed that is going to be tested. It’s more than that. For instance, if the client has modified any of the Report from your Customization Dictionary, then this would have created the Reports Dictionary for your Custom Product. Whenever we do a feature addition or bug fixing, we need to release a new version. In such cases, we should make sure that the existing Reports Dictionary is also upgraded to the latest dictionary. If we test the customization thru’ Test Mode, we may tend to forget that we need to update the Reports Dictionary to complete the product installation.
Well, I can add on to the explanation. I just would like stress on only one point, for all Dex developers. Always try to create a proper chunk and then install that on your test environment, to make sure that you don’t miss out anything.