Monday, March 11, 2013

Free Editor Extensions for AX2012

The code editor in AX2012 is based on the same editor as Visual Studio. Not many developers know the editor actually allows developers to extend the functionality of the editor. My preferred extension for Visual Studio is ReSharper from Jetbrains, but unfortunately it would not be possible to have it installed in AX2012. But there are some freely available Extensions at CodePlex, serving as an example of how we can extend the editor in AX2012. This neat project is released by José Antonio Estevan Estevan.

The latest release supports three improvements:
  • Highlight the brackets when the cursor is right in front or right after, giving you visual aid where the section starts and ends.
  • Highlight the current word, giving you visual aid on where this word is used in your code.
  • Collapse and un-collapse sections wrapped with {- and }-brackets.
Head over to José's blog and read more about the project he has shared with us.

Installing the Extensions is super easy. Just download the latest release, unpack the dlls and drop them in the EditorComponents-folder under Client\bin. When the client starts, it will pick them up right away.

Support the project by adding suggestions for more suggestions. One thing I like with ReSharper is the ability to CTRL+Click a type to navigate directly to it. It would be cool to be able to do that in the AX2012 editor. Though, F12 does the trick pretty well.

If you do not get the extensions to work, you might want to make sure the downloaded zip file is not blocked  by the operating system.

Right-click the packed file and choose properties:

If you see the Unblock-button, then this zip file and all the executable elements within are marked as "dirty". This includes dll-files. Just Unblock, unzip and make sure the dll-files you copy to your EditorComponents-folder are "clean".

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