With the introduction of the Web Client in GP 2013, the one missing piece that affected developers was not being able to show their custom VSTools .NET windows.  Everything else about the customization would work; we just couldn’t show the .NET form.

There is only one feature added to Visual Studio Tools in GP 2013 SP2 but it is a BIG one -now developers have the ability to have their VSTools .NET forms show in the Web Client!

There are a couple of options that a developer can use.

Dynamic Rendering

The .NET form will “just work” without much effort on the part of the developer. 

The only downside is that the developer form can only contain eight common controls to be automatically rendered properly.  Other controls (like a DataGridView control) can be used but those will not show or work when using Dynamic Rendering.

Those controls are:

  • Button
  • CheckBox
  • ComboBox
  • GroupBox
  • Label
  • ListBox
  • RadioButton
  • TextBox

Alice from the Dexterity Development SQL team wrote an excellent article discussing this feature.

Custom Rendering

Custom Rendering is used when an ISV requires any other control outside of the above controls to be rendered on a .NET form under the Web Client.

In this release, if Custom Rendering is used then the developer would be required to implement all controls on the form – even if they are one of the eight listed above.

While in theory any control can be rendered by the developer in Silverlight in the Web Client (limited to what Silverlight supports), in practicality the limitation would be the amount of time the developer would spend coding both the Desktop addin and the Server addin in order to support the flow of information between the Web Client server/client components.

Watch the Video

I’ve recorded a short video that talks about and shows the results of both approaches noted above.

The changes required for Dynamic Rendering are discussed and the developer should be able to get that working easily.

Custom Rendering is much more complicated and while discussed in the video, a developer will want to work with the examples and review the VSTools Developer documentation included with the VSTools SDK


Patrick Roth

Senior Escalation Engineer | Microsoft Dynamics GP
Dynamics GP Diagnostics Lead
Developing for Dynamics GP Blog