Calling a Dynamics AX WCF service from .NET Core

A big part of my job these days is interop between Dynamics AX and various external services/resources. A WCF service hosted in our AX environment is often a key part of that equation. With older .NET Framework applications, it’s easy to add a reference to a WCF web service. And I’ve done that so often that I could probably do it in my sleep. If I need to interface with a new AX service, I’ll generally just go through the “Add Service Reference” procedure, then copy & paste some code from a previous project and adjust it for my curent needs.

I was recently working on a new program that I decided to try to write using .NET Core instead of .NET Framework. It took me quite a while to figure out how to deal with calling an AX web service under .NET Core, so I thought I’d write it up, briefly, with a couple of sample code snippets.

First, there is a facility for adding a WCF service reference in a .NET Core 2 project in VS 2017. (I think this might have been missing in earlier versions of VS and/or earlier versions of .NET Core.) It’s pretty similar to the tool that works with .NET Framework projects, but there are a few key differences in the generated code. The biggest difference is that it doesn’t add anything to app.config/web.config, and in fact isn’t set up to read any configuration info from the config files at all. So you need to do the config in your code. (Of course, you can write your own code to read from your config file.) Anyway, it took a lot of trial and error before I figured out what I needed to do. There’s not as much documentation on this as there could be. So here’s a simple example, showing a bit of code (and config) from a .NET Framework project, and the equivalent code from a .NET Core project.

(I’m embedding it below as a Gist, since I can’t get WordPress to play nice with the XML config sample right now.)

This example obviously isn’t applicable in all use cases. But I think it could point you in the right direction, if you’re trying to do this and you’re as befuddled as I was when I started this. I should also mention that reading the auto-generated code produced by the tool is somewhat useful, though the code is about as messy as most auto-generated code tends to be.

Some useful resources:


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