Dynamics CRM Plugin Mistake

1 minute read

Quick two-parter (i.e. not the prettiest article): I was building another CRM plugin and kept getting a really annoying exception. Followed by an uncatchable exception.

Part One: Attributes are case sensitive (duh)

System.NullReferenceException: Microsoft Dynamics CRM has experienced an error.

Useful, I know. If I turned on profiling and tried to replay the plugin it would execute as expected. Turing to the CRM server event log I saw this:

ASP.NET event 1309
Exception information: 
    Exception type: NullReferenceException 
    Exception message: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
   at Microsoft.Crm.Application.InlineEdit.InlineEditJsonConverter.IsLocalizedAttribute(AttributeMetadata attributeMetadata)
   at Microsoft.Crm.Application.InlineEdit.InlineEditJsonConverter.AppendDataValueJson(StringBuilder dataValues, String attributeLogicalName, Entity entity, FormMediator formMediator, Boolean encodeValues, IOrganizationContext context)
   at Microsoft.Crm.Application.InlineEdit.InlineEditJsonConverter.GetEntityAttributeJsonContent(Entity entity, FormMediator formMediator, Boolean encodeValues, IOrganizationContext context)
   at Microsoft.Crm.Application.InlineEdit.InlineEditJsonConverter.d__3.MoveNext()
   at System.Linq.Enumerable.WhereEnumerableIterator`1.MoveNext()
   at Microsoft.Crm.Application.InlineEdit.InlineEditExtensionMethods.WriteSeparatedValues(TextWriter writer, IEnumerable`1 values, Char separator)
   at Microsoft.Crm.Application.InlineEdit.InlineEditJsonConverter.WriteEntityProperties(TextWriter writer, Entity entity, FormMediator formMediator, NotificationCollection notifications, PrivilegeCheck privilegeChecks, Boolean appendEntriesForFirstTimeLoad, Dictionary`2 parameters, Boolean encodeValues)
   at Microsoft.Crm.Application.InlineEdit.ReadFormDataBuilder.WriteFormDataJson(TextWriter writer)
   at Microsoft.Crm.Application.InlineEdit.ReadFormDataBuilder.WriteFormattedEntityData(TextWriter writer, Boolean isTurboForm)
   at Microsoft.Crm.Application.Pages.Form.FormDataPage.Render(HtmlTextWriter writer)
   at System.Web.UI.Control.RenderControlInternal(HtmlTextWriter writer, ControlAdapter adapter)
   at System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint)

I figured I was sending data that couldn’t be rendered. After going back and forth trying to debug I noticed that my attribute keys had a capital letter in the middle (i.e. “contoso_entity_customBlah”). That’s was an hour of my life because of a capital letter.

Part Two: The Post Script

I noticed that sometimes when debugging a plugin the profiler would throw an uncatchable exception, but only if a debugger was attached. The debugger couldn’t detach once the exception was thrown.

I’d replay the plugin without the debugger: no exception.

Attach the debugger and replay: see a caught exception! Then the plugin tool would crash due to an uncaught win32 exception. Of course I couldn’t debug the plugin tool because I already had a debugger attached, and I couldn’t detach the debugger because yadda yadda yadda. Turns out if you try to debug a sandboxed plugin in some circumstances the debugger (in traceinternal) tries to get fileiopermission (related to logging) and fails (because sandbox). So yeah, it was the debugger throwing an exception that it didn’t catch.

I ended up attaching the debugger, hitting a breakpoint, detaching the debugger, then reattaching the debugger after the plugin tool threw an exception. Of course the solution was to debug outside the sandbox.