Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Buttons mysteriously resize on VS Tools Dynamics GP Forms -- VST template bug?

By Steve Endow

Sometimes strange things happen when you are developing software that can be quite puzzling.  A window may behave oddly, data may get updated in an unexpected way, or an application may crash.  I tell myself that there is always an explanation, but sometimes these things may seem nearly impossible to figure out.

Last year I developed a VS Tools AddIn in Visual Studio 2010 that worked just fine.  I later added a button to a "Dynamics GP Form" in that AddIn, and it seemed to work fine.  But after some testing, the client noted that the text on one of the buttons was cut off, and asked me to make the button wider.  I thought I had already resized that button, but when I checked it in Visual Studio, sure enough, the button wasn't wide enough.

I made the button wider, confirmed that the button text displayed correctly, and sent the customer a new version of the AddIn DLL.  A few days later, they said the button text was still being cut off.  When I opened Visual Studio, the button size had changed and was again cutting off the text.  What in the world?

After trying various things, I discovered that whenever I recompiled the VST project, two buttons on the form would resize to the default button width.  One button was wider and would shrink.  The second button was narrower, and it would get wider.  No matter what I tried, the buttons would resize after being recompiled.

I finally gave up and added some run time code that would resize and reposition the buttons.  That worked, but clearly there was some underlying issue.

Fast forward to December 2014, and I'm now seeing the same symptoms in a brand new AddIn project using Visual Studio 2013.

This is what the form looked like when I originally created it.

After doing some testing, I noticed that the button had resized and looked like this.

The first time I thought I had just forgotten to resize the button, but the second time I realized that I wasn't imagining things.  The button size was definitely changing.

But with this new project in VS 2013, the button was not resizing when I recompiled, like what I saw with VS 2010.

After trying a few things, I discovered that when I closed Visual Studio 2013 and reopened the solution, the button would resize.

While this may seem trivial, try designing a complex window with a dozen buttons that all resize every time you reopen your project.  It's a nightmare.

My only guess is that this is some type of obscure bug in the Dynamics GP VS Tools form templates, as I have only seen this issue with the Dynamics GP Form template windows.

Since I have observed that the Dynamics GP Form template has a bug with the window startup position property, I'm assuming that this is another small, but highly annoying bug in the form template.

What I need to try next is working with this project on a different server to see if it might be some problem with this development server.

Has anyone else experienced this issue?

UPDATE:  I setup VS 2013 on a separate server and am able to reproduce the issue.  I'll size the buttons, save the project, then close Visual Studio.  When I open the project and view the form, the buttons are resized.

After further testing, I found that if I just close the form designer window and then reopen it, the buttons resize.

And this issue only occurs with the Dynamics GP Form objects.  If I add a standard Windows Form to the AddIn, the buttons do not resize.

Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP for Dynamics GP and a Dynamics GP Certified IT Professional in Los Angeles.  He is the owner of Precipio Services, which provides Dynamics GP integrations, customizations, and automation solutions.

You can also find him on Google+ and Twitter

1 comment:

Mohammad R. Daoud said...


Thank you for sharing this! The good thing that the buttons keeps the size properties saved, so if you published your package the sizes remains.