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For a Universal Windows App I wanted to implement a Pivot. Reading the guidelines for tabs and pivots by Microsoft I got inspired by the examples given. However, no code samples are supplied so there is no indication how to actually create this in your own Xaml app.

In this blogpost I will show the different steps to get the basics done and I will supply the source code for you to use.

For a Universal Windows App I wanted to implement a Pivot. Reading the guidelines for tabs and pivots by Microsoft I got inspired by the examples given. However, no code samples are supplied so there is no indication how to actually create this in your own Xaml app.

In this blogpost I will show the different steps to get the basics done and I will supply the source code for you to use.

The examples

For mobile

Example design from pivot guidelines by Microsoft

For desktop

Example design for desktop from pivot guidelines by Microsoft

The default Pivot

The default Pivot looks just like the pivot we know from Windows Phone.

<PivotItem Header="item 1">
    <TextBlock>Content 1</TextBlock>
</PivotItem>

Default Pivot in a UWP app

Adding an icon to the header

So the first step is to add an icon and do some styling. A bit lazy I used the Pivot sample from the Windows Universal Samples as a starting point.

<PivotItem>
    <PivotItem.Header>
        <local:TabHeader Label="item 1" Glyph="&amp;#xE716;" />
    </PivotItem.Header>
    <TextBlock>Content 1</TextBlock>
</PivotItem>

Icon in Pivot Header with problem

Immediatly we spot a problem. It seems the Pivot Header has a fixed height.
Browsing around I found a MSDN forum post and a Stack Overflow question about this. Both are resolved using code to adjust the height of the items.

Because we want a responsive solution where the height is not known beforehand, code is not the best option.
Lucky for us, Microsoft has added the Live Visual Tree tool in Visual Studio 2015 making it possible to debug what is happening in the app at runtime. This shows that the PivotHeaderItem has a default Style with a fixed height.

Visual Studio 2015 Live Visual Tree showing the fixed height from the default template

The problem is that Visual Studio does not have any option to edit (a copy of) this template. So we have to get it the hard way.

To find the default template of every control and style in UWP apps we have to go to the following file:

%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Kits\10\DesignTime\CommonConfiguration\Neutral
                                    \UAP\10.0.10240.0\Generic\generic.xaml

Look for the PivotHeaderItem template and copy it to the Resources Dictionary for your preferred scope.
In the Style we change the Height to Auto.

<Setter Property="Height" Value="Auto" />

If the height of your pivot header can be less than 36 you will also need the modify the height of the Previous and Next buttons in the Pivot Header as these have a fixed height too. These changes are made in the Pivot Style.

<Button x:Name="PreviousButton" ... Height="Auto" ... />
<Button x:Name="NextButton" ... Height="Auto"  ... />

Create a copy of the Pivot Style

If you don’t know how to edit a copy of a Style, here are the 3 steps to follow:

  1. Select the Pivot in the Document Outline
  2. Right Click and select "Edit Template"
  3. Choose "Edit a Copy..."

Make the Pivot Header Item reponsive

First I will list how I want the header items to repond:

  • If the app is narrow, the icon is centered above the label
  • If the app is wide, the label is on the right side of the icon
  • The transition from narrow to wide is at 500

Getting this working is quite easy in UWP apps without writing any code at all.
For this we use the new AdaptiveTrigger and the RelativePanel.

We alter the TabHeader.xaml adding a RelativePanel for layout and VisualStates for the transition. Something like this:

<VisualStateManager.VisualStateGroups>
    <VisualStateGroup>
        <VisualState x:Name="Narrow">
            <VisualState.StateTriggers>
                <AdaptiveTrigger MinWindowWidth="0" />
            </VisualState.StateTriggers>
            <VisualState.Setters>
                <Setter Target="Icon.(RelativePanel.AlignHorizontalCenterWithPanel)" Value="True" />
                <Setter Target="LabelText.(RelativePanel.Below)" Value="Icon" />
                <Setter Target="LabelText.(RelativePanel.AlignHorizontalCenterWith)" Value="Icon" />
            </VisualState.Setters>
        </VisualState>
        <VisualState x:Name="Wide">
            <VisualState.StateTriggers>
                <AdaptiveTrigger MinWindowWidth="500" />
            </VisualState.StateTriggers>
            <VisualState.Setters>
                <Setter Target="Icon.(RelativePanel.AlignVerticalCenterWithPanel)" Value="True" />
                <Setter Target="LabelText.(RelativePanel.RightOf)" Value="Icon" />
                <Setter Target="LabelText.(RelativePanel.AlignVerticalCenterWith)" Value="Icon" />
                <Setter Target="RelativePanel.Margin" Value="0,0,12,0"/>
                <Setter Target="Icon.Margin" Value="0,0,0,0"/>
            </VisualState.Setters>
        </VisualState>
    </VisualStateGroup>
</VisualStateManager.VisualStateGroups>
<RelativePanel x:Name="RelativePanel">
    <FontIcon x:Name="Icon"
                HorizontalAlignment="Center"
                Margin="0,12,0,0"
                Glyph="{Binding Glyph}"
                FontSize="16" />
    <TextBlock x:Name="LabelText"
                Text="{Binding Label}"
                Style="{StaticResource CaptionTextBlockStyle}"
                Margin="2,4,2,4" />
</RelativePanel>

Run the app and resize it so we see the pivot items change when it's wide enough.
Responsive Pivot Header Items

Aligning the Pivot Header Items

I like it when the pivot items are centered in the mobile layout. To achieve this we need to add the Visual States to the Pivot Style.
If you didn’t have a Pivot Style already look in the previous section how to create a copy of the Style.

We add the Visual State Group the existing VisualStateManager.VisualStateGroups in the RootElement of the Pivot ControlTemplate:

<VisualStateGroup>
    <VisualState x:Name="Narrow">
        <VisualState.StateTriggers>
            <AdaptiveTrigger MinWindowWidth="0" />
        </VisualState.StateTriggers>
        <VisualState.Setters>
            <Setter Target="HeaderClipper.HorizontalContentAlignment" Value="Center" />
        </VisualState.Setters>
    </VisualState>
    <VisualState x:Name="Wide">
        <VisualState.StateTriggers>
            <AdaptiveTrigger MinWindowWidth="500" />
        </VisualState.StateTriggers>
        <VisualState.Setters>
            <Setter Target="HeaderClipper.HorizontalContentAlignment" Value="Stretch" />
        </VisualState.Setters>
    </VisualState>
</VisualStateGroup>

Now the items are centered when the app is “narrow”, and left aligned when the app is “wide”.
The Pivot Header Items centered

Source code

You can download my Universal Windows Platform App sample project on GitHub.

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I received a couple of comments on my article about making the pull-down-to-refresh work with a Windows Phone virtualizing list control. The problem was that the functionality stopped working after navigating away from the page containing the ItemsControl. Today I committed the code to GitHub to fix this issue.

I received a couple of comments on my article about making the pull-down-to-refresh work with a Windows Phone virtualizing list control.

The problem was that the functionality stopped working after navigating away from the page containing the ItemsControl.
To prevent events from triggering when the list is not in view I deregistered all events. But when the list came back in view I didn't start monitoring these events again.
Today I committed the code to GitHub to fix this issue.

Source code

You can download my Windows Phone 8 example project on GitHub.

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Every Microsoft Dynamics CRM developer has faced this problem: How to get the entity type code for your custom entity in JavaScript. If you need the entity type code for the current form there are several supported ways to get it. But when you want the entity type code for a different custom entity, you are in trouble. The SDK has no real solution for this, and hard-coding is no option as the numbers can change per deployment.

Digging through the client side object model I found a nice, although still unsupported, treasure which works with CRM 2011 and up, including the latest installment: 2015 update 1.

Every Microsoft Dynamics CRM developer has faced this problem: How to get the entity type code for your custom entity in JavaScript. If you need the entity type code for the current form there are several supported ways to get it. But when you want the entity type code for a different custom entity, you are in trouble. The SDK has no real solution for this, and hard-coding is no option as the numbers can change per deployment.

So how do most people solve this? A popular choice is the unsupported Remote Command and Lookup service. Because of the asynchronous nature the use of a service adds a performance penalty and complexity to your code. It also seems this will break in CRM 2015 Update 1.

Digging through the client side object model I found a nice, although still unsupported, treasure which works with CRM 2011 and up, including the latest installment: 2015 update 1.

Mscrm.EntityPropUtil.EntityTypeName2CodeMap

This class contains a dictionary of all out-of-the-box entities but also all custom entities. And as it's already loaded in memory there is no performance loss.

Form JavaScript

When using JavaScript in a form the goodies are readily available:

Mscrm.EntityPropUtil.EntityTypeName2CodeMap.account
// 1

Mscrm.EntityPropUtil.EntityTypeName2CodeMap["account"]
// 1

Mscrm.EntityPropUtil.EntityTypeName2CodeMap.wv_country
// 10025

Web Resource

From a web resource just target the parent window:

window.parent.Mscrm.EntityPropUtil.EntityTypeName2CodeMap

Or if you have included the ClientGlobalContext.js.aspx, you can also use the class directly:

Mscrm.EntityPropUtil.EntityTypeName2CodeMap

Turbo Forms

With the introduction of the turbo forms in CRM 2015 update 1 you need an additional line of code to make the mapping work:

if (Mscrm.EntityPropUtil == null) {
    Mscrm.EntityPropUtil = parent.Mscrm.EntityPropUtil;
}

From entity type code to entity type name

If you want to use this map to get the entity type name from the entity type code you can use the following line of JavaScript:

Object.keys(Mscrm.EntityPropUtil.EntityTypeName2CodeMap).filter(function(key) {
  return Mscrm.EntityPropUtil.EntityTypeName2CodeMap[key] === 10025
})[0]
// "wv_country"

It's that easy!