NAV 2009 SP1 Action Categories

Anyone worked with Action Categories yet? This "feature" was enhanced in SP1, but is not a very well known feature, so it seems. So it's worth to write a blog post about it. Hopefully this time nobody else wrote about it, because people might start thinking that I'm just copying stuff Wink (inside joke).

First of all: what is an Action Category?

Well, let's take for example the Customer List (Page 22). The action categories on this page are "New", "Process" and "Report", which are the three default action categories on each page.

Now, it IS possible to change AND add action categories. And this is possible in the development environment as in configuration mode.

Working with action categories in the development environment

On page-level, you've got the property "PromotedActionCategoriesML".

This is the place where you should start. As you can see, it is "undefined" by default. This actually means that New, Process and Report will be used by default. So, let do something with it. I just fill in
ENU=Waldo
It is a ML-property, which means you can use multiple languages. I will only use ENU in this blog. As you can see, it changed the first Action Category to "Waldo".

So, you can deviate the necessary things here:

  • If you want to keep the default, you should manually add them.
  • If you want to change only the second category, you should manually add as first category "New", then fill in your own second category.
  • If you want to add a category, you should manually add "New, Process,Report,YourCustomCategory".

If this isn't clear, here are a few examples:

  • Change the second category to "Journals": the PromotedActionCategoriesML should be something like ENU=New,Journals
  • Add a fourth category "Add-On": the PromotedActionCategoriesML should be something like: ENU=New,Process,Report,Add-On

How to use your own categories?

This last example brings us to this new challenge (if you can call it a challenge). If you want to put a certain action into a certain action category, one might expect that there would be properties on Action-level. And yes indeed. On Action-level, we've got "PromotedCategory", which offers these options: New,Process,Report,Category4,Category5,Category6,Category7,Category8,Category9,Category10

This also means a few things:

  • The options are not changed when you change the action category (therefor the "ML"addition to the property: you're only changing the caption, not the name)
  • You can only add 7 categories (which in my opinion definitely should be enough

So, to get back to my last example, where I defined the additional "Add-On"-category. If I want to add an action here, I just have to set the PromotedCategory-property to "Category4". This is the result:

Simple and straight-forward, isn't it? By the way, if you forget to define the fourth category on page-level, it will still create a new category, named "Category4".

So, what can I do in configuration mode?

In configuration mode, you can do this as well. I will work further on my customer list. I started my client in configuration mode of a certain role. This means: I going to configure this role for all my users which are using this role.

When i go to my page, I can click Customize/Customize Action Pane. There, I can do everything: Rename,delete,move ... Categories. So, what I did:

  • I changed the "Add-On" to "Waldo".
  • I created a new category "Waldo 2".
  • I moved everything on top
  • I added the "View"-action on my new "Waldo 2" category.

When I close down, go out of configuration mode, and start the client in normal (user) mode, you can see the changes are there:

It's needless to say the you can customers both on user-level as on configuration-level.

I noticed this was not very well known, so now I hope you've got a good picture on what it is and how to use it. It's not very exciting, but can be useful.

Enjoy!

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