Generic Javascript API Access to backend: Execute Function

Execute Function: How to call the application backend from javascript

During front-end development, we normally run into situations where we need information from the backend or we need some functionality that is already implemented there with all the necessary logic.

Obviously, this where javascript AJAX comes into play and we launch a call to the backend to retrieve the information or operations that we need.

There are mostly three ways to do this:

  • AJAX File: you add a file in some module's directory and call it with a specific URL. See below how we call ExecuteFunctions which is the exact same case
  • Webservices: you extend the users session and can use all the webservice API power
  • ExecuteFunctions: is a generic API to access certain functionality in the application

We can call the ExecuteFunctions API through the Utilities module, like this:

var url = "module=Utilities&action=UtilitiesAjax&file=ExecuteFunctions";
var url = url + "&functiontocall=getModuleWebseriviceID&wsmodule=Accounts";
fetch('index.php?'+ url, {
	credentials: 'same-origin'
}).then(function(response) {
	return response.text();
}).then(function(data) {
	console.log('Accounts webservice ID is: ' + data);

Which in my chrome developer console, sending the request to the coreBOSTest database, looks like this:

We also have a generic javascript funtions which avoids from having to type the whole AJAX call. Using this function the above example would be:

ExecuteFunctions('getModuleWebseriviceID','wsmodule=Accounts').then(function(data) {
	console.log('Accounts webservice ID is: ' + data);

Which is MUCH NICER!

In the chrome developer console this looks like this:

We enhance the list of supported actions in ExecuteFunctions regularly so have a look at the latest copy to see all the things that can be done and don't hesitate to ask if you find something missing that you think should be there.

This is the list of actions that can be found:

  • getFieldAutocomplete: search for records in some modules
    • @param searchinmodule: comma separated list of modules to search in
    • @param term: string to search for
    • @param fields: fields to look for the term in
    • @param returnfields: fields to return of the records found
    • @param limit: maximum number of records that will be returned
    • @return set of records that have the term in the indicated fields
  • getReferenceAutocomplete: same as getFieldAutocomplete but searches only in the reference field of the defined modules and returns only those fields
  • getFieldValuesFromRecord: very useful function that permits getting information from QueryGenerator. You can find an example in the Assets module which fills in the Account when an Invoice is selected
  • getEmailTemplateDetails: function to load a merged email template
  • ValidationExists: returns yes/no if a module has a custom validation script
  • ValidationLoad: execute the custom validations of a module
  • getModuleWebseriviceID: a quick way to get webservice module ID, faster than ListTypes and parsing the output.
  • getEmailTemplateVariables: get a list of template variables
  • saveAttachment: upload an image or file to the application
  • getNumberDisplayValue: format the given values in the currency of the user
  • ismoduleactive returns boolean indicating if the given module is active or not in the installation

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