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Naming Conventions

Microsoft Dynamics Nav 2009

Precise and consistent terminology helps the end user work with the application. Rules for naming and abbreviating objects also help developers to understand the base application and develop new features faster. This topic contains guidelines for naming objects, table fields, and variables. These guidelines describe naming conventions in English (United States).

The following general guidelines apply throughout your application:

  • Use existing terminology whenever possible.

  • Name everything in a set of objects in the same language.

  • When you review the terminology in a set of objects, use the Translate Export and Translate Import functions on the Tools menu in the Classic client. Export the text strings to a text file to review them, and then import the text file back into the application.

Visible Named Items

This section describes naming all visible items in an application, such as table fields. This includes all items that are presented to an end user.

  • When you develop in C/SIDE, set the application language to English (United States) so that the Name Property is the same as the caption in English (United States). This will make it easier to upgrade and reuse modifications. The end user sees the value of the Caption Property but not the Name property.

  • You must follow the naming convention both for the name in English (United States) and for the caption in your local language.

  • Two objects of the same type must not have the same name.

  • Each object must be named in a way that leaves no doubt as to what it applies to. For example, an object can be specifically related to customers, items, or resources. Do not give a table the name “Status,” because the word Status is too general and could refer to something in most tables.

Table Objects

Always make the names of table objects singular. The table name corresponds to what one record in the table is called.

Form Objects and Page Objects

The name of a form or a page depends on the form type or page type. Use the singular form of the table name for a card form or page form. Use the plural form of the table name for a tabular form or worksheet page name. This informs end users about the type of form or page that they have selected or that will be presented. If you can access a table with both a card form or page and a tabular form or page, then the form and page names should explicitly describe the types. For example, the Item Card and Item List forms both access the Item table and describe the form types. This tells the user that there is more than one way to access the table. Other form types, such as statistics forms, are given names that are as descriptive as possible.

Report Objects

Make the English caption and name of a report descriptive and do not include abbreviations. End users see the caption of a report object in the following instances:

  • On the request form or page.

  • When they modify a report.

  • When they need to identify an item, such as a sales invoice.

We recommend that you make the caption the same as the heading in the report.

Table Fields

Make the name and caption of a field descriptive. The end user should not need to see the caption in the context of other fields to understand what it is.

Describe the field contents and the field type in the caption. We recommend the following guidelines.

Guideline Examples

Include Date when you include a date field.

NoteNote
Do not include Date for a date interval field.
  • Posting Date field

  • Allow Posting From field

Include a percent sign when the field contains a percentage.

Profit % field

Include Quantity or Qty. when you name a quantity field. Replace Quantity with No. when referring to the number of entries.

  • Quantity Shipped field

  • No. Printed field

  • No. of New Records field

Include Amount or Amt. when you name an amount field.

Debit Amount field

Distinguish between amount and cost or price. Cost and price are typically used when naming an amount per unit, while amount is cost or price multiplied by quantity.

  • Unit Cost field

  • Unit List Price field

  • Line Amount field

Omit Amount when you include the following words in the caption:

  • Adj. (LCY)

  • Balance

  • Base

  • Charge

  • COGS

  • Discounts

  • Fee

  • Net Charge

  • Payments

  • Profit

  • Purchases

  • Sales

  • Usage

  • Balance at Date field

  • Additional Fee (LCY) field

  • Additional-Currency Net Change field

Use Amounts instead of Amount in FlowFields.

Invoice Amounts field

Name fields in local currency with the ISO currency code for the country/region in parentheses at the end. If a country/region currency has a symbol, use the symbol instead.

NoteNote
In the standard application, the abbreviation LCY, which stands for local currency, is used.
  • Sales (DKK) field

  • Sales (LCY) field in the Cust. Ledger Entry table

  • Sales ($) field

If a field contains parentheses, then put a space before the open parenthesis.

Usage (Price) field

Formulate names for Boolean fields as positive questions or statements.

Cost is Adjusted field

If the primary key of a table is a code, then use Code as the name of the field that contains the code.

When the end user typically uses numeric values as keys, the field is called No. even though the field type is code. The following tables are exceptions where the primary key field is No.:

  • G/L Account

  • Customer

  • Vendor

  • Item

  • Item Group

  • Resource

  • Resource Group

  • Job

  • Purchase Header

  • Sales Header

Code field in the Location table

Base the field name on the related table and its primary key when working with table relations.

The following instances are exceptions:

  • If a field refers to a general ledger account, end the name with Account or Acc. but not with G/L Account No. unless the field refers to the actual general ledger account.

    For example, in table 5813, Inventory Posting Setup, field 6 has the TableRelation property set to the G/L Account table. The primary key of the G/L Account table is No. However, field 6 in table 5813 is named Inventory Account. In table 17, G/L Entry, field 3 has the TableRelation property set to the G/L Account table. In this case, field 3 is referring to the actual general ledger account, so the name of field 3 in table 17 is G/L Account No.

  • If a field has a table relation to a posting group table, then call the field Posting Group.

In table 38, Purchase Header, field 4 has the TableRelation property set to the Vendor table. The primary key of the Vendor table is No., and the name of field 4 in table 38 is Pay-to Vendor No.

Use From or To when referring to a line number in a ledger entry table.

From Entry No. field

Use Starting Date to specify the date from which something is valid. Use Ending Date to specify the date until something is valid.

Starting Date field in the Accounting Period table

Use First to mean earliest. Use Last to mean latest.

Last Sales Inv. No. field

Use Before with an amount before a calculation. Use After with an amount after a calculation.

Amount Added Before field

Form Buttons and Menu Items

Captions for command buttons, menu buttons, and menu items depend on whether the control is used as a routing choice to open another form or as a control to activate something.

When a control is used to open another form, its name signifies the form that the control opens. The first menu button on a card, tabular, or list form normally has the name of the corresponding table. We recommend that you name menu items on the menu button with the second part of the full name of the form that will be opened when a user selects the item.

For example, the caption for a menu button on a Customer card form is "Customer.” The caption for one of the menu items is on the Customer menu button is “Statistics.” The Statistics menu item opens the Customer Statistics form. When option buttons are used on the main menu form with the Border property set to Yes, the caption for these controls is the name of the application module.

When a control is used to activate something, the caption for it must be an imperative verb. An example is a control with the caption Check. If a form has many action controls, then they can be gathered as menu items on one menu button, such as Function or Posting.

Other Named Items

This section describes naming of internal items that are not visible to an end user. Because they are never shown to users, they do not have captions.

Codeunit Objects

The name of a codeunit starts with the object that the codeunit processes. The object is usually a record abbreviated as a variable. You can follow the object name with a dash and a description. Write the description of the codeunit in imperative voice without abbreviations. An example is the Purch-Explode BOM codeunit.

Variables

We recommend the following guidelines for naming variables.

Guideline Examples

Omit spaces, periods, and other characters such as parentheses that make quotation marks around a variable necessary.

GenJnlBatch

Replace currency unit signs such as $ with the corresponding currency unit code.

NoteNote
This may not make a variable unique. To be unique, it must be different from the corresponding field name. Also, the variable is not necessarily unique when translated to another language.

AmountUSD

Start variables with uppercase letters.

 

If a variable is a compound of two or more words or abbreviations, then start each word or abbreviation with an uppercase letter.

 

Describe the variable usage wherever possible. If possible, start with the table name. In a form for a report, if there are several variables that would otherwise have the same name, then use appropriate prefixes or suffixes to differentiate them.

CustInvDiscAmountLCY, EnteredPostingDate (where the prefix is Entered)

Follow country/region-specific rules for abbreviations.

 

When you set up table and field variables, give the variable the same name as the table or field as described in the Table Fields section.

 

If a variable with the same name already exists, then add the number 2 to the variable name. If a variable with this name also exists, then use 3, and so on. Use these numbers only if you cannot establish a unique variable in another way.

CustLedgEntry2, NewCustLedgEntry (better than CustLedgEntry2)

Note that parameters and local variables have their own number series. Do not name a parameter GenJnlLine4 because a global variable named GenJnlLine3 already exists.

 

To use a variable to store a value temporarily, start the variable name with "Temp".

TempType

Use "Old" and "New" as prefixes for record variables when you have old tables and new tables.

 

Do not use "x" as a prefix. This is used only in table triggers when the record variable is created automatically by the development environment.

 

Include "Total" in the name of a variable that is used for totaling.

 

Use "From" or "To" when copying from or to a table.

 

Use "Starting" or "Ending" with dates and positions.

 

Use "First" or "Last" with the first or last record in a table or line in a journal. You can also use it as a flag to indicate that this is the first record that is processed.

FirstOrder

When a variable is a Record, Form, Page, Report, Dataport, XMLport, or Codeunit data type and the object has a name that also functions as a field name or local function name, add the suffix Rec, Form, Page, Report, Dataport, XMLport, or Codeunit.

SourceCodeRec (for a record variable from the Source Code table)

NoteNote
Because "Source Code" is the name of a table and the name of a field in other tables, you should not use "SourceCode" for variables that hold the two different types of information.

User-Defined Functions

When you name user-defined functions, start with an imperative verb, such as ApplyCustLedgEntry. Use the following function name prefixes:

  • If the code posts something, then use “Post” as a prefix.

  • If the code makes something, then use “Make” as a prefix.

  • If the code inserts something, then use “Insert” as a prefix.

  • If something is checked, then use “Check” as a prefix.

Form Controls

Do not give a form control a name unless you want to refer to it in your C/AL code. If you name a form control, then add a prefix to the name with the abbreviated name of the associated table or form.

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