How to create a chunk file in Dexterity in Microsoft Dynamics GP

Applies to: Dynamics GP 2010


This article describes how to create a chunk (.cnk) file in Dexterity in Microsoft Dynamics GP. A .cnk file is a self-installing data dictionary file that creates a dictionary that is run by the Dexterity runtime engine. Additionally, a .cnk file is used to distribute customizations and third-party products to seamlessly add functionality or modify existing functionality in Microsoft Dynamics GP.

More Information

Dexterity is ideal for creating transaction-based business applications, such as accounting and business management products. Additionally, Dexterity gives you the complete set of components that are used to create Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Small Business Financials. The components include a forms builder, a database manager, a report builder, a 4GL scripting language and 4GL debugger, and an embedded macro system.

As a developer, you will use the Dexterity IDE to create, to debug, and to test your customizations. To distribute your customization, you will use Dexterity Utilities to create the .cnk file. Dexterity Utilities can also be used to perform several maintenance and reporting functions that are typically not needed during the development cycle.

The steps to create a .cnk file involve two dictionaries: the development dictionary and an extracted dictionary. The development dictionary is a renamed copy of Dynamics.dic. It contains added or modified resources and code that you have developed.

An extracted dictionary is a dictionary that contains only the added or modified resources and code. It does not contain Dynamics.dic. Instead, it contains any modified forms and reports that were transferred from the development dictionary. Modified forms and reports become alternate forms and reports after the .cnk file is installed. The .cnk file is created from the extracted dictionary.

Before you create the .cnk file, follow these steps in Dexterity:
  • Compile your development dictionary. To open the development dictionary, click Open Source Dictionary on the File menu. With your development dictionary open, click Compile All on the Explorer menu.
  • If you are using Dexterity Source Code Control, make sure that all resources are checked in. On the Explorer menu, click Source Code, and then click Check In.
  • Make sure that the Resource IDs that are assigned to the resources that you created do not change values between builds. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    894699 How to use an index file and the Great Plains Dexterity source code control functionality to make sure that the resources that you create maintain the same resource ID in different builds and versions of your code

Note You can create a macro to record the following steps. You can then replay the macro later to re-create the .cnk file or to modify the macro in a text editor to change the build number and any other details.

To create a .cnk file, follow these steps in Dexterity Utilities:

  1. On the File menu, click Open Source Dictionary to open the development dictionary as the source dictionary.
  2. On the Utilities menu, click Extract to extract all third-party resources to an extracted dictionary. These resources will have a Resource ID that is greater than 22,000.

    Note If you do not have alternate forms or reports, go to step 6. Alternate forms and reports are original Microsoft Dynamics GP forms and reports that have been modified in your customization. Because their resource IDs are less than 22,000, they are not extracted in step 2. Therefore, additional steps are required to move alternate forms and reports to your .cnk file.
  3. On the File menu, click Open Destination Dictionary to open the destination dictionary by using the extracted dictionary that you created in step 2.
  4. On the Dexterity Utilities toolbar, click Transfer, and then click Dictionary Module to transfer the alternate forms or reports to the extracted dictionary.
  5. On the File menu, click Close Destination Dictionary.
  6. On the File menu, click Close Source Dictionary.
  7. On the File menu, click Open Editable Dictionary to open the editable dictionary by using the extracted dictionary that you created in step 2.

    Note If you do not have any alternate forms or reports, go to step 9.
  8. Update the internal Series Resources lists to include the alternate forms or reports. On the Dexterity Utilities toolbar, click Resources, and then click Series Resources. Click to select the All Resource Types check box and the All Series check box, and then click Update.
  9. On the Dexterity Utilities toolbar, click Product Information. Enter the following information:
    • The product name
    • The product ID that has been assigned to you by Microsoft Sales Operations
    • The names of the custom forms and reports dictionaries
    • Compatibility information
    Click OK. Type DYNAMICS.SET in the Launch file box, and type 0 in the Launch ID box.

  10. Create the .cnk file:
    1. On the Utilities menu, click Auto Chunk.
    2. Click Browse to name the chunk dictionary and to indicate the location where it will be saved. You should use an 8.3 formatted file name with the extension .cnk, for example, Fabrikam.cnk.
    3. Select a module, for example, 51.
    4. Enter the major, minor, and build numbers. You can match your major and minor numbers to the Microsoft Dynamics GP version that you use, and then type your own build number.
    5. Select Total Compression to remove the source code from the final .cnk file, and then click OK.
  11. On the File menu, click Close Editable Dictionary.


For additional information that is related to this article, see the Integration Guide manual and Dexterity training materials that are included with Dexterity.