Asynchronous loading of JavaScript in CRM 2013

When CRM2011 UR 12 (POLARIS) introduced asynchronous loading of web resources, there were some unfortunate side effects caused by the load order in which the scripts were executed not being the same as defined by form customisations. If you had scripts that required a previous scripts to be loaded first before it could be executed, you would experience random script errors due to the unpredictable load order. You can read more about the issue in the MSDN forums thread and the blog post I wrote explaining the behaviour and workaround.

Since then, the behaviour has been reverted back to the pre-UR12 loading technique as of Dynamics CRM2011 UR15 but this post describes what you can expect from Dynamics CRM 2013's script loading mechanism.

Why Asynchronous?

One of the reasons for moving to an Asynchronous loading model for JavaScripts was to make the form feel more responsive. Rather than having to load all scripts first before code can start and the form can be rendered, the scripts are loaded in parallel (as far as the browser will let them) resulting in a faster load time compared to a sequential load. Code that has all of its dependencies loaded can also start running before all of the unrequired scripts have completed being downloaded. Libraries such as RequireJs handle the complexities that can result from interdependent scripts all loading in parallel and your code needing to know when its dependencies are loaded before executing.

CRM2013 scripts do not load in order

With Dynamics CRM 2013, scripts are now loaded asynchronously and although the onload event will be executed after all scripts are loaded, the loading of the individual scripts will happen in the order that they are received from the server and not the order that they are specified in the form properties. Of course how you load JavaScript in Html Web Resources is still up to you!

Debugging Scripts

One by-product of this dynamic loading of scripts is that you won't see your web resources in the list of scripts using the F12 debugger since the browser has no <SCRIPT> tag to get the URL from. The script will still be available for debugging; however it will appear as an anonymous script block rather than in the list of script sources against its web resource URL. The technique I describe in the 'New Project' SparkleXrm tutorial of using to create a re-direct to a script on the disk will still work because the browser request the web resource by its URL, allowing fiddler to intercept and redirect. Caching behaviour is unchanged with the web resources being cached by the client until customisations are published and the cache version is changed. You can read more about this mechanism in my web resource caching blog post on the subject.

Fast and Responsive

The good news is that as a result of the changes – forms are noticeable faster to load.


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