Knowledge Sharing Power Platform Vocabularly

One of my favorite ways to learn is to share knowledge. I find that all of the other perspectives I get from this exercise really help me shift and refine what I have learned. 

In the last two years I have been under the fire house learning. It is both exciting, amazing and daunting when we consider how much more there is always to learn. It is also a twist for those of us who have years of experience. The experience makes a huge difference, but it also always has to be continually refined.

One of the first major learning tips is to get your head around the vocabulary quickly. It has served me well to think about the following.

Microsoft EcoSystem with Power Platform

The Power Platform, this is really an evolution to getting closer and closer to using the entire Microsoft Stack of awesome. The long loved deep integration to Office is now 100 times better AND there is also the deep integration to Azure and many of the new Azure functions. 

PowerApp
Microsoft Dynamics 365 "Apps"
are all Model Driven Power Apps on the Power Platform. 

Flow

Power Automate (Flow) The ability to automate, respond and receive responses and an alignment/replacement or stepping stone to both work flows and logic apps and you can learn more here.

Power BI with Name
Power BI Much loved and amazing reporting and business intelligence and analytics and you can learn more here

 

Power Virtual with Name

Power Virtual Bots, Not only bots, but Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and you can learn more here and here.


VOCABULARY, It matters -> Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Service, Dynamics 365 Marketing these are all Power Apps.

One of the huge transitions for the Dynamics 365 CRM world is a shift in vocabulary and terminology and aligning what the experienced resources know (Dynamics 365 CRM or Dynamics 365 CE) with all the new buzz and development options.

One way to think of this shift is that all of the modules in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement are "potentially" their own Power App. So it is true you can combine sales, service, marketing, talent, etc. into one app, but basically the thinking trend is that each module is a Power App.

The other way that I have found that people quickly grasp the concept is to mention MOBILE and get them in a mobile mindset. I can then say, you can create any number of mobile apps to access your Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement data. Each mobile app is a PowerApp. 

And as such the Power Platform offers the potential for hundreds of Power Apps, as well as other complimentary technologies such as Power BI, Power Automate and Power Virtual.  


SPA - Seattle PowerAppers

I had the chance to attend the Seattle PowerAppers meet up on Saturday and what a gift. The subject of the meeting was backing up your Power Apps into GitHub. Definitely very geeky and the session was intermediate to advanced, but because it was presented so well I was able to keep up and learn. I learned more about Github and the source code repository and about the difficulty of pulling/extracting the source code from a Power App. 

Samples were not only shared, but we walked through updating, using and adding to our own Power Platform library. 

If you want to get access to all the goodies you can find them in GitHub https://github.com/SeaDude/seattlePowerAppers 

For those of you in the Seattle area that are NEW to Power Apps, the group also has a session each month on GETTING STARTED WITH POWER APPS, the BASICS. Signup for the Meeting Up Group here https://www.meetup.com/Seattle-PowerAppers/members/115970512/ 

 


Customizing Opportunity Close - System Settings

Sometimes all the greatness doesn't make it to the release notes. In fact there are often little gems that have been long requested, but not available. Here is a little gem that you might not know about. In System Settings you can choose to allow the configuration team the option to configure the Opportunity Close Dialog. 

 

Opportunity Close System Settings


New Dynamics 365 features focus on AI and mixed reality enhancements

Originally posted at https://www.avanade.com/en/blogs/avanade-insights/business-apps/new-dyn-365-ft-ai-mixed-reality

The Microsoft product teams have finalized a huge list of new wonderful features for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Applications stack.

James Phillips, corporate vice president of business applications and one of the most authentic stage presenters there can be, prepared and presented part of the October 2019 Business Applications Virtual Launch.. You can watch the virtual launch event presentation for free, but they do ask that you register so they can keep track of total views and interests and use those numbers to drive even more wonderful.

This time around, it is all about proactive data, data collected from devices, data streaming in from a huge number of sources and data impacting our long-held habits. The systems are not waiting for us to enter data, such as in the old days, systems are providing us with data and waiting for us to react. Habits need to change. The habit of waiting to enter the data and then getting results is old news. We now have the data; we need to react to the data and the automated results.

The systems must be masters of understanding and filtering the data as floods of data pour in. They must be automated to interpret, filter and surface and have more and more embedded artificial intelligence. They must also understand the automation and as such the bots that can be built must be built with handoff at the right times, to the right systems or humans. A chatbot can help many, but not all and the chatbot must know when to “involve” a service person.

The new systems must deal with duplication of data in a way that no previous system had to deal with. Authoritative sources must be determined not once and for all, but dynamically depending on business user decisions or business rules. Duplication requires merge and as such merge features must be more mature and more automated.

Additionally, we are no longer only using siloed or small defined and pointed integrated systems, but fully interacting systems and applications. Applications that react to what is happening in other applications all interlaced together with business rules and different scenarios. The October features show the movement into these new ways of working.

Our business worlds have never been simple, and now we can see the dawning of and adoption of even more revolutionary digitization of these often complexly changing worlds.

Check out the complete list of new features in the October 2019 Business Applications Wave 2 release.


A new blog post has been added into the world of the Power Platform buzz

A new blog post has been added into the world of buzz: IT starts like this and you can follow the link to read even more 

"The Microsoft product teams have finalized a huge list of new wonderful features for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Applications stack.

James Phillips, corporate vice president of business applications and one of the most authentic stage presenters there can be, prepared and presented part of the October 2019 Business Applications Virtual Launch.. You can watch the virtual launch event presentation for free, but they do ask that you register so............"

                          READ MORE HERE 


No Code, Low Code, Extend: PowerApps and MS Flow

If you have not heard about PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, the Common Data Model (CDM) and Common Data Service (CDS) then it is time for a bit of reading. Imagine an explosion within the world of Microsoft Technology where the entire Microsoft Stack of Applications become your tool set. OH Wait, the explosion continues and pulls in 100s of other non-Microsoft applications as well.

Now you get it.

What adds an interesting twist is this concept of "No Code" so business users can now put together building blocks to deliver their own mobile applications without having to jump into the world of GitHub or Visual Studio or pick your language of choice.

Developers, don't freak out, you are still loved and needed.

The grey area becomes the space where a relatively simple business user story, is not necessarily easy from a PowerApps or Microsoft Flow delivery. This is where understanding the fits and gaps is important.

Fits - Everything can be done with no code.

Gaps - Everything can be done with no code or low code 

Big Gaps - Everything can be done with no code, low code and an extension.

So what does this really mean? 

 

 


Dynamics 365 Relationship Sales and LinkedIn's Sales Navigator

One of the huge shifts and benefits for a sales person is when technology gets aligned so that keeping data current falls to the most logical location. Consider for instances a prospects name, company and job title. A shift is when this information is kept current by that specific prospect rather than the sales person following that prospect. The prospect updates their name, role and company information because it is beneficial to the work that they are doing. The sales person who has a relationship with this person, or who is following them, can then be a straight consumer of data managed by a logical source.

Now this isn't perfect .. not everyone updates their information even with the power of a product such as LinkedIn and Sales Navigator so technology still needs to take another step in validating that the data is current. A futuristic option on this will be when AI technologies can tap into larger or the largest data repositories and filter out what they need to validate a person's name, role and company. If we take this one step further we add address, telephone numbers, historical information.

Data exists, we can purchase this data, but we are not quite to the point where the data on a person is 100% transparent when we need it AND there are many reasons why this also sends chills up many a spine. 

If we circle back to what is happening in the world of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales we find that Relationship Sales is a combination of the knowledge within LinkedIn and the Power of the Dynamics 365 platform. 

Unifying the best of both worlds to further empower the business sales teams. It also uses AI Technology in addition to the combination of data. This takes this one step further.

Take a Peek 


The Power Platform: Keep Learning

If you have ever been to SourceForge.net and taken a look around, you have a good perspective as to the overwhelming feeling of the available paths and options for learning in the world of technology.  You can also add taking a visit to Microsoft Learning 

In technology we quickly learn that you take one bite a day of learning and keep learning. The pace of new has changed, but the fact that new is available has not. 

We each have our own prefer consumption methods. Some like to listen to podcasts, some like to read and others require hands on practice. We also have brains that sponge up material when an animated storyteller shares their world with community forums or at conferences. There are many differences and many brains. We all get hit with all options. 

So here is an interesting question: In your profile, do you have listed how you like to learn? Do you share this with others you are working with? Is it part of your career path? 

When it comes to Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement and anything Relationship Management my brain is like an onion. There are years of layers. I have been lucky, the Power Platform has matured with time rather than being replaced with time. Certain pieces have been replaced and that layer of onion has been peeled off and recycled, yet the model and great structure has survived the test of time allowing me to layer my knowledge and yet there is always more. 

I must admit I have had a good time swimming in the training material for the newer exams. There are areas where it is smooth sailing and others where I have to shift left or shift right to absorb a new fact or two. There are areas that I will never use on any project, but are part of the core. There are other areas where I have used the material on all projects for the last numerous years. 

It is just what it is.  

For those tackling the MB-200 or any of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement exams. Mark has written a good summary of some great resources here. 

And Remember Pass or Fail you will be learning and that is the point. Have more knowledge tomorrow than you had yesterday. 

 

 


D365: Multi-Channel vs. Omni-Channel

  • "Multi-channel: A multi-channel solution offers two or more channel experiences to customers. Data isn't necessarily shared across channels, and the experience isn't consistent.

    • For example, a customer starts a support request via chat but is then transferred to an agent. The customer then has to provide all his or her information again.
  • Omni-channel: An omni-channel solution offers two or more channel experiences to customers, and the customer experience is consistent across channels. The context of the case and customer is used to streamline the experience across apps.

    • For example, a customer starts on a self-service portal but then starts a chat conversation. All the pages that the customer has opened are available to the agent." Reference 

D365 Online and Azure Logic Apps: Just a Few Basics

Definition:  "Azure Logic Apps gives you pre-built components to connect to hundreds of services." Reference Logic Apps can be used to automate business process and to schedule key steps within processes to occur at key times or when certain conditions are met. 

Logic Apps can combine predefined existing services or components or they allow you to create your own components or services. 

Logic Apps work with "Connectors". A connector uses the external service's REST or SOAP API to connect components or services. For instance a connector can call a service's underlying API. There are existing connectors such as a Twitter Connector or a D365 Connector and custom connectors can be created. 

Why would Logic Apps be considered in the world of D365 Online? 

Take for instance the need to batch process data within a time frame such as every day at 4pm process data from System A, clean the data and push it into a D365 Online Instance.  In this particular example Logic Apps can be used to bridge the need to schedule a process from an external system into D365. 

There are many other examples as well. 

You also have the ability to work with TRIGGERS and ACTIONS within the world of Logic Apps. 

  • "A trigger is an event that occurs when a specific set of conditions is satisfied. Triggers activate automatically when conditions are met. For example, when a timer expires or data becomes available.

  • An action is an operation that executes a task in your business process. Actions run when a trigger activates or another action completes."  Reference

 

Defining Triggers and actions and creating your Logic App is all done within the Logic Apps Designer. A graphical tool for creating your Logic Apps workflows. 

Logic Apps are not always the answer, but are one of the many choices in the world of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement. Take a minute to read up on Logic Apps using the reference links above. Also for a quick peek into when to use Logic Apps,  here is the decision tree. Reference

When to Use Logic Apps


D365 for Sales, Products and OneNote Integration

Companies that sell complex products often include detailed spec sheets for their products. These spec sheets will many times include pictures, tiny type, videos, specifications and pop out messages. This type of format is not always the easiest to translate into text within a database. Shift your thinking .. 

In the world of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales you have some interesting options. Take for instance the Office 365 integration to OneNote. A OneNote page can align to a product in the product catalog. OneNote easily allows you to capture the specs, add pictures, include URLs and more.

Just paste in the Specs 

Pump Specs
  


Products, 3D 360 Degree Mixed Reality and Product Visualize

At the Microsoft Business Applications Summit this week I had a chance to take a look at and discuss Microsoft Product Visualize. I loved seeing how it worked, but more importantly I had dug into the details of where data is stored and how is it created. 

So first What is Microsoft Visualize? 

Consider the Microsoft Dynamics Product Catalog. You have a list of products associated with an opportunity and each item has a description. This doesn't really offer the most efficient way to quickly grasp all that you want to know. We then consider the flat, 2D ability to add a picture. Great! Wonderful, but can we do more? This is where Product Visualize for Dynamics 365 comes into plan. 

I have my Tablet (Surface/iPad/etc), I am at a client site and I am discussing an opportunity that includes a number of products. I might even have two similar products, because my prospect or client has not decided on what they want.  Product Visualize offers not only a 3D Image of the product, but it offers the ability to show a full 360 Degree 3D View of the product depending on how the "user" (myself, the prospect or customer) moves the tablet. 

So how does Product Visualize technically do this? 

Product Visualize uses a product .glb file stored in an integrated SharePoint library. The library that can be configured when Dynamics 365 is setup and configured. The file contains the 3D model saved in GL Transmission Format (glTF).  gITF offers the ability to store such information such as node hierarchy, cameras, materials, and animations and a GLB file is the binary version of .GLTF files.  

Note: For those of you who are old hands at gITF and glb, please feel free to expand on this.. 

BUT how do we actually get the images and the data for the GLB file? 

I have my product and I have Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement, but I don't have a glb file. This is where the growing momentum in partnerships between the new worlds within the graphical industries and the ever evolving world of customer engagement becomes a huge win/win.  

 


So much new! Doing a Sandbox Reset

There is so much new; although, there is huge value in deeply understanding all that is old. Something I really, really appreciate about the Microsoft Platform. 

Anyway, I decided with so much new that it was time to do a really clean rebuild of my CRMLady instance. I have long used this ORG for various experiments, testing, and knowledge reinforcement. I also use it to totally understand how Microsoft communicates to their CRM Online customers. I am a customer.

The ORG has been a bit beat up over the years and it was showing it's wear and tear. Data was not much of a challenge in this ORG so I decided to do a full replace and start fresh. I wanted to do this without having to create a support ticket so I did a bit of reach out and research.

Low and behold the team over at Power Objects actually have a great blog post on the subject, complete with the steps on how to reset an ORG. I love the CRM Community, so much knowledge share and empowerment!!

So the first step was I needed to switch my Production ORG to a Sandbox ORG.

I did this through the new Microsoft Online 365 Azure Administration Center (https://portal.microsoftonline.com) which now allows you to pick from a selection of administrator centers. I went to the Dynamics 365 Administrator Center, Picked Instances, picked my instance and set it to a Sandbox. Once this was done I had the ability to choose the RESET button.

 Isn't it great when you want to get something done and you can just do it without a lot of hassle? 


Vocabulary! Model-Driven vs. Canvas in the world of PowerApps

I had the opportunity to answer a bunch of questions today and PowerApps ... Canvas Apps vs. Model-Driven Apps was key on the agenda. 

In my mind I think .. PowerApps = Dynamics or Model-Driven Apps and  Microsoft 365 + = CanvasApps, but alas I am not quite right. PowerApps actual applies to both. 

What I need to get straight in my head is Model-Driven apps are all the apps I have already built as part of a Dynamics 365 solution (or project). This includes creating apps as a "new" app or modifying an existing app that comes with one of the Microsoft Solutions. (Such as the Sales App). 

The next piece too ingrain in this thick skull is CANVAS apps. I have created a canvas app, but I have not had the chance to create one for an actual customer project. This little app starts from a slightly different interface and brings with it new. It is not that the new is difficult, it is just new. 

Others explain it as either starting with the "interface" (Canvas) vs. starting with the "data" (Model-Driven) AND if you want to watch a great little video on the subject this video is well worth the time to watch. Check this out from PragmaticWorks

Note: Please forgive me Andrew!

In my next post we will tackle other new vocabulary such as the Common Data Service (CDS) vs. the Common Data Model (CDM). 


Canvas Apps, Model-driven Apps, Getting started with all the new Power Platform buzz

You have heard all the buzz on the new Power Platform and you have seen many posts on PowerApps/Model-driven Apps and Canvas Apps. You have also upgraded your Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM instance to v9.x either On-Premise or Online, but you are not sure where to get started with apps! 

This might be an interesting path:

1) If you are familiar with configuring Microsoft Dynamics 365 for CRM/CE then you might want to start by adding a Model-driven app to your one of your solution files.

A Model-driven app can be used in conjunction with what you are doing today (the classic menu) and there are some nice little short cuts to getting started. For instance you can create a Model-driven app using your current sitemap and/or a current solution file.

2) Once you get the hang of creating Model-driven apps (and there are some small little tricks) then perhaps it is time to dive into creating your first Canvas App. One of the differences between a Canvas App and a Model-driven app is that Canvas Apps tend to be focused on the Microsoft Stack first (think Microsoft 365) and Model-driven apps tend to be focused from a Dynamics 365 perspective (Think an app within a solution).

If you are empowered from learning online, you can get some nice step by step materials by working through some of the exercises on Microsoft Learning!  

If you prefer an in person type learning environment then you might want to attend the Business Applications Summit in Atlanta on June 10-11th or attend one of the App in a Day seminars in a city near you. 

 


Update for MS Dynamics 365 for CE On-Premise

In March there was a small update released for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement On-premise users.

Look for Version 9.0.3.7 Here

It includes some improvements for working with Microsoft Dynamics 365 on Google Chrome and a few other cumulative updates. 

DYN365CE Online gets updated almost weekly with these tiny patches, notice the last four digits of the version (v9.1.0000.3653) so the online folks don't need to think about this one. 

It is also worth noting that one of the bigger updates for the year  (APRIL 2019) is PACKED with cool and depth. You definitely want to get consuming and embracing the release notes for this release on your To Do List.  


XRMTOOLBOX - A Microsoft Dynamics 365 resource must have!

I have recently been checking out some of the other tools in the XRMTOOLBOX. 

If you have not discovered these tools and you are a Microsoft Dynamics Consultant or Developer, you definitely want to check them out. They make many of the manually intensive configuration steps much more efficient. Take for instance the need to create a set of views. You can use the XRMTOOLBOX tools to create one view and then replicate it to the others within an entity.

The XRMToolbox also includes a very long list of cool. 

Here is a short list of some favorites:

  • Bulk Workflow Execution
  • Document Template Export
  • FetchXML Record Counter
  • Manage N:N Relationships
  • View Layout Replicator
  • Bulk Default Setting of Personal Options/User Settings
  • Duplicate Rules Mover

  


Do you know where your bottleneck is? Microsoft Dynamics 365 for CE

Now that we are running in larger data centers with the power of Microsoft Azure and with hardware technology such as solid state storage (moving away from the limitations of rotating platters) we all want to take a deep breath and make a sigh of performance joy. 

Unfortunately when you eliminate one bottleneck the data moves to the next. Additionally bottlenecks are not just hardware.

Consider a rock wall layered in a stream of water, you remove the rocks blocking the water, and the water rushes to the next barrier. The same concept applies to data. 

If you are working with millions or hundreds of thousands of data records you might want to consider:

  • Performance Tune the Microsoft SQL Server Database (SQL Server gurus can appreciate this one!)
  • Adding MS SQL Server Indexes to your largest Entities.
  • Watching out or reviewing JavaScript (JavaScript is a language that allows developers to inadvertently and easily create application bottlenecks) Luckily OOB Dynamics 365 has been deeply tested for bottlenecks continuously over the years and has continued to pass with flying colors.
  • Consider Latency (Microsoft now offers data center distributed processing for their Worldwide Dynamics Customers, reducing the trips across the oceans)
  • Understand if you have a bottleneck and where it is (Dynamics actually ships with a Diagnostic tool to check latency and bandwidth: Use https://[your crm url]/tools/diagnostics/diag.aspx  
  • If you are hosting your own environment, you can also tap into the Microsoft Professional Field Engineering teams Performance Analysis and Tuning Services (the PFE Sustainability Engineers Rock) or
  • you might consider a powerful tool such as ThousandEyes:  https://blog.thousandeyes.com/monitor-dynamics-crm-performance/ and https://www.thousandeyes.com/solutions/dynamics-365-monitoring 

What are your favorite tips and tricks for performance? 

Oh and as a last note .. there are customers processing 100,000s of data records a DAY with the Microsoft Dynamics platform. The power is incredible with a little love.

 

 

 

 


Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement - Search

The following table provides a brief comparison of the four available search options in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for CE. Microsoft often provides many options for achieving the same goal (just look at all you can do with Outlook!)

The link to this information and to read more https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/basics/search-and-find-header

Functionality

Relevance Search (Online Only, the power of Azure)

Full-text Quick Find (also called Categorized Search)

Quick Find

Advanced Find

Enabled by default?

No. An administrator must manually enable it under system settings.

No. An administrator must manually enable it under system settings.

Yes

Yes

Single-entity search scope

Not available in an entity grid. You can filter the search results by an entity on the results page.

Available in an entity grid.

Available in an entity grid.

Available in an entity grid.

Multi-entity search scope

There is no maximum limit on the number of entities you can search. Note: While there is no maximum limit on the number of entities you can search, the Record Type filter shows data for only 10 entities.

Searches up to 10 entities, grouped by an entity.

Searches up to 10 entities, grouped by an entity.

Multi-entity search not available.

Search behavior

Finds matches to any word in the search term in any field in the entity.

Finds matches to all words in the search term in one field in an entity; however, the words can be matched in any order in the field.

Finds matches as in a SQL query with “Like” clauses. You have to use the wildcard characters in the search term to search within a string. All matches must be an exact match to the search term.

Query builder where you can define search criteria for the selected record type. Can also be used to prepare data for export to Office Excel so that you analyze, summarize, or aggregate data, or create PivotTables to view your data from different perspectives.

Searchable fields

Text fields like Single Line of Text, Multiple Lines of Text, Lookups, and Option Sets. Doesn't support searching in fields of Numeric or Date data type.

All searchable fields.

All searchable fields.

All searchable fields.

Search results

Returns the search results in order of their relevance, in a single list.

For single-entity, returns the search results in an entity grid. For multi-entity, returns the search results grouped by categories, such as accounts, contacts, or leads.

For single-entity, returns the search results in an entity grid. For multi-entity, returns the search results grouped by categories, such as accounts, contacts, or leads.

Returns search results of the selected record type with the columns you have specified, in the sort order you have configured.

Wildcards (*)

Trailing wildcard supported for word completion.

Leading wildcard supported. Trailing wildcard added by default.

Leading wildcard supported. Trailing wildcard added by default.

Not supported.

 


Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portals with the awesome, unicorn loving, Colin and the incredible, Griffin loving, Robert Bailey

Tips and Thoughts

1) Is it the right technology for the need?

2) Have a solid design and a long term iteration and maintenance plan

3) Never forget about the customers, customer who might be using the portal.

4) Consider Identity and Authentication for the customers, customer, but also for portal versus Dynamics 365. 

5) Golden Keys: The right development team, the right methodology, the right relationships with the customers/users and their continued involving involvement. 

6) Graphics and Web Design are part of portal projects, pictures can communicate 1000 of the wrong words. 

7) Bring Joy

8) If Multilingual is a need, do it as part of PHASE I. It is harder to  add additional languages in later phases. 

 


Dynamics CRMUG FOCUS - Houston - Cracking open the brain with reminders and new tips shared.

The power of the user group is that listening to peers, experts, partners, consultants, business users, financial advisors and so many more, opens the mind to interesting ideas. 

CRM USER GROUP - FOCUS - in HOUSTON

9:49am and here are the first few tips 

1) Have you considered holding your sales team to task by using SLAs on LEADS, measuring when the lead was first contacted or when a lead reached a key milestone in the qualification stage? 

2) GOALS, so under appreciated and yet so powerful. Add goals in unique and creative ways to take full advantage of the complex hierarchy offered from this little feature. 

3) Task Flows : Originally for Mobile Only, but now embedded across the new UI. Take for instance OOB Follow-up to a meeting. A sexy dialog. 

4) DOCK your business process flow on the right side of your form so you can see the fields. Always learning, this is a cool one, although I thought a TAB approach might be useful as well. Some people like that old style form view. 

5) Did you know you can use an Out of the Box action to move a business process flow to the next stage automatically (so your user doesn't have to press next)? 

6) Has your partner added an APP or APPS to your configuration? If not, you are missing out.


In the world of Dynamics 365, configuration/customization/extension does not equal the old world assumptions of "custom software"

When thinking of the experiences or backgrounds needed for any specific project, don't let assumptions trip you up. These terms can help with your communications. 

 

 

Configuration – knowing of and Answering all the questions related to setting up the system for a specific customer. These include all the options under SETTINGs including but not limited to items such as turning on auditing, configuring number formats, turning on relevance search, setting up duplicate detection, configuring territories, setting fiscal year end and more. This is done on every Dynamics 365 project (hopefully) and there are more than 50 questions.

 

Customization – A functional consultants power to configure the system for specific business models such as renaming entities, adding entities, adding system charts, lists/views, adding workflows, creating business rules, formatting the data entry fields and forms, creating PowerApps, setting up relationships between entities and more. The term customization often waffles between configuration and extensions depending on who is using the term.

 

Extensions – extending the functionality of the system using developer resources and many, many, many different code options (.Net, C++, JavaScript, AngularJS, and about 30 more) and includes items such as creating an integration layer with queuing to manage external data integration (although this is shifting to configuration), adding new advanced features, adding advanced automation, extracting/manipulating and resaving data from numerous entities, onSave/onChange/onLoad have the data jump through hoops and blink, etc. The platform is built to be extended and extensions upgrade as they are built using a predefined best practices Software developer kit (SDK) from Microsoft.

 

The world of technology is deep and wonderful. 


Related Entity fields in Calculated Field Formulas: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement v9.0.x.xxxx

Someone once asked my why "Blog" when there is so much information already available. My immediate answer: My blog is my knowledge base and if I can help others by sharing, I am going to share. 

To include fields from a parent or N:1 referential related entity in a calculated field use the following format.

entityschemaname.fieldschemaname

(replacing Entity schema name with your Entity Schema Name and replacing Field Schema Name with your Field Schema Name)

so for example if your publisher is set to use the prefix "abc" and you had a custom entity called (abc_customentity) that the account referenced you could use the following to add a number from the custom entity and a number in the account. The key is that little DOT 

Account 

Action

Set account abc_wholenumbercalc to 

abc_customentity.abc_wholenumberfield + account.abc_wholenumberfield

(where account.abc_wholenumbercalc is a calculated field and abc_customentity is the Custom Entities Schema Name and abc_wholenumberfield is the custom field schema name in the custom entity and account is the schema name of account and abc_wholenumberfield is a custom field in account)

 


FLIC - The little button that could change your world

At Microsoft Dynamics 365 Saturday in Boston Jerry Weinstock shared with us how he is using FLIC with Microsoft Dynamics 365. 

The idea is that you setup a FLIC button (which is a physical button) and tie it to a Microsoft Flow. The flow queries the Microsoft Dynamics 365 database, puts together a table of current information (say the top 10 opportunities) and sends the table in an e-mail to a manager. Managers who work heavily in e-mail, but who don't have time for applications might find this little configuration a true gift. 


DYNAMICS Peeps! Update your calendars with FOCUS #UserGroupFocus - Get your deep dive on!

 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 User Group Community FOCUS https://ugfocus.com/houston-register 

Monday, March 11, 2019
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Anne Stanton


Tuesday, March 12, 2019
8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Spring 2019 is just around the corner: Dynamics 365 for CE Release Notes

Spring is just around the corner and in addition to the drip updates that continue for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement ONLINE users the semi-annual update has been documented and announced. 

Take a look at the Spring 2019 release notes