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Applies to: Dynamics 365 for Field Service
Connected Field Service, introduced in the Fall 2016 release of Dynamics 365, combines monitoring with the Internet of Things to replace your costly break-fix service model with a more proactive “never fail” model.
With monitoring in Connected Field Service, you always know your customers’ equipment is running smoothly—and when it isn’t. If equipment fails, you’re notified right away, so you can troubleshoot the problem remotely, or send a technician to fix it, often before the customer even knows there is a problem.
Connected Field Service is designed with time-saving features that boost productivity. You can register customer assets with the Azure IoT hub, right from the Field Service app or from the mobile app. You can also manage devices by categorizing them—for example by device type, supported commands, or breakdown frequency. You can also view the live heartbeat of registered devices using Power BI.
There is also a IoT dashboard that shows alerts by customer, device, asset, and what action what taken in response to an alert.
To learn how to install and get started with Connected Field Service, see: Use Connected Field Service to remotely monitor and service customer equipment (field service).
Visit the Dynamics 365 for Field Service – User’s Guide page for more information on Field Service.
Get the latest info and links for eBooks, videos, onboarding information, how to contact support, and much more on the Help and Training site.
Developers can find information in the MSDN: Connected Field Service Developer Guide.
Dynamics 365 team
from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team blog http://bit.ly/2h3xXxb
Applies to: December 2016 Update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online)
Dynamics 365 (online) users have a great new way to find what they are looking for. Relevance Search brings a more Bing-like, global search experience to your mission critical business applications powered by Azure Search! You’ll get comprehensive search results quickly in a single list, sorted by relevance. System Customizers and Administrators have full control over the data that is searchable and syncing to the search index. For more information, see Configure Relevance Search for the organization.
How does it work?
When a System Administrator enables Relevance Search, data in enabled entities is fully synced to the search index and data changes begin to sync continuously. When you search for something, such as “nancy is opening a new Contoso retail store”, the search is executed against the Azure Search index. Results are returned with a match to any word in the search term, including inflectional forms of words, like “stream,” “streaming,” or “streamed”, in the base language of your Dynamics 365 application. No wildcards are required to search anywhere in the text.
There are some indirect benefits of Relevance Search as well. You’ll notice improved responsiveness over traditional Quick Find, particularly to when a wildcard was previously used. Since Azure Search is providing the results, Relevance Search can significantly reduce the overall load on your Dynamics 365 application, potentially improving the experience of your users.
You may be familiar with Relevance Search from the public preview in a previous update. In addition to going from preview to generally available, we are also introducing some significant new capabilities in this latest release.
- Relevance Search is available in mobile clients: During the preview, Relevance Search was only available in the web browser client. You can now use Relevance Search in the Dynamics 365 (online) client of your choice, including:
- Explore your results using Facets and Filters: It’s easier to find what you are looking for when you can narrow your search results, particularly when a simple search term may result in millions of matches depending on the size of your organization.
- Global Facets: When you first execute a search, you can refine your results be Record type, ie entity, Owner, Created On, or Modified On:
- Entity Specific Facets: When you click on a particular Record type, such as Account, you’ll see four additional facets specific to fields of that entity. In this case, Primary Contact and Industry:
- End user configuration: Entity level facets are highly customizable. System Customizers can configure which fields are available for faceting using the entity’s Quick Find view. End users can also configure the facet fields that they’d like to see for every searchable entity in their Personal Options:
- Global Facets: When you first execute a search, you can refine your results be Record type, ie entity, Owner, Created On, or Modified On:
- Search within Documents in Dynamics 365: One of the best new capabilities of Relevance Search is that you can now search for text in a document stored in Dynamics 365! These include documents in a Note and Attachments on an Email or Appointment. We support several document formats, including Microsoft Office (Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, etc), PDFs, EML, HTML/XML, ZIP, and rich text format (RTF). Results of a search for “Contoso” in documents stored in Dynamics 365:
- Search records that have been shared to you
- Sharing records is a core concept of the Dynamics 365 security model. One key improvement from the public preview is the ability to search for records that were shared to you. We previously only supported search for records you owned directly or through your business unit or team.
- Search in Option Sets and Lookups: You can now search for text in an Option Set or Lookup field on an entity!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What about the public preview?
A: The public preview for customers on the spring 2016 online update is still ongoing. You can continue to use Relevance Search preview, but you will not see any of the new capabilities introduced in the December 2016 update until you upgrade.
Q: How do I turn this thing on?
Q: How does it work?
A: Once enabled, we perform a full sync of enabled data. System Customizer control what entities and specific fields are enabled for search. When you perform a search, we make a call to Azure Search to provide the actual results. No costly SQL queries required!
Q: Where is it available?
A: Relevance Search is generally available worldwide to customers on the Dynamics 365 (online) release. Feel free to try it out in an online Trial Instance today! Relevance Search is NOT available to customers in our sovereign or government clouds in North America or Germany.
Please Note: Relevance Search is not available for on premise customers. It is online only.
Q: How much is this going to cost me?
A: Relevance Search is included in all current Dynamics 365 licenses!
Q: Really? What about storage for the index? Will it impact my Dynamics 365 database?
A: Enabling Relevance Search has no impact the storage consumption, and corresponding cost, of your Dynamics 365 database.
from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team blog http://bit.ly/2gV8wxr
The Fall 2016 release of Dynamics 365 App for Outlook includes many significant changes. This blog post describes supported clients for different app features in the context of Office Add-ins.
The first major improvement is hybrid support. Starting with the December 2016 update of Dynamics 365, you will be able to use the app if you connect Dynamics 365 (on premises) with Exchange Online, or Dynamics 365 (online) with Exchange server (on-premises). Please note that if you use Dynamics 365 (on-premises), you need to authenticate with IFD authentication.
To take advantage of Office Add-ins on Windows desktops, you must have Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016, and Internet Explorer 11 or later must be installed (but doesn’t have to be the default browser). One of the following must be set as the default browser: Internet Explorer 11 or later, the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. If you use a Mac, you need to have Outlook for Mac and the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 11, or Microsoft Edge.
Dynamics 365 App for Outlook
You can also use Dynamics 365 App for Outlook by browsing to the mobile version of Outlook on the web. This means you can browse by using the native browser on your mobile device. The supported operating systems are iOS 8 or later, Android 4.4 KitKat or later, and Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Note that the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook support matrix is a subset of Office support. Also, due to authentication limitations on mobile devices, we only support Dynamics 365 (online) when connected to Exchange Online.
Dynamics 365 App for Outlook running on Outlook on the web (Android device native browser)
What about composing email and creating meetings? The Office Add-in support matrix is different, based on your client, and whether you use the add-in for received email, composing email, or creating meetings. For composing email, if you want to track email before sending it, you need to have at least Exchange Server 2013 CU14. This is also true If you want to track appointments or meetings.
Mobile Outlook on the web supports composing email, but you can only track email (you can’t add templates, for example) since the mobile editor does not support HTML.
Finally, Dynamics 365 App for Outlook supports contact tracking and syncing by using the Outlook module add-in, which is supported by Exchange Server 2016 CU3 or Exchange Online and Outlook 2016 CR2.
The table below summarizes the support described in this blog. In my next blog, I’ll discuss contact tracking in Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. Stay tuned!
Senior Program Manager
Microsoft Dynamics 365 team
Dynamics 365 App for Outlook support matrix
- Outlook on the web supports IE 10, IE 11, Edge, Safari 9, Safari 10, Firefox, and Chrome.
- Mobile Outlook on the web supports Windows 8.1, Windows 10, iOS 8, iOS 9, iOS 10, Android KitKat (4.4), Android Lollipop, Android Marshmallow, and Android Nougat.
- Tracking email in compose mode and tracking appointments requires Exchange Server 2013 CU14 or Exchange 2016.
- Tracking contacts is supported only on Exchange Server 2016 CU3 and Outlook 2016 16.0.6741.1000 and up
- Adding email templates, Knowledge Management articles, and sales literature is not supported in Mobile Outlook on the web.
- Supported only on Outlook 2016 16.0.7426.1049 and up
- Supported only on 16.0.6741.1000 and up
- More information:
- Tablets are not supported at this time (coming CY2017).
- Deploy Dynamics 365 App for Outlook
- Train your users with the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook User’s Guide
from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team blog http://bit.ly/2ho3cX2
Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1
I am pleased to announce the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 Performance Benchmark which is currently available for download, from Microsoft Download Center. This is the second whitepaper being published, as promised in the CRM blog a few weeks ago. The initial whitepaper was related to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Service Pack 1 Performance Benchmark on Azure (IaaS).
This latest whitepaper provides a benchmark for performance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 and explains the configuration, topology, data profile, and test workload used.
The results in this white paper demonstrate the capability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 in handling enterprise-scale data and transactions with incredible performance.
We’d like to recognize the efforts of Matt Brown, Grant Geiszler, Matt Peart and the broader Microsoft Dynamics 365 product group for contributing and reviewing this paper to help ensure its completeness and accuracy.
We would love to hear your feedback.
from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team blog http://bit.ly/2g9cSVi
Applies to: December 2016 Update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) and December 2016 Service Pack for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises)
This year brought major changes to the Microsoft CRM platform—even its name changed from Dynamics CRM to Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 still provides all the familiar capabilities of Dynamics CRM, but now also aims to break down the invisible barriers that have traditionally existed between CRM, ERP, productivity software, and other systems that business professionals use every day. Going forward, the platform will also take increasing advantage of the scalability, data integration, and advanced processing power of the Microsoft Azure cloud-computing infrastructure. And already now, you can get your first glimpse of some of benefits this change has made possible by previewing the new Relationship Insights suite of features.
Relationship Insights leverages the data-integration and artificial-intelligence capabilities built into Azure to combine and analyze your Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Outlook data. It uses the insights derived from this analysis to surface features that help guide your daily work, find critical opportunities, manage email communications, identify actionable email messages, and propose the best path forward. Relationship Insights features are context sensitive, so the information they present and the suggestions they make are always most relevant to whatever you are doing (or should be doing) right now.
The Relationship Insights suite currently includes the following features: the relationship assistant, email engagement, and auto capture.
Relationship Insights is currently in preview, which means that it is considered stable but is still under development. Microsoft makes preview features available to give customers early access and a chance to provide feedback. Preview features aren’t meant for production use and may have limited or restricted functionality. The Relationship Insights preview is currently available only for North American sites that use US English (en-us).
The Dynamics 365 online help provides everything you need to know to enable, set up, and use the Relationship Insights preview. Here are a few handy links:
- For a detailed overview of the various Relationship Insights features and their capabilities, see the Relationship Insights overview.
- For prerequisites and instruction on how to enable and configure the preview, see Configure Relationship Insights features.
- For details about the relationship assistant, which helps salespeople and support staff organize their daily work and nurture vital business relationships, see the Relationship assistant topic. The relationship assistant uses data analytics and artificial intelligence to generate a collection of interactive action cards, which are presented throughout the application to deliver important information, advice, and action buttons related to your current ongoing activities, scheduled activities, and whatever you are doing right now. It also monitors your incoming email message and applies natural-language analysis to identify travel plans, customer requests, competitor mentions, and other relevant communications. This feature is available both in the web interface and in the mobile interface, where its space-efficient design and context awareness deliver extra value.
- See the Action cards reference for details about the various types of action cards that can be generated by the relationship assistant.
- For details about email engagement, which helps salespeople and support staff get more out of their email communications, see the Email engagement topic. Features include delivery scheduling, follow-up alerts, and the ability to see when contacts open your messages and attachments. Email engagement features are available in both in the Dynamics 365 web interface and in the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook.
- For details about auto capture, which finds email messages from your Outlook mailbox that could be relevant to the record you are currently viewing in Dynamics 365, see the Auto capture topic. Messages found by auto capture remain private to you, but you can choose to track any found message with a single click without having to open Outlook. Tracked messages are imported into Dynamics 365 and added as an activity for the relevant record, where the rest of your team can also see them. Auto capture is only available in the web interface for Dynamics 365, though you can also track messages manually using existing controls in Outlook.
Most Relationship Insights features require Dynamics 365 Online, and the Outlook integration features require Microsoft Outlook Online. The only Relationship Insights feature available to on-premises installations is the relationship assistant, which provides just a subset of action cards. For full requirements, see Configure Relationship Insights features.
from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team blog http://bit.ly/2gaLdlq
When it comes to transitioning to the next generation of marketing and customer engagement automation tools from Microsoft, there are a few topics of interest:
- The life cycle of Dynamics Marketing
- Migration and My Data questions
- Licensing questions in relation to the next generation of tools
How customer of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing best migrate to the next generation of marketing tools from Microsoft – “Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Business edition”
As an existing customer of Dynamic Marketing feel free to continue using the product throughout the ongoing subscription period. You may extend your subscription once from now to October 2017. For Direct purchase customer, the subscription period renews for one year, for Enterprise customers for 3 years. Microsoft is committed to provide full support for the product throughout your subscription.
We will continue to provide service allow adding more users and purchase of add-ons like email volumes throughout the subscription period. Microsoft will continue to support the product in that period fully, including the case of a hotfixes for observed issues. Yet we will eventually ramp down on the flow of monthly enhancements. We will instead fully focus our development on the new marketing app from Microsoft – “Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Business edition”. This new app will be available for Dynamics 365 customers in Spring release 2017. This will be an online release only in Spring 2017. Starting November 1, 2016, we have stopped selling Dynamics Marketing to new customers.
The spring release will focus on the topics of Customer engagement automation (campaigns), email and Web channels including content designer and templates, event management and event marketing, Integration and customer Intelligence including segmentation and analytics.
How will I in the future can move to the new generation of marketing tools from Microsoft: “Dynamics 365 for Marketing”?
If you are using the Dynamics CRM Connector for Dynamics Marketing today to connect Dynamics Marketing with your CRMOL instance today, you will find that the master data are already synchronized between the two systems. While you will find that you will need to reimplement campaigns and email messages with the new more powerful functionality in the new marketing app, you will also find that your audience and the lists you are syncing already today will continue to be in Dynamics 365 as well. We are looking at more tooling that help you with the transition.
Another option will be to continue using Dynamics Marketing running your existing customer engagement automation – some of which might have planned to run continuously for several months. By using the new app Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Business edition gradually more and more you will find the transition a smooth process.
What if I don’t want to transition to “Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Business edition”?
You may continue use the Dynamics Marketing until the end of your subscription (including the renewal you may be able to acquire, if you wish to do so.)
What happens to my data in Dynamics Marketing?
Upon the end of your subscription all customer data will be kept for maximum of 90 days. Before the subscription ends you may use the various functions for exporting data in Dynamics marketing to take a copy of records you like to take a hold of – if you need to do so.
Most objects provide an export to Excel function on the list representation. The OData endpoint together with Power Query and Excel is another good excellent tool to take a snapshot of relevant data in your Dynamics Marketing.
What about my product licenses, can I continue using them and when can I transition?
License plans will be available toward the Spring 2017 release.
from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team blog http://bit.ly/2fJKBmR
Businesses today demand apps which are streamlined and focused on making their employees agile and productive.
There is a huge uptake in the demand for such apps but at the same time the app creation experience is challenged with the need for faster development and a high degree of technical skill. IT departments are overwhelmed and struggle to support these requests from business units.
Aimed at simplifying and democratizing the app development process, with the current release of Dynamics 365, we are introducing the Application Designer
App designer provides a visually rich and intuitive canvas for creating apps without writing a single line of code. The designer cuts across all persona boundaries and enables everyone to design and publish an app in minutes.
Integrated within the app designer is the brand-new WYSIWYG Site Map designer.
Putting things into action, business apps in Dynamics 365, namely Customer Service, Sales, Field Service and Project Service automation have been designed using the constructs and capabilities of App and Site Map designer.
So, welcome to App designer! Let’s acquaint ourselves with the key capabilities.
Creating business apps
It all starts from the My Apps page.
Use the Create App action to start providing meaningful information (properties) about your app, that users can easily associate with. To make this easy, all you need is the app name and the auto-defaults will take over. These defaults are shown upfront and you can choose to make edits/add details as necessary.
Promote your brand by adding icon for the app tile.
While you are at it, here are a couple of key properties to get you familiar with:
- Name – This is the name of your app
- Unique Name – The unique name defaults to app name and prefixed with the publisher prefix.
- App URL Suffix – The suffix value defaults to the app name. You’ll see a preview of how the complete URL looks.
Once you have all the details, click Done to get started with the app designing experience.
Designing apps using a visually rich and context driven canvas
The main stay of the app designing experience is the canvas. Onto the canvas as components are added, you will visually see the app composition taking shape.
With a few clicks and NO CODE, modify the composition, to meet the evolving needs of your business.
Let’s look at some of the key principles of the app designing experience.
- Universe of app components
The designing experience is supported using UX constructs, namely the following:
- Site Map configuration:
We have simplified the app designing experience such that all you need is to configure a Site Map for your app, using the WYSIWYG Site Map designer. This is a mandatory component, for the app to be successfully published for runtime access.
There are indications on the canvas and notification bar, in case the Site Map configuration is incomplete.
We will talk more about the Site Map designing experience and its capabilities in a forthcoming post.
- Adding components to your app:
The UX constructs are visually represented as Artifacts and Entity Assets tiles as part of the Components tab. Click on any of them to reveal a full list of their type.
For example, on accessing the Entities tile the UI flips to show existing entities listed by their Display and Unique name. To get to the entity of choice use the type ahead search and/or simply scroll and select the one you are looking for.
The Add command option is another great way to get to the list of existing components and add to your app.
The designer retrieves all entities which are supported in solutions and are available as part of the Default solution of the backing Dynamics 365 CRM Org.
Should you need to create new components, for example a new dashboard, then simply select the Dashboard tile and click on Create New option to launch the dashboard designer.
Tip: Using the ‘Add all Assets’ option, you can at one-go add all forms, views and charts for that entity as well.
- Working with app components added to the canvas.
Let’s continue with the example of entities… Once an entity is selected it is added as a row under the Entity View swim lane of the canvas. Asset tiles for that entity, i.e. form, view and charts are also now available.
Observe by default the tiles call out ‘All‘. This means that all forms, views and charts for that entity will be available to users in runtime (provided they have the required permissions). This is another example of simplifying and enabling rapid app designing.
Should you have a need to select a specific set of entity assets then click on the relevant tile and pick the required assets from the components tab. On selecting 1 or more assets the tile shows the count of referenced assets (instead of All) and the flyout reveals the list of references.
Dashboard and BPFs also follow the same pattern.
- We made sure that should you need more canvas space as you design large-complex apps, it is available as each swim lane can be collapsed and expanded, keeping you focused.
- Form or view defaults are based on the defaults defined in the default solution of the organization. Should you need to have an app specific default, then only reference that form or view in the app.
- Site Map designer provides an option to configure an app specific default dashboard.
- Removing of referenced components is as straight forward as adding them. Select the relevant tile on the canvas and uncheck a referenced component.
- To remove an entity and all its forms, view and charts in a single action, select the entity name tile on the canvas and click on the remove command action.
- Launching individual component designers
We spoke of how the Create New option is available for all app components and is a contextual way to create net new components as you design the app.
At the same time, you can also modify the definition of referenced components thru their designers. For example, to modify the definition of a referenced business process flow, click on the Open the Process Flow designer option to launch the new and reimagined process flow designer.
Our roadmap for future releases, looks to reimagine some of the legacy designers and have an inline experience to the app designer.
Validating your app to highlight errors and warnings
We wanted to make sure you have no surprises when you are ready to publish the app to your users and this where the Validate command action is useful.
Results of the validation are branched into two categories:
- Type error – Needs to be addressed before the app changes can be published.
- Type warning – Optional. Will not block app publish and impact runtime for app users.
Error and warning icons are contextually displayed against the app components tile present on the canvas. So, that you also have details on what to do next, the notification bar supports errors and warnings with a descriptive message as well.
Let’s now look at the most common types of errors and warnings one may experience, during app validation.
|Site Map is not configured||App does not reference at least one entity|
|An entity must have at least one form or view in the app.|
We also see the need for you to be aware of dependencies created when components are added to the app. The validate action provides a warning category of highlight next to the canvas component tile creating these dependencies. At the same time the required tab provides a detailed listing, which is easy to correlate back to the canvas highlights.
Reviewing the dependencies and addressing them has been made easy, let’s understand how it works.
In this example, Customer Service Manager dashboard and the Case entity form are calling out several dependent components they need. These dependencies are neatly stacked and in a hierarchical and easy to understand format in the Required tab.
|Canvas highlights||Required tab|
If you choose to not add 1 or more dependencies, you can simply hide them by clicking on Hide Dependencies. This doesn’t permanently ignore the dependencies from your app composition, but only hides them in the app designer until you click Validate or Get latest dependencies again.
Anytime a dependency is added to the app, it will be listed on the canvas under the appropriate component tile and the count of dependencies will change.
It’s fair to ask, what is the purpose of adding dependencies (which are warnings), when app runtime is not going to be impacted? The dependency addition experience ensures that should you choose to transport your app as a solution, for the app UX constructs your app universe is complete and ready to be imported in the target org.
We spoke about the solution support for apps on another post – Designing business apps – I.
Tip: Be sure to Save the app, before you run the validation.
Publishing your app and launching it for prime time
Now all that remains is to click the Publish command and have your app ready for your app users.
Once you’ve published the app, go to the Published Apps tab on the My apps page. This will list the published app with the App tile, Name and description you’ve provided during the Create App step.
Publish action is only enabled when there are unpublished changes relevant to the app designer.
To view the runtime of the app, click anywhere on the tile.
Apps are role based and as an administrator, you can give access to desired roles for your app.
Tip: App properties were defined during the create app step. However, if you wish to change the app properties later, you can do this in the app designer from within the properties tab. Except Unique Name and App URL suffix, all other properties can be updated. Once done, save and then publish your app.
App Designer and Site Map designer will dramatically accelerate how business apps are built, reducing time to stand up apps from days to minutes and empowering a new category of app creators.
from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team blog http://bit.ly/2fS2XR2