Monthly Archives: October 2017

The SuiteCloud Development Framework, a Developer's Nirvana

websitelogo The SuiteCloud Development Framework, a Developer's Nirvana

Posted by Gerson Rodriguez, Manager, Product Management – Platform

As developers, one of our chief challenges is releasing new, amazing functionality on time and at the pace demanded of our businesses’ increasingly accelerated development cycles. Our desire to meet these expectations has made our roles among the most stressful jobs in technology – with a CareerCast poll listing the positions of software engineers and computer programmers among the top 10 highest stress roles in the industry.

Does it have to be this way? I don’t think so. Combining our passion for development with a set of tools that eases some of hardest (or simply most tedious) parts of our roles can have us feeling as if we’re sitting cross-legged, floating on a cloud, typing away on our laptops in a state of perpetual Zen. That vision can be achieved when we float our efforts on the SuiteCloud Development Framework.

To ease the process associated with building and deploying new functionality in the cloud, last year, NetSuite introduced the SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF), a one-stop shop for developers to build, test, deploy and publish applications without ever leaving the code. Developers have the source code of everything in the platform – including object, configuration and logic which allows them to take advantage of any revision control system they choose for version control and team development. And because it’s a decoupled environment, developers can build on SDF and deploy across any environment, complete with built-in validation controls and dependency management.

In turn, partners and customers alike can automate business processes via SuiteScript, build and package customizations via the UI, build and distribute SuiteApps, perform configuration tasks for implementing NetSuite environments, perform audit tasks or manage changes in NetSuite environments.

Since its launch, we’ve made some major improvements to make this platform a “developer’s heaven,” as I like to call it. Here’s some of what I think will be the most helpful improvements.

Direct deployment. Developers can directly deploy applications to development, sandbox or production accounts, greatly simplifying development and deployment practices for ISVs and customers. For instance, customers can deploy customizations en masse from the sandbox to the QA sandbox to obtain QA approval, and then use the exact same SDF project to deploy the same project code and objects to production.

Version control. Customers can check an entire project including custom objects like custom records, custom fields, and saved searches into a Code Repository to be under version control. This eases change management.

Collaborative cloud development. Developers can now collaborate in a separate dedicated development environment that makes it easier to manage customizations and application code, providing more familiarity, more control and more autonomy than ever. Development teams can also easily manage cloud source code with the same process and rigor that they use in other projects, increasing quality, compliance and control.

The ability to handle dependencies. Say, for instance, you install a bundle that referenced a field that already existed in your production instance and ended up with a new redundant custom field. With SuiteCloud Development Framework, you can reference an existing field or object without having it be duplicated.

Same if your project contains an object that requires the existence of another object, SDF can detected before the project or customization is deployed which bring a great degree of certainty to the deployment process.

With the right foundation, software development can drive business value, without driving the joy out of our work. Check out more information on the SuiteCloud Developer Network here and consider joining our LinkedIn group to connect with other NetSuite developers.

Posted on Mon, October 30, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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How disable opening new Documentation Window when selecting an item from the Documentation Home page?

When I open the Wolfram Documentation Center, a new window opens to the Home page. If I select an item from the top category drop down (eg, Core Language & Structure -> Lists), a 2nd Documentation window will open to the Lists documentation page. Is it possible to disable opening the 2nd window and simply open the List page in the original documentation window? I’ve searched the Preferences for such a setting, but can’t find anything. Sometimes I like to start browsing documentation from the Home page without having a specific function name in mind.

I’m running Win 10 Home, MMA v 11.

Here’s a screen capture of what happens:

po6PD How disable opening new Documentation Window when selecting an item from the Documentation Home page?

After selecting Core Language & Structure -> Lists:

ROcz7 How disable opening new Documentation Window when selecting an item from the Documentation Home page?

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The Future of AI — A Society of Inclusion

AI 25 Years FICO Machine Learning The Future of AI — A Society of Inclusion

To commemorate the silver jubilee of FICO’s use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we asked FICO employees a question: What does the future of AI look like? The post below is one of the thought-provoking responses, from Shreyas Gopinath, a senior analytic scientist at FICO, working in Bangalore.

Since 2010, we have seen a rejuvenation of artificial intelligence and a wealth of practical AI applications in areas such as machine translation (think Google Translate), human-like machine chat agents (think Apple Siri or Microsoft Cortana) and advanced players for games such as Chess and Go. In a business context, the possibilities expand even further – faster and accurate creditworthiness checks to enable banks to lend better, fraud prevention to prevent frauds before they happen, robotic process automation that can drastically reduce costs and targeted marketing programs that drive revenues.

I see AI’s promise going further — much further. We have barely tapped the power of AI to improve the lives of people who are excluded from many of society’s benefits. These include people with disabilities, people without access to basic finance, people without access to basic healthcare and people without access to redressal mechanisms.

In the case of financial inclusion, banks in developing economies have struggled to build credit mechanisms to effectively evaluate creditworthiness in the absence of credit bureaus. Without this, they are reluctant to underwrite loans, depriving thousands of access to credit. Using AI techniques on data mined through devices such as smartphones (for e.g. social network data), it is possible to build a reasonably accurate creditworthiness profile of potential borrowers. This isn’t just an idea — FICO is already doing it.

People with hearing disabilities are socially excluded because of the challenges they face with communication. Currently, hearing-aid devices do not work well in isolating human speech among other sounds. By using techniques that have helped image-identification (using convolutional neural networks), it is possible to similarly embed models with next-gen hearing-aid devices that can isolate human speech and provide a better hearing experience to people with hearing disability.

In developing countries, governments struggle to effectively staff and equip healthcare centers in remote areas. The costs are prohibitive and even then, they are not able to monitor these properly. By using smart IoT devices such as blood-glucose monitors and heart-rate sensors, AI techniques can be used to predict potential adverse health events. Patients can then receive emergency care, or be advised of preventive measures to prevent negative health outcomes. These can also be used to provide targeted nutritional and health information, by connecting these devices with smartphones.

The future of AI will benefit all of us in exciting ways. But for me, its use to improve the lives of people currently excluded from society’s benefits will be the most exciting.

See other FICO posts on artificial intelligence.

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Luptia Nyong’o To Star In Zombie Comedy ‘Little Monsters’

Lupita Luptia Nyong’o To Star In Zombie Comedy ‘Little Monsters’

Lupita Nyong’o is steadily rolling in her post-Black Panther moves.

She’s in talks to star in the Charlie’s Angels reboot, and now, she’s set to star in a zombie comedy called Little Monsters with Josh Gad. It’ll also star Alexander England. The title of the film is the only relation it has to the 1989 black comedy of the same name.

England will play a musician Dave, who crushes on the teacher on his nephew’s school trip named MissCaroline (Nyong’o). However, acting on those feelings are compromised by personality from a kids show named Teddy McGiggle (Gad), who also likes Miss Caroline. In the midst of this, there is a zombie outbreak and Dave and Miss Caroline must protect the kids.

Production on the film is underway in Sydney.

Source: Shadow & Act

Tiffany Haddish And Chance The Rapper Will Host ‘Saturday Night Live’

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The Humor Mill

Oil Patch CRM

A recent New York Timesstory about a conference held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, chilled me to the bone. The headline supplies all the reasons: “Saudi Arabia’s Grand Plan to Move Beyond Oil: Big Goals, Bigger Hurdles.”

oil Oil Patch CRM

At first glance, this doesn’t ring any CRM bells, but maybe it should. Why would any business or business-state contemplate moving out of its sweet spot if it weren’t required to? What happens to the customers that have become dependent? That’s the point.

Beyond oil means running out — as in we won’t be in that business in so many years because there will be nothing left to pump.

Peak Oil Snapshot

If you haven’t been following the oil markets or the somewhat arcane discussion of peak oil, here’s a brief primer: In the U.S., oil discovery peaked in the 1960s, and it has been declining ever since.

The recent revolution in hydraulic fracturing has brought more oil to market, but it’s been from old wells that didn’t have much left. This is called “secondary recovery,” and it’s like wringing out a damp sponge — you usually can get a few more drops.

Globally, oil discovery peaked in the 1970s, and exploration has not yielded another barrel since 2003. We’re essentially using up the reserves discovered back in the day, and as with any finite entity, it’s beginning to run out. There’s lots of scholarly work on the subject that you can find online, so I am not going to belabor the point.

However, as additional evidence, both GM and Ford recently announced elaborate
plans to bring electric vehicles to market within the next few years. Why would GM and Ford get out of the internal combustion car market if they didn’t have to?

Fossil Carbon

As luck would have it, if — or more likely when — we stop burning fossil fuels, we’ll be able to rely on electricity derived from a variety of sources, including solar, wind and something you might not be aware of,
geothermal, which I encourage you
to look into. However, there’s a lot of work to be done and investment to be made before electricity can take over the workload that fossil fuels currently support.

The sooner we stop burning fossil fuels, the better off we’ll be. You might think this means curtailing pollution, which of course will happen — but more importantly, fossil carbon is the basis or feedstock of hundreds of products that make modern life possible. From fertilizers to rubber and synthetics like nylon, to carbon fibers and plastics and much more, we depend on starter materials derived from fossil carbon.

For instance, did you know that an average car tire requires seven gallons of petroleum to manufacture? It takes five gallons to make the rubber and another two gallons to drive the manufacturing process.

Did you know that coal is the source of more than 500 pharmaceuticals and of the original dye that makes blue jeans blue? The oil and other fossil fuels left in the ground now are too valuable to burn.

Give credit to the Saudis for at least telegraphing their oil depletion issue to the marketplace. Other countries are in similar positions and have said nothing. That’s not exactly a best practice for dealing with a global customer base that has grown dependent on your product.

Ticking Clock

How long before we run out is speculative. Proven reserves typically are numbers that few nations share with the world, so there is ambiguity in almost any description of oil supply compared with the consumption data that many governments and oil companies keep.

Even an
entry in Wikipedia listing countries and their reserves offers this caveat: “Some statistics on this page are disputed and controversial. Different sources (OPEC, CIA World Factbook, oil companies) give different figures.”

Even the CIA doesn’t know how much oil is left in the ground, but the 2014 BP annual report pegged it at a 53-year supply, not taking into account demand increase, which currently runs at about 2 percent per year.

We would do well to follow the Saudis’ lead — at least by acknowledging that a problem with peak oil exists. With that, it will be possible to have an overdue conversation about how to organize our lives on this tiny planet, and to plan for a time at mid-century when Earth will host an additional 2.5 billion people.

Without a new energy infrastructure, it’s hard to say how we’ll be able to grow enough food or provide fresh water to this mass of people.
end enn Oil Patch CRM


Denis%20Pombriant Oil Patch CRMDenis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry researcher, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there. He can be reached at
denis.pombriant@beagleresearch.com.

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Forrester Report: Content Management Solutions Deliver 68% ROI Over 3 Years

When outspoken venture capitalist and Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen wrote in The Wall Street Journal in 2011 that software is eating the world, he was only partly correct. In fact, business services based on software platforms are what’s eating the world.

Companies like Apple, which remade the mobile phone industry by offering app developers easy access to millions of iPhone owners through its iTunes App Store platform, are changing the economy. However, these world-eating companies are not just in the tech world. They are also emerging in industries that you might not expect: retailers, finance companies, transportation firms, and others outside of Silicon Valley are all at the forefront of the platform revolution.

These outsiders are taking platforms to the next level by building them around business services and data, not just apps. Companies are making business services such as logistics, 3D printing, and even roadside assistance for drivers available through a software connection that other companies can plug in to and consume or offer to their own customers.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature1 Image2 Forrester Report: Content Management Solutions Deliver 68% ROI Over 3 YearsThere are two kinds of players in this business platform revolution: providers and participants. Providers create the platform and create incentives for developers to write apps for it. Developers, meanwhile, are participants; they can extend the reach of their apps by offering them through the platform’s virtual shelves.

Business platforms let companies outside of the technology world become powerful tech players, unleashing a torrent of innovation that they could never produce on their own. Good business platforms create millions in extra revenue for companies by enlisting external developers to innovate for them. It’s as if strangers are handing you entirely new revenue streams and business models on the street.

Powering this movement are application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs), which enable developers to easily plug their apps into a platform without having to know much about the complex software code that drives it. Developers get more time to focus on what they do best: writing great apps. Platform providers benefit because they can offer many innovative business services to end customers without having to create them themselves.

Any company can leverage APIs and SDKs to create new business models and products that might not, in fact, be its primary method of monetization. However, these platforms give companies new opportunities and let them outflank smaller, more nimble competitors.

Indeed, the platform economy can generate unbelievable revenue streams for companies. According to Platform Revolution authors Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary, travel site Expedia makes approximately 90% of its revenue by making business services available to other travel companies through its API.

In TechCrunch in May 2016, Matt Murphy and Steve Sloane wrote that “the number of SaaS applications has exploded and there is a rising wave of software innovation in APIs that provide critical connective tissue and increasingly important functionality.” ProgrammableWeb.com, an API resource and directory, offers searchable access to more than 15,000 different APIs.

According to Accenture Technology Vision 2016, 82% of executives believe that platforms will be the “glue that brings organizations together in the digital economy.” The top 15 platforms (which include companies built entirely on this software architecture, such as eBay and Priceline.com) have a combined market capitalization of US$ 2.6 trillion.

It’s time for all companies to join the revolution. Whether working in alliance with partners or launching entirely in-house, companies need to think about platforms now, because they will have a disruptive impact on every major industry.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature1 Image3 1024x572 Forrester Report: Content Management Solutions Deliver 68% ROI Over 3 Years

To the Barricades

Several factors converged to make monetizing a company’s business services easier. Many of the factors come from the rise of smartphones, specifically the rise of Bluetooth and 3G (and then 4G and LTE) connections. These connections turned smartphones into consumption hubs that weren’t feasible when high-speed mobile access was spottier.

One good example of this is PayPal’s rise. In the early 2000s, it functioned primarily as a standalone web site, but as mobile purchasing became more widespread, third-party merchants clamored to integrate PayPal’s payment processing service into their own sites and apps.

In Platform Revolution, Parker, Van Alstyne, and Choudary claim that “platforms are eating pipelines,” with pipelines being the old, direct-to-consumer business methods of the past. The first stage of this takeover involved much more efficient digital pipelines (think of Amazon in the retail space and Grubhub for food delivery) challenging their offline counterparts.

What Makes Great Business Platforms Run?

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature1 Image8 Forrester Report: Content Management Solutions Deliver 68% ROI Over 3 Years

The quality of the ecosystem that powers your platform is as important as the quality of experience you offer to customers. Here’s how to do it right.

Although the platform economy depends on them, application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs) aren’t magic buttons. They’re tools that organizations can leverage to attract users and developers.

To succeed, organizations must ensure that APIs include extensive documentation and are easy for developers to add into their own products. Another part of platform success is building a general digital enterprise platform that includes both APIs and SDKs.

A good platform balances ease of use, developer support, security, data architecture (that is, will it play nice with a company’s existing systems?), edge processing (whether analytics are processed locally or in the cloud), and infrastructure (whether a platform provider operates its own data centers and cloud infrastructure or uses public cloud services). The exact formula for which elements to embrace, however, will vary according to the use case, the industry, the organization, and its customers.

In all cases, the platform should offer a value proposition that’s a cut above its competitors. That means a platform should offer a compelling business service that is difficult to duplicate.

By creating open standards and easy-to-work-with tools, organizations can greatly improve the platforms they offer. APIs and SDKs may sound complicated, but they’re just tools for talented people to do their jobs with. Enable these talented people, and your platform will take off.

In the second stage, platforms replace pipelines. Platform Revolution’s authors write: “The Internet no longer acts merely as a distribution channel (a pipeline). It also acts as a creation infrastructure and a coordination mechanism. Platforms are leveraging this new capability to create entirely new business models.” Good examples of second-stage companies include Airbnb, DoubleClick, Spotify, and Uber.

Allstate Takes Advantage of Its Hidden Jewels

Many companies taking advantage of platforms were around long before APIs, or even the internet, existed. Allstate, one of the largest insurers in the United States, has traditionally focused on insurance services. But recently, the company expanded into new markets—including the platform economy.

Allstate companies Allstate Roadside Services (ARS) and Arity, a technology company founded by Allstate in late 2016, have provided their parent company with new sources of revenue, thanks to new offerings. ARS launched Good Hands Rescue APIs, which allow third parties to leverage Allstate’s roadside assistance network in their own apps. Meanwhile, Arity offers a portfolio of APIs that let third parties leverage Allstate’s aggregate data on driver behavior and intellectual property related to risk prediction for uses spanning mobility, consumer, and insurance solutions.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature1 Image4 Forrester Report: Content Management Solutions Deliver 68% ROI Over 3 YearsFor example, Verizon licenses an Allstate Good Hands Rescue API for its own roadside assistance app. And automakers GM and BMW also offer roadside assistance service through Allstate.

Potential customers for Arity’s API include insurance providers, shared mobility companies, automotive parts makers, telecoms, and others.

“Arity is an acknowledgement that we have to be digital first and think about the services we provide to customers and businesses,” says Chetan Phadnis, Arity’s head of product development. “Thinking about our intellectual property system and software products is a key part of our transformation. We think it will create new ways to make money in the vertical transportation ecosystem.”

One of Allstate’s major challenges is a change in auto ownership that threatens the traditional auto insurance model. No-car and one-car households are on the rise, ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft work on very different insurance models than passenger cars or traditional taxi companies, and autonomous vehicles could disrupt the traditional auto insurance model entirely.

This means that companies like Allstate are smart to look for revenue streams beyond traditional insurance offerings. The intangible assets that Allstate has accumulated over the years—a massive aggregate collection of driver data, an extensive set of risk models and predictive algorithms, and a network of garages and mechanics to help stranded motorists—can also serve as a new revenue stream for the future.

By offering two distinct API services for the platform economy, Allstate is also able to see what customers might want in the future. While the Good Hands Rescue APIs let third-party users integrate a specific service (such as roadside assistance) into their software tools, Arity instead lets third-party developers leverage huge data sets as a piece of other, less narrowly defined projects, such as auto maintenance. As Arity gains insights into how customers use and respond to those offerings, it gets a preview into potential future directions for its own products and services.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature1 Image5 1024x572 Forrester Report: Content Management Solutions Deliver 68% ROI Over 3 Years

Farmers Harvest Cash from a Platform

Another example of innovation fueling the platform economy doesn’t come from a boldfaced tech name. Instead, it comes from a relatively small startup that has nimbly built its business model around data with an interesting twist: it turns its customers into entrepreneurs.

Farmobile is a Kansas City–based agriculture tech company whose smart device, the Passive Uplink Connection (PUC), can be plugged into tractors, combines, sprayers, and other farm equipment.

Farmobile uses the PUC to enable farmers to monetize data from their fields, which is one of the savviest routes to success with platforms—making your platform so irresistible to end consumers that they foment the revolution for you.

Once installed, says CEO Jason Tatge, the PUC streams second-by-second data to farmers’ Farmobile accounts. This gives them finely detailed reports, called Electronic Field Records (EFRs), that they can use to improve their own business, share with trusted advisors, and sell to third parties.

The PUC gives farmers detailed records for tracking analytics on their crops, farms, and equipment and creates a marketplace where farmers can sell their data to third parties. Farmers benefit because they generate extra income; Farmobile benefits because it makes a commission on each purchase and builds a giant store of aggregated farming data.

This last bit is important if Farmobile is to successfully compete with traditional agricultural equipment manufacturers, which also gather data from farmers. Farmobile’s advantage (at least for now) is that the equipment makers limit their data gathering to their existing customer bases and sell it back to them in the form of services designed to improve crop yields and optimize equipment performance.

Farmobile, meanwhile, is trying to appeal to all farmers by sharing the wealth, which could help it leapfrog the giants that already have large customer bases. “The ability to bring data together easily is good for farmers, so we built API integrations to put data in one place,” says Tatge.

Farmers can resell their data on Farmobile’s Data Store to buyers such as reinsurance firm Guy Carpenter. To encourage farmers to opt in, says Tatge, “we told farmers that if they run our device over planting and harvest season, we can guarantee them $ 2 per acre for their EFRs.”

So far, Farmobile’s customers have sent the Data Store approximately 4,200 completed EFRs for both planting and harvest, which will serve as the backbone of the company’s data monetization efforts. Eventually, Farmobile hopes to expand the offerings on the Data Store to include records from at least 10 times as many different farm fields.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature1 Image6 1024x572 Forrester Report: Content Management Solutions Deliver 68% ROI Over 3 Years

Under Armour Binges on APIs

Another model for the emerging business platform world comes from Under Armour, the sports apparel giant. Alongside its very successful clothing and shoe lines, Under Armour has put its platform at the heart of its business model.

But rather than build a platform itself, Under Armour has used its growing revenues to create an industry-leading ecosystem. Over the past decade, it has purchased companies that already offer APIs, including MapMyFitness, Endomondo, and MyFitnessPal, and then linked them all together into a massive platform that serves 30 million consumers.

This strategy has made Under Armour an indispensable part of the sprawling mobile fitness economy. According to the company’s 2016 annual results, its business platform ecosystem, known as the Connected Fitness division, generated $ 80 million in revenue that year—a 51% increase over 2015.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature1 Image7 Forrester Report: Content Management Solutions Deliver 68% ROI Over 3 YearsBy combining existing APIs from its different apps with original tools built in-house, extensive developer support, and a robust SDK, third-party developers have everything they need to build their own fitness app or web site.

Depending on their needs, third-party developers can sign up for several different payment plans with varying access to Under Armour’s APIs and SDKs. Indeed, the company’s tiered developer pricing plan for Connected Fitness, which is separated into Starter, Pro, and Premium levels, makes Under Armour seem more like a tech company than a sports apparel firm.

As a result, Under Armour’s APIs and SDKs are the underpinnings of a vast platform cooperative. Under Armour’s apps seamlessly integrate with popular services like Fitbit and Garmin (even though Under Armour has a fitness tracker of its own) and are licensed by corporations ranging from Microsoft to Coca-Cola to Purina. They’re even used by fitness app competitors like AthletePath and Lose It.

A large part of Under Armour’s success is the sheer amount of data its fitness apps collect and then make available to developers. MyFitnessPal, for instance, is an industry-leading calorie and food tracker used for weight loss, and Endomondo is an extremely popular running and biking record keeper and route-sharing platform.

One way of looking at the Connected Fitness platform is as a combination of traditional consumer purchasing data with insights gleaned from Under Armour’s suite of apps, as well as from the third-party apps that Under Armour’s products use.

Indeed, Under Armour gets a bonus from the platform economy: it helps the company understand its customers better, creating a virtuous cycle. As end users use different apps fueled by Under Armour’s services and data-sharing capabilities, Under Armour can then use that data to fuel customer engagement and attract additional third-party app developers to add new services to the ecosystem.

What Successful Platforms Have in Common

The most successful business platforms have three things in common: They’re easy to work with, they fulfill a market need, and they offer data that’s useful to customers.

For instance, Farmobile’s marketplace fulfills a valuable need in the market: it lets farmers monetize data and develop a new revenue stream that otherwise would not exist. Similarly, Allstate’s Arity experiment turns large volumes of data collected by Allstate over the years into a revenue stream that drives down costs for Arity’s clients by giving them more accurate data to integrate into their apps and software tools.

Meanwhile, Under Armour’s Connected Fitness platform and API suite encourage users to sign up for more apps in the company’s ecosystem. If you track your meals in MyFitnessPal, you’ll want to track your runs in Endomondo or MapMyRun. Similarly, if you’re an app developer in the health and fitness space, Under Armour has a readily available collection of tools that will make it easy for users to switch over to your app and cheaper for you to develop your app.

As the platform economy grows, all three of these approaches—Allstate’s leveraging of its legacy business data, Farmobile’s marketplace for users to become data entrepreneurs, and Under Armour’s one-stop fitness app ecosystem—are extremely useful examples of what happens next.

In the coming months and years, the platform economy will see other big changes. In 2016 for example, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google all released APIs for their AI-powered voice assistant platforms, the most famous of which is Apple’s Siri.

The introduction of APIs confirms that the AI technology behind these bots has matured significantly and that a new wave of AI-based platform innovation is nigh. (In fact, Digitalistpredicted last year that the emergence of an API for these AIs would open them up beyond conventional uses.) New voice-operated technologies such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa offer exciting opportunities for developers to create full-featured, immersive applications on top of existing platforms.

We will also see AI- and machine learning–based APIs emerge that will allow developers to quickly leverage unstructured data (such as social media posts or texts) for new applications and services. For instance, sentiment analysis APIs can help explore and better understand customers’ interests, emotions, and preferences in social media.

As large providers offer APIs and associated services for smaller organizations to leverage AI and machine learning, these companies can in turn create their own platforms for clients to use unstructured data—everything from insights from uploaded photographs to recognizing a user’s emotion based on facial expression or tone of voice—in their own apps and products. Meanwhile, the ever-increasing power of cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure will give these computing-intensive app platforms the juice they need to become deeper and richer.

These business services will depend on easy ways to exchange and implement data for success. The good news is that finding easy ways to share data isn’t hard and the API and SDK offerings that fuel the platform economy will become increasingly robust. Thanks to the opportunities generated by these new platforms and the new opportunities offered to end users, developers, and platform businesses themselves, everyone stands to win—if they act soon. D!


About the Authors

Bernd Leukert is a member of the Executive Board, Products and Innovation, for SAP.

Björn Goerke is Chief Technology Officer and President, SAP Cloud Platform, for SAP.

Volker Hildebrand is Global Vice President for SAP Hybris solutions.

Sethu M is President, Mobile Services, for SAP.

Neal Ungerleider is a Los Angeles-based technology journalist and consultant.


Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.

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A Historian Walks into a Bar . . .

Podcast and Overview: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2

We’re proud to announce that all packages for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2 were released October 26th, 2017 to the Microsoft Download Center and are available for download! Appropriate packages will appear on Microsoft Update shortly.

Note: The Updates documented in this blog update the Dynamics CRM 2016 components described in this Microsoft Knowledge base article:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Installations, Updates and Documentation

Note the naming convention change! For more details, see the Dynamics CRM Product Group blog “New naming conventions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM updates

Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2 Build number:

8.2.2.112

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 2.2 Microsoft Download Center page

Here’s the “Master” Microsoft Dynamics Knowledge Base article for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2: (KB 4046795). Going forward, the plan is to continue publishing Master Knowledge Base articles for CRM Updates a bit in advance of release to aid planning.

Go to Top

The “Microsoft Dynamics CRM / Dynamics 365 Updates: Release Dates, Build Numbers, and Collateral” Page

For pointers to download locations, release dates, build information, and CRM Premier Field Engineering blogs and podcasts for all supported Microsoft Dynamics CRM Updates, Update Rollups, and Service Packs, visit the “Microsoft Dynamics CRM / Dynamics 365 Updates: Release Dates, Build Numbers, and Collateral” page.

Go to Top

Important note:

An updated Unified Service Desk for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (Build 2.2.2.85) has been released. See the following Microsoft Download Center webpage for download details:

Unified Service Desk for Microsoft Dynamics 365

General Upgrade Rollup and Service Pack Notes:

  • Testing CRM Update Rollups: Best Practices
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Premier Field Engineering recommends doing all the standard testing you generally do for all Updates, which could be the functional and performance testing that you would do with a new major release or a subset of that test plan
    • The “general rule of thumb” for test plans for Update Rollup installs are:
      • Test any changes in a pre-production environment BEFORE introducing into your production environment. Manage your risk!
      • Consider using the Performance Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM to simulate your production user load in your testing environment to shake out any performance-related issues early. The link above points to a recently-released version of the Toolkit reworked to support CRM 2016! Talk to your TAM (Technical Account Manager) if you want Premier Field Engineering to help your team install and configure it!
      • Test using the permissions your most restrictive end-user roles have. Testing with CRM Administrator permissions, for example, does not give you the complete picture
      • Concentrate on your SDK customizations, JavaScript, ISV add-ons – basically anything that’s not OOB functionality or customizations done from within the UI

Go to Top

Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2 packages are available for download via:

  • The Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2 Download Center page. Released October 26th, 2017
  • The Microsoft Update Catalog – release date TBD
  • The Microsoft Update detection / installation process
    • Note: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 / Microsoft Dynamics 365 Updates will be pushed via Microsoft Update as Important updates
    • Client packages installed manually by downloading the packages and running install will require local administrator privileges. If the client packages are installed via Microsoft Update or SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager), they will not require local administrator privileges
    • Consider using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or similar software distribution technologies to distribute Dynamics CRM Update Rollups internally. WSUS is a locally managed system that works with the public Microsoft Update website to give system administrators more control. By using Windows Server Update Services, administrators can manage the distribution of Microsoft hotfixes and updates released through Automatic Updates to computers in a corporate environment
    • For help with installation please see the Installation Information section of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2 “master” Microsoft Knowledge Base article

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2 Prerequisites:

  • Essentially the prerequisites listed in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Implementation Guidedownload or Online TechNet for the various CRM components serviced

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Fixes released via Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is failing to convert QuickCreate and BusinessLogic metadata
  • A dependency error occurs when importing the January Project Service update
  • Business Process Flow instances are getting recreated on the reload of the record even though they were explicitly deleted via the SDK
  • The related records arrow does not display on the offline form in Outlook
  • Tracked Email in Outlook fails with the following error: “SYSTEM user account not found”
  • The arrow and collapse icons are missing from Business Process Flows on Windows 7 machines
  • The TransactionCurrencyId on goal records is set to Guid.Empty, which leads to errors retrieving records
  • The Company News solution fails to update
  • Performance issues with Business Process Flow create and update requests
  • Unable to track Exchange emails
  • The email Description field is not displayed on a Quick View form
  • Quote, Order, and Invoice Product sub-grids are misaligned
  • Server Side Synchronization sends the same email repeatedly every 30 minutes
  • Accessing Documents on the Knowledge Articles entity fails in the Interactive Service Hub
  • Slow swipe performance on iOS and Android mobile app
  • Workflows are suspended temporarily due to error: Cannot insert the value NULL into column ‘WorkflowLogId’ of WorkflowLogBase table
  • Users are unable to open and edit workflows created before upgrading to 8.2
  • Trials are being created in Administrative Access Mode
  • Records cannot be deleted when engaged in a Business Process Flow
  • Unable to change the Active Stage of a Business Process Flow via workflow
  • Performance issues occurred while deleting records associated with a Business Process Flow
  • Cannot add dynamic values to global option set fields in a workflow
  • An error is occurring while inserting an email template in an Email Activity
  • Ribbon button issues when navigating back and forth between the main form and associated grids
  • The top search bar requires multiple clicks
  • An error occurs trying to Qualify a Lead which was already Qualified
  • An Order can’t be created from a Quote
  • Duplicate detection rules do not work with a plugin on a custom field set for pre-validation
  • On the case main web form, the + button on the Connection sub-grid is not working
  • Unable to edit and save the Field Service sitemap due to special characters
  • Fetch result enhancements from Web API and FetchXml
  • Relevance Search opt-in event is missing
  • Knowledge Articles cannot be sorted in ISH
  • Unable to open records after upgrading to 8.2
  • Data is missing when performing a quick find for Knowledge Articles in ISH
  • Map Behavior from Landing Space is not working on iOS
  • Unable to qualify a lead when duplicate detection is enabled
  • An error occurs when closing the case form after deleting an email with an attachment
  • The setActiveProcess function fails on new records
  • The SetActiveProcess function does not refreshing the process control
  • The SetActiveProcessInstance function does not change process instance
  • The setActiveProcess function gives an additional pop-up when registered as an OnSave event
  • The setActiveProcess function is triggered more than once when opening a form which has a different Business Process Flow already associated
  • An error occurs while setting the Business Process Flow using the setActiveProcess method
  • When sending a new email in ISH, the page is stuck and displays a spinning icon
  • Adding resources to a Resource Group fails after Minimal copy
  • The page selector doesn’t work after a quick find search for Knowledge Articles in ISH
  • User sync is failing for users that own an Email Server Profile record
  • AppModules won’t show up in home.dynamics.com after a tenant transition
  • An error occurs while viewing Audit History for SLA KPI Instance records
  • An error is occurring while inserting an email template in an Email Activity
  • Unable to see text in Email Templates if the template contains the symbols < >
  • The user name in top navigation bar is missing
  • An error occurs when clicking on search in the mobile client
  • Solution Export is not ordering Required Components before dependent Business Process Flows
  • The entity ribbon menu disappears when clicking on the customize card option in a form
  • Ribbon buttons do not properly deactivate when navigating back and forth between the main form and associated grids
  • Editable grids disappear during browser refreshes
  • Subgrids do not load if the LazyLoadSubgrid feature is enabled
  • An error occurs when inserting an email template
  • Contacts are reappearing even after being removed from the contact lookup field
  • Notes can not be added in all Activity records
  • Lookup fields are not getting refreshed when changing the entity in a search using the mobile client
  • A memory leak occurs while Navigating from Opportunity to Contact records, and Contact to Opportunity records
  • Solution uninstall and upgrade is blocked after upgrading to 8.2
  • Unable to open security roles in IE11 and Edge browsers
  • Unchecking entities for Document Management is stopping and restarting auditing on an entity level
  • Sales Analytics content pack import fails with an ‘Invalid XML’ error
  • Add an OrgDbOrgSetting to force AsIfPublished to be false for RetrieveAllEntities
  • More than one Configuration Folder is allowed by Server Side Sync to exist in Exchange
  • Email is getting synced in CRM using unapproved user settings
  • Orphaned localized labels are blocking solution import, upgrade, and uninstall
  • The Next Stage button of a BPF is overlapping the collapse BPF arrow, and the Next Stage arrow is missing when the Stage label is truncated
  • “Your changes have not been saved” message appears when clicking Send to reply to an email
  • Pressing the phone icon on a Contact Card does not initiate a call in the mobile client
  • Emails that have OneDrive attachments fail to track
  • Unable to view Knowledge Article Views in the Web Client
  • Text input within < > tags in notes section has extra characters added to it automatically
  • Remaining Terms are increased after reopening an Incident record
  • Forwarding or replying to an email within CRM sets the Received Date as Date Only
  • Duration In Days is not calculated correctly in Contracts
  • Custom lookup values are not retained on response emails
  • BPF-related errors occur when converting a Quote to an Order
  • Merging cases does not function as expected
  • HTML code appears when a format is applied to dynamic values in an email body
  • Publish All fails with orphaned CustomControlDefaultConfig records
  • An error message occurs when enabling a Field Security Profile for the Priority Code field of Appointment entity
  • Web Resource height is not set properly
  • The line break behavior between IE11 and Firefox is difference when creating Email Templates
  • An error occurs when trying to add addresses using the Safari browser on an iPad
  • RetrieveMultiple does not work on the Customer Service Calendar with varying day schedules
  • Opportunity Product form fields are not being set to read-only after setting them to read-only in the UI
  • Organizer field values disappear when an appointment is created from a sub-grid
  • An error occurs when adding users or contacts to a team
  • Edge browser fails and redirects when filtering a view with a custom filter
  • The Scroll Bar on read-only fields is not visible
  • The Command Bar is missing in Multi Entity Search in the pop-out context
  • Unable to add Write In Products from the Product Associated View
  • OnSave events do not trigger on ‘Close as Lost’ or ‘Close as Won’ for Opportunity records
  • The Entity name label for a secondary language is not changed when importing a patch solution
  • Goal Participating Records don’t show records with the same filter as rollup fields
  • Storage warning calculations overflow for large values, causing incorrect results
  • Unlicensed Global Admins can only provision an instance with Sales and Customer Service roles
  • When setting the Currency using jScript, the symbols for money fields are not being updated
  • Whenever a Quote is revised, all fields on the Closed state record are updated
  • API calls that contain a GUID in the alternate key field will try to resolve as a record ID instead of the alternate key
  • Control bar options disappear in Android devices
  • Sub grid column headers are misaligned
  • Saving a record after setting a lookup field shows loading dots forever in the mobile client
  • Ctrl + Shift + S keyboard shortcut saves the form but does not open a new form
  • Assign button is not visible on the case form using Legacy Form Rendering
  • A script error occurs in FireFox after closing a record
  • The cursor goes to the beginning of a lookup field instead of to the value being removed when trying to clear a lookup field
  • The view selector doesn’t retrieve expected records after a quick find search for Knowledge Articles in ISH
  • Power BI tiles on Personal Dashboard spin forever on Windows 10 devices
  • Contacts are getting created automatically using folder-level tracking when the option to Automatically Create Contacts is off
  • Auto save is not always triggered for description field updates
  • An error occurs when deleting a Sales Team member on an Opportunity record
  • A SharePoint folder is converted to a OneNote notebook when clicking the OneNote tab from CRM
  • Input fields on a search page delete letters when typed too fast
  • Quick View forms are not working for Appointments
  • When Prepare Client Customizations fails, it results in an empty log file
  • A memory leak occurs when Bing maps is enabled
  • The “Remove Value” button is disabled in Web Resource Lookup record dialogs
  • The Site Map Designer is not opening
  • An unexpected error occurs when revising an active quote
  • Lookup fields blank out if a user clicks on any keys on the keyboard after focus is set on the lookup field
  • Upgrade Bing Maps AJAX Control v7 to v8 control, as v7 and SOAP Web Services were deprecated
  • After Disabling the Email Conversation View, we are still able to see the “show email conversation in the activity wall” tab
  • Unable to expand email activity in the Social pane of any record
  • Unable to view associated activities under the timeline using the Interactive Service Hub
  • In-progress updates on multiple lines of text fields are not saving with AutoSave
  • An error occurs when trying to reply to an email in the Interactive Service Hub
  • Service Activity Assign Look up dialogs are not updating after changing the ‘Look For’ field from ‘User’ to ‘Team’
  • Appointment times are not syncing from Outlook to CRM when it was updated in Outlook
  • Task Priorities are not syncing from Outlook to CRM when it was updated in Outlook
  • Unable to open existing records in mobile devices
  • The Product Properties hyperlink is not working
  • Content in the reading pane is not loading in Outlook with the 8.2.1.311 client
  • Associated grids navigate back when creating or editing a record through an associated grid
  • Misplacement of ‘date and time’ field and calendar in custom field view
  • Memory leak when Bing map is enabled
  • A pop up for confirmation to deactivate a record is appearing blank with only a cancel button
  • Unable to expand email activities in the Social Pane of any record
  • HTML configured in email templates is not decoded
  • Can’t display mailbox alerts when the alert contains a reference of length > 60
  • After Disabling the Email Conversation View, the “show email conversation in the activity wall tab” is still displayed
  • The attachment ribbon button is missing after opening email drafts
  • Script errors occur on the Product entity in the Chrome browser
  • If offline mode, it is not possible to use Mark Complete on scheduled activities
  • Unable to set more than one access team template for a custom sub-grid
  • Tasks created in CRM show incorrect Due Dates in the Outlook reminder
  • Site map designer is not opening
  • New user’s mailboxes are not automatically approved
  • The ribbon is not refreshing when a user presses Alt + S to navigate to previous record
  • Notes are not saved on a case form when case is opened from an email link in the Interactive Service Hub
  • Unable to open security roles in IE11 and Edge
  • The Email Router tries to send email to addresses containing invalid characters
  • Emails sent with an inline image and the “From” field edited, throw an unsaved changes warning
  • The KB Article pop-out cuts off the last row
  • The new button does not display in the Dashboard with the CRM Outlook Client
  • SLA KPI failure and warning dates and times are incorrectly calculated
  • Entities in the Interactive Service Hub are missing commands if the entity is not enabled for mobile
  • Synchronous workflows cause a business process error on create of a related record
  • Spell checker in the Interactive Service Hub does not work for the Email drafting textbox
  • Entitlement takes almost one day to get activated
  • An error occurs editing a chart in a dashboard when it was created in a different language
  • An Iframe is not refreshed with the new source URL when clicking on the form section selector
  • The save button moves to the center of the opportunity form when a two-line footer is enabled
  • If preventDefault called OnSave in quick create form, the save button no longer works
  • Changing state attributes is not allowed in create stage 20 plugins
  • When opening a Web Resource, the Web Resource page does not open
  • A script error occurs while saving an account record using the Mobile site
  • A record window opens in the background when opened from a dashboard in Outlook
  • An “Access Is Denied” error occurs when changing the owner of a record via lookup field
  • Personal Dashboards are visible to managers
  • The IME mode setting for fields is not respected
  • Running setFocus for a tab multiple times on a form hides the TAB name
  • Workflows set to fire before record changes fires differently in 8.2
  • Cannot add notes after clicking on the Notes Label
  • Email sent via Server Side Sync from iOS mail app are not forwarded
  • Jscript setValue method does not work for Customer field of the Case entity
  • Save and New button functionality is not working on the Sales Order Detail entity
  • Multi-entity search fails in the Phone App if users are missing entity permissions
  • Duplicate Detection Rules lock up the Dynamics 365 App on Windows 8.1
  • Not able to select lookup records on the mobile app with no primary information
  • Unable to Email a link of the current view
  • Whenever a Quote is revised, all fields on the Closed state record are updated
  • Date format changed from DD/MM/YYY to MM/DD/YYYY after new records are imported
  • Business rules are not being applied on load of editable grids in the mobile client
  • Duplicate detection rules do not work with a plugin on custom fields set for pre-validation
  • The Regarding field on tracked emails is getting cleared when using the App for Outlook
  • Automatic Record Creation Rules are associating with inactive Customer records
  • The “+” button is missing in the “Product” entity’s sub-grid in the mobile client
  • The ribbon subgrid fails to render when forms and subgrid have JavaScript added to the onload event
  • After changing the ‘Look For’ field from ‘User’ to ‘Team’, the respective ‘Look in’ field is not updating in the Service Activity Assign Look up dialog
  • Appointment time is not syncing from Outlook to Dynamics 365 when it was updated in Outlook
  • Task Priorities are not syncing from Outlook to Dynamics 365 when it was updated in Outlook
  • Users are unable to open existing records in Mobile devices
  • The Product Properties Hyperlink is not working
  • The content in the reading pane is not loading in Outlook when the Dynamics 365 server is configured with the version 8.2.1.311 client
  • Associated grids navigate back when creating or editing a record through associated grids
  • The ‘date and time’ field and the calendar are misplaced in the custom field view
  • Pop up for confirmation to deactivate the record appears blank with only a cancel button
  • Unable to expand email activities in the Social pane of any record
  • Configure Relevance Search dialog not showing correct total count
  • HTML configured in an email template is not decoded
  • Mailbox alerts are not displaying when the alert contains a reference that has a length greater than 60
  • The ribbon button to add attachments is missing after reopening an Email in draft status
  • A Script error occurs when using Dynamics 365 Update 1 on the Product entity in a Chrome browser
  • Upgraded Bing Maps AJAX Control v7 to v8
  • Users aren’t able to mark scheduled activities complete while in offline mode
  • Unable to set more than one access team template for custom subgrids
  • Tasks created in Dynamics 365 show incorrect Due Dates in Outlook reminders
  • The API in a plugin is triggering deactivate/activate twice
  • Site map designer is not opening
  • New user mailboxes are not automatically approved
  • The ribbon is not refreshing when a user presses Alt + S to navigate to previous record
  • Notes are not saved on case forms when a case is opened from an email link
  • Unable to open security roles in IE11 and Edge
  • Router retries to send an email to addresses containing invalid characters
  • Business process flows are not rendered when Most Recently Viewed data is stale
  • Creating Word Templates with Lookup fields fails
  • Emails sent with an inline image and the “From” field edited, throw an unsaved changes warning
  • KB Article pop-out cuts off the last row
  • The new button does not display in a Dashboard with the Dynamics 365 Outlook Client
  • SLA KPI failure and warning date and times are incorrectly calculated
  • The Interactive Service Hub entities are missing commands if the entity is not enabled for mobile
  • Synchronous workflows are causing business process error on create of related records
  • The Relevance Search OptIn event is not sent
  • Spell checker in the Interactive Service Hub does not work for the Email drafting textbox
  • Entitlements take almost one day to get activated
  • An error occurs editing a chart in a dashboard when it was created from a different language
  • An Iframe is not refreshed with the new source URL when clicking on the form section selector
  • The Save button moves to the center of the opportunity form when a two line footer is enabled
  • If preventDefault is called OnSave in quick create forms, the save button no longer works
  • Changing state attributes is not allowed in create stage 20 plugins
  • Then opening a web resource, the web resource page does not open properly
  • A script error occurs while saving an account record using the mobile site
  • The record window opens in the background when opened from a dashboard in Outlook
  • Cannot change a dialog name in non-base languages
  • An Access Is Denied error occurs when changing an owner of a record via the lookup field
  • Unable to set 0 precision on the Opportunities page when clicking Close as Won
  • Personal Dashboards are unexpectedly visible to managers
  • The IME mode setting for fields is not respected
  • Running setFocus for a tab multiple times on a form hides the tab name
  • Workflow set to before record changes fires incorrectly
  • Cannot add notes after clicking on the Notes label
  • JavaScript functions registered “OnSave” are executed during “OnLoad” in the mobile client
  • Email sent from Server Side Sync from the iOS mail app are not forwarded
  • Jscript setValue method does not work for the Customer field of the Case entity
  • Save and New button functionality is not working on the Sales Order Detail entity
  • Multi-entity search fails in the Phone App if users are missing entity permissions
  • Duplicate Detection Rules lock up the Dynamics 365 App on Windows 8.1
  • Not able to select lookup records with no primary information in the mobile app
  • Unable to email a link of the current view
  • Whenever a Quote is revised, all fields on the closed state record are updated
  • Related record lookups have issues when changing the parent value in the mobile client
  • The date format changes from DD/MM/YYY to MM/DD/YYYY after new records are imported
  • The tab key does not work correctly on date/time field with legacy forms disabled
  • Business rules are not being applied on load of editable grids in the mobile client
  • Sent emails are stuck in the “Tracking pending” state indefinitely
  • Duplicate detection rules do not work with a plugin on custom field set for pre-validation
  • The Regarding field on Tracked emails is getting cleared when using the App for Outlook
  • Automatic Record Creation Rules are associating with inactive Customer records
  • The “+” button is missing in the Product entity’s subgrid in the mobile client
  • The page is losing focus after selecting the Subject field on a case form
  • Unable to load the Set Properties window in Process Dialogs
  • Pop-out option not working to open records
  • Duplicate contacts are created if the rebuild of ID mapping fails after a test and enable
  • Uninstalling a solution fails once the app is removed via customizations
  • The track bar doesn’t load on Android devices
  • Deleting an email enabled entity orphans activity parties, causing Grid and Social Pane errors
  • Duplicate entity display name causes relevance search to fail
  • The ‘Publishing Customizations’ dialog is persisting until clicking on the form
  • Processes remain active after the owning user is disabled, but they then get deactivated after a solution upgrade
  • Adding a lead record through a sub-grid on the campaign form shows an error
  • Child Records are sorted randomly in Word Template Reports
  • Product entity search performance issues occur when searching for Products on the Opportunity form
  • Posts are sorted incorrectly
  • Login performance issues
  • Pop up for confirmation to deactivate a record is appearing blank, with only a cancel button
  • The Product Properties Hyperlink is not working
  • Sync workflows terminate with the error ‘PopulateBusinessClosureRequests Failed’
  • Regarding lookup is not defaulting correctly with Legacy Forms disabled
  • Nearby Customer Card is not showing if the ‘No. of Employees’ field is empty
  • Case entity Business Process Flows always displaying the last stage whenever a case is open
  • When clicking on Revise multiple times, quotes are created with a different quote ID, but the same revision ID
  • Funnel Charts are displayed incorrectly in the Interactive Service Hub
  • Editable sub-grids don’t load when you open a record in the CRM Outlook Client
  • WebAPI and OData requests from the CRM App for Outlook fail inside Outlook.exe
  • Reports are greyed out if a user is disabled on the default CRM organization
  • Multiple lines of text are not working properly with Word Templates
  • The Lead Ribbon does not refresh on Assign
  • The Contacts sub-grid on the Account form with “Records: All Record Types” throws an error while saving
  • The Price List field is cleared on save when the Currency field is set via SetLookup Client API
  • Server Side Sync removes an attendee if the party member is also the organizer
  • A Bullet Point is inserted incorrectly when working in an email form and inserting bullet points
  • The LinkedIn Sales Navigator solution is overriding customizations to default values
  • Exception “mobileofflineprofile With Id = GUID Does Not Exist” is thrown from sandbox instances which are Minimal Copied from Production instances
  • Marketing Lists are not getting associated with an existing undistributed Campaign activity
  • Wrong expiresOn date when creating a contract via SDK
  • Chart returns different results on Mobile App than in the Web
  • EnabledForACT is not set back to 0 after changing Server Side Sync settings
  • The CRM for Outlook Client loses connectivity to CRM on Multihomed Computers
  • Unsaved changes are displayed after Autosave triggers
  • Business Process Flows involving required values allows you to proceed to the next stage
  • Unable to add products from the product associated view in Orders and Invoices
  • Error with Knowledge Base Search Control on the lead entity
  • Chart within Dashboard is failed to render due to a SQL Error by the Mobile Client
  • The Remove Value button is not working as expected
  • Unable to Edit Activity Feeds Filters
  • Business Rules and Javascript do not fire in Mobile Offline
  • Multi record edits displaying the default form
  • Email Templates inserting at the top of an Email Body with IE11
  • Knowledge Article views are not Refreshing after you search for Articles
  • Unable to add additional options to an existing option set in the recurring appointment entity
  • Auto save is not always triggered for description fields
  • A Javascript error occurs when leaving a form if the articles sub-grid is inserted into the form 

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Support for new technologies provided by Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2:

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Engineering team consistently tests Microsoft Dynamics CRM and associated CRM Updates against pre-release and release versions of technology stack components that Microsoft Dynamics interoperates with. When appropriate, Microsoft releases enhancements via future Microsoft Dynamics CRM Updates or new major version releases to assure compatibility with future releases of these products. This compatibility matrix is updated via this Microsoft Knowledge Base article: Microsoft Dynamics 2016 CRM Compatibility List.

Hotfixes and updates that you have to enable or configure manually

Occasionally, updates released via Microsoft Dynamics CRM Updates require manual configuration to enable them. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Updates are always cumulative; for example, Update 0.2 will contain all fixes previously released via Update 0.1 as well as fixes newly released via Update 0.2. So if you install Update 0.2 on a machine upon which you previously installed no Updates, you will need to manually enable any desired fixes for Update Rollups 0.1 – 0.2:

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Update 0.1: no updates requiring manual configuration
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Update 1.0: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Update 1 contains updates that you must configure manually. These include Portal, Field Service, and Project Service, which each require the customer to install the solution from the Office 365 Portal. To receive the product updates, you must “opt in”. For more information on how to install product updates in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, see the following Microsoft TechNet topic: Install product updates
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 2.0: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 2 contains updates that you must configure manually, as does Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Update 1.0. These include Portal, Field Service, and Project Service, which each require the customer to install the solution from the Office 365 Portal. To receive the product updates, you must “opt in”. For more information on how to install product updates in Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, see the following Microsoft TechNet topic: Install product updates
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.1: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.1 contains updates that you must configure manually. These include Portal, Field Service, and Project Service, which each require the customer to install the solution from the Office 365 Portal. To receive the product updates, you must “opt in”. For more information on how to install product updates in Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, see the following Microsoft TechNet topic: Install product updates
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.2 contains updates that you must configure manually. These include Portal, Field Service, and Project Service, which each require the customer to install the solution from the Office 365 Portal. To receive the product updates, you must “opt in”. For more information on how to install product updates in Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, see the following Microsoft TechNet topic: Install product updates

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Greg Nichols
Dynamics 365 Senior Premier Field Engineer
Microsoft Corporation

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Help Improve Power BI Desktop

We love hearing feedback from the Power BI community and today we have another quarterly survey to keep improving Power BI Desktop with your feedback. This helps us to understand what we’re doing well, and what we can change to make your experience even better. This is a great opportunity to provide feedback directly to the product team and influence our development directly. In addition, if you take the survey by 5 p.m. PST on November 8th, you will be entered for a chance to win a $ 50 giftcard.

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Top Ten Digitalist Magazine Posts Of The Week [October 30, 2017]

When outspoken venture capitalist and Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen wrote in The Wall Street Journal in 2011 that software is eating the world, he was only partly correct. In fact, business services based on software platforms are what’s eating the world.

Companies like Apple, which remade the mobile phone industry by offering app developers easy access to millions of iPhone owners through its iTunes App Store platform, are changing the economy. However, these world-eating companies are not just in the tech world. They are also emerging in industries that you might not expect: retailers, finance companies, transportation firms, and others outside of Silicon Valley are all at the forefront of the platform revolution.

These outsiders are taking platforms to the next level by building them around business services and data, not just apps. Companies are making business services such as logistics, 3D printing, and even roadside assistance for drivers available through a software connection that other companies can plug in to and consume or offer to their own customers.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature1 Image2 Top Ten Digitalist Magazine Posts Of The Week [October 30, 2017]There are two kinds of players in this business platform revolution: providers and participants. Providers create the platform and create incentives for developers to write apps for it. Developers, meanwhile, are participants; they can extend the reach of their apps by offering them through the platform’s virtual shelves.

Business platforms let companies outside of the technology world become powerful tech players, unleashing a torrent of innovation that they could never produce on their own. Good business platforms create millions in extra revenue for companies by enlisting external developers to innovate for them. It’s as if strangers are handing you entirely new revenue streams and business models on the street.

Powering this movement are application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs), which enable developers to easily plug their apps into a platform without having to know much about the complex software code that drives it. Developers get more time to focus on what they do best: writing great apps. Platform providers benefit because they can offer many innovative business services to end customers without having to create them themselves.

Any company can leverage APIs and SDKs to create new business models and products that might not, in fact, be its primary method of monetization. However, these platforms give companies new opportunities and let them outflank smaller, more nimble competitors.

Indeed, the platform economy can generate unbelievable revenue streams for companies. According to Platform Revolution authors Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary, travel site Expedia makes approximately 90% of its revenue by making business services available to other travel companies through its API.

In TechCrunch in May 2016, Matt Murphy and Steve Sloane wrote that “the number of SaaS applications has exploded and there is a rising wave of software innovation in APIs that provide critical connective tissue and increasingly important functionality.” ProgrammableWeb.com, an API resource and directory, offers searchable access to more than 15,000 different APIs.

According to Accenture Technology Vision 2016, 82% of executives believe that platforms will be the “glue that brings organizations together in the digital economy.” The top 15 platforms (which include companies built entirely on this software architecture, such as eBay and Priceline.com) have a combined market capitalization of US$ 2.6 trillion.

It’s time for all companies to join the revolution. Whether working in alliance with partners or launching entirely in-house, companies need to think about platforms now, because they will have a disruptive impact on every major industry.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature1 Image3 1024x572 Top Ten Digitalist Magazine Posts Of The Week [October 30, 2017]

To the Barricades

Several factors converged to make monetizing a company’s business services easier. Many of the factors come from the rise of smartphones, specifically the rise of Bluetooth and 3G (and then 4G and LTE) connections. These connections turned smartphones into consumption hubs that weren’t feasible when high-speed mobile access was spottier.

One good example of this is PayPal’s rise. In the early 2000s, it functioned primarily as a standalone web site, but as mobile purchasing became more widespread, third-party merchants clamored to integrate PayPal’s payment processing service into their own sites and apps.

In Platform Revolution, Parker, Van Alstyne, and Choudary claim that “platforms are eating pipelines,” with pipelines being the old, direct-to-consumer business methods of the past. The first stage of this takeover involved much more efficient digital pipelines (think of Amazon in the retail space and Grubhub for food delivery) challenging their offline counterparts.

What Makes Great Business Platforms Run?

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The quality of the ecosystem that powers your platform is as important as the quality of experience you offer to customers. Here’s how to do it right.

Although the platform economy depends on them, application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs) aren’t magic buttons. They’re tools that organizations can leverage to attract users and developers.

To succeed, organizations must ensure that APIs include extensive documentation and are easy for developers to add into their own products. Another part of platform success is building a general digital enterprise platform that includes both APIs and SDKs.

A good platform balances ease of use, developer support, security, data architecture (that is, will it play nice with a company’s existing systems?), edge processing (whether analytics are processed locally or in the cloud), and infrastructure (whether a platform provider operates its own data centers and cloud infrastructure or uses public cloud services). The exact formula for which elements to embrace, however, will vary according to the use case, the industry, the organization, and its customers.

In all cases, the platform should offer a value proposition that’s a cut above its competitors. That means a platform should offer a compelling business service that is difficult to duplicate.

By creating open standards and easy-to-work-with tools, organizations can greatly improve the platforms they offer. APIs and SDKs may sound complicated, but they’re just tools for talented people to do their jobs with. Enable these talented people, and your platform will take off.

In the second stage, platforms replace pipelines. Platform Revolution’s authors write: “The Internet no longer acts merely as a distribution channel (a pipeline). It also acts as a creation infrastructure and a coordination mechanism. Platforms are leveraging this new capability to create entirely new business models.” Good examples of second-stage companies include Airbnb, DoubleClick, Spotify, and Uber.

Allstate Takes Advantage of Its Hidden Jewels

Many companies taking advantage of platforms were around long before APIs, or even the internet, existed. Allstate, one of the largest insurers in the United States, has traditionally focused on insurance services. But recently, the company expanded into new markets—including the platform economy.

Allstate companies Allstate Roadside Services (ARS) and Arity, a technology company founded by Allstate in late 2016, have provided their parent company with new sources of revenue, thanks to new offerings. ARS launched Good Hands Rescue APIs, which allow third parties to leverage Allstate’s roadside assistance network in their own apps. Meanwhile, Arity offers a portfolio of APIs that let third parties leverage Allstate’s aggregate data on driver behavior and intellectual property related to risk prediction for uses spanning mobility, consumer, and insurance solutions.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature1 Image4 Top Ten Digitalist Magazine Posts Of The Week [October 30, 2017]For example, Verizon licenses an Allstate Good Hands Rescue API for its own roadside assistance app. And automakers GM and BMW also offer roadside assistance service through Allstate.

Potential customers for Arity’s API include insurance providers, shared mobility companies, automotive parts makers, telecoms, and others.

“Arity is an acknowledgement that we have to be digital first and think about the services we provide to customers and businesses,” says Chetan Phadnis, Arity’s head of product development. “Thinking about our intellectual property system and software products is a key part of our transformation. We think it will create new ways to make money in the vertical transportation ecosystem.”

One of Allstate’s major challenges is a change in auto ownership that threatens the traditional auto insurance model. No-car and one-car households are on the rise, ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft work on very different insurance models than passenger cars or traditional taxi companies, and autonomous vehicles could disrupt the traditional auto insurance model entirely.

This means that companies like Allstate are smart to look for revenue streams beyond traditional insurance offerings. The intangible assets that Allstate has accumulated over the years—a massive aggregate collection of driver data, an extensive set of risk models and predictive algorithms, and a network of garages and mechanics to help stranded motorists—can also serve as a new revenue stream for the future.

By offering two distinct API services for the platform economy, Allstate is also able to see what customers might want in the future. While the Good Hands Rescue APIs let third-party users integrate a specific service (such as roadside assistance) into their software tools, Arity instead lets third-party developers leverage huge data sets as a piece of other, less narrowly defined projects, such as auto maintenance. As Arity gains insights into how customers use and respond to those offerings, it gets a preview into potential future directions for its own products and services.

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Farmers Harvest Cash from a Platform

Another example of innovation fueling the platform economy doesn’t come from a boldfaced tech name. Instead, it comes from a relatively small startup that has nimbly built its business model around data with an interesting twist: it turns its customers into entrepreneurs.

Farmobile is a Kansas City–based agriculture tech company whose smart device, the Passive Uplink Connection (PUC), can be plugged into tractors, combines, sprayers, and other farm equipment.

Farmobile uses the PUC to enable farmers to monetize data from their fields, which is one of the savviest routes to success with platforms—making your platform so irresistible to end consumers that they foment the revolution for you.

Once installed, says CEO Jason Tatge, the PUC streams second-by-second data to farmers’ Farmobile accounts. This gives them finely detailed reports, called Electronic Field Records (EFRs), that they can use to improve their own business, share with trusted advisors, and sell to third parties.

The PUC gives farmers detailed records for tracking analytics on their crops, farms, and equipment and creates a marketplace where farmers can sell their data to third parties. Farmers benefit because they generate extra income; Farmobile benefits because it makes a commission on each purchase and builds a giant store of aggregated farming data.

This last bit is important if Farmobile is to successfully compete with traditional agricultural equipment manufacturers, which also gather data from farmers. Farmobile’s advantage (at least for now) is that the equipment makers limit their data gathering to their existing customer bases and sell it back to them in the form of services designed to improve crop yields and optimize equipment performance.

Farmobile, meanwhile, is trying to appeal to all farmers by sharing the wealth, which could help it leapfrog the giants that already have large customer bases. “The ability to bring data together easily is good for farmers, so we built API integrations to put data in one place,” says Tatge.

Farmers can resell their data on Farmobile’s Data Store to buyers such as reinsurance firm Guy Carpenter. To encourage farmers to opt in, says Tatge, “we told farmers that if they run our device over planting and harvest season, we can guarantee them $ 2 per acre for their EFRs.”

So far, Farmobile’s customers have sent the Data Store approximately 4,200 completed EFRs for both planting and harvest, which will serve as the backbone of the company’s data monetization efforts. Eventually, Farmobile hopes to expand the offerings on the Data Store to include records from at least 10 times as many different farm fields.

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Under Armour Binges on APIs

Another model for the emerging business platform world comes from Under Armour, the sports apparel giant. Alongside its very successful clothing and shoe lines, Under Armour has put its platform at the heart of its business model.

But rather than build a platform itself, Under Armour has used its growing revenues to create an industry-leading ecosystem. Over the past decade, it has purchased companies that already offer APIs, including MapMyFitness, Endomondo, and MyFitnessPal, and then linked them all together into a massive platform that serves 30 million consumers.

This strategy has made Under Armour an indispensable part of the sprawling mobile fitness economy. According to the company’s 2016 annual results, its business platform ecosystem, known as the Connected Fitness division, generated $ 80 million in revenue that year—a 51% increase over 2015.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature1 Image7 Top Ten Digitalist Magazine Posts Of The Week [October 30, 2017]By combining existing APIs from its different apps with original tools built in-house, extensive developer support, and a robust SDK, third-party developers have everything they need to build their own fitness app or web site.

Depending on their needs, third-party developers can sign up for several different payment plans with varying access to Under Armour’s APIs and SDKs. Indeed, the company’s tiered developer pricing plan for Connected Fitness, which is separated into Starter, Pro, and Premium levels, makes Under Armour seem more like a tech company than a sports apparel firm.

As a result, Under Armour’s APIs and SDKs are the underpinnings of a vast platform cooperative. Under Armour’s apps seamlessly integrate with popular services like Fitbit and Garmin (even though Under Armour has a fitness tracker of its own) and are licensed by corporations ranging from Microsoft to Coca-Cola to Purina. They’re even used by fitness app competitors like AthletePath and Lose It.

A large part of Under Armour’s success is the sheer amount of data its fitness apps collect and then make available to developers. MyFitnessPal, for instance, is an industry-leading calorie and food tracker used for weight loss, and Endomondo is an extremely popular running and biking record keeper and route-sharing platform.

One way of looking at the Connected Fitness platform is as a combination of traditional consumer purchasing data with insights gleaned from Under Armour’s suite of apps, as well as from the third-party apps that Under Armour’s products use.

Indeed, Under Armour gets a bonus from the platform economy: it helps the company understand its customers better, creating a virtuous cycle. As end users use different apps fueled by Under Armour’s services and data-sharing capabilities, Under Armour can then use that data to fuel customer engagement and attract additional third-party app developers to add new services to the ecosystem.

What Successful Platforms Have in Common

The most successful business platforms have three things in common: They’re easy to work with, they fulfill a market need, and they offer data that’s useful to customers.

For instance, Farmobile’s marketplace fulfills a valuable need in the market: it lets farmers monetize data and develop a new revenue stream that otherwise would not exist. Similarly, Allstate’s Arity experiment turns large volumes of data collected by Allstate over the years into a revenue stream that drives down costs for Arity’s clients by giving them more accurate data to integrate into their apps and software tools.

Meanwhile, Under Armour’s Connected Fitness platform and API suite encourage users to sign up for more apps in the company’s ecosystem. If you track your meals in MyFitnessPal, you’ll want to track your runs in Endomondo or MapMyRun. Similarly, if you’re an app developer in the health and fitness space, Under Armour has a readily available collection of tools that will make it easy for users to switch over to your app and cheaper for you to develop your app.

As the platform economy grows, all three of these approaches—Allstate’s leveraging of its legacy business data, Farmobile’s marketplace for users to become data entrepreneurs, and Under Armour’s one-stop fitness app ecosystem—are extremely useful examples of what happens next.

In the coming months and years, the platform economy will see other big changes. In 2016 for example, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google all released APIs for their AI-powered voice assistant platforms, the most famous of which is Apple’s Siri.

The introduction of APIs confirms that the AI technology behind these bots has matured significantly and that a new wave of AI-based platform innovation is nigh. (In fact, Digitalistpredicted last year that the emergence of an API for these AIs would open them up beyond conventional uses.) New voice-operated technologies such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa offer exciting opportunities for developers to create full-featured, immersive applications on top of existing platforms.

We will also see AI- and machine learning–based APIs emerge that will allow developers to quickly leverage unstructured data (such as social media posts or texts) for new applications and services. For instance, sentiment analysis APIs can help explore and better understand customers’ interests, emotions, and preferences in social media.

As large providers offer APIs and associated services for smaller organizations to leverage AI and machine learning, these companies can in turn create their own platforms for clients to use unstructured data—everything from insights from uploaded photographs to recognizing a user’s emotion based on facial expression or tone of voice—in their own apps and products. Meanwhile, the ever-increasing power of cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure will give these computing-intensive app platforms the juice they need to become deeper and richer.

These business services will depend on easy ways to exchange and implement data for success. The good news is that finding easy ways to share data isn’t hard and the API and SDK offerings that fuel the platform economy will become increasingly robust. Thanks to the opportunities generated by these new platforms and the new opportunities offered to end users, developers, and platform businesses themselves, everyone stands to win—if they act soon. D!


About the Authors

Bernd Leukert is a member of the Executive Board, Products and Innovation, for SAP.

Björn Goerke is Chief Technology Officer and President, SAP Cloud Platform, for SAP.

Volker Hildebrand is Global Vice President for SAP Hybris solutions.

Sethu M is President, Mobile Services, for SAP.

Neal Ungerleider is a Los Angeles-based technology journalist and consultant.


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