Category Archives: Microsoft Dynamics CRM

What to Do When Your Members Stop Talking to You?

CRM Blog What to Do When Your Members Stop Talking to You?

Membership Management Means Listening to your Members

Most associations and non-profit organizations thrive by establishing relationships with their members. It’s important to listen to your membership, understand what they need and what is important to them, so you can deliver it. What happens when your members have gone silent? How quickly did you notice that a member or group of customers has stopped communicating?

Associations often depend on the traditional “member survey” to take the pulse of the membership. While surveys may offer new insights into membership needs and interests, they aren’t as successful as you may expect. Not all members take the time to fill out a paper or online survey and these could be the next to go silent. Members won’t have confidence in your organization if you can’t confidently show you understand their needs. Membership engagement is evolving, and the technology you may already have in place will support a stronger dialog and understanding.

Strengthen Member Engagement With CRM

If you have noticed members have stopped talking to you, then turn to your customer relationship management (CRM) solution. CRM for associations provides a centralized location for all membership or customer-centric data. It also provides a new way to engage and communicate.

In your CRM solution, you will find valuable information about your members and customers such as the products or services they have purchased in the past, the results of membership surveys, as well as other documentation and forms of communication. Robust CRM solutions, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, also connect with many popular social networking sites, providing another valuable source for more information.

Dynamics 365 & Membership Management

Dynamics 365 along with BroadPoint’s Engage Member Management option offers dashboards and other business intelligence features that highlight key data indicating why your membership has grown silent. Turn to your member data to determine:

  • What’s happening in the social space. How are members talking to each other? What do they promote or praise? What do they criticize?
  • Evaluate the competition. Look at other associations and companies that may provide a service or benefit similar to those that you offer your member.
  • Analyze website traffic and associated metrics to see if there have been any changes in activity.

Dive into powerful business intelligence tools built within Dynamics 365 CRM to identify membership trends, such as which products or services are attracting attention and which marketing messages members are responding to—or not. Then, use this insight to reestablish communication and deliver the products or services that keep your membership engaged. Contact BroadPoint for additional guidance with using CRM to strengthen engagement and keep conversations flowing with your members and customers.

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How to Create Test Data with Known GUIDs in Microsoft Dynamics 365

When developing for Dynamics 365, there are times when it can be very handy to have test data with specified GUIDs, particularly when troubleshooting code that finds and returns or otherwise manipulates the GUIDs of entities, or entity references.

In such situations, it may make sense to create a range of test data with known GUIDs in Dynamics 365. This can be accomplished quite easily, using either a console application, or JavaScript.

Entities can be created with a specified GUID by specifying the GUID as part of the attribute set in creation, so it’s simply a matter of selecting an easily identifiable GUID for use. In the following examples, I’ll give a snippet of sample code demonstrating how to create an Account record with the Web API and using the IOrganizationService sdk, which is possible to obtain via a console app.

Creating via WebAPI

This can either be run from the console or as part of a web app. If you’re creating records, I’d suggest running it from the console.

image thumb How to Create Test Data with Known GUIDs in Microsoft Dynamics 365

For the purposes of this example, I’ve hardcoded all values except for the id, but it would definitely be possible to pass in additional parameters for variables such as api version, account name, or any additional attributes you may wish to set.

Creating via Console App (C#)

For information on how to connect to Dynamics 365 via a console app, sample console apps can be found as part of the Dynamics 365 SDK.

image thumb 1 How to Create Test Data with Known GUIDs in Microsoft Dynamics 365

The record is created as usual, using the IOrganizationService obtained from the Dynamics 365 instance.

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Explaining Your Dynamics 365 Job to Family this Holiday Season

Holiday Season 300x225 Explaining Your Dynamics 365 Job to Family this Holiday Season

It’s that wonderful time of year again. Holiday lights, turkeys and hams, cranberries, and oh – super awkward conversations with family members. We care about your success with Dynamics 365 – including its interaction with your family. That’s why today’s blog is all about how to explain your job as a Dynamics 365 expert to your family members – including those who still think upgrading Windows® means remodeling your home. Of course, Dynamics 365 is all about customized experiences, so we’re providing a solution for each conversation.

Mom and Dad

Your parents want to be proud of you; help them out with some bragging sound bites. Explain to them that you work with the cool Microsoft product called Dynamics 365. It tracks all kinds of data so that your company can make everyone’s life easier. As a Dynamics 365 expert for your business, you are loved by everyone. Operations loves you because you helped them reduce expenses by making the business more efficient. Marketing loves you because they want to marketing to people that need your services, and you helped them identify the right people. Sales loves you because you helped them connect with lots of people who love your company, and everyone else – especially your company’s leadership – loves you because you’re making the company better. Your parents will still find more ways to tell people how amazing you are, but at least it’s a start!

Grandpa

In the good old days, a pen a paper was all I needed to make my company run smoothly. Sounds like you’re just making things more complicated than you need to with your Tweeter machines and your Facepages,” he’ll say. However, you’ll wow him when you explain that you agree – you love
the Rolodex! That’s why you love your job. You basically get to help people create and use a Rolodex to help them do their job better. Why is that? Dynamics 365 is all about customization. “Don’t you just hate when those telemarketers call during dinnertime, Grandpa? Me too. I help my Sales team learn who actually wants to be contacted and how so they can stop annoying those of us who don’t want dinner interrupted.” You’ll win major bonus points with that one!

The Kid’s Table

Kids understand how technology works better than many **cough** most **cough** adults. However, from Finance and Operations to Customer Engagement, the end-to-end Dynamics 365 platform is a lot to take in – even for those working with it every day. Simplify it. Tell the kids table you work with a computer program that helps people make smart choices.

The Skeptical Uncle

No, corporations aren’t trying to control you, but that’s not going to stop your uncle from saying they are. Dynamics 365 isn’t about mind-control; it’s about options. Explain to the skeptical uncle that if you’re buying a car, you want a choice. You want colors, makes, models – and you definitely want the Sales person to schmooze you (unless you prefer shopping online). You don’t want the Salesperson pushing a gas guzzler when you’re looking for an economy car. Well, Dynamics 365 experts help companies provide these options. It uses the information you choose to share to help the Salesperson know exactly what options the customer wants, rather than the Salesperson pitching the car that’s rusting away on their lot.

The Aunt Who Made the Turkey, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, AND Stuffing

This aunt understands choices. Most people understand the food is amazing, but not everybody wants the gravy. Or maybe someone doesn’t want stuffing, but they want the turkey; they only want the mashed potatoes if they come with gravy on them. Dynamics 365 is a lot like this. The best companies understand Dynamics 365 is an incredible tool, but not all companies need all the workloads. Some only want help managing their operations. Dynamics 365 helps provide choices – even to companies wanting to use the product themselves!

We hope this helps you at the dinner table! Not enough to escape the family interrogations? You can always go hide and binge watch some of our PO TV videos!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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Relevance Search – Additional Filtering Using Facets and Filters

Additional Filtering 300x225 Relevance Search – Additional Filtering Using Facets and Filters

Relevance Search distributes a search in a single result list and sorts it by relevance based on a scoring concept. One key thing to know is that the higher the score, the more relevant the item.

Relevance Search can:

• Find matches to any word in the search phrase. Matches include various forms of the search word for example, “service,” will match to “servicing,” or “serviced”

• Search for text in emails and notes

• Search records that you own as well as those that have been shared with you

• Search for text in an Option Set and Lookup field

• Search for text in SharePoint integrated documents (scheduled to be included in the next Dynamics 365 update)

• Search for text within Documents in Dynamics 365. These include documents in a Note, Attachments, Email, and Appointments.

As you can see, the Relevance Search can do many great things but it can also result in millions of matches depending on the size of your organization. Luckily, for us, Microsoft has thought about that and included a feature called Facets and Filters. We get additional filtering by Record Type, Owner, Modified Date, and Created Date to personalize search experience.

Additional Filtering using Facets and Filters

Global Facets: You can refine your search results to Record Type, Owner, Created On, or Modified On. In this example below, I filtered the search results to only show records for a specific “Owner.”

111617 2201 RelevanceSe1 Relevance Search – Additional Filtering Using Facets and Filters

Entity Specific Facets: When you click on a specific record type, additional facets appear. These facets are specific to the fields of the Record Type/Entity. System Administrators and System Customizers can configure which fields are available for faceting through the entity’s Quick Find view. In the example, clicking on Cases gave me two additional facets: Priority and Origin.

111617 2201 RelevanceSe2 Relevance Search – Additional Filtering Using Facets and Filters

End user configuration: End users can also personalize their search experience by configuring the facet fields that they would like to see for any searchable entity.

111617 2201 RelevanceSe3 Relevance Search – Additional Filtering Using Facets and Filters

111617 2201 RelevanceSe4 Relevance Search – Additional Filtering Using Facets and Filters

Now that you have learned how to narrow your search results you will get results that are more relevant to your needs, making it easier to find what you are looking for.

Keep up with the latest and greatest on Dynamics 365 by subscribing to our blog here!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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Introduction to Behaviours of Date and Time Fields in Dynamics 365

In Microsoft Dynamics 365, the “Date and Time” data type is used quite often. Based on the requirements, we have the options to choose the format between “Date Only” and “Date and Time”. But what matters the most is the accuracy of information being generated from the data, and this has been an issue in old versions of Dynamics CRMs.

For example, the “Date of Birth” field is used commonly in many organisations with the “Date Only” format, and some organisations use the same instance of Dynamics CRM in different time zones.  If a user enters 21-2-2017 in the “Date of Birth” field for a record from their CRM account with time zone of Auckland (GMT +12:00), then if the same record is being viewed with a different time zone such as Tokyo (GMT +9:00), it would display 20-2-2017 (one day behind).

This is because when the record was saved by the first user, its time element had the value set to 12:00 AM, and when the record is being viewed in Japanese time zone, the time is converted to 20-2-2017 8:00 PM. Therefore, the value is shown as 20-2-17.

Fortunately, in Dynamics 365 we can select the behaviour for Date Time fields. In this blog, I will walk through the differences between these behaviours.

User Local

The field values are stored in UTC time zone. However, the values being displayed to the user depends upon the time zone selected in user’s Dynamics 365 application. For example, I created a custom field called “Interview On” of “Data and Time” data type for the Contact entity. Following were the options selected in the “Type” section.

image thumb Introduction to Behaviours of Date and Time Fields in Dynamics 365

Once saved, I added the field onto the Contact main form. Then a new record was created by a user in New Zealand and a value was selected for the “Interview On” field.

image thumb 1 Introduction to Behaviours of Date and Time Fields in Dynamics 365

After the changes were made, another user from Japan opened the same record, but would see a different value than the one stored earlier.

image thumb 2 Introduction to Behaviours of Date and Time Fields in Dynamics 365

Even though the “Interview On” value in the database for this record hasn’t changed at all, the time being displayed in the CRM UI is different. This is because the value displayed to the user depends on their time zone.

Date Only

The field value doesn’t display any time, but only date. In the database, the time portion of the value stored is always 12:00 AM. The advantage of using this behaviour is that date value is displayed the same across all time zones. This behaviour is useful for fields such as “Date of Birth” because no time conversion will be done, and accurate information will be presented to the user every time.

I created a custom field called “Date of Birth” for a custom entity called “Pet”, with following options selected in “Type” section.

image thumb 3 Introduction to Behaviours of Date and Time Fields in Dynamics 365

Once saved, I added the field onto the contact main form. Then a user from New Zealand selected a date of birth for one of the Contact records.

image thumb 4 Introduction to Behaviours of Date and Time Fields in Dynamics 365

When the same record was opened by another user in Japan and date values were being displayed the same for the “Date of Birth” field.

Time-Zone Independent

The last behaviour type is “Time-Zone Independent”. When fields with format of “Date and Time” are set with behaviour “Time-Zone Independent”, the values are displayed the same across all the time zones. For example, I modified the behaviour of the field I recently created “Interview On”. I changed the behaviour to “Time-Zone Independent”. Following are the values that were set in “Type” section.

image thumb 5 Introduction to Behaviours of Date and Time Fields in Dynamics 365

Note: Once the behaviour is set to “Time-Zone Independent”, it cannot be changed.

image thumb 6 Introduction to Behaviours of Date and Time Fields in Dynamics 365

Once the changes were saved, user from New Zealand created a new Contact record and selected a value for “Interview On” field.

image thumb 7 Introduction to Behaviours of Date and Time Fields in Dynamics 365

Then the record was reopened by another user in Japan. However, the values displayed in field “Interview On” was still the same for this user too.

Conclusions

There are a few things we must keep in mind. Out of the box field’s behaviour can be set to “Date Only” from “User Local”, but this cannot be done for all out of the box fields. Such as, “Original Start Date” field for Appointment entity is a field of type “Data and Time” and has behaviour set to “User Local”, and this cannot be changed. Also for a custom field, we can change the behaviour from “User Local” to “Time-Zone Independent” or “Date Only”.

Having the option to select either one of these behaviours saves us lots of additional coding time. For example, one of our clients had users from different time zones who were using same instance of CRM 2011. They used a field of format “Date Only”. Since data was being viewed in two different time zones, many records were displaying incorrect date in one of the time zones. There was no option to change the behaviour.  To come across this issue a lot of coding was required to update existing records, and automatically update future records.

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Try Our Quick Quote Wizard for Budgeting for Dynamics 365/CRM

CRM Blog Try Our Quick Quote Wizard for Budgeting for Dynamics 365/CRM

If you are in the market for a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution, one of the first questions you’ll have is, “how much will it cost?”.  A top CRM solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Microsoft Dynamics CRM) may be worth its weight in gold to your business but, how much gold are we talking about? Find out easily with the CRM Software Blog’s Quick Quote Wizard for CRM.

Despite its name, there really is no magic involved in generating a price estimate that you can use in the budgeting phase of your CRM search. It’s quick and it’s easy. Here’s how it works:

On the right-hand side of each page of the CRM Software Blog, there is an orange bar that reads ‘Request Instant Quote Dynamics 365/CRM’. Click that bar and you’ll be taken to our Quick Quote questionnaire. Answer a few basic questions about your CRM needs. Choose the license model and installation type based on the size of your company; let us know how many and what kind of user licenses you will need (we help you determine this) and the level of support you require. Add your contact information and that is all the Wizard needs to instantly generate an estimate for the cost of your Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM solution. It couldn’t be easier.

Now just sit back and wait a moment for the Quick Quote to appear in your email. This quote will be for working purposes only and is non-binding. We’ll also give your contact information to just one of our CRM Software Blog partners so they can contact you to answer any questions you have about the solution. You are under no obligation; the Quick Quote and the referral are a service we provide to our readers free of charge.

So, if you’re considering a CRM solution, make the Quick Quote Wizard your first stop. Try it today.

By CRM Software Blog writer, www.crmsoftwareblog.com

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It’s time to integrate Dynamics CRM and SharePoint

Since CRM Word Templates was introduced in CRM 2016, more CRM users are now generating documents with CRM than ever.

Documents generation in CRM is a one click function. Together with Dynamics PDF-Docs, the document is PDF, attached to the record’s Notes, and to Email as an attachment, a process that saves user’s time and makes documents generation in CRM, even more popular.

Documents are also delivered and uploaded to Dynamics CRM, stored in the record’s Notes, and as attachments to Emails sent to CRM users.

With so many documents stored in many CRM records, how one can find the document they need, stored in many records, some you don’t even have access to view the records. And how non-CRM user can access documents stored in CRM, if the person needs to action on document generated with CRM?

How user can manage different versions of same document, exchanged multiple times between the CRM user, customer and other stakeholders, before final version is agreed upon?

In the past, documents used to be stored in SharePoint. Now documents are stored in SharePoint, and also in CRM.  Finding and retrieving documents becomes a complex, and time consuming task. In addition, managing different versions of same document, duplication of documents stored in more than one record, and increase of CRM storage cost, due to the amount of space required to save documents in CRM, all point to one direction, It’s time to better integrate Dynamics CRM and SharePoint, and let SharePoint do what it does best, storing and managing documents.

Dynamics Objects offers number of tools to improve Dynamics CRM & SharePoint Integration. Our tools are using metadata, retrieved from CRM fields, saved with all uploaded documents to SharePoint. Metadata are the SharePoint columns that improve the way documents are organized, filtered, and viewed by SharePoint users. Metadata improves search results, by retrieving relevant documents using metadata content.

Dynamics PDF-Docs- In addition to PDF Word Template and attach it to outgoing Email, as explained before, the generated document is also uploaded to SharePoint, and SharePoint documents can be attached to the CRM Workflow. Read More …

Dynamics SharePoint Organizer (SPO) – an improved CRM and SharePoint integration, allowing automatic upload of documents to SharePoint, attached to CRM Emails and Notes, with metadata from the record. Read More …

Dynamics PDF-Docs and Dynamics SPO are two easy to implement solutions, to improve CRM and SharePoint integration, and can be downloaded and evaluated from our web-site. Integrating CRM and SharePoint is our business. Our experts are willing to advice you best practices to efficiently generate documents in CRM, and how to store and manage documents in SharePoint, with metadata from CRM records. Email as: Sales AT DynamicsObjects DOT com

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Dynamics 365 Monthly Update-October 2017

Quick Links: Featured News | Updates and Releases | Additional News | Training Corner

Featured News


Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) 9.0 Release is now available

Microsoft is excited to announce that the Dynamics 365 (online) 9.0 (also known as the July 2017 update) is available for trial and purchase! Stay tuned for information about when you can update your existing organizations.

The main areas of investment in the release are:

  • UX enhancements to improve readability and usability of the web apps and to make data entry faster and easier.
  • Extensibility and app platform enhancements, including improvements to security and data management.

Additionally, there are enhancements to the in-app Designer tools that allow admins and customizers to tailor apps through a graphical user interface instead of writing code (App Designer, Site Map Designer, and Business Process Flow Designer).

  • A new Unified Interface framework used for the Customer Service Hub, Dynamics 365 for phones and Dynamics 365 for tablets, and Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. Unified Interface is also available in the App Designer so that customizers can build app modules using this new look and feel.

For more information, review the following articles:

Dynamics 365 Team blog article

New for Enterprise Edition

New for Developers Enterprise Edition

Online-only features for Customer Engagement (CRM)

Known Issues list


Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 2.2

Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online and on-premises) Update 2.2 is now available.

Some issues that have been resolved include:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is failing to convert QuickCreate and BusinessLogic metadata.
  • Business Process Flow instances are getting recreated on the reload of the record even though they were explicitly deleted via the SDK
  • Tracked Email in Outlook fails with the following error: “SYSTEM user account not found.”
  • The email Description field is not displayed on a Quick View form.
  • Performance issues occurred while deleting records associated with a Business Process Flow.
  • Ribbon button issues when navigating back and forth between the main form and associated grids.

Knowledge Base Article:https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4046795/microsoft-dynamics-365-online-and-on-premises-update-2-2

Podcast and Overview:https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crminthefield/2017/10/30/podcast-and-overview-microsoft-dynamics-365-on-premises-update-2-2/

Download link:https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=56131


Microsoft Dynamics CRM IP address range updates­

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online users may not be able to access their online environment or CRM outages may occur if certain IP addresses are blocked. To avoid these issues, it is important to make sure the IP ranges identified in this article are available and not blocked by firewalls, antivirus or other network appliances.

Note: The IP address of your CRM Online organization is subject to change without notice to another IP address within the provided ranges so it’s important to make sure the entire range is not blocked.

In addition to the IP ranges, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online requires the IP Ranges of the Microsoft Azure Datacenters. To download the list of IP ranges that need to be allowed, access Microsoft Azure Datacenter IP Ranges.


TLS 1.2 Support

Microsoft’s engineering teams are continually upgrading the cryptographic infrastructure as part of our commitment to use best in class encryption. The team’s current area of focus is rapidly identifying and removing Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol version 1.0 dependencies in software built on top of Microsoft operating systems and migrating to TLS 1.2

Transport Layer Security is an industry standard protocol designed to protect the privacy of information communicated over the Internet. TLS is used in many web browsers and applications that communicate over HTTPS and TCP.

Microsoft’s engineering team has published the Solving the TLS 1.0 Problem whitepaper to aid customers in removing dependencies for TLS 1.0/1.1. Please review for more information.

What is the change for Dynamics 365?

Today, all Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement online versions support TLS 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2, but starting with the release of Dynamics 365 (online) 9.0 of the Customer Engagement platform, we will begin blocking connections to the updated product from clients or browsers that are using TLS 1.0 and 1.1.

Versions 8.x and 7.x of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement will not be affected with this change, and will continue to provide support for TLS 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2 as they do today.

Note: This change only affects Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) versions.

How will you or your customers be impacted?

All supported browsers for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (versions 7.x – Version 9.x) currently comply with the TLS 1.2 standards and will continue to work as before. However, if you have disabled the TLS 1.2 protocol on your browser or utilize a custom Windows client built with .NET 4.5.2 you will be affected and lose connectivity to organizations with the Dynamics 365 (online) 9.0.

If you have deployed a non-Windows application that connects to a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement instance you will need to verify that the technology stack you used supports TLS 1.2

To avoid impact:

  • Custom Windows clients built utilizing .NET 4.5.2 can be fixed by recompiling on .NET 4.6.2. Versions of .NET 4.6.2 and higher implement a process that will seek the highest possible security transport that the host operating system supports.

    • If you are unable to do this, you can utilize a registry setting on Windows that will force .NET to utilize the highest possible security standard. Please Note: This is a machine-wide setting and may have undesired affects. It is recommended that you or your customer utilize the method of recompiling to .NET 4.6.2 or higher. The registry settings that will force .NET 4.5.2 to prefer TLS 1.2 machine-wide are documented in the article Microsoft Security Advisory 2960358 in the section “Suggested Actions” under “Manually disable RC4 in TLS on systems running .NET Framework 4.5/4.5.1/4.5.2″
  • Non-.NET Clients (web and client applications)

    • Please check with the framework or language provider to determine how to configure your application to utilize TLS 1.2

Additional Information from the engineering team can be found on the Microsoft Secure Blog: TLS 1.2 support at Microsoft.


Security Enhancements: User session and Access management

Microsoft is in the process of rolling out security enhancements that will provide customers with better flexibility in managing user timeout sessions and compliance with security and data privacy policy.

User session timeout: Force users to re-authenticate after a set period, system admins can set a session timeout for their individual Dynamics 365 instances.  Users can only remain signed in to the application for the duration of the set period.

Access Management: Prevent users from sharing credentials to access Dynamics 365. The user access token is validated to ensure that the user who was given access by the identity provider is the same user who is accessing Dynamics 365.

Please see Security enhancements: User session and access management to enable and configure these security system settings for your Dynamics 365 instances. These enhancements will be available for Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM 2016 (online), Dynamics CRM 2016 (on-premises), and Dynamics CRM 2015 (on-premises).

For more information, review this blog post on the Dynamics 365 Team blog.


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Updates & Releases


Update Rollup 5 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Service Pack 1

Update Rollup 5 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now available.

Some issues that have been resolved include:

  • Date format is changed from DD/MM/YYY to MM/DD/YYYY after new records are imported.
  • Activities that are converted to Opportunities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Office Outlook do not show as Completed.
  • Fields with field-level security enabled are not visible for new users.
  • An error occurs while attempting to insert a template into an e-mail.
  • When uploading a file to SharePoint, the window appears to be stuck at “Loading”.
  • A “Duplicate Record” error occurs while attempting to add multiple users to a team.

Review the support article for more information and to download the service pack.


Microsoft Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.9

Microsoft Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.9 is now available.

New and updated features include:

  • Easy to manage Settings and Search Setup options
  • New option control to review details of a post
  • Distinguish between child and parent post
  • Twitter data use license requirements

Resolved issues include:

  • Fixed an issue in the Social Engagement content pack for Power BI that caused some fields in the report to lose their date types

For more information, review the What’s New article in the Dynamics 365 Team blog.


Update for Dynamics 365 Connector for Flow and Logic Apps

Microsoft Flow allows customers to create automated workflows between apps and services to get notifications, synchronize files, collect data and more. Logic Apps provide a visual designer to create complex processes and workflows. Version 2 (V2) of the connector is now available alongside the existing version so the new features can be tested without disrupting business for customers. Customers are welcome to try the new version, but the existing flows will continue to use the current version. The current version will continue to be available for the foreseeable future and currently there are no plans to retire it. Once the features are stable in V2 version, those capabilities will slowly be migrated to the existing version.

For more information, take a look at Dynamics 365 Connector for Flow and Logic Apps: an Update.


Field Service and Project Service Automation update – Universal Resource Scheduling

The Universal Resource Scheduling in Dynamics 365 allows customers to book skilled resources to the right work at the right time, regardless of workstream. Resources can be booked for work orders, cases, projects, leads or any custom entity. The Universal Resource Scheduling now includes some new features and enhancements:

  • Schedule Board Extensibility
  • Schedule Board Sorting
  • Schedule Board Extensions
  • Specify a fulfillment pattern on a resource requirement
  • See requirement breakdown when scheduling
  • Resource Continuity Panel
  • Substitute Resource
  • Revamped UI for Daily, Weekly, Monthly Schedule Assistant
  • Enhancements when creating bookings
  • Additional Enhancements

For more information, take a look at Part 1 and Part 2 of the Field Service and Project Service Automation update articles on the Dynamics 365 Team blog and the Release notes for October update for Field Service and Project Service Automation.


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Additional News


October 2017 Outlook Security Patch

After installing the October 2017 Microsoft Outlook security updates, customers reported issues with trying to view Dynamics 365 information in the Outlook folder pane of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Microsoft Outlook add-in (Outlook client). The view pane was blank and “Waiting for a page to be retrieved from a CRM server…” displayed, but never loaded.

The Dynamics 365 for Outlook add-in relies on customized roaming home pages to render webpages within Outlook. The October 2017 Microsoft Outlook security update disables roaming home pages in Outlook to address a significant vulnerability with the application, and as such, inadvertently causes the add-in to fail.

Due to this security update resolving multiple significant vulnerabilities within the Microsoft Outlook application, it must remain installed. To re-enable roaming home pages as a workaround while a permanent resolution is developed, a registry key must be added to the local client machines running the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook application. This key must be installed either through direct registry edit or via Group Policy in your organization.

For more information about the specific versions of the Outlook Security Update, as well as the version-specific registry keys needed to temporarily resolve the blank webpages, please review Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook is unable to render webpages after installing the October 2017 Microsoft Outlook security update.


New Automation and Visualization features for Business Process Flows (preview)

Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) version 9.0 (also known as the July 2017 update) includes two new features that are available for public preview: Business Process Flow dashboards, grids, and charts and Business Process Flow automation with Action Steps.

For more information, review this article https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crm/2017/10/25/new-automation-and-visualization-features-for-business-process-flows-public-preview/ on the Dynamics 365 Team Blog (includes instructions on how to enable the public preview features).


New from Microsoft Labs: Change Tracking Solution for Dynamics 365

The change tracking solution for Dynamics 365 is a feature that provides the ability to track the changes in Dynamics 365 made by System Administrators/System Customizers. It provides details of changes on who updated an entity, JavaScript, assemblies and processes along with the time of update. The solution is built on Dynamics 365 and works well with Dynamics CRM 2016 (Online/ On premises).

For information and links to download the solution, review this post on the Dynamics CRM in the Field blog.


Dynamics 365 Resource Scheduling Optimization Update

With the goal of continuously improving quality, performance, usability, and responding to customer feedback, Microsoft has released a Resource Scheduling Optimization update (v1.5.17284.2). The updated features include schedule board integration, simulation status for resource scheduling optimization and deployment app enhancements.

NOTE: This Resource Scheduling Optimization update is backward compatible with Dynamics 365 v8.2, and can be deployed on either Dynamics 365 v9.0 or Dynamics 365 v8.2. However, the ‘Schedule Board Integration’ feature is only available in Dynamics 365 v9.0.

For more information, review What’s New for Dynamics 365 Resource Scheduling Optimization v1.5.17284.2 Release and Release notes for October update for Field Service and Project Service Automation.

If you’re new to Field Service and Project Service Automation, then it’s important to start with a pre-configured environment to explore the capability. For more information on how to setup this environment, review Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service and Project Service Automation sample data.

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Training Corner


Training Sites & eLearning

Get the most up to date training and eLearning information for Dynamics 365 from the Help Center. The Training & Adoption Kit for Dynamics 365 is also available for download which includes user guides, quick reference cards, eBooks for end users and admins. Feel free to modify the content and distribute to your customers.

Want to know what new features are available for both online and on-prem customers? Then check out What’s new in Microsoft Dynamics 365.


Ignite 2017 Demonstration: PowerShell with Dynamics 365 Online Management API

During the Microsoft Ignite 2017 Conference a demonstration was provided on common scenarios using the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Online Management PowerShell module and how to query and alter data using PowerShell.

A ready-to-run Powershell script that demonstrates some of the Online Management API features in PowerShell and uses an optional module (Microsoft.Xrm.Data.PowerShell GitHub link & PowerShell Gallery link) for reviewing and editing data in a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement instance is now available here on the Dynamics CRM in the field blog.

Watch the on-demand session from Ignite 2017: https://myignite.microsoft.com/videos/57109


CRM and Dynamics 365 Features List

Ever wonder what features are available in the online versus on-prem instances of CRM and Dynamics 365? Take a look at the Dynamics 365 – Online vs on-premises features FAQ page to find out.


How can the new Dynamics 365 web client UI make you more productive?

The Dynamics 365 web client has a refreshed UI in Dynamics 365 (online) 9.0, that increases readability and consequently productivity. The new look and feel has been carefully designed by Microsoft’s UX experts after considering key user feedback and gaps identified after a thorough analysis such as too much of whitespace on forms and long field labels that get cut off.

No layout or functional changes were made to the existing infrastructure, so users can sail through to the new UI with no customization effort or training required.

Some of the updates include:

No more confusing whitespace

Before

clip image004 thumb1 Dynamics 365 Monthly Update October 2017

After

clip image006 thumb2 Dynamics 365 Monthly Update October 2017

Clear demarcation of where page header ends and form content begins

Before

clip image008 thumb2 Dynamics 365 Monthly Update October 2017

After

clip image010 thumb1 Dynamics 365 Monthly Update October 2017

Word wrap for long field labels and values

Before

clip image012 thumb1 Dynamics 365 Monthly Update October 2017

After

clip image014 thumb2 Dynamics 365 Monthly Update October 2017

For more information on the changes, review this post on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team blog.


Out of the Box: Choosing colors on the Schedule Board

Dynamics 365 offers Theming which allows an organization to modify the color schemes and add a logo to their instance to match their organization’s brand. There are other color controlling features in Dynamics 365. With a Field Service implementation, customers can change colors conditionally on the schedule board. Different colors can be selected for the booking entity to help quickly distinguish between appointments for work orders, leads, custom entities etc…the booking status which can change as the status of the entry is updated and the priority.

To see how to configure the Field Service Schedule Board, review this blog post and this training article.


Handling Business Process Flows on Record Create

This post answers the question: How can I apply a specific Business Process Flow when creating a CRM entity record? The article includes step by step instructions and provides additional information on how to select a default Business Process Flow for a record.


Ideas for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Help us improve Microsoft Dynamics 365 and its family of products and solutions by discussing ideas, providing suggestions, and giving feedback. Use the forums listed on the Ideas page to share your thoughts. Search through the existing ideas, before suggesting a new one, and you can vote on them to help increase visibility.

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Dynamics CRM in the Field

Data Management and Integration Using Data Entities – Part 2

Data Management Part 2 300x225 Data Management and Integration Using Data Entities – Part 2

In part two of our Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations: Data Management and Integration series, we will cover detailed information on data management and integration using OData Services.

This type of integration is real time in nature and mainly conducted in scenarios where business requirements are around office integration and third party mobile apps integration. OData stands for Open Data Protocol, which is an industry standard Representational State Transfer (REST) based protocol for performing CRUD operations (Create, Read, Update, Delete) and integration with Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

OData uses REST application programming interfaces (APIs) and OAuth 2.0 authorization mechanism to receive data to and from integration systems and Finance and Operations.

111317 2255 DataManagem1 Data Management and Integration Using Data Entities – Part 2

With OData Services for Finance and Operations, you can seamlessly integrate with all types of web technologies, such as HTTP and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and it lets developers interact with data in a standard yet powerful manner using RESTful web services.

OData endpoint

Data Entities that are marked Yes for the IsPublic property are exposed as an OData endpoint. When the IsPublic property for an updatable view is set to TRUE, that view is exposed as a top-level OData entity. Developers can consume this OData endpoint in their external application such as a .Net application for integration scenarios.

111317 2255 DataManagem2 Data Management and Integration Using Data Entities – Part 2

Integrating Client Application with OData:

OData integration REST API uses the same OAuth 2.0 authentication model as the other service endpoints. Before the integrating client application can consume this endpoint, developers must create and register the application ID in the Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AAD) and give it appropriate permission to Finance and Operations as per the steps below:

Go to Azure Portal > Azure Active directory > AppRegistrations

111317 2255 DataManagem3 Data Management and Integration Using Data Entities – Part 2

Click New Application Registration and select “Web app/API” for application type. Enter your Dynamics 365 URL for sign on.

111317 2255 DataManagem4 Data Management and Integration Using Data Entities – Part 2

Click Create and make sure to note the application ID. Click on the app and go to the “Required Permissions” page.

111317 2255 DataManagem6 Data Management and Integration Using Data Entities – Part 2

111317 2255 DataManagem5 Data Management and Integration Using Data Entities – Part 2

Click add and select “Microsoft Dynamics AX.” Go to the select permissions tab and select all the permissions available.

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Once the Application is created and registered below activities are performed in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. A Data project using the Data Management Framework can be used to create Import Export jobs for loading the data-to-data entities of extraction of the Data.

Click the Dynamics 365 URL > Go to System Administration > Data Management > Click on Import

111317 2255 DataManagem8 Data Management and Integration Using Data Entities – Part 2

In our next part of this series, we’ll look at Asynchronous Integrations. Stay tuned and subscribe to our blog to receive the latest posts in your inbox!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

Bookmarklet for Creating a Record with Specific GUID in Dynamics 365

When we’re creating Dynamics 365 solutions, we often need to create “reference” entities which we use with lookup fields to give us more flexibility than basic option set fields. For example, having a lookup for Country on accounts. When populating the lookup values for these entities, the system assigns a random GUID to each record.

The problem comes when we’re working with Development environments, Production environments, and UAT environments for the same solution, the reference data created in each environment is going to have different GUID’s, which means even if we create the exact same values (e.g. with the same “Name”), as soon as we need to reference them by GUID, the values are going to be different.

This means we’re going to face problems with any views, business rules, workflows, or anything else that needs to do filtering by a specific record. This is because if we create a view in the development environment which filters by one of those lookup values, it’s going to look for that same record by GUID when we deploy the solution to UAT or Prod.

I’ve discussed workarounds for this in the past, which includes referencing the lookup values by name, rather than by GUID.

The only way to specify your own GUID when creating a record is to create the record using the SDK. So with this in mind, I’ve created a user-friendly bookmarklet which uses the Web API to create a record of our choice, using a GUID of our choice. This means we can easily create reference data in our Dev, UAT, and Prod instances using the same GUID’s, so we don’t have to worry about facing issues when we deploy our solution.

The Solution

Simply copy the following code into a browser bookmarklet, then launch it from any Dynamics 365 screen. You’ll be prompted for the entity schema name, and then the GUID you want to use. Once confirmed, the record will be created using the specified GUID, and the form will then be opened for you to complete the rest of the fields. At this point, the record has already been created, and the GUID has already been set. And that’s it! No more worrying about lookup-related errors after deploying.

image thumb Bookmarklet for Creating a Record with Specific GUID in Dynamics 365

javascript:var form=$ (“iframe”).filter(function(){return”visible”==$ (this).css(“visibility”)})[0].contentWindow;try{var name=form.EntityLogicalName||form.Xrm.Page.data.entity.getEntityName()}catch(e){}var entityName=prompt(“Type the schema name of the entity to create:”,name||”account”);if(entityName){var id=prompt(“Type the ID to give the new record:”,”00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000″);if(id){var req=new form.XMLHttpRequest;req.open(“POST”,encodeURI(form.Xrm.Page.context.getClientUrl()+”/api/data/v”+(form.APPLICATION_VERSION||”8.2″)+”/”+entityName+”s”),!0),req.setRequestHeader(“Accept”,”application/json”),req.setRequestHeader(“Content-Type”,”application/json; charset=utf-8″),req.setRequestHeader(“OData-MaxVersion”,”4.0″),req.setRequestHeader(“OData-Version”,”4.0″),req.onreadystatechange=function(){if(4==this.readyState)if(req.onreadystatechange=null,this.status>=200&&this.status<=299)form.Xrm.Utility.openEntityForm(entityName,id);else{var e=JSON.parse(this.response).error;alert(e.message)}};var data={};data[entityName+”id”]=id,req.send(JSON.stringify(data))}}void(0)

You can also check out a bunch of other cool Dynamics 365 bookmarklets on this GitHub project.

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