Tips and Tricks for Deploying and Managing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales and Service – Ignite 2017

Here are the tips that we shared as part of our interactive discussion at Ignite 2017 around Deploying and Managing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales and Service.

We wanted to share them in a blog article to those who attended (to reduce the need for notes), for those who could not attend, and help reduce our own need for more PowerPoint slides. For those in attendance, feel free to ask any questions during the last 45-60 minutes of our session, or come find is in the hallways at Ignite. For those of you who couldn’t attend please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll do our best to reply in a timely manner.

1.       Review new features and functionality

·         Review what new features are available that you can leverage in the latest Dynamics 365 version and use this information to build a business case to migrate or update to the next version

·         What customizations can be retired in favor of out of the box configurations

                                                               i.      Example: Retiring certain JavaScript in favor of Business Rules

·         What’s New: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/what-s-new.aspx

·         Important changes coming in Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/get-started/whats-new/customer-engagement/important-changes-coming

·         CRM Roadmap: http://crmroadmap.dynamics.com

 

2.       Data Migration Strategy

·         What data and features actually needs to move to Dynamics 365

·         Data Loader for Microsoft Dynamics 365: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/lcs/2015/10/22/preview-feature-data-loader-for-microsoft-dynamics-crm-online                                                              

·         Other options include: Dedicated ETL tools (multiple platforms), SSIS adapters, and usage of .NET libraries such as the PFE Core Library or just the Dynamics 365 SDK assemblies

·         CRM on-premises to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement Migration Tool – Session on Friday morning at 9:00AM in OCCC W207 AB

 

3.       ISV Solutions

·         Review current requirements and if there is no Out Of The Box solution you can consider ISV solutions that may meet your needs.  Microsoft AppSource is your starting point for finding ISV solutions.  Contact the specific ISV’s to confirm their solution works with the latest Dynamics 365 version.

4.       Federation with Active Directory

·         A benefit of Dynamics 365 being part of Office 365 is the shared identity configuration, therefore Dynamics 365 can support capabilities in Azure AD such as:

·         Conditional Access –  https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt750484.aspx

·         Group Based Licensing – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/active-directory-licensing-whatis-azure-portal

·         Azure AD Connect – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/active-directory-aadconnect 

 

5.       Integrations: Review current and planned – common approaches include:

·         Logic Apps can now be notified by Dynamics 365 (online) and may talk back into Dynamics 365 (online): https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/connectors-create-api-crmonline 

·         Microsoft Flow: https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/

·         Microsoft PowerApps: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-dynamics-365-home-the-new-way-for-users-to-discover-and-launch-apps-built-with-powerapps/

·         Service Bus Integration:

                                                               i.      Previous version of service bus limited (CRM 5.0 – 8.0)

                                                             ii.      Updated service bus starting CRM 2016 Update 1 (CRM 8.1 and higher) https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg334766.aspx

·         Other tools including ISV online hosted integrations

6.       Outlook Integration

·         Consider your current Outlook integration and if the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook will work for your organization. 

·         Deploy Dynamics 365 App for Outlook: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn946901.aspx

·         Dynamics 365 App for Outlook User’s Guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/crm-app-for-outlook-user-s-guide-lightweight-app.aspx

·         CRM for Outlook has been deprecated in the v9 release: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crm/2017/08/08/deprecation-of-dynamics-365-for-outlook

7.       Email Options

·         It’s strongly recommended that you use Server Side Sync as we have deprecated the legacy CRM E-mail Router.

·         Supported E-mail service configurations for server-side synchronization: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn531050.aspx

·         Set up server-side synchronization of email, appointments, contacts, and tasks: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn531109.aspx     

 

8.       Reporting Strategy

·         SQL Reports against the transactional database are not possible with Dynamics 365 (online).  Existing SSRS reports should be updated to use FetchXML

·         This is also a perfect opportunity to look at self-service BI options like PowerBI

·         Synchronizing data to an enterprise data warehouse

·         Data Export Service: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt788315.aspx

·         Microsoft Dynamics 365 Reporting Considerations: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn792525.aspx

 

9.       Mobility Solutions

·         Review your current mobility solutions or requirements for mobility with Dynamics 365

·         There is an app for Dynamics 365 for Tablets & Dynamics 365 for Phones available on Windows, Apple and Android

·         Mobile customization tips:

                                                               i.      Same form is now used for web, tablet and phone

                                                             ii.      Supported custom javascript will work as expected

·         Dynamics 365 for Phones and Tablets User’s Guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/crm-for-phones-and-tablets-user-s-guide.aspx

·        Setup Dynamics 365 for phones and Tablets: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/dn531128.aspx

·        Customize Dynamics 365 for phones Tablets: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn531159.aspx

·        Mobile offline: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/work-offline-in-dynamics-365-for-phones-and-tablets.aspx

10.   Dynamics 365 Updates

·         Customer Driven Updates (CDU)

                                                               i.      Review the information in the Updates page in the Dynamics 365 (online) Administration Center (https://portal.office.com > Admin centers > Dynamics 365 > Updates tab) to find out what instances are ready to update, and the schedule.

                                                             ii.      Approve the update.  If you do not approve the update, Microsoft will not apply the update. 

·         Service updates are applied to your Dynamics 365 (online) instances and communications are posted in the Office 365 Message Center and are visible by O365 Global Admins and Dynamics 365 Service Administrators

·        Manage Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) Updates: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn308237.aspx

·        Manage Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) Service Updates: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2925359/microsoft-dynamics-crm-online-releases

 

11.   Sandbox vs. Production Instances

·         There are two different types of instances in Dynamics 365 (online).  Production organizations are meant for production deployments and most organizations will only have 1 or 2 production instances.  Sandbox organizations are used for development purposes and customers commonly have 1 or more sandbox organizations.

·         Sandbox organizations offer additional management features such as Reset, Admin Mode and Delete.

·         All organizations are on the same hardware and treated as Production instances

·         Manage Dynamics 365 (online) instances: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn659833.aspx

12.  Dynamics 365 (online) Backup & Restore functionality

·        On demand backup\restore

·        Available for 3 days

·        Does not count against your storage limits

·        Backup\Restore to Azure Storage coming soon!

·        https://technet.microsoft.com/library/mt748060.aspx

13.  Dynamics 365 Administrators, Dynamics 365 Service Administrators & Office 365 Global Admins

·     Dynamics 365 Administrators can manage instances in the Dynamics 365 Admin Center

·     Dynamics 365 Administrators, Dynamics 365 Service Administrators and O365 Global Admins will receive Dynamics 365 notifications and communications

·     Dynamics 365 Service Administrators can provision new instances

·     Office 365 Global Administrators are needed to approve e-mail addresses if the e-mail address changed since syncing from AAD

·     New users e-mail addresses are automatically approved now.  Note: This is a new change added 8.2.1.360 update a few weeks ago

·     Administering Dynamics 365: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn531101.aspx

·     Dynamics 365 Service Administrator: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt793847.aspx

 

14.   Online Management API for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement

·        https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/developer/online-management-api/

·        Support for: Backup\Restore, Create\Delete Instance, Enable\Disable Admin Mode, Create\Enable\Disable Tenant App Identities, Retrieve Instance Information and Status

·        2 Theater Sessions on Wednesday: 10:20AM Expo Theater #9 & 12:35PM Hyatt Regency Theater – Level 1

     

15.   Organization Insights

·        View metrics about your instance with Organization Insights dashboard     

·        Active Users, Filter by User (added in 1.3.0.1 release on 9/20/17), Specific Operations, Total Page Requests, etc.         

·        Available on AppSource: https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/product/dynamics-365/mscrm.04931187-431c-415d-8777-f7f482ba8095?tab=Overview

 

16.   Deprecation of SOAP Service & Support for WebAPI & OAuth

·        If you use the CRM SDK .NET client libraries: CALL TO ACTION: Update to the latest SDK libraries (8.1 or higher). These will eventually start to use the WebApi under the covers – no need        to write a custom http client.

·        If you authenticate with CRM via non-.NET languages: Java, Python, Ruby, etc. CALL TO ACTION: migrate SOON over to using ADAL which will use oAuth. 

·        Planned: starting in the next major release of CRM WebApi will be the supported endpoint

·        CRM 2011 wcf/soap service has been declared deprecated – no, it’s not going to disappear in the near term but it’s a signal to all developers to start migrating

·        If you use the .NET SDK libraries you can keep using these.

·        https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crm/2016/06/17/deprecation-announcements-with-dynamics-crm-online-2016-update-1-and-microsoft-dynamics-crm-2016-service-pack-1

17.   Microsoft Dynamics 365 UI Automation Library (EasyRepro)

·        The purpose of this library is to provide Dynamics customers the ability to facilitate automated UI testing for their projects.

·        http://aka.ms/EasyRepro

 

We really enjoy hearing all of the success stories about how you are leveraging Dynamics 365 products to accelerate and grow your business success!  We also enjoy hearing about any challenges you are having with your deployment and how we can help make it successful with our Premier Field Engineering Services and our Microsoft Consulting Services.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at Ignite 2017!

Shawn Dieken & Sean McNellis

Follow the conversation:
@sdieken and @seanmcne
@pfedynamics | http://www.pfedynamics.com

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