We’ve all done it in the past, where we started tinkering with the navigation, filtering entities based on permissions, removing entire areas from the navigation, and tinkering with user roles and hiding aspects of the platform.

Well, welcome to a new world of apps. What started with mobile, where “there’s an app for that”, now find it’s home in Dynamics 365 CE also. Microsoft gave us the tone, with the Sales and Customer Service apps, and gave us the tools to roam free.

We can now use the very visual App Designer to create our own very specialized apps. And the beauty, it follows the same configurable model as any other configuration on the platform.

NOTE that, while you have the ability to configure new apps in both a solution file or directly in the core solution, you should really try to stick with using solutions.

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With all the focus on the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement naming, the split into Dynamics 365 for Sales and Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, with or without Marketing, and all the licensing implications and additional functional packages, this is a question that came out of the blue and caught me a little off-guard. While I’m still working on a few on-premise instances, all the licensing discussions lately have been around the online model. As such, maybe I haven’t paid enough attention to versioning for on premise, my bad.

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While Relevance Search was added on version 8.2 of Dynamics 365 at the end of 2016, it came as part of a recent discussion when a SharePoint resource asked me about something similar to the old Search Server (MSS) or SharePoint Search, but in CRM. Namely, he was asking about the ability to have result filters based on specific record properties. Remember this?

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As we’ve looked at CDS in these previous articles Creating your first Common Data Service (CDS) database and How to import .csv data into CDS, let’s bring it back home and see one way to bring data from your Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement into CDS. We’re looking at Flow now.

We can use Flow for both importing and exporting data with CDS. In addition, we can use it for both standard and custom entities. As for sources, the list of connectors is continuously growing. What does that mean? We can actually synchronize data between various application using CDS.

Note that, while we’re doing this, we’re following a typical scheduled ETL flow. This is not a synchronization service. One of the biggest differences is the fact that no deletes are supported. We can create records, update records, but have no ability to capture delete.

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It’s been a while since I’ve actually done any administration, and I just had a question stump me for a second: How can I determine which roles have a specific privilege? Well, the question was a little more specific, but this pretty much captures the idea.

Leveraging the out of the box functionality, this can an intensive process, especially if you have a rather larger number of custom security roles. And since you should be creating your own custom roles, this is the case in larger implementations.

Luckily I vaguely seemed to remember reading about something like that not too long ago. And it was in the context of the XrmToolBox. This had grown over the years into a nice collection of tools, sort of like the “Swiss army knife” for xRM. Once you get one, the next model is thicker, with more features.
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As we’ve seen in the previous articles on How to work with Power BI in Dynamics 365 for Sales and Service as well as How to work with Power BI in Dynamics 365 for Sales and Service–Part 2, we can leverage the existing content packs to simplify our data presentation for the Sales and Service modules in Dynamics 365. And that works fine if your requirements conform to what’s already built in those content packs. But most of the time that’s not necessarily the case.

Let’s have a look at how you can work with Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement data in Power BI from scratch. We’re going to be doing this from Power BI desktop. If you don’t have it installed on your machine, grab it from the Microsoft Store or from here.
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