My new video course, Configuring and Extending Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement is ready for launch.

Again, I want to take this opportunity to thank Packt Publishing for pushing this project over the edge, and helping me get it out there to all users.

I also want to thank the community for driving me to provide these materials. It’s a great time to be involved. Don’t be shy, reach out!

You can find links on the main sidebar of my blog site to all other materials I’ve published so far.

Don’t forget to take advantage of all the promotions available for various learning materials. Every day you learn something new is a good day!

Enjoy!

Ok, we all know by now, with Dynamics 365 CE we have portal capabilities. It’s a configurable portal driven by the config and data in your CRM. But that’s where I’ll stop. The CRM Portal architecture is very much coupled to your CRM, and it doesn’t qualify for our Decoupled Architecture topic.

Instead, in this post I want to focus on the large majority of enterprises. They already have a portal, most likely a CMS driving their current site, Read the rest of this entry »

As we’ve seen in the previous article, Decoupled Architecture is a model that allows various layers of a platform to execute independently, but interface together.

In this article I want to focus a little deeper, and tackle the Decoupled Architecture model when it comes to integrations.

Imagine this typical scenario:

Read the rest of this entry »

In this article I want to focus on Decoupled Architecture. This is the start of a small series, in the end driving the idea back to Business Applications, but this first post is going to be quite agnostic.

Very often we are faced with a project where, dues to obvious constraints, like time and budget, we have to produce an output that might not be ideal on the long run. While we’re solving the problem at hand successfully, are we really setting the customer on the right path for the future?

Let’s look at what Decoupled Architecture is in the first place.

This pattern enables layers to execute independently, but keep interfacing together.

Read the rest of this entry »

Had a question today that got me thinking for a moment. Haven’t done any SiteMap tweaking in a long time.

Someone added a new Area to their CRM, using the SiteMap Editor in XrmToolBox. Yet, while all looked somewhat ok, the navigation was not reflecting the changes.

Read the rest of this entry »

One interesting aspect requested recently was the ability for a user to quickly see, when looking at an all record view the stage a record is at in the business process flow. That would make it easier for users to not only see quickly where their records are, but also have the ability to filter for only records at a particular stage to focus on.

This can be achieved easily, with a no code configuration. Let’s see how.

Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve all seen the scenario, something happens in Dynamics, and a user must be notified. We’ve done it so far using emails, the brave ones have even done it with SMS by integrating with Twilio. SMS is not a protocol that confirms the receipt of the message (just FYI), and typically not under the umbrella of a Messaging Team to manage. But what if there was another way?

Welcome to Skype for Business notifications. Yes, we can send a message on Skype to a user when something of importance happens in Dynamics.

For this scenario I’m going to do a no-code approach, using Flow. We’ll discuss the challenges further down, but for now, let’s see how easy it is.
Read the rest of this entry »

So, this came about in a recent discussion. When you have a Two Options field in Dynamics, what’s the point of marking it a business required field?

Let’s start by looking at how you create this field. When you add a new Two Options field, the screen to define it looks like the screenshot below:

image

Observe that, when you define the field properties, the values are by default Yes and No (you can actually edit and change these), but all the way to the bottom right, you are defining the default value. That means that, no matter what you do, the field will have a default value as defined here. And that works just fine, in particular, when a user creates a record. The selected default value is populated.
Read the rest of this entry »

I would argue that in today’s world, it is almost impossible for one person to know in detail all aspects of a platform. Take Dynamics 365 for example. With the merger of multiple platforms under one generic marketing name, now we have specialists in Customer Engagement, F&O, Talent, etc. Take it one step lower, inside Customer Engagement, and with Field Service and PSA, you need to catch-up on new concepts, business models, etc. And then there’s always been the xRM part, which is all about the client’s business need outside of the scope of typical standard modules. But that’s not all.

The platform, as we knew it, is growing at an exponential rate. Where does that take us?
Read the rest of this entry »

For the first time in Canada, Dynamics 365 Saturday will take place on May 05, 2018 at the Microsoft Meadowvale office.

As the event line-up is taking shape, it’s looking like a great set of presenters, covering a Functional Track, a Technical Track as well as an Ecosystem track with a focus on related technologies like CDS, PowerApps, Power BI.

Spots are filling up quickly, and the seats are limited. Register to reserve your seat HERE.

Note that this is a FREE event, everyone is welcome to attend.

See you all there!

I am presenting a session at the Power BI User Group in Toronto on leveraging Power BI in the context of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement.

The sign-up page is available at:

https://www.meetup.com/Toronto-Power-BI-Meetup/events/248779906/

The session takes place on Wednesday, March 28th. There’s still time to register.

Join us for a night of fun and learning!

All robust platform can have a daunting data structure. With some, and in certain situations, you might not directly care about the intricacies. But if you are looking to create reports and visualization, identifying the complexities around data structure becomes quite important.

When working in Power BI, and connecting to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, the first step is to identify the entities and relationships that will help you to create relevant dashboards.

You could just ask a Dynamics developer to walk you through it, but that’s not always an option.

Back with older versions of Dynamics CRM, the SDK used to include these complex and large ERD diagrams. They were hard to read, and too stuffed of information. I remember spending time cleaning them up and removing non-relevant entities and relationship so I can present a small portion in documentation.

But fast forward to today. As a Power BI resource that is just starting to look at leveraging data from Dynamics 365, you can start first by looking at the entities. You can find a listing of the entities in the SDK (available for 8.2 at this time).
Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft Business Solutions MVP

Check out my course [Video]

Configuring and Extending Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement

Configuring and Extending Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement

Check out my course [Video]

Getting Started with Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement

Reviewed Book

Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Reviewed Book

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Extensions Cookbook

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Extensions Cookbook

Check out my Book

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Customization - Second Edition

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Customization - Second Edition

Check out my Book

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customization Essentials

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customization Essentials

Check out my Book

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Scripting Cookbook

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Scripting Cookbook

Reviewed Book

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Dashboards Cookbook

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Dashboards Cookbook

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