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Taxonomies have been around for a very long time. In biology, even before technology evolved, taxonomies were defined to group and structure various organisms based on shared characteristics.

Evolving with technology

With the evolution of technology, the approach has been borrowed, and is now used in structuring data and various materials.

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It has been a while since one of these came out. The last one that stands out in my mind was applicable to Dynamics CRM 2011, even thought there might have been a few since.

I’m referring to the Solution Lifecycle Management: Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps. You can get your copy from HERE. And you really SHOULD!

With the changes introduced to the solution concepts, this is one of the best written whitepaper explaining the details of solution layering, and managing development environments (even if you’re just doing customizations and configurations).

This document is giving the reader a good understanding of challenges and recommendations around solution management and deployment, and covers the latest updates done to solution layering, patching, merging configurations, etc. It’s talking about how things used to be done, some of the reasons why, as well as how they can be done going forward.

Spoiler alert – for those still leaning towards using unmanaged solutions all the way through, this is clearly taking the managed solution approach.

Besides solution layering and overall management, a really good part of this whitepaper is the environment management requirements for parallel deployments and patching, showing some of the complexities around it. In addition, it’s covering some of the tools for automation in build, test and deployment-wise.

As I said, really good whitepaper worth reading and keeping it close at hand.

Put your reading glasses on and set aside some time for this!

Case Study: you have a company site hosted on a CMS (let’s assume WordPress for the purpose of this). You want to capture inquiries from the public, and create Leads in your Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Technologies: WordPress site (you must be able to create plugins) or any other public site, Logic Apps, Dynamics 365 for Sales.

On your WordPress site you have a plugin that collects the Lead details and pushes then to a HTTP end-point. This is a JSON with a payload containing the Lead details. I’ll let the WordPress gurus figure this one out, but if you run a search for WordPress form to JSON plugin you will find several results of already existing plugins.

On your Azure Portal, find Logic Apps and create a new app. Once your app is created (it only takes a few moments), go into designer and create a blank Logic App. Search for HTTP and find HTTP Request.

LogicAppsHTTPRequest

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Nowadays the toolbox is getting big and heavy. We have some level of overlap between some of the various platforms joined under the Dynamics 365 name, we leverage various features of Office 365, we integrate with other products like SharePoint and OneDrive. And this is just scratching the surface. I mean, really, look at the “new fave kid on the block”, the Power Platform.

And here’s another one for the non-developer: Microsoft Forms Pro. It’s now in public preview.

002-01-MicrosoftFormsPro

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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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