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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!

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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 »

UPDATE: The issue has been resolved. If you still encounter issues, open a support ticket.  

Message:
OData: The feed’s metadata document appears to be invalid. Table: Subject.

 

If you’ve been working with Power BI and pulling data from Dynamics 365, you might have encountered an issue with the OData connection. This applies when connecting to Dynamics 365 either using Power BI, Excel, or even when using the Power BI content packs for Sales Analytics and Customer Service Analytics. You will either get the following error when using Power BI or Excel:

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Or you will see in your logs on Power BI:

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This is a relatively recent occurrence (first I’ve encountered it was on Feb. 07, 2018), and it does not affect all environments. It’s been identified as a known issue and logged on the Power BI support site at

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/support/

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Waiting for the next update on a resolution.

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

As we’ve seen in the previous post, getting content from Dynamics 365 for Sales or Service into Power BI is a relatively easy task when leveraging the Content Packs created by the great guys at the Power BI team.

Now, with the content packs in place, let’s go back to our Dynamics 365 instance and bring the data with a nice lipstick on.

First off, you must enable Power BI visualizations.

Go to Settings > Administration. Here open System Settings and on the Reporting tab, enable Power BI visuals.

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Read the rest of this entry »

With the obvious impact that Power BI brings to data analysis and visualization, Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement stands to benefit from a few pre-packaged features available.

Not only we can bring CRM information onto Power BI, but we can also easily present Power BI elements inside Dynamics 365. So, it’s a win-win situation.

To make things easier for us all, the great guys at Power BI sat down and created two specific Content Packs for Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement. They are the Sales Analytics for Dynamics 365 and the Customer Service Analytics for Dynamics 365.

Sweet, this these content packs in place, a Dynamics power user can start creating their own personal dashboards in CRM and share them with the team. This is where the beauty is, as you don’t need a developer or administrator involved once the content packs are made available.

Of course, you will want to leverage the support of your Power BI specialist to configure and extend the content packs to better fit your business, but once that’s done, Bob’s your Uncle. Read the rest of this entry »

Following THIS previous post where I described how to connect Power BI Desktop to Dynamics CRM, we’re going to have a quick look at how to map our Accounts from Dynamics CRM in Power BI. For the scope of this post, we’re going to highlight the states where we have clients (Accounts).

Once we have the connection to Dynamics CRM established, we are presented with the Navigator. Here we can select the data from Dynamics CRM that we want to work with. I’ll be selecting here the AccountSet.

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You will get a truncated view of the data for preview. Select Load. Note that this is not the fastest kid on the block, so wait for a moment while all your data loads. Depending on the data set, this could take a while.

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Once loaded, your data set will appear in the Fields area, on the right hand side. If you want to make your query leaner, you could edit the properties and remove the columns you don’t need, but we’ll be looking at advanced query configuration some other time.

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Now is probably a good time to check and make sure that your Accounts in CRM have Latitude and Longitude. Geo-mapping an address is not something you can turn on out of the box, so you will have to either customize the functionality to map an address to it’s coordinates, or use a 3rd party solution that does that.

Next select the icon that looks like a map, and click it. A map representation shows on the page.

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Click on the Data icon on the left side. Here you get a view of the data from CRM, and the ability to customize each field’s properties.

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Select each of the mapping fields and from the Properties ribbon area define the Data Category for each. For example, select the Address1_Longitude field and select Longitude in the Data Category.

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Do the same for Latitude and the address fields as needed.

Now go back to the Report view and in the Visualization Fields wells start dropping the values you need as depicted below.

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Now your Report view should refresh and show you something like this:

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You can tweak the settings as needed. When satisfied, save and publish your report.

Enjoy!

I just had a user asking me today about connecting Power BI Desktop to CRM Online. It’s been a while since I looked at this, so I had to think about it for a moment. So I decided to write it down as a reminder.

Starting the application you are presented with a screen as below.

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If you disabled the startup page, you can get to the same wizard by going to Get Data on the ribbon.

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Select More, and in the window that pops-up find Dynamics CRM Online.

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Once you click Connect you are presented with the URL screen. Here’s where it’s easy to make a mistake, even though it’s stated pretty clear what URL you have to point to. Make sure it’s the complete Organization Service URL, not just the Org URL.

CORRECT: https://<org>.crm[x].dynamics.com/XRMService/2011/OrganizationData.svc

NOT CORRECT: https://<org>.crm[x].dynamics.com/

When using the incorrect URL you are not prompted to provide the credentials later on, and thus can not establish the connection.

Next, for authenticating to CRM Online, select Organizational Account on the next screen

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If you have provided multiple URLs before, including the incorrectly formatted one, select the correct one you want to use.

You will be prompted to sign-in. Do so using a user with permission to access the organization.

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If everything is ok, when clicking on Sign In you will be redirected to the O365 login page:

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Once everything is ok, click Connect and you should be in. Now select your data set and start building the visuals. We’ll be looking at some of the features and options available with Power BI in another post.

Lesson learned: read and follow the instructions carefully. Check the URL you provide. Don’t be “lazy” and expect the app will figure out what you meant (even though it would have been easy to validate the URL and append the Organization Service suffix if missing).

Enjoy!

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