The hills are alive, with the sound of people downloading the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide October 2018, just released today! Ok, so apart from me, most people don’t get too excited about software licensing, but there are some fundamental changes coming for Microsoft Dynamics customers, so be aware. You’d better set aside a day or two to fully digest and understand the changes,. If you haven’t got the time to do so, read on for my highlights. Continue reading “Dynamics 365 CE Licensing Guide Changes October 2018”
Over the past few days, I’ve spent some time doing a deep dive into the Unified Client Interface – it seems like most people have now settled on calling it UCI. I have been trying to work out some ‘better practices’ for user centered design, with the aim of improving user adoption for those users inclined, or perhaps directed, to use it.
Microsoft are clearly working towards a User Centered design through the very fact that the new interface exists and the principles they have implemented so far. Ultimately though, the user experience will be as good or bad as the decisions you make when, as a Dynamics customiser or partner, you configure it.
In April 2017 I attended SummitEMEA in Amsterdam and listened intently when Matt Barbour told us that a true Microsoft Dynamics XRM image – i.e. a CRM organisation instance with only accounts, contacts, activities and nothing else – existed internally within Microsoft. This interested me as partners have been calling out for this since the old CRM 4.0 on-premise days. At that time it seemed there were no immediate plans to do anything with it.
Fast forward one year, and this time closer to home in SummitEMEA in Dublin, April 2018 and Matt Barbour again moved the conversation on a country mile or three. I discovered that XRM no longer officially exists in name, but does exist in practice and has been renamed PowerApps. So, how does this work? Continue reading “PowerApps is dead. Long live XRMPowerApps.”
I spent some time watching the some of the Microsoft Ignite sessions on YouTube, and the most interesting from a Dynamics point of view was Matt Barbour’s session looking at platform updates for Dynamics 365 Customer Edition v9.
One thing that was not disclosed at the preview sessions earlier this year was the addition of Auto Numbering for any entity – not just a few select core entities. From the screenshot Matt put up explaining how they are created in C#, it was enough to see how they were defined, so I wrote a web resource to allow users to create these without any code.
To download and see how it works find full instructions can be found on the Dynamics 365 Heroes blog. Hopefully this will not be required for too long as I would expect the native UI to be updated in a minor rather than a major update.
Any questions, let me know!
I listened with interest to Steve Mordue on the MS Dynamics World podcast today about his views on the recent announcements at the NAV Directions conference last week. Steve is a Microsoft Partner with an opinion worth listening to on everything Dynamics, but primarily CRM. As a Dynamics partner or interested customer, If you haven’t listened to the podcast I would recommend doing so, but first have a read of his blog post here which is a great read as well as includes as a bit of drama!
Listening to the podcast gave me some food for thought based on some conversations I have been having with some customers and other partners recently. With that in mind, I thought I’d share my own opinion here.
After the Dynamics 365 v9 preview sessions we are now getting a little bit more detail direct from the Microsoft website detailing what the changes mean in practical terms for users, configurers and developers.
Head over to https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/get-started/whats-new/ to see the full details or just read my summary below.
Here is my take on some of the major points that caught my attention.
I’ve been using apps with Dynamics 365 for some time now and they are a great way of simplifying the user interface in a way that doesn’t require you to cross reference low level security permissions with Site Map XML.
One problem that has come up time and time again is the fact that different organisations often have different types of contact because of the nature of their business. There are a lot of benefits you get from using the system contact entity, which means that creating a new custom entity for a new contact type does not always make sense.
For example, consider an organisation with multiple types of service and therefore multiple different types of customers. They have contacts which may encompass the following types, and contacts may often be one or more types of these.
- Staff Member
Today I dropped into the Dynamics 365 Insider program for day one of a series of reveals we have all been waiting on for some time now. With the NDA lifted on what Dynamics CRM 9.0 will be, it was an interesting set of changes. To quote some of the technical leads, this is the biggest release Microsoft have made to Dynamics 365 so lets understand what is involved to make it a smooth transition.
Because of other commitments, I only dipped in and out of the sessions so I don’t have all the detail, but here’s a quick summary of the major features I took in and some of my musings around them. As I find out more, I will update this post accordingly.
Day 2 of Summit EMEA started with some useful breakout sessions by Microsoft Partners and MVPs. The first session I attended covered some use cases of Custom Entities. Adam Vero’s session gave an interesting overview of how custom entities can be used for things other than storing business data. The 5 main use cases for custom entities covered were, replacing pick-lists, N-N intersect entities, custom auditing, 1-1 records and for applying arbitrary security privileges to the ribbon or site map. One of the things missing from the Microsoft documentation is covering general CRM design patterns like this, and this session reinforced my understanding of best practice in data modelling in Dynamics 365. Tip of the session was the advice to create a 1-1 relationship to extend the user record with fields that are updated frequently. If you don’t, you may experience performance problems – this is because the browser security cache is invalidated when the user record is updated.
Today I attended the first day of the Summit EMEA Conference in Amsterdam with my Codec-Dss colleagues where over 2000 Microsoft Dynamics 365 professionals and users come together to digest all things across Dynamics 365. With the converging product set, this included separate streams on CRM, NAV and AX. Being a community-driven conference it features special access to Microsoft leadership and a diverse array of interactive training workshops led by experts and users.