Dataverse v Dynamics 365 Design Decisions

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In 2018, I wrote about when I first heard from Matt Barbour when he told us that a ‘Microsoft Dynamics XRM’ image existed internally within Microsoft, but was not then available for the wider masses. Four years later, this internal Dynamics XRM image is the foundation for SaaS Dataverse, a stripped back version of Dynamics 365.

One of the most crucial implementation decisions you will make in the Power Platform admin centre is whether to enable Dynamics 365 applications when you are creating a new database. This is a one time decision and might cause you a lot of pain in the future if you don’t choose the right option for your needs. It affects available functionality now and in the future, and it has implications on the mix of licenses you may need.

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How to fix Office 365 WS-Trust Authentication Deprecation for Dataverse and Dynamics 365 Client Applications

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Today I had a problem to solve, so went back to the tried and trusted method of firing up a console application to connect to a Dynamics 365 instance, to quickly run some tests to make sure that something I thought was possible, was actually possible.

In true old school style, I’ve still got a trusty boilerplate console application with a set of Nuget packages and libraries in place so I can do a variety of things quickly and easily without a lot of setup. These include log4net for logging, spkl for generating early bound code and other third party libraries and helper utilities.

The first lines of the Main method looked like this :

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Licence Driven Design Revisited – 10 Tips

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A few years ago, I wrote a blog about LDD – Licence Driven Development. You can read it here and hear the CRM podcast with George Doubinski discussing the concept here. It covered my thoughts at the time about how our development practices on Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform should be influenced by the Microsoft licensing guidelines. Re-reading it now, some of the conclusions seem out of date, so it seems like a good time to revisit it.

With that in mind, and based on some of my adventures in the past 18 months, here are 10 things you should consider when considering Dynamics 365 and Power Platform licencing.

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Returning the Shopping Cart – Being a Good Power Platform Citizen Developer

I normally do my weekly grocery shopping online, however since the Coronavirus lockdown and because of the shortage of home delivery slots, I have the first world problem of visiting the supermarket again in person! After returning from a shopping trip this week, I saw a meme on twitter which reminded me of the dilemma most supermarket shoppers face after unpacking their shopping into their car – namely looking at the empty shopping trolley and wondering where to return it to. To quote the tweet :

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Five Tips for Running Remote Discovery Workshops during a Pandemic

I really enjoy the early phases of new greenfield Microsoft Business Applications projects. It might be delivering a fixed scope project with expected outputs already defined. It might be formulating and documenting new requirements for a truly agile project. Fundamentally however, it’s about getting into the minds of business users, perhaps building some SFDs and mapping the technology to participants, perhaps unknown, wants and needs. Continue reading “Five Tips for Running Remote Discovery Workshops during a Pandemic”

Power Platform Enterprise Architecture

There are a myriad of new features being released to Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform right now. It’s tempting to try out new features and, perhaps push a new feature through to production if you or your customer is willing or agile enough. For some larger organisations however, there’s more of an importance placed on standards and governance than ensuring the continued agility of getting new features and new applications quickly to production.

But how do, or how should Enterprise Architecture standards apply to those of us who have invested our time in these newfangled Power Platform based solutions. How can we ensure an organisations approach is both agile and structured?

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PowerApps and Dynamics Portals Design Decisions

A lot has been said and written about ‘Portals’ since Microsoft bought ADX Studio in 2015. If you are unaware of the background, ADX Studio at the time was the de-facto market leader and default solution for building portals to front and expose data from Dynamics CRM.

With the ADX Studio product being built in a configurable way, it seemed like a good acquisition from Microsoft. This was a departure from earlier acquisitions of  technically different products which had to be integrated to Dynamics – see Parature (cough) or Marketing Pilot (splutter), which have since died a slow death. ADX Studio was a product that, on the face of it, could more easily integrate and slot in to the new approach.

Since 2015, Microsoft has been on a journey to integrate and extend this old ADX codebase onto what has since become Dynamics 365 and, more recently, the Power Platform. ADX Studio in its old form – a .NET website and configurable code framework – is now effectively dead* – the Microsoft shift to the cloud is nearing completion, with new features being added regularly. Continue reading “PowerApps and Dynamics Portals Design Decisions”

Dynamics 365 Fantasy License League

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.

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