Adventures in UCI Site Map Configuration and Usability

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.

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Dynamics 365 Upgrade – Unable to add Notes to entity

I recently had an Organisation updated from Dynamics CRM 2016 Online Update 1 to Dynamics 365. After the upgrade, users experienced the following symptoms :

  • Unable to add new notes to custom entities and core entities via the notes control on the form.
  • Existing Notes created prior to the upgrade do show up ok however and can be edited.
  • This occurs on multiple entities, but not all. I didn’t see a pattern, but certainly on some contact records I could add new notes ok.

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I raised this with Microsoft and it didn’t appear to be a known issue, so I decided to do some investigation myself.

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Under the Hood – There’s a Dynamics 365 App for that

Microsoft has surely been looking at Salesforce for the past few years, feeling somewhat envious of their ‘apps’ market. If you take Salesforce at their word, they have over 1.4 million registered developers, so the apps market for Salesforce is clearly not a flash in the plan.

With the recent launch of Dynamics 365, there appears to be a concerted effort at Redmond to build an ecosystem around Dynamics 365, but how has this been implemented and what do application developers need to know?

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How to change Dynamics CRM 2013 Navigation Bar Colours and Sandbox Text

If you have over 25 CRM users with professional CALs and have been using a CRM 2013 online free development environment, you may have noticed that the navigation bar has become a sickly vomity orange colour in the past few weeks. Now you can distinguish between your production CRM online instance and your non-production instance by the colour of the navbar. In case this confused you and you thought you had entered a parallel universe, they have also helpfully added the word ‘Sandbox’ in the middle of the navbar which gets bigger if you click it. This is undoubtedly useful and will hopefully prevent you from messing up some live data by accident. More details on Sandbox environments can be found on Mike Carters CRM Online product team blog.

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However, what if you are using CRM 2013 on-premise and want to highlight to a user that they are working on a different environment. Well, it looks like this Sandbox code has also made it into CRM 2013 Rollup 2, so it can be enabled somewhat, though not in a supported way.

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