Dynamics 365 – Teams. Love at first SITE (pun intended)..

The Team

Hi everyone, meet Knut and Kjetil.

Knut is a salesperson at Point Taken. He just came across a HUGE deal that he has registered in Dynamics 365. This deal is so big that Knut will need the assistance of several resources to deliver. One of these resources is Kjetil, a SharePoint consultant.

The setup

Knut enters the details needed for the Dynamics 365 deal

Knowing that this opportunity is HUGE, Knut starts by creating a new channel in the Offers Team (name is “General” for demo purposes).

The connection

Knut has now setup the structure for collaboration, and is ready to connect Teams and Dynamics 365 together.
Well done KNUT!! 🙂

Add the Dynamics 365 connection for the tab in the channel

Knut chooses the correct opportunity record.

When Knut is done, he can see the newly created connection message in Teams. The above message indicates that Teams and Dynamics successfully connected.

The harmony begins

Kjetil begins right away with the PowerPoint they will need to win this deal. Kjetil does not have a license for Dynamics, so he creates the PowerPoint in Teams because this is the natural place for collaboration.

Knut can now choose to navigate Teams or Dynamcis 365, because the systems are working with the same document location.

Knut and Kjetil represent 2 different work processes, but are harmonizing well when referring to the ONE TRUTH document. Well done you to!!!

Dynamics and Teams in perfect harmony!

Dynamics 365 – Teams Configuration

The configuration of the client is pretty straight forward. A typical office product, and that is a good thing:) FYI, it does not install a solution file within Dynamics, and I like that a lot… Never been a fan of the overcrowding of solution files (Hint hint portals.. hehe).

Start pÃ¥ opening the system settings from Dynamics and locating the “Enable Dynamics and Teams integration”.

NB! Before starting, I would create a new Team and a new channel just for the sake of simplicity. Also create a new record in CRM that you want to connect to.

It took me about 3 minutes before I received my complete message, so be patient!

Open teams and locate the App Store within teams and search Dynamics. You will find it on the “…” menu on the left side.

Add to the team you created. In my case “Tilbud” and then click Open

Next step is connecting it to the channel in the team, and hit “Set up”.

Now it will ask you for an entity to connect to, so I am going to choose the Opportunity I created before I started the configuration “Teams Opportunity”.

If it all went well, you will now see a new tab in your channel with the name of the record. You also see a message that the record is connected.

The result

Dynamics and Teams working together

CDS vs Dynamics Connector Power Platform

There are several discussions regarding the use of CDS connector VS the Dynamics connector in the Power Platform. Recently I have been updating my knowledge a lot on PowerApps, PowerBI and Flow. The odd thing is that these environments behave quite different even thought they are so closely connected in regards to connectors.

how much longer will they co exist, and why are they even different?

So here are my thoughts about the current state April 2019 (this might be outdated in one month 😂)

Flow CDS vs Dynamics 1 – 0

https://crmtipoftheday.com/1177/use-the-cds-connector-when-you-go-with-the-flow/
When using Flow, the CDS connector seems to be the correct choice. I personally feel that the action advanced settings is the most important reason why the CDS would be the correct choice.

CDS connector will only run the flow if country is changed saving you the flow, and the Dynamics connector will run no mater what costing you 1 flow.

PowerBI CDS vs Dynamics 2 – 0


https://www.inogic.com/blog/2018/10/connect-to-the-power-bi-using-common-data-service-cds/
There are maybe many reasons why you would choose the CDS connector over the Dynamics connector for API reasons, but the most important one I like to focus on is the Option Set (Pick List) from Dynamics.

Look at the Yellow columns. They show the display name of the Options Set, so no more need for hacks to convert the fetch from numbers to names. Obviously a huge benefit that this solution will update when the Option Set values update also!

PowerApps CDS vs Dynamics 2 – 1

But wait… It might not be over yet. While tampering with lookup controls for PowerApps I found out that CDS simply doesn’t have the lookup fields in the data!

CDS connector (Simply doesn’t have any lookups):

Dynamics Connector (With lookups):

Data presented is still in a GUID state, but there is a workaround for that:)

https://www.inogic.com/blog/2018/07/working-on-lookup-field-of-dynamics-365-in-powerapps/ <– How to fix GUID in PowerApps

Dynamics 365+ To-Do = LOVE

There are several To-Do type programs out there, and everyone seems to have their own preference to what is the best tool to use. I will argue why To-Do is the best one for Microsoft users, and why Dynamics and To-Do now makes sense.

A video of To-Do if you are not familiar with the application:

I use To-Do as a tool in my every day work with Outlook and Dynamics. For this to work it is important that you have naming convention in place when working with Dynamics 365 and tasks.

Opportunity

On the opportunity I add a task that has a due date. I prefer to not use the use phone call, because tasks are pretty much the same thing. In my company we don’t have a CTI integration, and we don’t report on number of phone calls.

Outlook

I am using server side sync in D365, so during the next sync my task will appear in Outlook with a view over my tasks. That is fine and all, but if you are like me, the reminders in outlook is full of tasks and calendars. It is too hard to keep track.

To-Do

Now if you open To-Do, you will notice that it also has the list of tasks from CRM 🙂 Because there is no integration with Dynamics lookups, I use the names to remind me what the task was regarding.

When done, I close the task, and CRM is updated with a complete task.

To-Do is available as applications on all devices, and that is why I favor this application. They are continuously adding functions, to integrate it further with all Microsoft products. They are also working on integration with Planner so we can use one app for all tasks no matter where we are!!!

The art of creating relevant demo data

If it is one thing I have learned throughout the years, it has been to produce relevant demo data. Whatever you do, NEVER use data with the name “test”. The second a potential customer doesn’t relate to your presentation, they will loose focus.

Try to understand your customer before demo, and ask them to give some names of companies and products they sell. In the beginning your demo might only bee within a group of people that actually want your product, but eventually you might have to present to the people who hate change. It takes a little more time, but can be worth it in the long run.

A sample list you could as for in regards to sales demo could be:
1. List of 2-3 sales people
2. Short list of customers
3. Customers contacts (names only)
4. List of typical products/services they sell
5. A sample report of sales activity – Only if you have the time

It might sound stupid, but you have to remember that you are the person about to introduce change to the organization. Not many people are happy about change, and therefore you need to pay attention to the small details to keep their interrest.

1-4 are fair pieces of data that you easily can enter. Nr 5 is something I would do only if you had the time. A sales report might reveal a lot of fields/categories/processes they currently use. This can have a lot of value to include in your Oppty, but it might also take to much time to configure.

This blog is a part of a series of “Demo Sales – Simple Sales“, so I will only show simple examples. The demo I will be showing is based on sample data from MS.

Power BI RLS report for Dynamics 365

RLS stands for Row Level Security and is a function within Power BI used to securely manage what the users see. I am reusing the steps from the Power BI embedding blog, and continuing with the same dataset to define RLS. Another big thanks to Jeroen Vos for teaching me PowerBI.

We start the process in Power BI for Desktop. Open the same report, and then navigate to Modeling and Manage Roles.

This brings up a DAX console, and I will chose the “Address 1: Country/Region”

Now we can test the DAX by simulating how it is with another user login. This function is something I wish we had in Dynamics!!!

Notice that the data has changed!:)
NB! Remember to publish changes to PowerBI.com

Log into https://www.powerbi.com to complete the rest of the process

Next step is to add a user to the newly created security role. Navigate to datasets and open the security.

Last step is to Share the Dashboard with the user

Open Dynamics 365 and add a new Power BI Dashboard.

The Administrator (All data)

The Sales user (Only USA)


RLS reporting in Dynamics 365, secure and supported 🙂

Dynamics 365 autonumber now available in PowerApp config

The API approach has been available for a long time, but now the autonumber is available through the config. Jonas Rapp’s autonumber solution in XrmToolbox has been absolutely one of the best tools for this purpose so far, and not we might not need it any more. I belive the first release is missing some of advanced options that Jonas has, but it might work for most of us.

This is the release information regarding the PowerPlatform autonumber: Autonumber from MS PowerApps blog

BUT why is this cool? Well, because it mentions that we can convert existing text field to Autonumber. This means that we can get rid of the stupid workflows/javascripts etc that we have made over the years to give some entities names for the name purpose:)

NB! you can only change the field to autonumber via powerapps.com. The Dynamics classic doesn’t support this. Below is the name field from a new entity. For the first time in EVER I could change the field type!!:)