Composite fields in PCF?

Ohhhh how I miss the Composite fields in dynamics<3

It was introduced in 2013, but was never given much love. It was one of those changes the customers loved, but always wanted to configure. This resulted in many strange javascripts that I personally refused to use. Now that the new UI is being forced upon us, the field will disappear it seems, and that is too bad. The new UI is fine, but it is not as efficient with screen space yet, fields like this actually make a lot of sense.

https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/cosmanscrmjourney/posts/crm-composite-fields
https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/cosmanscrmjourney/posts/crm-composite-fields

What about PCF?

First of you need to see that PCF controls can do. Free community examples have been release here: https://pcf.gallery/ – by Guido Preite

So can PCF controls be the answer to this? I have no idea, but would bee cool if someone with developer experience could answer me:)

CDS List Records Filter Query using Flow

This week I needed to use the List Records function, and I realized that I had no idea how to use the filters. Thank you Jonas Rapp for creating the FetchXML Builder!! The function “Flow List parameters” saved my day:)

Simple filters

Let’s begin with the simple filters where I get a contact with the last name of Sandsør

Test your search result with the Execute button so see that anything is actually returned. Then open the Flow List Parameters

The tool converts the Fetch XML, and magically gives the correct filter to add in our FLOW query. It can’t get much simpler than that!!

Lookups

Lookups act a little bit different with the syntax, as lookups always to. This got me quite confused before finding this tool, because I was not getting match to my result.

I am searching for contacts with a given GUID. In my case I didn’t know what the GUID was, so I randomly generated a GUID for the formula. In FLOW I substituted the GUID part of query with a dynamic variable.

Filter Query with lookups, you need to add “_” as seen above. When working with lookup you won’t get at match without the “_LookupField_Value”.

Filter linked entity

The last filter is a little more complex, and might not get used due to some limitations of Odata (Must match on unique ID for related).

In this scenario I wanted to locate all contacts with last name “Sandsør” where the regarding accountID = GUID.

Choose the main entity on top, and add “link-entity”

Make sure you have the correct relationship here. Some Lookups support more than one entity, and therefore you make sure you have the correct one.

Again we find the magic with the “Flow List Parameters“.

In this scenario we also get Expand Query result that we need to copy/paste.

Apply to Each

Once you have figured out what filter to use, you can select the “Apply to Each” function, and add custom logic in here.

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 på 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.