New Email Signature in preview. Is it really an upgrade? 🤷‍♂️

In the preview for release wave 2020 2 Microsoft is moving the signature to UI. While doing this, they have the possibility to brush up on some old tech. Almost every piece of the old Dynamics moved over has had been given at least a small upgrade, of not a total overhaul. If you want to read about my take on signature in Dynamics, head on over here.

Limitations of the old signature:
1. Personal signature only. Could not define a signature for the organization or group.
2. No images could be added

So what has changed?

Old

The old signature did not have a rich editor, and limited us to primitive text editing. Exactly like the old email editor.

If you tried to enter a picture, you would get an error message. For this example, I just wrote the text “no picture possible”.

The signature would be added to the email as expected if it was defined as default signature, but again with little formatting.

New

The new signature is available in the new UI

I added a picture of the blue color, just to demonstrate that there can be a picture in the signature.

Opening a new email will automatically add the signature as expected, but now with the picture included. 👍

Well?

Does the signature support images?
YES, it finally does.

It is stored as a Base64, so no need to consider where the actual image is stored (notes, azure, blob etc etc). Migration from system A – B would work fine.

Can we use the signature multiple users?
Well… Yes, but No.. It seems every signature is meant to be personal, but you can search for other signatures if you want to. But in regards to automatic signature added to email, you need to create one for each user.

Thoughts 🤷‍♂️

As of now, I could only find the signature in the Customer Service Hub, and that confuses me a bit. Why not start off by adding it to the Sales Hub. If the signatures are personal, why not let the sales people use this first. In customer service I would have thought that a organization signature would make more sense.

While this is a great update to the last signature experience, I hope they are able to add global signatures in the future for groups of users. This would make the administrative experience a little better when you have hundreds of users.

If you read my article on signatures, I provide a different way of handling the signature experience. I try to centralize the management of the signature for faster changes. The good thing is that we have both solutions available, so pick and choose what suits your need.

Maybe in the next version we might see some structural changes to the way signatures are connected to users/groups.

Dear MS Could you please just fix the following? Pretty Please🙏🥰

I love the new UI and the new timeline, but there were some choices made that never made sense. Specifically the navigation elements on the timeline.

Ideas – Please vote

https://experience.dynamics.com/ideas/idea/?ideaid=187baf8c-5fdd-ea11-bf21-0003ff68e671#

This is a OOTB case with a timeline. I want to open one of the emails to view content or reply. Either way I want to OPEN the activity.

Let’s click on the Email and see what happens…

NOPE… Only the preview of the email. Great functionality, but still not what I want.

What about the BIG Purple circle? That is the same logic as subgrids. This must be it?

NOPE… This opens the owner of the activity…. Why would anyone want this function? Seriously asking, because I have never understood why.

There it is!!!.. The tiny little OPEN button….

Subrids do it better

Check it out.. I click on the subgrid item, and magically it opens the actual record I am trying to see.

BOOM

This is more like it..

Dear MS… Please make the navigation look and feel the same as subgrids 🙂

What the Flex !?💪

So as of yesterday Common Data Service platform was rebranded to Dataflex Pro.

https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-microsoft-dataflex-a-new-low-code-data-platform-for-microsoft-teams/

This post confused me way to much. Nothing seemed to make sense, and the only thing I could focus on was the extremely odd name Dataflex.

What about the name….

A quick online search shows that the name is already in use. Not only is it in use, but it is used by a competitive product offering low-code development! How on earth is it even possible to miss out on this?

https://www.dataaccess.com/products/dataflex-63

This sounds like a whole new SkyDrive – OneDrive problem, so I’m going to wait a bit before I rebrand everything to Dataflex

The voice of reason

My mind has been twisting and turning to understand the reasoning of it all of this, and luckily we have Jukka. His post is what Microsoft should have posted originally. It explains everything I was wondering about….. Except the name 😂

https://forwardforever.com/what-is-microsoft-dataflex/

Keep on flexing 💪

RegardingObjectID Type fix – Flow

How to fix the RegardingObjectID Type field in FLOW

When working with the Current Environment Connector (CDS), you have 2 options for a lookup (Value and Type). For some strange reason only one of them seems to work for me.

The Value is obviously the GUID, and the Type is “incidents, accounts, contacts, opportunities etc”.

Let’s look at the data:

As you see I have values for the GUID and the Type of regardingobjectid.

When adding them to the Compose the TYPE returns blank every time.

Peek kode

{    “inputs”: “@{triggerOutputs()?[‘body/_regardingobjectid_value’]}\n@{triggerOutputs()?[‘body/_regardingobjectid_value@Microsoft.Dynamics.CRM.lookuplogicalname‘]}”}

Flow is referencing the TYPE of lookup in a way that returned NULL every time.

Solution

Manually enter the expression:
triggerOutputs()?[‘body/_regardingobjectid_type’] <- change the VALUE with TYPE

Dynamics 365 Email to case – The New Way

Microsoft released a new way to do automatic record creation a few months ago, but I never got around to ckeck it out before now.

The most obvious reason for the new release is creating something that is possible use within new UI. Therefore you can only find this in the customer service app at the moment.

Heads up

At the current moment the new approach doesn’t work, for a contact that is known by the system with an account. I am working with support help them understand the error with the flow. Will update the post when they fix the error. This means that the new solution only works when the contact is not connected to a parent account.

Old

In the “old” days we created everything via settings in the navigation. You start off creating a new record and link it to a queue you want to listen to. I prefered the following setup, and I have explained why in my other post regarding Customer Service

When you created the role for creation of case, it would use the following standard setup. Notice that the contact here would be set if account and contact were known. Contact would be contact, and account would be customer.

New

The new way of doing things is a lot like the old, but there are some differences.

Don’t get fooled by the name in queue to monitor. This is a regular email queue, but I gave it the name “flow”. The first thing we have to create is a new rule for the queue.

Here is where we see the first major difference. The condition for creation seems to use the same visuals as the new advanced find.

At the bottom you choose the rule and click create. This brings you over to Microsoft flow. Instead of the old WF, MS autocreares a new flow for you.

Just like the old flow, Microsoft didn’t want to you touch the details of the flow.

The old flow filled out the contact and customer fields, while the new one for some reason doesn’t (yet). I will try to work with MS on this also.

What to do next?

I honestly don’t know when they expect all of these rules to be transfered over, but I guess it will have to be done in the future when they try to sunset the old WorkFlows.

In the meanwhile I hope they fix the flow, so that it works as expected:)

Dynamics APP for Outlook has changed… But why?

I know that change online is imminent, and is continuous. I don’t mind this, but i do mind how it’s done. I would never have noticed this if I had not created a new demo. It is a little annoying that the functionality introduced can’t be put to use in my existing environment.

This rant is just because I like to keep things vanilla as long as possible. The changes we see here make it even more clear that the platform where I work every day still is an open platform, and not at all a product. If certain things would act more like a product the changes would apply to everyone, and behave the same way. There will always be pro’s and con’s for Platform VS Product..

The following is provided from the documentation:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/outlook-app/customize-the-track-regarding-card

Not sure when it happened, but the 1 form App for Outlook configuration has now become 2.

OLD

Form 1: App for Outlook Contact Card

NEW

Form 2: App for Outlook Contact Quick View – NEW

Why does this matter?

I am not sure yet, and that is the problem. Why split them up in the first place? Another extremely interesting thing about the new form is magic in the background that we can’t manipulate or recreate.

The new CASE subgrid looks like this

Not sure what this name means, but its obviously something they have defined after converting the old forms to the new forms.

Lets have a look why this is wierd:

The following picture is in a new untouched demo. The subgrids should have:
Account Name
Next Activity (Subgrid)
Last Activity (Subgrid)
Opportunity (Subgrid) – Showing
Case (Subgrid)

But as you can see, it only shows content where content is present. If I add a case to the contact Thomas Outlook, it will dynamically show cases in App for Outlook.

This is a great feature, so why am I complaining about it? Well, i can’t reproduce it. That’s why!

This is the same setup in config, but Cases are constantly showing here. I tried every step in config to recreate the function, but no luck..

I even tried importing a UN-managed and Managed solution from the vanilla environment to my existing production without any luck.

Did I not get the memo on this change by any chance? 🙂

Have you checked you storage lately?

I was wondering why my storage had spiked lately, especially because I hadn’t imported any data to dynamics.

Dynamics 365 Sales
1 Javascript on opportunity
1 Button custom on account
Dynamics Portals installed
Dynamics Marketing installed

I would say this is a pretty standard CRM without heavy customizations. Portals and Dynamics Marketing are not standard for CRM installations yet, but that is not important.

https://admin.powerplatform.microsoft.com – Check capacity and storage

2 tables stand out, and they are both tables that I can’t do anything about.
RibbonClientMetadataBase
WebResourceBase

I can’t control the content of these tables, but they are above 3GB! I personally don’t feel it is reasonable that these tables are included in the storage count. If you feel the same way, please help vote this up:)

VOTE

https://experience.dynamics.com/ideas/idea/?ideaid=2d9d1f2f-e56c-ea11-b698-0003ff68dcfc

CRM 2011 called and wanted the Potential Customer field back!

Honestly I can’t remember what year Microsoft implementet separate Account & Contact fields for Opportunity, but it has been a while.

Neil Parkhurst describes the issue in his blog from 2015

So why am I fussing about it now? Well, after all these years Microsoft is still using the Potential Customer field for Field Service.

The error (Accound with id Does not Exist)

Did you ever see this message in Field Service?

“Account With ID = Does Not Exist” – Field Service

As you can see from the image above, the Potential Customer has been set to a Contact.

Standard behaviour is that Account should overwrite the contact, and therefore always show account if account is present. Sometimes this doesn’t happen, and then you will receive the following error when trying to convert to Work Order.

The fix is extremely simple. Dear Microsoft, please just read from the Account field😊

Ideas

If you for some reason feel the same about this, I created a suggestion for improvement..

https://experience.dynamics.com/ideas/idea/?ideaid=0d39cacc-562d-ea11-8454-0003ff68a4d6

Timeline Old vs New

In Norway we have a saying “everything was better before”. It’s commonly used to describe what old people feel when things are just moving to fast, and they don’t see the purpose of the change.

The new timeline for Unified Interface has been like this for me, BUT recently things are starting to get better:)

The Old

2 tasks and 2 phone calls created. Et was easy to see what type of records these were on the left side with the icon. It was also easy to see that they were not yet completed on the right side, AND that they were white.

When completing one of each I saw clearly that it was completed both with color, and the fact that the complete button was gone.

Another great feature about this was the possability to navigate (hyperlink) to the item by clicking on the phone call or task icon. Worked like a charm.

At last you had a nice feature for quick create that was really nice. The only problem though is that this was never a form we could edit, so in the big picture of things I understand why this was not continued.

The new

So the new timeline has been through a few changes, and this is the lates on wave 2 at the time of writing. They have allready made some small improvements that make it better, but lets break it down.

I have the same 2 tasks and phone call. On the left side I now see orange with my name. I don’t know why my name is there. Would make more sense to have the ICON of the activity type. My name should be sown in FULL as is. In a large company you have no idea who TS is.

On the right side it looks like the task is done.. Well, it isn’t.

When you hover over a task you see the color difference, and this is the first time you actually see the button for complete and open. The “check” mark is complete task, but the odd one here is the open record next to the trash can. Why is it so hard to open a record suddenly? This is absolutely not intuitive, but I guess they just need feeback on this.

WTF!

The picture below look like the one above, right? Well, in this picture I have actually completed the to phone calls. Can you tell? Nope.. A little odd to leave out the color coding for the visuals. This should be something they could fix in a small release soon i guess.

So for the new UI we have to rely on the Quick Create form instead of the nice little form on the old one. This is actually not that bad once you get used to it. On this form we have access to the fields via javascript etc, so this is not a bad thing.

Conclusion

I love the new UI because of more activities shown in less space, but they still need to understand how people use the timeline. If you really want to make sense of the timeline you need to clearly see what is todo, overdue and complete. Otherwise it doesn’t make any sense really.

PS!

Will they ever give us the option to stop the email warnings? (i mean completely gone)

Probably not 🙂

Flow – Create, Update or Delete trigger error

At the time of writing this post Microsoft Flow will throw an error when you create this flow with the trigger Create, Update or Delete, and the flow is standalone.

Error

This is the following error you will see when you try to create the flow (Create, Update, Delete) without any connection to a solution.

Sollution

All you have to do, is open this in a solution (for the time being).