Dynamics / Dataverse Environment Variables in Power Automate

There have been several posts on the environment variables, but I think Microsoft just released a pretty GREAT update recently. I honestly don’t have a clue when this function was released, but it made my day a LOT easier:)

Basics

When moving solutions from system A to system B we often have hardcoded values in workflows/flows/javascripts etc. These cause problems because the fields often have different values in each environment.

Bilde system A og system B med verdi som er ulik pr system, men refereres i noe i begge systemer.

Microsoft has introduced environmental variables to Dynamics / Dataverse to fix this exact problem.

Within the solution explorer you can add Environmental variables that can be used across the different systems. In this test I am using a variable to define what environment I am working in “Test or Production”.

I wont be writing about the Environment variables in detail, as you can read more about them in other posts, but I wanted to cover the new way of using this within Power Automate!

Using Environment Variables in Dynamics 365 CRM – Part 1 | Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Tips and Tricks (inogic.com)

Using Environment Variables in Dynamics 365 CRM – Part 2 | Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Tips and Tricks (inogic.com)

Accessing the Environmental Variables in Power Automate Flow

Start by creating a new Power Automate, and add compose function

Check out that bad boy! 🤗😎 No longer need for get record calls from entities etc. A nice improvement that will save a few minutes here and there.

Dynamics 365 Teams Document Locations – Where art thou?🤷‍♂️

Even though we all wish it wasn’t so, Document Locations still rule the integrations between Dynamics 365 and SharePoint. I’m not saying that I have a better idea what would be a smarter way of solving it, but it all seems a bit “2011” ish.

Last week I encountered a problem with the Document Locations for Teams, and I was surprised when I couldn’t find them in the Document Locations at first. The list only contained the SharePoint sites that the standard SharePoint connector uses.

In this list I was missing all of the Teams locations. Turns out that the view is only showing Active SHAREPOINT locations.. hehe

All you have to do is add the “MS TEAMS” to the search, and you should see all of the document locations for that also

Dynamics 365 + Teams integration error

Recently ran into a problem with the Teams integration OOTB, where the integration continuously threw an error after connecting the Dynamics record to the Teams.

This is a pretty Vanilla environment, so I couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong. I obviously could see that the URL was wrong, but I didn’t understand WHY it was wrong.

https://**.sharepoint.com/sites/SuperCards/Shared%20Documents/General <- Nothing really wrong with this URL at first site.

After a lot of painful digging I finally found the issue. Someone had decided to install SharePoint in Norwegian when they first setup the tenant!!! hehe. This meant that the URL the SharePoint URL was wrong.

Wrong URL ⛔

Correct URL ✅

Solution?

Microsoft Support didn’t see a fix in the near future for language support, so I guess it’s time for a small work around 🙂 Not really exciting fix, but you need to create a Workflow or Power Automate on create to change the name of the document location to your local language.

Why a workflow you may ask? When is the last time a workflow failed you I answer 😎

Dynamics / Power Apps + Office App Launcher

Launching a new app or launching a new CRM system always leaves the users with the same question. Where do I find the application? At first I didn’t really understand the question, because I thought it was natural to bookmark the URL to your application ie https://www.company.crm4.dynamics.com/***** etc.

Eventually I realized that most users are actually using the waffle menu in office 365 when navigating to applications that they don’t use continuously.

They were expecting to see the application in the list when you clicked the waffle menu, because this would save them time.

Luckily this is not a problem 😊 Open the all apps, and locate the app you are looking for

And just like that you now have a quick navigation to your CRM or Power App application in the Microsoft 365 app launcher👊

Dynamics 365 form or advanced find images error

This post is almost not relevant any more due to the fact that we all will be pushed into the make.powerapps experience in “the fullness of time”, but I will still be using the classic viewer for the foreseeable future 🙂

From time to the images can get distorted due to unknown reasons. This is not a big deal as the buttons still work, but can be annoying for the users. You might have seen this in the 2 places:

Advanced find:

Advanced Find Menu Error – Microsoft Dynamics CRM Forum Community Forum

Form configuration:

Fix

There seem to be several ways to solve this issue, but not all seem to work the same. I have seen some options describing a cache clear in the console of the browser, but for some reason none of those worked for me. Lately I have had to open the developer tools and delete a bit more manual.

Click F12 in the browser where you see the error

Open the Application tab on the dev tools

Clear or delete anything within the storage related to dynamics.

Try to restart the browser, and hopefully that should do the trick:)

DataFlows – Customer lookup fix🔨

I have allready posted about the Customer Lookup, but there is a bug ATM that will prevent you from setting the customer lookup correctly.

Luckily Microsoft has provided us with a temporary workaround while they figure out how they are going to support polymorphic lookups like Customer in dataflows 👌

The Problem

When trying to map customer lookup you won’t be able to see the correct lookup in the DataFlow. It may differ what you see, but it could be a different combination of fields like this:

All of the fields that have “Fieldsomething.Fieldsomethingelse” are lookups. The Customer lookup does not work as intended here, even though the field “ParentCustomerID” is the correct field to use. In a previous post I showed how to get around this issue, but Microsoft removed the projects configuration options. After talking to support, they showed me how to make it work again !!🙏💪

There is a new link in town!!

https://admin.powerplatform.microsoft.com/ext/DataIntegration/Project/D2E-&#8220;GUID
The GUID has to be replaced with the project you need to correct.

To find the GUID for the URL, you simply have to download the error in your run

1.

2.

3.

Open the URL, and gain access to you project. Now you can complete the same steps as DATAFLOW-CUSTOMER-LOOKUP

MS has mentioned fixing this bug in the future, but while we wait….

DataFlow – Merge Queries (aka Join Tables)

A long while Back Carina Claesson wrote about joining data with DataFlows. I had created a dataflow with 2 tables and used a specialized “behind the scenes” connecting several “CRM Keys” together. It was a little buggy, so I thought I would give it a try to follow her blog: Combining information from multiple data sources with Power Platform Dataflows – Carina M. Claesson (carinaclaesson.com)

Scenario

In our system for billing, we have the following structure. A debitor (aka Account), can potentially have lots of projects connected. The only way to connect data in DataFlow is via KEY’s in the Dynamics configuration. In our case we have a key “AccountVAT”. This ID is a unique organization number used in Norway.

Both tables know AccountID, but only the Account table holds the AccountVAT number. As you see on the image above, the Project doesn’t know what AccountVAT to connect to. Lets fix that.

DataFlow

So I load up my 2 tables in dataflow. If you wonder how this is done, check my other posts on DataFlow.

Select the MERGE QUERIES option

Here we match the 2 tables based on AccountID. As you see here there are lots of options for matching, but now you also get a nice visual for matching status at the bottom.

Next step is choosing what data to “join” into the projects table.

So I select the AccountVAT number as the field to join.

As you see in the picture below, the Debitor.Foretaksnr is now visible. This column is now joined from the Debitor table to the Project table.

The selected row below is a special field. You see that the Debitor.foretaksnr is a field in another table, and you see the destination field being special. The destination field is of type Lookup, and is expecting “AccountNumber” as matching.

The result is projects record linked to the correct account in CRM 👍💪

Dynamics 365 Storage Changes coming your way

A while back I posted my worries about storage and the DB being eaten up by system tables that we as consultants can’t do anything about.

Have you checked you storage lately?

I created an Idea in the hope that we could come together as a community and make a change, and they have listened!:)

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

I applaud Microsoft for listening and moving in the right direction🙏🙌👍, but they seem to still be missing the point of SAAS for Dynamics 🤷‍♂️.

Some argue:

Think of Dynamics like a phone with storage. The OS takes up parts of the storage and you can freely use the rest of the storage.

I argue:

The whole point of SAAS is that I am paying for a service. I am not buying any hardware and installing something from scratch. I am a part of a larger shared solution, where I pay for what I use. Either include the system tables in the price, or reduce the storage included in Dynamics. Either way it is only reasonable for a customer in SAAS to pay for what they produce of data.

Thank you

Thank you for all the votes and the attention that this received, because it only goes to show that Microsoft does actually listen if we come together. In the future I hope we use our voices more often, because the number of votes on these issues are nothing compared to the number of consultants out there. We need to come together in numbers 🙂

Dynamics Relevance Search just got relevant 🙌

MAAAAAASIVE update in the search experience for Dynamics, and I am extremely excited about it. The global search has received a major face-lift and is now looking really good. I personally never used the old relevance search, because I thought it looked bad and was confusing for the end customer.

OLD Search

My customers personally fond this search confusing when the database started to grow. I therefore always told the users to chose categorized search instead.

This way it was easier for the user to find the Accound/Contact/Oppty they were looking for.

New Search experience ✨🎉👍

The new search places the search bar in the middle on top, just like many other office applications. A fairly intuitive placement for the global search, and the results look awesome!!!

Suggested search results on first click
Image from Microsoft Docs!!
Legend for new search experience
Image from Microsoft Docs!!
Suggested search results when you enter search queary
Image from Microsoft Docs!!

Read all about it at the Microsoft Docs Site 🙂

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/user/relevance-search

Activating the experience

https://admin.powerplatform.microsoft.com/

Open settings

Activate both the Relevance search and the new search experience

Dynamics HR + CDS / Dataverse

This is not the average Dynamics CRM post, but I was challenged by Malin Martnes to see if we could integrate the competency part of of Dynamics HR with Customer Engagement. The reason we wanted to look into the matter was because we thought it would be really easy!!! Turns out we were wrong.. hehe 😂

The first thing we did was figuring out what tables were accessible in the CDS integration. At the time of reading the blog, the number of entities was not a lot. The ones that I needed were not there. The complete list of tables that write directly to CDS can be found here:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/human-resources/hr-developer-entities

A lot of fields available, but just not the ones regarding competency.

What to do?!?!? Docs to the rescue !!

Thanks to a link from DOC’s I learned that Finance and Operations has a link to export data. You can choose whatever dataset you want, and export it to file. This has actually nothing to do with HR, but is a feature from Finance and Operations.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/human-resources/hr-admin-integration-recurring-data-export

So I followed the blog but I used Flow instead of Logic Apps.

First start off by creating an export function in HR. Whenever this is called, it will answer your call with a file.

Export Workers data project

The flow looks like the logic app in structure, but I do a little extra in the end to extract the .zip file to excel.

The first hard part was actually finding the URL for HR. If you ask me it’s quite hidden. I had to have some help from Malin to figure out what my URL to the environment was.

The “Export Workers” has to be identical to the name of the export package. Then you have to decide what the name of the file I wanted to export was.

{
"definitionGroupId":"Export Workers",
"packageName":"talent_package.zip",
"executionId":"",
"reExecute":false,
"legalEntityId":"USMF"
}

The delay is there because the service can sometimes use a little time with the response. Just let it work:)

This part of the flow was just to see if .zip file had been completed. When it was complete, we could get the actual package.

At this point I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but it was working. The body of the HTTP GET function returned a .zip file. This I could create directly in a OneDrive connector.

The last step was then to extract the file from the .zip, and voila. I now had an automated Excel export from Dynamics HR.

For the last part I could simply connect a DataFlow for importing to Dynamics:)

Was there even a point to this?

Well.. Yes, and no.. The positive thing about this was learning that Finance and Operations has an export function that I could use for extremely simple integrations. This I might be able to use at some later timer.

Later Malin told me that they had released the Virtual entities for Dynamics HR and CDS. You can read more about these here:
https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/product/dynamics-365/mscrm.d365hr_virtual_entity?tab=Overview
and
https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RE4HfPD

I don’t know enough about the virtual entities yet, but I will have a go at that soon to see how it works with using the HR data within Dynamics.

The end goal is still to match competencies from HR to Field Service Dynamics 👍