Dynamics 365 Customer Service Trial

There are many guides out there for this exact step. I only recreated this so all the content is on one page under my control.

In Private

Open a browser in private mode

Open Dynamics 365 Trials

Click the “Sign up here” !!

If you are a customer, click “no, continue signing up”. If you are a partner you should look for different places to create demos. Head on over to CDX Expereiences

It doesn’t matter what you choose here. If you ever turn this into production, the domain name will be something you can change at a later time.

Continue proving you are not a robot, and then wait for everything to finish up.

Start the setup when it’s done. Doesn’t matter what you choose in your setup of apps. It usually installs everything anyway. Eventually you will end up here, and you can open Customer Service HUB:

We have now completed the first step, and created a new trial for Customer Service.

Adding Exchange

With out Exchange added to your trial we won’t get far. Open https://admin.microsoft.com

Start “Get Free Trial”, and click the next next etc etc.

Back in the portal you want to open users, and locate your user. Choose the Microsoft E3 subscription and attach this to your contact. Remember to click “SAVE CHANGES” in the bottom when you are done.

SSIS – Importing 94,883 contacts to Dynamics/CDS

This is a quick guide to the simplest form of SSIS import. I will not cover all of the amazing ETL possibilities you can do with SSIS, because I am not the correct person to set this up:)

The background for this post is also trying to learn the differences between DataFlow and SSIS in regards to API stats online.

The setup

  1. Install BIDS LINK HERE – If you don’t have visual studio
  2. Install KingswaySoft LINK HERE
  3. Get Excel File with contacts (94,883)

The structure is very simple here. Get file, add one data column and then import to dynamics.

The flat file I am getting is a simple .csv file and you see the following columns.

Next step is a bit odd, but that’s how lookups work in SSIS. I have to create a new column that is called “account”, because i have to define the lookup type. This Derived Column does nothing else.

In the end we connect to Dynamics via the KingswaySoft connector.

I have chosen to use alternate keys. If you wonder what this is, look at my previous post about alternate keys and DataFlow.

Then I click on columns to map the fields

For the lookup we connect to ParentCustomer. Once you have mapped the field, i can choose to what field to match on the Account. I open the “…” and here I choose the primary key for account as matching. You could use whatever you want, but I have created alternate key for account on AccoundNumber.

The result

I ran this test during the night time at the same time as DataFlow. SSIS used 1 hour and 22 minutes for the exact same file, and that is fine by me. There are so many different variables in online load times, that 20 minutes doesn’t really prove anything.

What about the API?

I wrote a post about DataFlow and API. Mostly because I was curious about the analytics within CDS. I don’t understand the numbers i see, so I have written to Support about the numbers. What I heard back was because of the batch of records being entered, this should be about right…

If this is correct, SSIS is a lot more efficient in the API calls to Dynamics, but took more time in this one single test i performed.

SSIS = 3,501 API Calls
DataFlow = 13,544 API Calls

Some good tips from the pros

https://twitter.com/CrmKeeper/status/1242722929248526338

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

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 🙂

Business Process Flow set Pipeline Phase

I was never a fan of the Business Process Flow (BPF) because of the many flaws. Sometimes I didn’t think it was easy enough, and other times not advanced enough. It simply wasn’t what I needed.

In a recent project I decided to give it another go, because the customer wanted to continue with the BPF they had from their old CRM system.

Opening the PBF now I see that there is so much new features here that I haven’t seen before. I guess most of these features are due to the FLOW platform now taking over the BPF.

Challenge: Setting pipeline phase

I know you can report on the BPF entity, but that is more complex than reporting on the opportunity entity if you ask me.

Can I set the “Phase” field on the opportunity when navigating to the next step in the BPF? Let’s see!!

I wanted to set the Pipeline Phase with BPF

Config

Open the Business Process Flow from your solution and notice a button at the bottom right “Business rules for this stage’s entity”.

Create a new Business Rule for Opportunity “Oppty – Set Pipeline Phase”.

For the first condition we check if the BPF is in the stage named Prospect.

If true, set the Pipeline Phase to “1 – Qualify”.

Repeat for the second step!

The business rule should look something like this:

Result

Let’s get back to the Opportunity. We see that it default is active on the Qualify stage in the beginning of the sales process.

Click the next stage

And there you go!!

New Found Love

So what do I think of the BPF now? Honestly, I liked it. It might be a replacement for many other JavaScripts that I have been using the later years, and that is only a good thing. In this case I was able to skip JavaScript and therefore deliver a solution with a low technical footprint:)

PowerPlatform Saturday Oslo 2019 – Attendee

Malin and Mark wrote good post detailing most of the event, but I thought I would add my personal thoughts from some of the other sessions

Both Malin and Mark Smith wrote great summaries
Malin Martnes
Mark Smith

Keynote

Sarah and Marius were speaking of Equal Opportunity. A highly interesting topic that is as relevant today as ever before. One slide caught my eye that I really liked.

Take ownership of your own environment. Don’t wait for others to create an equal opportunity environment, and then complain if they don’t. If you see the chance to own a situation, take it.

If there is a table you want to sit at with a chair, take the chair and sit down. Don’t wait for others to offer you a place at the table. You take it if you want to be a part of it!

Sarah Critchley (quote as I could remember it)

I have grown up in a family where the women are strong, have great educations and excel at their jobs. I am sure they have faced issues along the way, but they keep claiming their place at the table every time they can.

Malin Martnes – Extending Talent

I am sure you all know how proud I am of Malin, so I couldn’t go without writing about her. Talent is not a product with lots of customers yet, but we are working on a lot of exciting opportunities at the moment. We are always in the challenger position when talking about this product going head to head with companies that have delivered HR for many years. This often ends up in a function feature comparison, but one thing we now can focus on is the ECO-System.

Talent integrates to the CDS, and therefore we can leverage all of the cool features of the PowerPlatform. Malin showed a lot of cool examples where PowerApps were assisting in the hiring process.

Stay tuned for updates on Malins blog about talent for our customer journeys later this year!;)

Julian Sharp – IOT

What I liked about this session was hot interactive it was, and how “low code” he was trying to make it. I gained some insights to the IOT challenges when gathering messages in different ways. Also I see the impact of having a device you can pass around in the room that is working while presenting. It was showing live data on the screen, presenting different messages to us as we were passing it along. He later posted the slides on Twitter

Jukka Niiranen – Canvas vs Model

I find it interesting to listen to Jukka. He is like a rapper’s lyrics when talking. There is often some deeper meaning to what he says if you listen closely. During this session he was open and honest about his view on the Canvas apps, and the battle Canvas vs Model is now facing. Will we ever get to the point where these 2 become 1? The answer is most probably, but how!! 🙂

He also had a wonderful slide with the great Scott Durrow in focus. I think we all agree that Canvas is absolutely becoming a code app, even though it might not be complex code. As a functional consultant I say code, but a developer says “cody” to the syntax;) hehe

Mark Smith

The pictures bellow are from Mark’s session. I really loved this session because he made the participants work! The topic was CDS modeling and what you should think about. He made it clear what was out of the box, and how you should begin to think about creating new models not based on the standard applications.

Anything interactive like this is just AWSOME. The participants loved it, and had a great time while working together on the data model. Interactive learning is the best way to learn.

So in conclusion, I had a great time at this event. Hope to repeat this again next year in Oslo. I also hope to see you all again soon:)