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 🙂

Managed solutions Update vs Upgrade vs Stage

I haven’t touchet managed solutions for quite some time, so importing a managed solution recently surprised me:)

This article is not explaining the differences in detail, but I wanted to make sure you knew there is a difference between upgrade and update. I don’t understand why Microsoft insist on recommented the way they do. I feel you need to know the project before this is a certainty.

Upgrade

New for me is the option of upgrading. If you remove an item in the source managed file, this will now actually delete it in the destination. Say you remove a field on account this should remove the field in the destination.

Do you remember the old ways of doing it?
Introduced arround 2011 OR Introduced arround 2015

Stage for Upgrade

A great way to test something before committing to any changes. I would not use this for an ISV solution, but if you happen to use Managed internally this might be a way to go.

Update

This is marked as the Not Recomended option, but I still feel this is the normal way to do. If you are doing an ISV import this doesn’t matter because the solution file probably is correct, but if you are working with managed internally, I would use this just because I might not trust someone in dev doing config 100% correctly…

Source
Microsoft DOC

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 – Speaker

So Power Platform Oslo was a unique experience for me, since it was the first time I was on stage at a community event. Marius Agur challenged me to create a presentation that would showcase my view of Dynamics from a business perspective. I am not the most technical person, so I try to create solutions based on simplicity for the end user within a “do it yourself approach”.

3 ways the Power Platform can increase user adoption

I was using our own company as example for this demo, and demonstrating the issues we have had when migrating from HubSpot to Dynamics 365. A journey with lots of bumps in the road, and long nights to figure out the best solution.

1. Connecting Flow to API

Part One showed how we can connect flow to an API and receive real time data from sources like Bisnode, Proff.no or in my case BRREG. I will blog about how to do this soon.

2. Creating a PowerApp for simplicity

Part 2 was showing how you can create a powerapp to simplify not only the user input, but also create a bridge between those who don’t like Dynamics CRM, but accept using a PowerApp, because it is new and fun. Blog about this will also come soon.

3. Integrating to onpremise data source

The last step was showing how we could integrate our CDS/CRM solutions to an onpremise ERP solution without a single line of code. Read more about hit HERE

People to thank

Chris Huntingford: @TattooedCRMGuy
I would never have even thought of doing community or personal exposure if it were not for your exceptional outgoing personality motivating me when you where in Oslo. I know it sounds odd, but I wanted to be like you, and spread excitement and joy to others. Somehow you made something in my brain say “why not” create a blog and speak my mind! MASSIVE thanks..

Megan Walker: @MeganVWalker
Getting to know you and understanding how you use the tools in regards of blog, wordpress, youtube has been very important. You were also so kind to be my first interview subject 🙂

Mark Smith: @nz365guy
Thank you for hosting the 90 day Mentoring Challenge. Even though you were speaking to the masses, you make it personal to participants. I have also shared many conversations with you that mean a lot to me. Thank you for guidance in som many different levels in regards to creating a profile. I might not be the fastest at getting everything done, but I will get there.

Malin Donoso Martnes: @MalinMartnes
Thank you for being persistent in your work. It inspires others to try:) You gave me the final push to submit my talk, and I don’t regret it!

Using Flow to copy Document Location

One confusing obstacle with a new CRM system, is the connection between Dynamics CRM and SharePoint. As a consultant I often have to demonstrate what is really happening behind the scenes to justify why this isn’t straight forward. We have to tell the customer about different folders, different entities etc, while they simply don’t care. They just want it to work together.

One particularly interesting point is when they move between entities. Why can you work with documents in the Lead, and when you navigate over to Opportunity, you no longer see your sales documents? Technically I understand why, but from a functional perspective I understand the customer.

Recently I ran into this scenario when implementing Field Service. Sales produced documents what were important throughout the whole cycle Sales -> WorkOrder -> Assett. Navigating between the entities takes to long, so the challenged me to find a solution.

FLOW TO THE RESCUE ❤

When the opportunity was done, we needed to create 1 or more WO in Field Service. Important factor was to maintain all the work done in Opportunity with the documents, so the Field Service Technicians could see everything in one entity (WO).

Challenge: When I create a new Work Order from Opportunity, I need to copy the document location from the originating Opportunity.

Flow begins with a simple trigger. When a WO is created.

Then I check to see if the related Opportunity contains data. This is just to make sure that the WO actually is created from a Opportunity.

Then I needed to get the document location regarding the Opportunity. As you can see here I am only returning 1. There won’t be any more document locations on Opportunity the way they are using it now. If you wonder how to filter, check my other post LIST CDS RECORDS IN FLOW

This is where I create a new Document location, and set the Work Order as regarding. Flow will automatically add “FOR EACH” to loop through. In my case it doesn’t matter, because I only have 1 document location from Opportunity.

What the user sees

This is a new Opportuinty

The opportunity has documents related to it.

I then convert the opportunity to Work Order via the button in ribbon. I get a message when this is complete.

I open the document location of Work Order, and VIOLA, the same documents.

Personally I love finding quick wins like this that mean a lot for simplicity. Any CRM application will be complex for the end user, so these parts help:)

PowerApps license change opening up for a 10$ CRM system?

Power Platform is maturing rapidly, and users are really loving the new platform for citizen development. The only natural thing to do for Microsoft was to alter the licensing model now that they see how users are working with the platform.

Normally I am the first one to hate on all changes, but this time I am not sure I hate it. I am actually seeing some opportunities here that I didn’t see before.

https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/new-licensing-options-for-powerapps-and-flow/ <– Read about the statement here.

I am seeing this from a Dynamics perspective, and not Office. There are 2 different ways of viewing this change.

From what I read, we can now setup a 10$ pr user pr month and create a sales app with both Model Driven and Canvas AND Portal. Within the app we are also capable to run as many flows as we want without the need for a FLOW plan.

You might still need one Enterprise or Proessional license in the bottom for the entities to be installed on the CDS, but after that you can create your own simple apps.

NB!
I am sure that Microsoft will introduce some other restrictions later on to separate the apps (Sales, Customer Service etc), but currently this is not the case.

Anyone share their ideas about this change? 🙂

PowerApps Currency Formatting examples

So far I feel that currency formatting in PowerApps seems to be a little troublesome. Sure everything would be great if we all sold in $ and our offers were all huge! All of the examples out there are based on this. I needed to represent values at 1 NOK and up. In Norway we don’t use “,” for separating thousands.

I am sure there are simpler ways of doing this, and I am hoping someone can fill me inn:)

For US formatting I found this one:

Text(CurrencyField,"[$-en-US]$###,###")

For UK formatting I found this one:

Text(Value(Parent.Default),"[$-en-US]ÂŁ#,###.00")

For me I need to format PowerApps currency NOK. I have tried manipulating all of the above with no luck at all. Have no idea what I am doing wrong, but that doesn’t matter. I finally found one that worked for me

NOK PowerApps Currency Formatting:

Text(ThisItem.'Est. Revenue',"[$-nb-NO]## ### kr", "nb-NO")

None of this is really making much sense to me. If you have more information about this, please do share!!:)