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.

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 365 Email – HTML Signature and Sender

This post is a part of a series of posts for Customer Service. The complete GUIDE can be found here

Every time I setup Customer Service I encounter the same 2 problems.
1. I want to send from a QUEUE
2. I need to automatically add a signature

Am I really the only one having these problems, or are we all doing the same silly tasks every time?

Standard Signature OOTB

You can enter a standard signature per user, but this signature does not support HTML formatting for some reason. The email you are writing to is in fact a HTML email. Signature that is injected is text into a HTML, but the signature editor is a simple text editor.

When we open the email, the default signature will appear.

PlussMinus
1. You can use standard MS functions to auto insert signature

2. Users can easily make changes to personal signature.


1. Does not support HTML formatting of signature

2. Every user can configure personal signature, and you can’t control it for company profiling.

3. If you work with customer service you have to 4-5 clicks to find the correct signature for Customer Service to enter.

Standard Sender FROM

Whenever you open an email in Dynamics it will default to your email address. Normally I would say this if fine, but why on earth would you want to do this when setting up a Customer Service system?

A user would have to change the FROM to the Customer service

Imagine having to do this every single time you want to answer an email in Dynamics Customer Service! I personally would go crazy.

Design

I solve this by creating a custom entity called Signature and use a standard field on User “Default Queue” to solve the 2 problems. This involves some javascript, but will provide everything you need. In my last post of this series, I will also include the managed and unmanaged files you need to do it yourself.

From the Email I will now retrieve the HTML signature and default sender for this contact.

1. HTML Signature

I found this little tool that generates an HTML signature. It seems like a cool little piece of free software that will create nice HTML signatures. The HTML you generate, can be copy pasted directly into the signature entity.

https://si.gnatu.re/

After messing about for a while I got the following result.

Example HTML

<table width="351" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="0"> <tr> <td style="vertical-align: top; text-align:left;color:#000000;font-size:12px;font-family:helvetica, arial;; text-align:left"> <span><span style="margin-right:5px;color:#000000;font-size:15px;font-family:helvetica, arial">Customer Service Team</span> <br><span style="margin-right:5px;color:#000000;font-size:12px;font-family:helvetica, arial">Super Duper Helper</span></span> <br> <span style="font:12px helvetica, arial;">E-mail&nbsp;<a href="mailto:support@support.com" style="color:#3388cc;text-decoration:none;">support@support.com</a></span> <br> <span style="font:12px helvetica, arial;">Telephone&nbsp;<span style="color:#000000">22222222</span></span> <br> <table cellpadding="0" cellpadding="0" border="0"><tr><td style="padding-right:5px"><a href="https://facebook.com/https://www.facebook.com/pointtakenas" style="display: inline-block;"><img width="40" height="40" src="https://s1g.s3.amazonaws.com/d927102059ee8fca87e6e3f49e77e9e9.png" alt="Facebook" style="border:none;"></a></td><td style="padding-right:5px"><a href="https://twitter.com/https://twitter.com/point_taken_" style="display: inline-block;"><img width="40" height="40" src="https://s1g.s3.amazonaws.com/83255843bbcec47d809669aff3b22691.png" alt="Twitter" style="border:none;"></a></td><td style="padding-right:5px"><a href="https://linkedin.com/company/https://www.linkedin.com/company/pointtaken-as" style="display: inline-block;"><img width="40" height="40" src="https://s1g.s3.amazonaws.com/85f05a94630abd611533bc2566751eb7.png" alt="LinkedIn (Company)" style="border:none;"></a></td><td style="padding-right:5px"><a href="https://youtube.com/https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4rPzEDfHPp393oqOozUqaw" style="display: inline-block;"><img width="40" height="40" src="https://s1g.s3.amazonaws.com/a6f64a587978d338c0b8f6cc2d90bd0b.png" alt="YouTube" style="border:none;"></a></td><td style="padding-right:5px"><a href="https://instagram.com/https://www.instagram.com/pointtakenas/" style="display: inline-block;"><img width="40" height="40" src="https://s1g.s3.amazonaws.com/05f979c6025f3a336303ec824ebb815c.png" alt="Instagram" style="border:none;"></a></td></tr></table><a href="https://www.pointtaken.no" style="text-decoration:none;color:#3388cc;">www.pointtaken.no</a> </td> </tr> </table> 

Next you click on COPY HTML and open the Support Signature record (CUSTOM) on the user entity.

Just copy paste the HTML right inn to the text area. Save and Close

2. Javascript

Now you have to create a JavaScript file on the Email form. In the solution you can download in my last post you will find that I add a form to Email that you can use. I chose not to overwrite the default form.

var formContext = "";

function OnCrmPageLoad(executionContext) {
    formContext = executionContext.getFormContext();
    
    //
    //You don't need to change this. Just understand that forms have one the following states when opening
    //
    var FormTypes =
    {
        Undefined: 0,
        Create: 1,
        Update: 2,
        ReadOnly: 3,
        Disabled: 4,
        QuickCreate: 5,
        BulkEdit: 6
    }
    runAlways(formContext);

    switch (formContext.ui.getFormType()) {
        case FormTypes.Create: OnNewFormLoad(); break;
        case FormTypes.Update: OnUpdateFormLoad(); break;
        case FormTypes.ReadOnly: OnReadOnlyFormLoad(); break;
        case FormTypes.Disabled: OnDisabledFormLoad(); break;
        case FormTypes.QuickCreate: OnQuickCreateFormLoad(); break;
        case FormTypes.BulkEdit: OnBulkEditFormLoad(); break;
        case FormTypes.Undefined: alert("Error"); break;
    }
}

//
//I only use the RunAlways, OnNewFormLoad and OnUpdateFormLoad, but i keep the others here if i ever would need. 
//When looking at this you can always know what funtion is running. Easy to read and debug. 
//On my OnNewFOrmLoad I am now calling a function "GetDefaultQueueAndSignature"
//
function runAlways() { }
function OnNewFormLoad() {
    GetDefaultQueueAndSignature();
}
function OnUpdateFormLoad() {
    GetDefaultQueueAndSignature();
}
function OnReadOnlyFormLoad() { }
function OnDisabledFormLoad() { }
function OnQuickCreateFormLoad() { }
function OnBulkEditFormLoad() { }


//
//CUSTOM FUNCTIONS are added below here. Below this point you add all types of functions you need. 
//
function GetDefaultQueueAndSignature() {
    //Get User GUID and replace "{" and "}" with blanks. 
    var UserID = Xrm.Utility.getGlobalContext().userSettings.userId;
    UserID = UserID.replace("{", "");
    UserID = UserID.replace("}", "");

    //Get User Default Queue and Signature via WebApi
    Xrm.WebApi.online.retrieveRecord("systemuser", UserID, "?$select=_queueid_value&$expand=cs_Signature($select=cs_htmlsignature)").then(
        function success(result) {
            var Id = "{" + result["_queueid_value"] + "}";
            var Name = result["_queueid_value@OData.Community.Display.V1.FormattedValue"];
            var LogicalName = result["_queueid_value@Microsoft.Dynamics.CRM.lookuplogicalname"];
            if (result.hasOwnProperty("cs_Signature")) {
                var Signature = result["cs_Signature"]["cs_htmlsignature"];
            }
            if (LogicalName == null || Signature == null) {
                alert("User Record missing Queue and/or Signature");
                return;
            }

            //Set FROM lookup to queue
            formContext.getAttribute("from").setValue([{ id: Id, name: Name, entityType: LogicalName }]);
            //Set signature before current text in body
            var Body = formContext.getAttribute("description").getValue();
            if(Body != null){
                formContext.getAttribute("description").setValue("<br /><br />" + Signature + Body);
            }else{
                formContext.getAttribute("description").setValue("<br /><br />" + Signature);
            }
            
        },
        function (error) {
            Xrm.Utility.alertDialog(error.message);
        }
    );
}

Save and publish.

The Result is beautiful

We have now saved the service technician many clicks, and the signature looks great. Follow the next post to see how we manage the subject field to “master” the Smart Matching function.