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!

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).

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:)

CDS List Records Filter Query using Flow

This week I needed to use the List Records function, and I realized that I had no idea how to use the filters. Thank you Jonas Rapp for creating the FetchXML Builder!! The function “Flow List parameters” saved my day:)

Simple filters

Let’s begin with the simple filters where I get a contact with the last name of Sandsør

Test your search result with the Execute button so see that anything is actually returned. Then open the Flow List Parameters

The tool converts the Fetch XML, and magically gives the correct filter to add in our FLOW query. It can’t get much simpler than that!!

Lookups

Lookups act a little bit different with the syntax, as lookups always to. This got me quite confused before finding this tool, because I was not getting match to my result.

I am searching for contacts with a given GUID. In my case I didn’t know what the GUID was, so I randomly generated a GUID for the formula. In FLOW I substituted the GUID part of query with a dynamic variable.

Filter Query with lookups, you need to add “_” as seen above. When working with lookup you won’t get at match without the “_LookupField_Value”.

Filter linked entity

The last filter is a little more complex, and might not get used due to some limitations of Odata (Must match on unique ID for related).

In this scenario I wanted to locate all contacts with last name “Sandsør” where the regarding accountID = GUID.

Choose the main entity on top, and add “link-entity”

Make sure you have the correct relationship here. Some Lookups support more than one entity, and therefore you make sure you have the correct one.

Again we find the magic with the “Flow List Parameters“.

In this scenario we also get Expand Query result that we need to copy/paste.

Apply to Each

Once you have figured out what filter to use, you can select the “Apply to Each” function, and add custom logic in here.

CDS vs Dynamics Connector Power Platform

There are several discussions regarding the use of CDS connector VS the Dynamics connector in the Power Platform. Recently I have been updating my knowledge a lot on PowerApps, PowerBI and Flow. The odd thing is that these environments behave quite different even thought they are so closely connected in regards to connectors.

how much longer will they co exist, and why are they even different?

So here are my thoughts about the current state April 2019 (this might be outdated in one month 😂)

Flow CDS vs Dynamics 1 – 0

https://crmtipoftheday.com/1177/use-the-cds-connector-when-you-go-with-the-flow/
When using Flow, the CDS connector seems to be the correct choice. I personally feel that the action advanced settings is the most important reason why the CDS would be the correct choice.

CDS connector will only run the flow if country is changed saving you the flow, and the Dynamics connector will run no mater what costing you 1 flow.

PowerBI CDS vs Dynamics 2 – 0


https://www.inogic.com/blog/2018/10/connect-to-the-power-bi-using-common-data-service-cds/
There are maybe many reasons why you would choose the CDS connector over the Dynamics connector for API reasons, but the most important one I like to focus on is the Option Set (Pick List) from Dynamics.

Look at the Yellow columns. They show the display name of the Options Set, so no more need for hacks to convert the fetch from numbers to names. Obviously a huge benefit that this solution will update when the Option Set values update also!

PowerApps CDS vs Dynamics 2 – 1

But wait… It might not be over yet. While tampering with lookup controls for PowerApps I found out that CDS simply doesn’t have the lookup fields in the data!

CDS connector (Simply doesn’t have any lookups):

Dynamics Connector (With lookups):

Data presented is still in a GUID state, but there is a workaround for that:)

https://www.inogic.com/blog/2018/07/working-on-lookup-field-of-dynamics-365-in-powerapps/ <– How to fix GUID in PowerApps

Dynamics 365 VOC end of life

Dear VOC,
Thank you for services provided, but you have been replaced with a younger and more exciting model.

During a call today Microsoft made it quite clear that you should start the transition to FormsPro. On the questions regarding what we do with existing customers, the answer was pretty clear “you should transition”. The one thing that I did think was a little strange was the fact that Microsoft said they would provide assistance migrating (a tool of course). Usually Microsoft doesn’t provide any form for tool for transitioning, and make the partners do this manually.

The magic

I might sound negative, but honestly I think it is quite amazing. VOC turning into a separate app on top of the CDS only commits that MS is really serious about the PowerPlatform story and APPS. Microsoft chose to store data in the CDS, so the options for this tool are almost endless. And even more, you don’t need Dynamics to deliver the product.

Licensing

So what will happen to the product now that it is no longer a Dynamics product? Good question. It was mentioned that licensing is in the works, so let’s hope that this won’t become another Marketing “scandal”. The only thing I would prepare for is a license that now cost more than what you pay today. You can hope for the P2 license to cover this, but probably no.

No one used VOC besides Dynamics customers with the license included. Being able to configure this product separately, you can use any system with a CDS connector. This will open a marked for the FormsPro that the VOC never had. The demonstration was used with Salesforce and Dynamics.

Dynamics 365 Error deleting entity. Flow reference dependency

Don’t think this is normal, because I have not been able to reproduce the error since. I created a very simple flow on top of a few custom entities. I used both the Dynamics connector and the CDS connector while testing. When I was going to clean up my mess, I got an error when deleting.

That being said, when I tried to reproduce the flow SDK step, I was not able to. This meant that I was able to delete an entity with an active flow, and I would say that isn’t optimal either?

I tried removing the flow, but that didn’t help.

Had to add the SDK step, and then delete the step before it was ok.

I have tried reproducing the error, but not able to. Still don’t know how flow registered a plugin step in Dynamics, or why it didn’t remove it when trying to delete.