Scan business cards in Dynamics 365 for Sales – 2019 Release Wave 2 (Unified Interface)


The scan business card feature added as part of release wave 2, allows salespeople to quickly scan business cards using the Quick Create Form. The scanner reads the information from the card and populates the corresponding mapped fields in the record.

Out of the box, it is available in quick create form of lead and contact entity.

To specify the mapping for the business card control fields, navigate to Settings – Customizations and open the Quick Create form and select the Business Card Control and go to the Controls tab for its properties.

Click on the edit icon for the field and specify the mapping.

To enable for entities other than lead and contact, open the quick create form of that entity for customization and select either single or multiple lines of text field as a placeholder and add the business card control to it.

Followed by appropriate mapping of properties to the fields of that entity.

To see it in action let us create a new lead record using it’s quick create form. On click on the Scan Business Card button and selecting an image we get the values populated on the form.

Make sure to enable the free trial of AI Builder.

We can see the business card attached/saved with the record.

This behaviour can be configured.

Navigate to Sales Tab of System Settings

Few points to consider here

  • This feature is only available in North America and the EMEA region for now.
  • The mapping of address fields is not supported currently.
  • The users need to have a Common Data Service User role to use the control.

Hope it helps..

Synchronize (Bi-Directional) Dynamics 365 CRM Cloud data with SQL Azure using Skyvia’s Synchronization Package


Continuing our previous post where we used the replication package

https://nishantrana.me/2019/11/13/easily-set-up-dynamics-365-ce-crm-replication-incremental-to-azure-sql-sql-on-premise-using-skyvias-data-integration-services/

here we will see how we can use the synchronization service for bi-directional sync.

Below of the prerequisites of synchronization package to perform bi-directional sync –

  • We need to use the created on and modified on fields of the Entity
  • The synchronized tables to have an auto-generated primary key.

So here we need to alter the SQL Azure’s Contact table that was auto-created earlier by the Replication package to have the auto-generated primary key.

Connect to the SQL Azure database using Skyvia’s Query service and perform the alter operation

Or use the Query Editor (preview) of Azure

With necessary changes made, let us create a new Synchronization package

Specify the connection and click on Add Task to create the synchronization task.

We have specified contact entity from Dynamics CRM Source and contact table in SQL Azure which was earlier created for us by the replication package.

It automatically maps all the columns here based on the column name.

We can also manually specify mapping here for both Source To Target and Target to Source fields to be used for sync.

Click on Finish once done with the mapping.

Similarly to replication packages, the synchronization packages can be scheduled.

Click on Save to create the Task.

Click on Run

The run history shows the 220 records synced from Dynamics CRM to SQL Azure.

We can see the 220 records created in our SQL Azure DB

Now let us update a record in SQL Azure and run the package again.

We can see the record updated in Dynamics CRM

Now let us delete a few records from Azure SQL and run the package

We can see the records delete from Dynamics CRM

Similarly, let us delete a couple of records from Dynamics CRM and run the package

We can see the 8 records deleted in the destination SQL Azure

Thus, we saw how easy it is to do bi-directional sync using Skyvia’s Synchronization package.

Hope it helps..

Easily set up Dynamics 365 CE \ CRM replication (incremental) to Azure SQL / SQL On-Premise using Skyvia’s Data Integration services


In the earlier post, we saw how we can use Skyvia’s query feature to execute SQL command against our Dynamics 365 CE

https://nishantrana.me/2019/10/25/execute-sql-select-insert-update-and-delete-command-on-dynamics-365-customer-engagement-data-using-skyvia-query/

In this post, we will cover how we can use Skyvia’s replication feature to create a copy of our cloud data i.e. Dynamics 365 Online data in a relational database like SQL Server and most interestingly keep it up to date automatically with basic configuration steps.

Creating replication of cloud data can be useful in different data integration scenarios and most importantly for reporting and data analysis need as with online we are limited with the use of Fetch XML.

The Skyvia’s replication service takes care of syncing Create, Update and Delete operation performed on Dynamics 365 Entity records with the destination SQL Database.

For this we need to Skyvia expects an object’s key as well as modifiedon, createdon fields to be included for replication.

For delete to work it expects, audit history to be enabled on that Entity.

In this post, we will take a simple example of replicating Contact entity records from Dynamics 365 Online to SQL Azure.

Login to Skyvia

https://app.skyvia.com/#/packages

Create the connections

Source Dynamics CRM Connection:

Destination SQL Azure Connection:

We have a database named SampleDB already created in SQL Azure.

With connections created, now let us create a new package of type replication

For the replication, we have specified source connection as the CRM connection and destination as the SQL Azure.

We have selected the option of Incremental Updates along with Create Tables and Drop Tables option which will delete if there is an existing table of the same name as the entity and will create a new one.

In the Select Objects section, we have a specified Contact entity. We can also select multiple entities for replication.

Edit task option in the selected entity let us specify the fields and filter criteria on the source.

We also have the option of scheduling that we will look at in the end of the post.

Save the package and click on Run to see it in action.

While it is running, the Run History section shows the details

It auto refreshes with all the details.

We can see the 228 records of contact records replicated in SQL Azure.

Now let us create a new contact and run the package again.

Here we have created a contact record as shown below in CRM.

On running the package, we can see that it has added a new record in the Run History

Back in SQL Azure also our count has increased to 229.

Now let us update one of the records in the source and run the package. The run history shows one of the records being updated.

Finally, let us delete a couple of records (9) from the source and run the package. (We need to make sure we have enabled Audit on Contact entity for delete to work)

Back in SQL Azure, we can see total record count decreased

Here we were running the package manually, however, in real-world scenarios we would be scheduling it.

For this, we can edit our package and navigate to the Schedule section and click on Set Schedule.

For e.g. we have scheduled here it to run every hour starting from 6 p.m. till 10 a.m.

On save, we can check the run history

Thus, we saw how easy it is to replicate the data from Dynamics 365 CE to our SQL Database using Skyvia’s Integration service.

To achieve the same using Scribe Online Replication Service

https://nishantrana.me/2019/01/09/using-scribe-online-replication-services-rs-to-replicate-dynamics-ce-data/

and KingswaySoft 

http://www.kingswaysoft.com/blog/2017/04/04/How-to-Retrieve-Incremental-Changes-from-CRM-in-your-ETL-Process

Hope it helps..

Step by Step – Calling Flow from PowerApps (Dynamics 365 CE/CRM)


Let us take a simple example of creating lead to understand how we can call Flow from PowerApps.

Log in to PowerApps Studio and create the form as below.

  • TextInput for entering the Last Name, First Name and Email ID.
  • Button to call Flow.
  • The label named GUID which will display the GUID of the created lead record.

Now select the button, go to Action menu and click on Flows to create a new flow.

Click on create a new flow.

Select Instant – from blank option

Select PowerApps as the trigger.

Add a new Step – Create a new Record (Dynamics 365)

To create a new record step, specify the Dynamics 365 Organization Name, select Leads as the entity name.

For the Last Name field, click Ask in PowerApps that will generate the parameter to which we will pass the value from our PowerApps.

The generated parameter.

Repeat the above step for the First Name and Email field.

*for Topic field we have passed a hardcoded value.

Save the create step and add a new step “Respond to a PowerApp or flow

Here we have selected output of type Text

We have added the output parameter as varLeadId and selected leadid as the unique identifier.

Save the Flow and navigate back to PowerApp and select the flow created for our button.

After adding the Flow, the next step is to update the formula to send the field’s value to the flow and also to receive the output from it.

Below will be our formula to pass the text to the flow.

But as we are expecting the GUID in return, we need to update it.

We are using the Set function to set the variable varResponseFromFlow with varleadid output.

Also, we have updated the label field for GUID with the variable

Now let us save the changes and run the PowerApp.

On clicking the button, we can see the GUID updated on the label on the form.

Back in our Dynamics 365 CE, we can see the lead created.

Thus we saw how easy it is to write a PowerApp which interacts with Dynamic 365 CE using Flow. We took a very basic example to understand how things glue, but we can clearly see the potential here to implement complex real-world scenarios with ease.

Hope it helps..

Single Instance / Organization Considerations in Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement / Dynamics CRM


Let us start from the scenario that the enterprise has decided to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM /365 CE as a preferred customer relationship solution for their organization.

For a large enterprise and/or having multiple different departments, the first question that comes up is, do they need to have a single instance or organization or multiple instance or organization. Well, that decision is not that easy but one thing is for sure the decision should be made as early as possible in the project.

Well you could refer to these posts that could help us to make the decision

https://medium.com/capgemini-dynamics-365-team/does-enterprise-scale-dynamics-require-multiple-instances-f1931a443930

https://nishantrana.me/2019/07/23/single-organization-vs-multiple-organization-single-instance-vs-multiple-instance-key-points-to-consider-in-dynamics-365-ce-on-premise/

Now suppose we have made the decision to go with the single instance \ organization, so what are some of the key points we need to consider.

There could be multiple ways of implementing and defining the segregation layer as well as what needs to be shared from data and customization perspective among the different business units, the most important being the security model and the business unit structure being one of the key components of it.

Check out the below Webinar –

http://www.xrmcoaches.com/2017/07/free-webinar-friday-creating-your-dynamics-365-security-model/

also listen to the below podcast to get some guidance around the setting up the security model

http://crmmvppodcast.com/episode-19-setting-up-your-security-architecture-like-a-crm-mvp

In one of our projects, the way we segregated different departments, after defining the appropriate business unit structure, was by having the Business Unit lookup (custom field) in all the common entities that were being shared by the departments and populating that field accordingly, every time record is created either through User Interface or through code and to refer the same field in the customizations (plugin, workflow etc.) as and when applicable.

In the other project, we were referring to the Business Unit lookup field in the System User / Team Entity.

Well there could be multiple ways of doing the same with its own pros and cons.

But what if you have already implemented for one of the units and didn’t consider that the same instance would need to be extended to accommodate the different business unit(s).

Well, then it is time to modify a couple of things to make the Business Unit structure scalable (if it is not).

Let us go through the each of the main components one by one and how they can be segregated among different business units.

Wrong root business unit name?

Set Parent Business Unit lookup field as optional, open the Business Unit record and rename it.

Need to rename the organization?

For Online à

Navigate to Admin Portal, select the instance and click on edit and update the organization name and if required the URL as well as shown below.


For On-Premise à

  • Follow the below steps to update the Display Name

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/darrenliu/2013/09/21/change-crm-organization-display-name/

  • Updating Organization Database Name

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/crmbipl/2008/01/14/how-to-change-crm-4-0-organizations-database-name/

Forms

Create separate new Main forms for different business units.

Enable appropriate security roles for the Form.

Views

Fields

Reuse the fields that are common instead of ending up creating a large number of fields.

Field security profiles can also be used if required when certain entity’s records are shared across the business unit and we want to hide the sensitive information.

Business Rules

Business rule can be configured to run on the scope of Form instead of the Entity.

Dashboards

For Dashboards, we can enable the security roles.

Workflows

  • Use scope fields to make sure the workflows fire appropriately.
  • Or put the first step to check for which business unit it is firing (depends on the segregation logic implemented)

Plugins

Have a field in the records to identify to which Business Unit it belongs to and check for this field as the first thing in the plugin or check for the Business Unit of the user under whose context the plugin is getting fired or use the secure \ unsecure configuration etc. it purely depends upon the way the segregation logic has been implemented.

SLAs

Use SLA lookup field to apply the SLA dynamically through plugin or workflow.

https://nishantrana.me/2019/07/24/apply-sla-choosing-the-sla-in-the-sla-lookup-field-for-the-sla-enabled-entities-in-dynamics-365-ce/

Business Process Flow

If there are multiple business process flow, make sure appropriate one is applied

Apply business process flow while creating an entity record.

https://www.powerobjects.com/blog/2019/04/24/business-process-flows-switch-bpf-dynamics-365-javascript/

There would be multiple other key points to be considered apart from the one listed above specific to each implementation; the above points are some of the things that can be taken as guidelines.

Lastly we must consider  creating different apps for different department \ teams\ users and add required solution components to it.

Design custom business apps by using the app designer

Please feel free to add comments and share your thoughts.

Hope it helps..

Getting started with TypeScript


TypeScript is an open-source programming language developed and maintained by Microsoft.

TypeScript adds Type support to JavaScript, which makes sure type checking is done resulting in fewer bugs, adds autocomplete supports in the TypeScript editor, supports Object Orientation and structuring and packing of the code, etc.

The code written in TypeScript transpiles to JavaScript by TSC i.e. TypeScript Compiler.

The easiest way to install TSC is to install it as a Node.js package using NPM i.e. Node Package Manager at the command line.

Download and install Node.js first if it is not already installed.

https://nodejs.org/

Make sure to include Node.js runtime and npm package manager.

Now to install TSC, open the terminal and type the below command

npm install -g typescript

g makes sure that it is installed globally and not just in the directory from which we are running the command.

There are different editors available for TypeScript

Let us see how to configure TypeScript for Visual Studio Code.

Download link for Visual Studio Code (if not already installed)

https://code.visualstudio.com/

Open Visual Studio Code and select the working folder or

in Node.js command prompt, create the directory and open the visual studio code from there

From file explorer in Visual Studio Code, create the new .ts file

Create the typescript file with the extension .ts and add the JavaScript code

To compile the TypeScript code, open the integrated Terminal in Visual Studio Code and type

tsc <<FileName.js>>


This creates a new corresponding JavaScript file for the TypeScript file.

To run it use the node command

node <<filename>>

We can also modify the TypeScript compiler’s default behavior by adding tsconfig.json.

Here we have added tsconfig.json file in the project with the following code

Check below link for different compilerOptions

https://www.typescriptlang.org/docs/handbook/compiler-options.html

To configure the build, execute Run Build Task…

As we have created the tsconfig.json file earlier, we will be presented with the following option

Select tsc: build to run the build task.

If tsc: watch is selected the compiler will watch for the changes in TypeScript files and runs the transpiler whenever the changes are saved.

To set the build or watch task as default, select Configure Default Build Task from the Terminal menu.

On selecting tsc: build task, tasks.json file is added inside .vscode

This sets build task as default, so now when we run the Run Build Task, we are not prompted to select a task.

This completes the basic environment setup for using TypeScript with Visual Studio Code.

Hope it helps..