Using PCF Custom Control Builder (XrmToolBox Plugin) to update existing control in Dynamics 365 / PowerApps


A couple of months back I had written my first PCF Control to display GUID of the record, it was more of a hello world kind of thing.

https://pcf.gallery/guid-control/

Well, the code was using Xrm.Page client API which as we know is deprecated.

So, it was time to update it to use context instead.

More on context

So, thought of using the wonderful PCF Custom Control Builder tool to do that by Danish (which got a new update today – 22- Oct-2019)

Connect to the organization, select Edit existing PCF Control option

Specify the Control Location and VS Command Prompt Location (VsDevCmd.bat)

And click on Reload Details which will list down the details of the component and the solution as shown above.

Click on Open in VS Code to open the project in Visual Studio Code and start making the required update.

It opens the project in Visual Studio Code.

i.e.

Here let us update the index.ts file to use context to fetch the GUID.

Save the changes. And click on Build

i.e.

Now click on Test to see it in action or to debug.

We can see it populating the GUID

To debug it à we can use the developer tools (F12) and put the breakpoint in the index.ts file.

Now let us deploy it to our organization

Deployment in action

After successful deployment, we can see the solution added to our organization

Now let us use it for the single line of the text control.

Publish the changes.

Create the new lead record and we can see the GUID of the record created in the control

Thus, the wonderful PCF Custom Control Builder plugin of XrmToolBox makes it so easy to update the existing PCF Control and also to create new PCF Control.

Hope it helps..

Advertisements

Out of preview – New Model-Driven form designer (WYSIWYG) in PowerApps


Finally the new model-driven designer is out of preview and available for general use

https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-the-general-availability-of-the-new-model-driven-form-designer/

Since I wrote about it last the few changes that we can see are

  •  New Field button that allows adding Lookup Fields. However I still don’t see the option of Option Set fields there.

Form

  • Grouping of Components Section

Form

  • Preview for the components

Form

Looking forward to see all the remaining features that are part of our classic Form Designer like addition of Business Rules, Show Dependencies, Enable Security Roles etc. to be part of the new designer.

Below are the previous blog posts that I wrote about the new model driven apps while it was still in preview –

https://nishantrana.me/2019/08/19/subgrid-quickview-linear-gauge-arc-knob-linear-slider-controls-added-in-new-model-driven-form-designer-wysiwyg-in-powerapps/

https://nishantrana.me/2019/08/05/sub-grid-added-to-the-new-model-driven-form-designer-wysisyg-in-powerapps/

https://nishantrana.me/2019/05/27/few-improvements-in-new-model-driven-form-designer-wysisyg-preview-in-powerapps/

https://nishantrana.me/2018/12/24/the-new-model-driven-form-designer-wysisyg-in-powerapps-for-model-driven-apps-dynamics-365-ce-preview/

Hope it helps..

Subgrid, QuickView, Linear Gauge, Arc Knob, Linear Slider controls added in new model-driven form designer (WYSIWYG) in PowerApps


Recently we were trying out the model-driven form designer and noticed the option of adding new input control to the form in it.


Few days back only I wrote about the addition of Subgrid control, however the limitation was that we couldn’t add new subgrid control. But with the new updates, we can now add new subgrid control along with Quick View and other controls also as shown below.

The other option to configure these controls is from the Controls tab of the field properties dialog box.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/customize/use-custom-controls-data-visualizations

Hope it helps..

Sub-Grid added to the new model-driven form designer (WYSISYG) in PowerApps


Hi,

Microsoft is steadily adding all the essential features to the new model-driven form designer (preview) making it more and more usable and intuitive.

Latest addition is the support for sub-grid as shown below

The properties window for the sub-grid

`

We can select the view from either the related entities or view from any of the un-related entity (uncheck Related Records check box).

Similarly, we can enable view selectors and can show all the views or selected view as shown below.

We still can’t add new sub-grid to the form in the new form designer, for that we still need to go back to our classic form designer.

Check out below articles for more details –

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/maker/model-driven-apps/form-designer-overview

The new model-driven form designer WYSISYG Editor

Few improvements in the new model-driven form designer.

Hope it helps..

Apply SLA choosing the SLA in the SLA lookup field for the SLA Enabled Entities in Dynamics 365 CE


One of the enhancements that came in SLA (CRM 2016 Update 1), which I feel has got unnoticed by few, is choosing the SLA manually using the SLA lookup field.

As we all know SLA comes already enabled for Case Entity and can be enabled for the below entities

Account, Contact, Order, Invoice, Quote, Opportunity, Lead, Activity Entities.

Basically, the above entities have SLA lookup field already created for them.

We can also Enable SLA for custom entities and activities, which will create the SLA lookup field in it.

Add the field on the form and select the appropriate SLA, and that selected SLA will be applied to that record.

It saves us from defining multiple SLA Items for an SLA to be applied as DEFAULT or to use the entitlements to achieve the same.

Hope it helps..

Single Organization vs Multiple Organization (Single Instance vs Multiple Instance) key points to consider in Dynamics 365 CE (On-Premise)


The decision for going with single or multiple organisation should be made as early as possible because if the implementation grows, it will increase the complexity. For e.g., if we have Marketing already implemented for the marketing lob and now, we are planning to add Sales and Service, which would be difficult as it could require updating the existing implementation (plugins, workflows, BPF, Security Model, Business Unit structure, etc.) to cater for addition of new LOBs. If the implementation of the system is designed from the very beginning keeping different LOBs in mind, the complexities can be managed. Also, there is a possibility that a single instance which is serving different LOBs, needs to be separated to multiple instances later, this again will require additional efforts.

Below are some of the factors and pros and cons that we would need to consider before deciding on Single Organization vs Multiple Organization (Single Instance vs Multiple Instance).

Companies with Business units \ LOBs having a different set of customers and different
functional area with no need for

  • cross-business collaboration
  • sharing of data
  • unified or roll-up reporting
  • the same set of standardization

will benefit from Multiple Organization or Multiple Instance approaches.

The benefits of Multiple Organization or Multi-Instance are

Reduced complexity when it comes to the designing and implementation of the data model and security model.

Having less volume of data stored in the system could contribute to improved performance of the application.

Having a lesser number of customization (plugins/workflows/business rules etc.) without segregation logic for different LOBs could also contribute to improved performance.

Provides autonomy, so easy to implement new features/functionalities/3rd party applications without having to consider the impact of it for other business units.

Easy and efficient release management e.g. fast deployment, lesser downtime and do not have to be agreed upon for all the LOBs, less need of regression testing, etc. with fewer teams/functionality being impacted.

Fewer chances of exceeding organization limits for e.g. we have following limits in Dynamics 365 CE /CRM – 100 rollup attributes and each entity having 10 rollup attributes, 10 activated business process flow per entity, maximum number of entities that can have active SLAs is 7, maximum number of SLA KPIs allowed per entity is 5 etc.

System-level settings through Administration à System Settings could be easily governed, managed and defined for the single organization without affecting other LOBs for e.g. some of the settings like – Decimal Precision Point, Relevance Search or Categorized Search, Using legacy form rendering, Session Timeout, Audit settings, etc.

For Customerflexibility to have different implementation team (partners/vendors) working on separate organizations (administration, implementation, support, etc.)

Also, if there are any regulatory or compliance that has to be in place for one LOB it would adversely affect other LOBs in case of the single instance as essentially, they’d be sharing the same resources.

On the other hand, companies having Business Units with the need for coordination and sharing information/data having process standards, rollup reporting needs will benefit from a single organization or single instance approach.

Rollup and Unified reporting and cross-business unit collaboration can be achieved easily in case of a single organization as all their information would be residing in the same instance’s database without any need of User Interface Integration/ SQL Server Replication / Web Service Integration / Publish/subscribe pattern by plugin-ns.

Check out the whitepaper here

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=36056

Most of the 3rd party applications in App Source like ClickDimensions supports only single instance, so different LOBs part of that same instance can share it, which will not be the case of multi-instance, as it would require separate licenses to be procured.

Required common functionalities would still need to build/deployed into multiple organization i.e. less reuse of configuration and code, which can be easily shared and standardized in case of singe organization.

No need for data replication or information (customer, contact, etc.) to be duplicated in all the instances in case of multi-instance.

For multi-instances in case of Online, there would be an additional cost associated with adding instance (sandbox and production).

Also, additional cost in case of multi-instance, for procuring any 3rd party application for each of the instance that needs it, increased integration/ replication cost.

For multi-organization in case of CRM On-Premise, there could be added infrastructure cost to support that many organizations.

Multi instance/organization can also plan to use the Hub and Spoke strategy. This would be recommended approach in case of independent but similar LOBs (e.g. located at different region/geography) i.e. replication.

https://blog.westmonroepartners.com/implementing-dynamics-crm-on-an-enterprise-wide-scale-using-a-hub-and-spoke-strategy/

Few important factors to be considered are as below

Ownership Cost – Who within the organization/enterprise is paying and owning the CRM System.

Does the organization have a Global Center of Excellence (CoE)?

There is no denying that having a single instance service multiple LOB(s) will have added complexity which will only grow with time as the implementation progresses (enhancements/ phases), does the organization has the plan or a roadmap clearly defined to handle it with all the stakeholders involved aligned with Enterprise strategy and architecture.

Please feel free to add your thoughts, suggestions and insights in comments.

Hope it helps ..

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: