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Preview: JOPX on SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010

JOPX on CRM, Cloud and Analytics

Occasional rantings about Dynamics CRM/365, Power BI, SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure cloud. Intrigued about how people collaborate and data driven decision making. Taking the first small steps in machine learning. Putting all of the above in practical

Updated: 2018-03-21T09:33:13.483+01:00


Dynamics 365/CRMUG Belux chapter meeting on digital transformation, D365 for Marketing and GDPR


On April 18th the Belux CRMUG chapter organizes the next local chapter meeting – check out the agenda below and register for the Q2 2018 CRMUG Belux Chapter meeting .
  • Digital transformation at MLOZ and Partenamut with Dynamics 365 (Presented by: Olivier Callebaut, MLOZ and Etienne Gonsette, Partenamut)
  • Dynamics 365 for Marketing (Presented by: Dieter De Cock, Microsoft)
  • GDPR and Dynamics 365 – the Waldorf and Statler perspective (Presented by: Stephane Dorrekens, Business Elements and Joris Poelmans, Realdolmen)
This is a free event, but registration is required .(image)

Dynamics 365 monthly reading list February 2018


Technical topics (Configuration, customization and extensibility)Watch out for issues with Version & updating plugin assemblies in Dynamics 365 (CRM)Dynamics 365 Data Integration (Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Enterprise Edition)Dynamics 365 post deployment steps – what to check after you have imported your solutionsData Export Service: How to handle lookup columns Using FetchXML with the new Dynamics Web APIHow to calculate number of days between two date and time fields in Dynamics 365Dynamics 365 Data Migration Testing Best PracticesUsing an external scheduler to run on demand workflowsHow to export and import Voice of the Customer surveysDynamics 365 v9.0 – Developers delightsValidate Web API calls using Custom ActionsDiving into new Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portal capabilities and official guidance from Adxstudio PortalsDynamics CRM Theme generatorTopics for Dynamics 365 business analysts, project managers, power users and end usersDrill into CRM records from Power BIDynamics 365: updating entity iconsWork continues on Dynamics 365 digital assistant experiences – current Cortana integration preview discontinuedDynamics 365 and Outlook – the road forwardGetting started with campaign management in Dynamics 365New from Microsoft Labs: Change tracking solution for Dynamics 365 released!LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 integration [Video]Dynamics 365 – Are you reporting or engaging? by Steve MordueCRM Tip of the Day #1085 – Using voice of the  customer to survey usersManaging Customer Engagement with Microsoft Dynamics 365 – free self-paced online course on Dynamics 365, ideal for first-time users, young professionals, and students to highlight how to use the application[...]

Presentation Dynamics 365 Saturday Amsterdam - Dynamics 365 and chat bots


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Dynamics 365 monthly reading list December 2017


Technical topics (Configuration, customization and extensibility)Searching for business process flow stages in Dynamics 365 CRM by @MeganVWalkerImport data with multi-select option set values in Dynamics 365 Is Dynamics 365 server-side sync filling up your database? by @PFEDynamicsHow to trigger Plugins on custom messages using Actions in Dynamics 365 by @Magnetism SolutionsHow to work with Record Create and Update rules null(Channel properties) in Dynamics CRM10 techy tips your team will want to know about Dynamics 365 mobile applications for phones & tabletsMicrosoft Flow and change tracking - Microsoft Flow requires that Change Tracking is enabled to work with Dynamics 365 when looking for updates or deletes to records in CRM.Dynamics 365 Online Navigation fix – remove the “Switch to another app” menu – highly unsupported but you might have customers requesting for itWorkflow scope and security in Dynamics 365What’s new in extensibility and app platform in the Enterprise Edition for Dynamics 365 (Online)Option sets and statuscode – doing some testing – see how they behave when setting them using JavascriptMicrosoft Dynamics 365 v9.0: Usage of the new OOB WebApi functions – Part 3 by @a33ikWhat is unsecure/secure configuration on a Dynamics 365 pluginBest practices for automating business process stage progression in Dynamics 365Dynamics 365 Data Integration feature (for Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations)Not all business process flow entities are created equalSolution export error  - known issue in Dynamics 365 with “orphaned” roll-up fieldsGlobal option sets in Dynamics 365 by @PowerObjectsSearching customer web resource content – how to write code to retrieve javascript/html code to check for unsupported codeCustomer Driven Update for Dynamics 365 version 9.0 is coming – scheduled updates begin in February 2018 and end in August 2018 How do you get started with the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook PreviewTopics for Dynamics 365 business analysts, project managers, power users and end usersAutomatically collect and track emails with Dynamics 365 Auto CaptureGetting around in the Dynamics 365 Customer Service App (Youtube 00:02:45)Which emails should I track in CRM?Visualizing data in Dynamics 365Beginner’s guide: how to perform simple data validation on records in Dynamics 365Use story time workshops and not backlog refinementScrum certification for Dynamics 365 practitioners[...]

Speaking at Dynamics 365 Saturday Amsterdam


I will be delivering a session about chat bots and Dynamics 365 at Dynamics 365 Saturday Amsterdam on the 3d of February. Registration is free.
Dynamics 365 Saturday is a Technical & Strategy event organized by the community with the following credo: “Learn & share new skills while promoting best practices, helping organizations overcome the challenges of implementing a successful digital transformation strategy with Microsoft Dynamics 365”.(image)

Searching in knowledge base articles in Dynamics 365


Knowledge base articles are a base component of the Service Management module in Dynamics 365. The knowledge base is a repository of informational articles that can be used to help customer service representatives resolve cases. Knowledge base articles can be emailed to a customer, which can be sent either through the Dynamics 365 interface or through the Microsoft Dynamics apps for Outlook.With the introduction of the new knowledge articles entity data model (KnowledgeArticle) in Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1   and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 SP1 (for on premise) (Release documentation 8.1 – January 2017) , the existing entities for knowledge management: KbArticle, KbArticleComment and KbArticleTemplate were deprecated. You should now use the newer KnowledgeArticle in your code  (See Important changes coming in future releases of Microsoft Dynamics 365), which also support versioning and translation support.In version 8.1, these knowledge articles became visible in the interactive service hub which was revamped into the Customer Service Hub in version 9.0 (Dynamics 365 July 2017 update). The Customer Service  Hub also contains a number Knowledge Base dashboard - one with "your knowledge base articles" and one specifically for a knowledge manager (see screenshot below).If you want to learn more about how to work with knowledge base articles, you should really take a look at Reduce call handling times with knowledge articles in the Customer Service Hub . Knowledge base articles are also directly shown in a tab on a case form (see screenshot below).It is also possible to execute full-text searches against the new knowledge articles using the FullTextSearchKnowledgeArticleRequest which uses the following parameters:QueryExpression: used to set additional query criteria and for which you also need to set the PagingInfo otherwise no results are returnedRemoveDuplicates: remove duplicate versions of the same Knowledge ArticleSearchText: the text to search for in Knowledge ArticlesStateCode: required parameter which accepts an integer for the different statuses of a knowledge article such as Published, Draft, Approved, etc…UseInflection: searches for all different tenses of a verb or both the singular and plural forms of a noun. Underlying SQL full-text search is used (For more details see Searching for the inflectional form of a specific wordCode sample: searching within knowledge base articles using FullTextSearchKnowledgArticleRequest References:Knowledge management entities (MSDN)MB2-718 Certification: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service – Knowledge baseWork with knowledge articles in Dynamics 365 (MSDN)KnowledgeArticle entity messages and methods[...]

Quick tip: finding all users with Dynamics 365 Service Administrator role in Office 365 tenant with PowerShell


Unfortunately the Office 365 Admin Portal, does not contain a predefined view to show all users who have the Dynamics 365 Service Administrator role – this role allows you to manage Dynamics 365 at tenant level (See Use the service admin role to manage your tenant for more details). But luckily you can also retrieve this information using PowerShell.

First make sure that you install the different prerequisites as outlined in Connect to Office 365 PowerShell – next open Windows Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell. To connect to Office 365, simply type connect-msolservice . Get-MsolRole will give you a list of all administrator roles. You will see that the internal role name which is listed is still "CRM Service Administrator". The last line will export all users with this role to a CSV file

get-msolrole | select name, description
$role = get-msolrole -rolename "CRM Service Administrator"
get-msolrolemember -roleobjectid $role.objectid | export-csv d:\temp\serviceadmins.csv

Fix for unable to login to Dynamics CRM 9.0 with CrmServiceClient and .NET 4.7


When you try to connect to Dynamics 365 9.0 from within a console app using the CrmServiceClient, you might still encounter an error “Unable to login to Dynamics CRM” even though you have updated to the latest version of the different assemblies ( at the moment of writing).

This might be caused by the fact that you compiling against .NET 4.7 where the default value of the ServicePointManager.SecurityProtocol is SecurityProtocolType.SystemDefault (See What’s new in .NET 4.7 for more details).

If this is the fact, you might need to explicitly change the protocol to TL1.2 - which is a requirement for Dynamics 365 9.0 as announced in September 2017 in Updates coming to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement connection security  - by adding a line ServicePointManager.SecurityProtocol.SecurityProtocol = SecurityProtocolType.Tls12


Bots and Dynamics 365 Part 1 : Introduction and building a Q&A bot


For those of you who want to see a glimpse of the potential of bots in combination with Dynamics 365 check out the Microsoft Data Amp 2017 Keynote (Channel 9 recording) but also some actual reference cases such as Insurance goes bot – artificial intelligence deployed in customer contact (VHV Versicherungen)UPS paves the way for better service with faster development and artificial intelligenceBots are officially a hype in Silicon Valley  and while stories like It begins – Bots are learning to chat in their own language might depict a bright future for bots due to the recent advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, developing a good bot will still require a good design and up front thinking about how you want your users to interact with the bot.  The user experience of poorly designed chat bots will frustrate users trying to perform more complex tasks. And even when this will not become a headline such as Tay, the Microsoft that pranksters trained to spew racist comments you will still have disappointed a potential customer.  But companies which start early experimenting with chat bots, are able to leverage advances in natural language processing and artificial intelligence and a number of different bot building frameworks.  The important thing to realize is that building a bot is not so much about the underlying technology but about creating a memorable customer experience – a great example is Lemonade sets new world record which show how AI handles a filed insurance claim in under 3 seconds.Luckily, building the underlying platform has become a lot easier and Microsoft has also made available a number of different tools to help you in designing a great experience. Microsoft not only provides the Bot Framework (publicly available since April 2016) which includes a Bot Builder SDK and Developer Portal but also launched the Azure Bot Service  in the November 2016. Azure Bot Service has been built on top of the Azure Bot Framework and provides a number of templates to get started with the creation of bots. In theory you can code your bot directly from within the built-in editor but you will probably switch over to Visual Studio afterwards as well as integrate with your source code repository by downloading the generated bot code to your local machine.One of the basic templates which is available in Azure Bot Service to write your bot is the the Question&Answer template.  To get started you need to built up a knowledgebase with questions and answers, information which might already exists in content such as FAQs, documents,etc…  Microsoft QnA Maker  will be able to use these existing sources and provides both a web interface and REST API that trains AI to respond to user’s questions in a more natural, conversational way. I took the example of and used it as input for QnA Maker to build up a knowledge base. Within QnA Maker itself you can test it afterwards  to see how your bot reacts to specific questions.The next step is creating a bot using the Azure Bot Service – next to the QnA template there are also other templates available – see Bot Service templates  for more details. You can start experimenting with the bot service framework at a very low cost, the free model allows you to test it out with 10000 messages/month and you will only pay for the consumption of the underlying Azure functions  or you can use the premium pricing model which provides an SLA as well as as access to premium channels. (See Azure Bot Service pricing for more details)After the bot service has been created, you will still need to connect it to the QnA service that you published previously by filling in the QnAKnowledgebaseId and qnASubscriptionKey in the App Settings of your bot w[...]

Musings and rants about solution architecture, EA and consulting


The last year I have been working as a solution architect for a large European company as part of the EA team and I must say, it  has been quite an interesting experience. The vision/ideas that the other architects within EA have about software architecture made me explore a little bit on how software architecture has been perceived by the industry. During in this exploration I stumbled on a number of interesting articles that I want to share:

I also became a big fan of Eric Dietrich (@daedtech) writings – so check out some of his postings

Other architects you might also follow on Twitter include  Martin Fowler (@martin fowler) (author of a number of excellent books you should read as well) , Michael Nygard (@mtnygard)  Matt Stine (@mstine) and Simon Brown (check out his video on  Visualize, Document and explore your Software architecture). Leave a comment if you think I missed a thought leader in the software architecture space on Twitter or other blog post which you consider must reads or just interesting.


Dynamics 365 monthly reading list November 2017


Technical topics (Configuration, customization and extensibility)Mobile offline functionality on a tabletUsing EWS editor to fix Dynamics 365 App for Outlook issuesImplementing field mapping using Xrm.WebApiJust some tips for working with virtual entities by @andz_88How to create test data with GUIDs in Microsoft Dynamics 365Managing Dynamics 365 updates (updated article November 2017)Virtual entities – Relationships by Upgrade Adxstudio Portals v7.x to xRM Portals Community EditionDynamics CRM Tip of the Day 1032: be careful with those (Javascript) function namesFixing missing services site map after upgrade from Dynamics 365 -  8.2 to 9.0Fixing Dynamics  Outlook app deployment issuesCommon Data Integration Patterns – the aggregation patternDynamics 365 portals: Liquid with a Javascript framework – vueLoading dependent javascript files in Dynamics 365 v9Microsoft Dynamics 365 v9.0 clientside for devs besides XRM.WebApi by @a33ikWhere did my instance go – I hadn’t seen this glitch yet -  great tip from @DavidYackRegister a new webhook through plugin registration tool in Dynamics 365 Dynamics 365 v9 unified interface icons CodeNow for #XrmToolbox – more than just code now… let’s get your organization POA stats this timeTopics for Dynamics 365 business analysts, project managers, power users and end users4 steps that keep Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementations from running off the railsDynamics 365 – a few things partners need to know betterNew automation and visualization features for business process flows (public preview)Dynamics 365 User Group Australia – SA Water’s digital journey and the role of Microsoft Dynamics (Youtube recording 00:20:13)Microsoft and Adobe build on partnership with integration of Adobe Experience Manager and Dynamics 365Does your CRM data resemble the walking dead?Release Notes for Field Service and Project Service Automation Update Release 2What’s new in Voice of the Customer version 9.0.823.1 to 9.0.959.8 – improved scalability – it is now possible to sent out 50.000 surveys per dayConfiguring Custom Controls for views in Dynamics 365 CE 9.0Using PowerApps and Microsoft Flow to simplify Dynamics 365 activity managementList of values: optionset vs lookupReports enhancements in Dynamics 365How to change the Panel Header of a sub grid in Dynamics 365It’s time to integrate Dynamics CRM and SharePoint (better) – some interesting add-ons to look into. (Remark: I haven’t tested them out yet – so don’t consider this as an official endorsement)Deciphering Dynamics 365 App for Outlook requirements and available features[...]

The Dynamics 365 CE SDK is dead, long live the new Developer Guide


From Dynamics 365 9.0 onwards, the SDK (Software Development Kit) is not available as a single SDK monolithic download – but it has been split up in different parts:

For more details check out What’s new for Customer Engagement developer documentation in version 9.0.(image)

Quick tip: using Google Analytics in Blogger


Blogger provides some out of the box statistics on number of pageviews, traffic sources, etc… but some functionality is unfortunately missing such as the ability to export these statistics,user by time of day, session durations, etc … Fortunately it is also possible to use Google Analytics as well by following these simple steps:
  • Create a web property ID at
  • Open your Blogger Settings > Other > Google Analytics and enter the web property ID

Dynamics 365 monthly reading list October 2017


The Dynamics 365 Spring release (or July 2017 Update v9.0) reached the GA (Generally Available) milestone in the first weekend of October (online only) – so the first “official” documentation became available as well.What’s new for developers in the July 2017 UpdateImportant changes coming in Dynamics 365 Customer EngagementDynamics 365 v9.0 is already available by @ramontebarDynamics 365 9.0 introduced native autonumber support but configuration was only available through the SDK – it is amazing to see that two tools became available in the first week to work with this Autonumber attributes in Microsoft Dynamics 365 from or Easy Autonumber utility for Dynamics 365 July 2017 Update (v9)Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement General Availability Readme (Known issues)What’s new in the July 2017 update for Enterprise EditionInteract with data from external systems using the new virtual entities by @WizOfD365Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE Platform Update for Developers (Ignite 2017 video)What’s new in Dynamics 365The long road to unified interface in Dynamics 365Technical topics (Configuration, customization and extensibility)Dynamics 365, Organization Insights and dotmailerIdentify differences between Dynamics 365 (CRM) instancesScoring surveys based on answers with Voice of the CustomerPart 1 – Build a referral tracking system with Microsoft Flow, Azure Functions and your CRMPart 2 – Build a referral tracking system with Microsoft Flow, Azure Functions and your CRMTips and tricks for deploying and managing Dynamics 365 for Sales and Service – Ignite 2017 – tips from the Dynamics PFE teamReturn from the land of no return – disable Notes, Activities, Connections, Feedback, Queues and/or change ownership model from @CrmtipofthedayLimiting users to specific Dynamics 365 organizationsHow to use Task flows to help your mobile workforce manage micro processes in Dynamics 365 from @magnetismxrmHow to improve as Dynamis 365 developerCRM Tip #993: Update before your maps breakSet default price list on product as read-only in Dynamics CRMA canary in CRMTip 987: Kill a few million async jobsHow to change icons of custom entities in Dynamics 365 – if you use Dynamics 365 9.0 – you also have scalable vector graphics (svg) icon support . Also check out this post on Dynamics 365: Updating Entity IconsHow to use Javascript for editable grids in Dynamics 365Ribbon customizationBest practices for Microsoft Dynamics security settings: append vs append toAdding custom icons with tooltips for a column in Dynamics 365Topics for Dynamics 365 business analysts, project managers, power users and end usersHow to configure relationship analytics cards in Dynamics 365You are about to start a Dynamics project – would you go Agile or Waterfall?Cover the bases of a successful CRM deploymentCRM observation – why alternate keys are not published sometimesManage the status of your team’s bookings with Universal Resource SchedulingModernizing business process with Cloud and AI Technorati Tags: CRM,microsoft,msdyn365,dynamics+365,dynamics+crm,cloud[...]

Quick tip: Format JSON documents in Notepad++


Notepad++ does not have built-in support for formatting JSON documents, but you can use JSONViewer for this. It can be installed directly using the "Plugin Manager" in Notepad++. Just got to "Plugins > Plugin Manager > Show Plugin Manager > Available tab"


Use Chrome user profiles to simulate different Dynamics 365 identities


Great tip that I saw on Twitter from @jukkan and @georgedude – you don’t need to use private browsing in Google Chrome to login to Dynamics 365 with a separate identity, you can use Chrome user profiles instead.

Click the person icon
 in the top right corner to configure your chrome profiles.

Check out Share Chrome with others or add a profile for more details.

Easy way to get the Dynamics CRM Realm ID for server-based SharePoint integration


Server-based SharePoint integration in Dynamics CRM actually uses the same techniques as high-trust SharePoint app (For more background read Security in SharePoint Apps – Part 1) that you can develop yourself. SharePoint apps (or add-ins) use Appprincipals (a separate identity for an app) to act on your behalf when interacting with SharePoint. SharePoint knows that it can trust the request from the AppPrincipal when it is correctly registered. So one of the steps in Configure server-based authentication with Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) and SharePoint on-premises  requires you to register the AppPrincipal. To be able to use Register-SPAppPrincipal, you will need the CRMRealmId.

But there is an easier way to get to the crmrealmid than described in the walkthrough (if you forgot to note it down as suggested by the article) – you can simply go to the Settings>Customizations>Developer Resources and use the instance reference ID.


Rise of the machines : machine learning and artificial intelligence in Dynamics 365 Part 1


A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post Microsoft Azure Machine Learning – the power to predict which provided  a high level view  of Microsoft’s service offering around machine learning and artificial intelligence in the cloud. In the next series of posts I will delve a little deeper into a number of scenarios where we can leverage Microsoft AI offering (machine learning and Cognitive services)  together with Dynamics 365/CRM.If you look at most legacy CRM solutions, they are nothing more than digital contact lists and notebooks where you can look up contact information, check personal details or see when someone on your team has last contacted a customer. They contain a huge amount of data, but without built-in machine learning or predictive analytics, defining priorities on which prospects to contact first for a potential deal is like searching for a needle in a haystack. The added value of a modern CRM system is, that it should guide and support your sales team so that they can focus on what they are meant to do – sell. By automating tedious tasks such as sending follow up emails and reminders, you will free up more time to focus on selling. If you are not sure of the current state of your CRM solution, just take a look at what your mobile phone experience.Microsoft is betting big on AI (See One year later, Microsoft AI and Research grows to 8K people in massive bet on artificial intelligence) and Dynamics 365 is a platform which can benefit greatly from these investments. Although, the first built-in functionality is still quite rudimentary and some of it is still in preview – the potential seems enormous (also see How machine learning will change Dynamics 365 from Ben Hosking ) Figure 2 Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, relationship analytics and relationship assistant.  The table below lists functionality/features within the Dynamics 365/CRM platform which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence. FunctionalityAvailabilityRemarksSentiment analysis within Microsoft Social EngagementUnderstand the public perception using sentiment analysisGANative sentiment detection is be available in the 17 Core languages (English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Japanese, Chinese traditional) and ArabicSocial selling assistantThe Social Selling Assistant recommends personal actions for you to  leverage social networks (e.g. which posts to share etc …)GAUse Azure text analytics with Dynamics 365 (Preview)Suggest similar casesUS region only – PreviewThe rules you create can use either Cognitive Services Text Analytics or some features let you use the built-in similarities matching engine in Microsoft Dynamics 365. Notice that you can only create one similar records suggestions rule for each entity type. Use Azure text analytics with Dynamics 365 (Preview)Automatically suggest knowledge base articles US region only – PreviewUses Azure Cognitive Services Text analytics servicesUse Azure text analytics with Dynamics 365 (Preview)Topic analysis – identifies topics/categories forcases to allow to better manage and resolve casesCurrently not available anymoreAzure Cognitive Services Topic Detection API was removed, so this functionality is not available anymore. Expected to be updated to use the new Topic API.Use Azure text analytics with Dynamics 365 (Preview)Using Document suggestions , Dynamics 365 can presents a list of suggested documents to the user while the user works on an opportunity/quote etc …GAThe Document Sug[...]

Improve Dynamics 365 and submit your ideas


Microsoft recently setup a new channel to submit your ideas to improve Dynamics 365 – go check it out on . Some development teams at Microsoft, definitely take the feedback formulated through this new channel to heart.  During one of the Dynamics 365 Spring 2017  Preview executive briefing sessions one of the presenters told us  “If you look at the new “Social pane” section you will notice that out of the top 10 ideas, 6 are currently addressed in the new Activity timelines in Dynamics 365”.  But also one of the things that we bumped into when doing a project with Dynamics CRM Online Portals – the fact that Plugin exception information needs to be surfaced in Dynamics CRM Online Portals was recently picked up the Portal team (thanks

So go ahead and submit your own ideas for improvement and don’t forget to vote for these ideas:


Dynamics 365 monthly reading September 2017


Technical topics (Configuration, customization and extensibility)Everyday I’m Shuffling – an alternative approach to DevOps for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (Channel 9 00:54:20)Microsoft flow – Create record in Dynamics 365 from incoming emails in GmailDynamics 365 instance backup to Azure storageDebugging quick create form parametersApproaching storage limit in Dynamics 365 – watch out VOC logsGetting ready for Dynamics 365 9.0 : learn Microsoft FlowInvestigate Plugin Statistics in Microsoft Dynamics 365Form script wars: revenge of the eventsDynamics 365 Attachment management and Dynamics 365 Online Portals – do not mixWhat you need to know about the Dynamics 365 Outlook web appSpeed up your Dynamics 365 javascript development!Retrieve metadata using name in Web APIReplicate Dynamics 365 Online Data to SQL database using Data Export ServiceDynamics 365 July 2017 Update: Customer Engagement PortalsDynamics 365 Monthly Update – August 2017 (Dynamics CRM PFE team)Topics for Dynamics 365 business analysts, power users and end usersThe formula for winning right customers: wooing strategy plus CRMAre you ready for Dynamics 365 Changes?Tip #906: Pets are dangerous – take a critical approach towards your favorite/pet feature of Dynamics CRM/365Business rules in Dynamics 365#tip 974: Attachments versus documents in Dynamics 365 – don’t forget the user experienceA quick fix for browser rendering issues in Dynamics 365/CRMDelivering CRM projects with business impactGetting started with the Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement Data Connector (Microsoft Access)Topics about Dynamics 365 Spring release (aka 9.0 release)The Dynamics 365 Spring release (version number 9.x) is the next upcoming release of Dynamics 365. For the moment we only got news about the updates for the next version of Dynamics CRM/365 online so no news yet for on-premise deployments. Dynamics 365 v9.0 summary (July 2017 Update)All you need to know about Dynamics 365 V9.0 (For now)Dynamics 365 Spring 2017 Release: 5 takeaways from a Business Solutions MVPVirtual entities in Dynamics 365Accessing Business Process Flow as Entities – D365 July  2017 UpdateDynamics 365 July 2017 update: virtual entityWhat is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition?Dynamics 365 – Business edition vs. the worldComparing the new Dynamics 365 for Sales Business EditionNew enhancements coming to Dynamics 365Technorati Tags: CRM,microsoft,msdyn365[...]

Dynamics 365, Azure webjobs, Azure Service Bus queues and deadletters


When you need to integrate Dynamics 365 (online) with other applications/services in on premise or in the cloud there are a number of challenges. One of the most commonly used integration patterns is messaging since it allows for loose coupling and it provides a reliable way of integration since both applications don’t necessarily have the same responsiveness or uptime. One of the key extensibility points from an integration perspective that you can leverage is the fact that you can connect Microsoft Dynamics 365 (both on premise and online) with the Azure Service  (See Azure integration with Dynamics 365). In an asynchronous messaging pattern, you will however still need a message processing component.  Since you are already leveraging cloud components, it might make sense to also use Azure for this message processing component. There a number of Azure components you might take a look at:Azure cloud services: use an Azure worker role for message processing (for some background on this read Should I use cloud services or something else?)Azure app services: use  Azure web jobs for message processing.Azure virtual machine hosting the processing componentsAzure functions  - similar to Azure web jobs since it was built on the same code base as webjobs and has a similar API.Azure logic appsIf you look at the two first options (worker roles and web jobs), you will notice that they offer similar functionality payload – ability to run code repeatedly. However, there are some differences between the two - primarily in terms of environment customization. Web Jobs are good for running small tasks (not very computation heavy) and useful in scenarios where you do not have the need to depend on host OS features. Worker Roles can be used to run computation heavy workloads and their host OS can be modified a bit (by installing dependency components in OS through startup tasks). Worker roles are costly (similar to running a dedicated VM) while web jobs do not carry any additional cost. In case you need extreme customization on OS environment, then you would simply run a windows service inside custom OS image in Azure VM.  So basically you are looking at a trade off between control (and full flexibility) and agility combined with ease of management.Now, if you look specifically at Azure webjobs, you will see that they can be triggered by a schedule, messages in Azure storage queue or blobs added to Azure storage and http call by calling the Kudu Webjobs API. But given the fact that Dynamics 365/RM already provides integration  with Azure Service Bus, this is the one that you will typically use – for a good walkthrough take a look at  How to use Azure Service Bus with the WebJobs SDK . One of the things to keep in mind though, is that when an Azure webjob encounters an error in processing a message, it will retry processing it a specified number of times.  The number of retries is configured through the JobHostConfiguration.Queues.MaxDequeueCount property – see Azure webjobs and JobHostConfiguration for more details. This mechanism has been been built to avoid that a queue-based application gets stuck in a loop receiving and aborting the same message it can not process – this is also referred to as poison message handling.  So if this count is exceeded, the message will be move to the deadletter queue (when it is configured).But the Azure service bus queues also have a property called MaxDeliveryCount (See QueueDescription class) which is by default[...]

Dynamics 365 monthly reading August 2017


Technical topics (Configuration, customization and extensibility)Preventing folder names with GUIDs in SharePoint (Dynamics CRM/Dynamics 365 for Enterprise)Important changes coming in Dynamics 365 Customer EngagementDynamics 365 Monthly update – July 2017 (CRM in the field – information from Dynamics PFE team)Dynamics 365 Monthly update – June 2017 (CRM in the field – information from Dynamics PFE team)Change createdby/modifiedby field at runtime using Dynamics CRM pluginRunning Dynamics 365 Configuration Data mover jobs in Azure Functions Deprecation of Dynamics 365 for OutlookNew in V9: what’s that with Xrm.Page being deprecated?Analyzing Customer Insights data with Power BIXrmToolbox: the tools you need to get the job done (Youtube 00:52:46)Update Dynamics CRM Client SDK version to avoid calls to ACSUsing Server to Server (S2S) authentication to connect your application to Dynamics 365Best practices when writing Dynamics CRM pluginsUsing ILMerge for Dynamics CRM PluginsHow to edit Dynamics 365 apps with the App Designer and Site DesignerAsync is smooth, smooth is fast – moving to async calls in Dynamics 365Where to store configuration data in Dynamics 365/CRM but also read Using Azure Key Vault to store configuration data which provides a more secure way of storing sensitive configuration dataHow to use Dynamics CRM/365 optionset labels within Power BIAuditing automatically disabled with unmanaged solution deployment in Dynamics 365Tips on submitting a Dynamics 365 App to Microsoft AppSourceHow to become Microsoft Dynamics 365 ConsultantRefreshing web resources and iframes – the supported wayTopics for business analysts, power users and end usersYou cannot stop Dynamics 365 updating but you can be preparedComing soon : Dynamics 365 for Sales, Business edition, designed for small-to-medium sized business6 steps to creating a killer sales cultureDynamics 365 July Update 2017: Unified interface & customer service hubDynamics 365 User Interface RefreshThe evolving expectation on customer experienceDynamics 365 – Relationship InsightsRelationship Insights (Youtube 00:05:35)Video guide to chat & co-browsing for Dynamics 365Comparing the new Dynamics 365 for Sales Business Edition with Enterprise EditionActivity timelines in Dynamics 365[...]

Voice of the Customer for Dynamics 365


In March 2015, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Mojo Surveys – a customer feedback solution which was built solely for Microsoft Dynamics CRM (both online and on-premise).  This product was re-engineered and rebranded to Voice of the Customer (VoC). VoC was initially made available in preview in January 2016 – Preview feature: Voice of the Customer surveys and became generally available in the December 2016 release (VoC solution version 8.3.x and higher). At the moment VoC is only available for Dynamics CRM/365 (online) and apparently there are no plans to make it available for integration with on premise Dynamics CRM/365.Voice of the Customer adds rule-based, multi-channel feedback surveys integrated with workflows, campaigns and e-mails on top of Dynamics 365. These surveys can be used in a range of scenarios from service feedback to focus groups to sales scenarios. Voice of the Customer allows you design and publish surveys from within Dynamics 365, distribute them to your target audience. Respondents can take part in a survey in different ways, depending on how you sent the invitation out, whether you want anonymous or non-anonymous responses and whether you want to integrate data from CRM into the survey. Responses can be incorporated into a business process by creating response routing rules. Voice of the Customer is available for installation as a preferred solution from the Applications tab in the Dynamics 365 Administration center.From Voice of the Customer version 9.0 onward, you immediately receive a confirmation screen for accepting the license terms and for activating VoC when configuring it from within the Applications tab.In previous versions, you first had to trigger the installation and afterwards go to the solution and accept the licensing terms from within the solution screen.In the previous version, you could also Retrigger response processing to troubleshoot when you did not see responses coming in see Where are my Voice of the Customer responses? for more details. It is unclear where this setting has gone in version 9.x and higher.Before you install the solution it is important to realize that behind the scenes Voice of the Customer uses a number of different Azure components such as Azure blog storage, Azure web and worker roles, Azure Keyvault, Azure SQL  see Install the Voice of the Customer solution for more details about this. These components are subject to other privacy and compliancy governance policies – for more information see Azure Trust CenterIt is quite easy to get started with VoC and the steps are thoroughly outlined in Create a Voice of the Customer survey to get customer feedback . In previous version, I noticed that sometimes the survey definition got corrupted so it is important to quite regularly click on “Preview survey”. If you get an error like “Isv code aborted the operation”, it is best to delete the last question that you added, save the survey, run the preview and re-create the survey question.Other good walkthroughs you can take a look at are A Step by Step Guide to Create Your First Survey with Dynamics CRM 2016 Voice of the Customer as well as Voice of the Customer for Dynamics CRM 2016 (configuration screens have changed a little bit from 9.x onwards but these articles are still worth taking a look at). One of the things, I also liked about the surveys is the fact that they are also mobile-friendly[...]

Managed metadata column values not visible in SharePoint view


I recently encountered a problem with views in a SharePoint site collection – the values of the managed metadata column were not visible anymore for most users in the list views. However  when the user edited the item or viewed the details of an item – they could see the value. Apparently this issue was caused as a side effect of migrating Windows users to claim users. For performance reasons, managed metadata (or taxonomy items) are stored at site collection level in a hidden list called TaxonomyHiddenList which is accessible at the root level of a site collection e.g. http://servername/sites/sitecollection1/lists/taxonomyhiddenlist.  The list by default has read access to all Authenticated users but when performing the claims migration the security was mixed up, by giving all authenticated users read permission again, the issue was resolved.


Free CRMUG Belux webinar – What’s new in Dynamics 365 Spring 2017 release


By now, you have probably all read about the upcoming Dynamics 365 spring 2017 release. If you want to learn more about it register for the free CRMUG Belux webinar – What’s new in Dynamics 365 Spring 2017 release . This June, Microsoft announced the next Dynamics 365 release, called the “Spring 2017” release wave. During a 3-day (!) long preview session, Microsoft’s product team took a deep dive into the new capabilities that are coming to the platform, such as:
  • An updated user interface, providing a uniform experience for users across web, app and mobile,
  • New features in Dynamics 365 Customer Insights that leverage data across and beyond Dynamics CRM and machine learning capabilities (Also check out Introduction to Dynamics 365 Customer Insights to get started)
  • New social selling capabilities, a direct result of the LinkedIn acquisition
  • New features around scalability and extensibility, -
  • The release of the Business Edition, a sales and marketing app triggered towards small and medium businesses.
Your CRM-UG BeLux team has managed to bundle all these exciting announcements in a 1-hour lunch webinar for you on August 28th. Our presenters, Microsoft’s Philip Verlinden and Dieter De Cock, have even promised there will be time for Q&A. (image)