Dynamics 365 (CRM) Scheduled Workflows using Microsoft Flow

Creating scheduled workflows has always been a challenge in Dynamics CRM 365. The community and ISVs have offered several original options, but there is not yet an official out-of-the-box option. This article brings another alternative to the table using Microsoft Flows.

A scheduled workflow is the one that runs at a certain arranged time and it may recur to run again after a period of time. If you want to understand more about this challenge and how our CRM community has resolved it so far, have a look at the following articles:

Microsoft Flow offers the option to create Recurrence jobs. This can be used to schedule and trigger actions in Dynamics 365, like retrieve, create or update records (see available actions). So, using this functionality you already have a good alternative to create your own scheduled workflows without development effort. You can see some examples in the following article as well as in these Dynamics 365 Flow templates.

The other alternative would be a mix solution where a recurrence Microsoft flow creates a custom Dynamics 365 “Scheduled Job” record and this triggers the corresponding Dynamics 365 workflow. The “Scheduled Job” entity would have attributes like “Process Name”, “Run as” (e.g. system user name), “Query scope” (e.g. FetchXML or view name), …, to specify what and how to run the workflow. This option would require additional development, either a plugin or a custom workflow activity to call on demand the given process, but it would also allow you to reuse the logic and capabilities you already have within Dynamics 365.

Hope you find this article useful. Looking forward to hearing your feedback.

Thanks

First look at Microsoft Dynamics 365

It has been great to see the new changes coming with Dynamics 365 (Available November 1st) during Scott Guthrie presentation at First look at Microsoft Dynamics 365.

The new Dynamics home page gives you an easy start point to join the user experience of our CRM and ERP users:

homepagedynamics365app

There we can find the different functional applications, from Sales to Operations:

homepagedynamics365app_menu

Everything has got the same look & feel:

homepagedynamics365salesapp

homepagedynamics365operationsapp

homepagedynamics365financialsapp

A key part of Dynamics 365 is the aim of joining different apps in a single ecosystem, there is where we find a seamless integration with AppSource:

homepagedynamics365appsource

We can also feel the “Mobile First, Cloud First” strategy on the mobile apps coming with Dynamics 365:

homepagedynamics365_mobileapps

The integration with Outlook carries on improving, providing more contextual information on our emails:

homepagedynamics365outlookapp_documentlinks

homepagedynamics365outlookapp_dynamics365panel

The Intelligence is another fundamental part of Dynamics 365, which covers several areas:

dynamics365_ai

The Relationship Insights is definitely one of the most AI interesting points, where we will be able to get a better view of our customers. For instance, Exchange emails from Office 365 would be joined with the Dynamics 365 emails and we would be able to understand how our relationships are doing:

dynamics365_ai_relationshipinsights

We will be able to see who has opened our emails and interact with them in a simple view:

dynamics365_ai_emailsview

As part of the analytics improvements, we have also got the just announced Customer Insights, which brings the ability to create great single customer views:

dynamics365_customerinsights

All these will be complemented by the additional services we already know: PowerApps + Microsoft Flow + Common Data Model

dynamics365_cdm

dynamics365_powerapp_powerflow

Too many active business process flows

Have you seen that message before on your Microsoft Dynamics CRM organisation?

Too Many Active Business Process Flows Error

You may have if you have tried to activate more than 10 business processes at the same time for the same entity.

List Of BPF On The Case Entity

This is a limitation by design which is well-known and described on the Microsoft technical documentation, have a look at the following article.

This limitation can be changed using the organisation property Organization.MaximumActiveBusinessProcessFlowsAllowedPerEntity. The easiest way to to change this attribute is using the following tool: Dynamics CRM Organization Settings Editor (OrgDBOrgSettings)

CRM Org Settings Editor

And now, you may be thinking: “why on earth would you do that??”

If your CRM deployment is heavily used, some core entities (e.g. Case, Opportunity) may be used intensively on different processes across an organisation.

Note: the current CRM version I’m using is: (8.1.0.369) (DB 8.1.0.369)

New Dynamics CRM Email Signatures

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Update 1 brings Email Signatures as an out of the box functionality. They can be used on Users or Queues (based on Teams).

Create a new email and you will see a new icon on the email designer to insert signatures:

@ramontebar - CRM Email Signatures - New Email Signature button

To create more signatures, go to Personal Settings or, as an admin, Administration => Templates section.

Personal Settings:

@ramontebar - CRM Email Signatures - Personal Options

Administration => Templates:

@ramontebar - CRM Email Signatures - Email Signatures administration

Notice Email Signatures is a new entity and it is part of the security roles. So, for instance, if the Customer Service Team requires to use Email Signatures, they should have access to the Email Signature Entity. See below an example security role:

@ramontebar - CRM Email Signatures - Security Role

Note: My current on-line build version is : 8.1.0.362 – DB 8.1.0.359

You can find more information in the following Microsoft CRM article:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Dynamics/crm-customer-center/create-a-signature-for-your-crm-email-or-for-a-queue.aspx

 

Where is my data? Microsoft Datacenters

Probably many customers and partners have already asked you this question: where is our data? You can give them more details and a quick picture using the next Microsoft site:

http://o365datacentermap.azurewebsites.net/

Microsoft Datacenters 20160227

 

[CRM] Voice of the Customer available in EMEA

You can already try the new Voice of the Customer (VoC) functionality in Dynamics CRM Online (only Online for now). Initially it was only available in US deployments (https://orgname.crm.dynamics.com) but this week has been released in EMEA datacenters as well (https://orgname.crm4.dynamics.com).

Voice of the customer Office365 crm4

VoC allows you to design and publish surveys using Dynamics CRM. You can then share these surveys with your customers and gather their feedback efficiently within CRM.

Voice of the customer CRM Main Menu

The current CRM version I’m looking at is 8.0.1.79:

8.0.1.79

And the solution package is 8.1.344.1:

Voice of the customer CRM Solution 8.1.344.1

You can find more documentation in the next link:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/get-feedback-with-voice-of-the-customer-surveys.aspx

 

How to get the most out of Convergence in Barcelona

The xRMVirtual session on Tuesday September 1 had to be cancelled last minute because of technical and audio difficulties and we couldn’t share our experience on previous events such as Convergence, CRMUG and eXtreme CRM.

However, you can still find some of the tricks I was about to share in the next link How to get the most out of Convergence in Barcelona and you can find the deck here:

Slides ‘How to get the most out of Convergence in Barcelona’

Role to JUST Import Data into Dynamics CRM

If you need to give the ability for a Dynamics CRM user to Import Data, you can just create a security role with access to the next entities:

  • Data Import
  • Data Map
  • Import Source File

Note: I have notice you will need, at least, Delete right – user level on the Data Import entity (it doesn’t make sense if you just want to allow the import, but this is what I found; it could be a bug). Otherwise the IMPORT DATA button won’t appear. See the same in the next screenshot:

RTB_BLOG_CRM IMPORT BUTTON

See below an screenshot with the configuration described above.

RTB_BLOG_CRM IMPORTA DATA ROLE CONFIGURATION

CrmDeveloperCenter.com

Have you seen the latest CRM Developer Center? It is a great place for developers getting started with Dynamics CRM. The search has been customised and improved to find content only related to CRM, see below an example.

In the same site, have a look at the Documentation section, which contains useful things like the new Preview WEP API coming soonDynamics Marketing and Unified Service Desk.

Also there are many resources for those interested on Mobile development, have a look at Mobile SDK.

RTB_BLOG_SearchAtCRMDeveloperCentre

 

Notice how “entity” brings results only relevant about Dynamics CRM (e.g. rather than Entity Framework)

RTB_BLOG_SearchAtCRMDeveloperCentre2