Time flies and suddenly 2018 will be there, when the next Summit EMEA will take place in Dublin from 24th to the 26th of April.
During the Summit EMEA, multiple users groups will participate in the conference and offer several events including presentations, essential peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges, product insight forums, and networking opportunities.
My main focus will be on the D365UG|CRMUG user group . This week we have had our first committee meeting to discuss the agenda structure and how the sessions are going to be organised, very exciting… 🙂
If you would like to be a speaker, watch this space because there will be a call for papers very soon.
I’ll keep on posting any news.
During the last few months I have been doing some work around Dynamics 365 (CRM) and dotmailer. This article focuses on the integration between both platforms and how the new Organization Insights has proven to be very useful to understand the behavior of the Dynamics API and how it is consumed by other applications.
Looking at the Organization Insights dashboard, we noticed there was a big number of API calls happening every day between 08:00 and 09:00 in the morning.
Looking at the Most Used API chart, the “Crm Field” entity was the most utilised. This entity is part of the dotmailer solution. Basically it allows you to define what Dynamics 365 (CRM) attributes could be used by a dotmailer communication for a particular Email Account.
After several conversations with the dotmailer and Microsoft engineers, we were able to confirm those API calls were coming from this particular integration. The figures should respond to this formula:
Total number of API calls from DotMailer to Dynamics 365 to synchronise CrmMetadata = [Number of Email Accounts] * [Number of CRM Fields per Email Account] * 6
The number 6 is the number of calls per Crm Field and Email Account:
- 2 API calls are made to connect to Dynamics
- 2 API calls are made to retrieve time stamps of when the data was last sync’d
- 1 API call to get all the CRMMetadata
- 1 API call to save changes to Dynamics
Looking at the dotmailer synchronisation settings, you can specify when this process starts and how frequently runs for a particular Email Account:
The CrmMetadata type is the one defining the synchronisation related to the Crm Field entity. Based on our current configuration, the process would run “Once a day” with “No Restriction (24 hours…)”.
Our first approach was to change this setting to a less busy time, when the application was rarely used by the business users or other integrations (e.g. 02:00 am). Unfortunately, there is a bug in the dotmailer integration which reverts the setting to 08:00 am after it runs the first time.
I have raised this bug with the dotmailer team in the following post:
I would appreciate if you vote it up 😉
The new Dynamics home page gives you an easy start point to join the user experience of our CRM and ERP users:
There we can find the different functional applications, from Sales to Operations:
Everything has got the same look & feel:
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:
We can also feel the “Mobile First, Cloud First” strategy on the mobile apps coming with Dynamics 365:
The integration with Outlook carries on improving, providing more contextual information on our emails:
The Intelligence is another fundamental part of Dynamics 365, which covers several areas:
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:
We will be able to see who has opened our emails and interact with them in a simple view:
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:
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:
To create more signatures, go to Personal Settings or, as an admin, Administration => Templates section.
Administration => Templates:
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:
Note: My current on-line build version is : 22.214.171.1242 – DB 126.96.36.1999
You can find more information in the following Microsoft CRM article:
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:
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).
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.
The current CRM version I’m looking at is 188.8.131.52:
And the solution package is 8.1.344.1:
You can find more documentation in the next link:
We noticed incoming emails stopped getting in and we saw a 401 Authentication Error in the CRM Email Router server logs. Nothing has changed in the system account used for this Forwarded Mailbox and the password is still valid.
Deployment: CRM Online + CRM Email Router + Exchange Online
CRM Email Router Configuration: Forward mailbox is used for incoming emails.
After a few tests using the next utilities (very useful!):
We noticed that system account cannot access its own mailbox. Very weird, like if you don’t have access to your own home suddenly.
Finally, we just had to force an update on this system account to make it work again using the next PowerShell command:
set-msoluser -blockcredential $true -userprincipalname [userAccountName]
set-msoluser -blockcredential $false -userprincipalname [userAccountName]
It looks like the system account was desynchronised between our internal AD and Microsoft Online AD, causing this issue.
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.
Also there are many resources for those interested on Mobile development, have a look at Mobile SDK.
Notice how “entity” brings results only relevant about Dynamics CRM (e.g. rather than Entity Framework)
[CRM Online] Avoid attachments using a plugin and weird exception messages: The specified domain does not exist or cannot be contacted. An unexpected error occurred from ISV code
Writing a simple plugin to avoid attachments in Dynamics CRM Online, I have seen weird exceptions messages.
Note: Using Dynamics CRM 2011 Developer Toolkit from CRM 2011 SDK
Find all the code of this example and the CRM solution here
Initially, this is the code of the plugin linked to “annotation” in the Create and Update events (shown just the execute method):
Now, let’s try to attach a new file:
In this case, where an unknown error will happen, I could expect a message similar to this:
Notice I would be able to retrieve traces and see more information.
However, instead of that message, I am getting this other weird error without any trace or useful information: “The specified domain does not exist or cannot be contacted. An unexpected error occurred from ISV code”
To improve this message, I have had to add a try-catch, encapsulate that unexpected exception and throw an InvalidPluginExecutionException:
And now I get the next message:
As you can see, this message is a bit more friendly, but it is not yet the usual desired message we would like seeing with traces, something like this:
Exception messages in attachments for the annotation entity seem to behave differently compare to what we have seen in other entities. Use InvalidPluginExecutionException correctly to guarantee the best result.
If you are using CRM 2011 Developer Toolkit, Plugins inherit from Plugin class. You can improve the error handling in this base class and customise the traces and error logs in the way you better want.