Blog Archives

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

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

 

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

 

 

[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):

image

Now, let’s try to attach a new file:

image

In this case, where an unknown error will happen, I could expect a message similar to this:

image

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”

image

To improve this message, I have had to add a try-catch, encapsulate that unexpected exception and throw an InvalidPluginExecutionException:

image

And now I get the next message:

image

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:

image

 

Conclusion:

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.

Other advices/ideas:

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.