Custom Pages for converging model-driven apps and canvas apps in Dynamics 365

A model-driven app's custom page is a new page type that brings the power of canvas apps to model-driven apps. Custom pages can be used to add full pages, dialogs, or panes with the flexibility of the canvas app designer, bringing model-driven and canvas apps closer together. Custom pages can be accessed via the sitemap or existing model-driven app logic via the Client API.  You can easily add custom pages to the model-driven app to take advantage of the power of canvas authoring. 


Custom pages can be created in two ways:

  1. Firstly, when you're creating a model-driven app in the modern app designer. 

 

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Introduction to Performance Insights for Model-driven apps in Dynamics 365

The Performance Insights (preview) will help you improve the performance of your model-driven applications. Performance insight is a self-service tool for app-makers, which analyzes user data and provides a priority list of recommendations to improve app performance.


To access Performance insights:

  1. Sign in to power apps by navigating make.powerapps.com.

 

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Dynamics 365 Customer Service: Configure Knowledge Search Filters & Default Authoring Language

With the release of the new Wave 1 feature, Custom fields can be configured as filters to help your agents find what they are looking for in search results faster and more efficiently.

Enable Custom Knowledge Article Filters

  1. To enable custom search filters, open the Customer Service Hub app and navigate to the Service Management area.

 

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Dynamics 365 Field Service: Mobile Booking Maps

With the release of the new wave 1 feature 2021, booking maps enable Dynamics 365 Field Service frontline workers to view a list of their assigned bookings on a map rather than a list or calendar view.


Enable the booking maps:

  1. Before you can use this feature, as shown in the image, go to admin.powerplatform.com and select the environments on the left side of the screen in which you want to turn on booking maps.

 

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Dynamics 365 Field Service: Customer Self-service scheduling

Enhance customers' scheduling experiences by providing them to schedule on their own time and directly from their devices. This feature will allow customers to schedule service from the Field Service Power Apps portal. It will provide a more personalized experience for customers while reducing scheduling errors and rescheduling events.

 

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Enhanced experience to add products in Dynamics 365 Sales

The enhanced experience enables your salespeople to quickly find the products they require for an opportunity, quote, order, or invoice. You can enable this preview feature, which provides users with a better way to view, compare, filter, and add multiple products with fewer clicks.

 

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Introducing the Modern App Designer in Dynamics 365

The modern app designer, a new authoring experience is now available worldwide. This modern app designer makes it easy to add items to your app, sitemap, build custom pages, and preview the running app in real-time. With this modern app designer, it is now easier and faster to get started and build.

 


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Advanced lookup on the lookup field in Dynamics 365

Advanced lookup is available on any lookup column which can be found on a quick create form, edit form, or dialog box.  You can now easily sort rows and switch between tables or views on the lookup column with this Advanced lookup.

Enable Advanced lookup:

Note: Before you start looking for the feature, make sure the system administrator needs to enable this feature. 

 


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Table Permissions in Power Apps Portals Studio

Microsoft recently introduced the ability to manage table permissions in the portal studio. Use table permissions to apply security to individual records in portals.

Access types and privileges available at the portal studio:

The selected table permissions and privileges apply to the users of the selected roles for the tables, depending on the type of access you select.

 


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Search rows action for Microsoft Dataverse connector in Power Automate

The Microsoft Dataverse connector allows you to retrieve data from Microsoft Dataverse using the new search row action with relevant search in Power Automate. Relevance Search must be enabled in your Dynamics 365 CRM environment for Search Rows to function.

Enable Relevance Search: 

Navigate to System Settings in Dynamics 365 under Settings > Administration > System Settings. 

 


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How to learn Microsoft Dynamics 365 as a beginner? 

Dynamics 365 is a series of intelligent business apps that allows you to operate your entire business and produce better results through predictive, AI-driven insights.   

Learning about Dynamics 365 can be extremely beneficial for those who want to pursue it as a career, as well as those who are interested in learning about business models and the most recent business applications.  


Some of the modules of Dynamics 365 are:  

  • Finance and Operations.  

  • Sales.  

  • Business Central.  

  • Customer Service.  

  • Project Service Automation.  

  • Field Service.  

  • Marketing.  


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How to get experience in Microsoft Dynamics 365 as a developer?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an all-in-one solution that can power any company and meet a wide range of business requirements. It cannot be implemented without the help of a Microsoft dynamics 365 developer, due to its quick scalability, versatility, and a high degree of customization. To connect with clients and adapt the system to their needs, such professionals must have both good coding skills and well-developed soft skills.


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Enhancement in Dynamics 365 Customer Service –Agent Experiences

Enhancement to Core Service Scheduling: In the 2021 release wave 1, Microsoft has added a few important features to the new schedule board. As a result of these changes, Schedulers would no longer have to switch between legacy and new boards to handle their bookable resource schedules. This new schedule board provides a better user interface, which enhances the efficiency of the scheduler.


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Dynamic 365 Customer Service: Setting up a search provider

This feature will allow us to search for content outside Dynamic 365, such as articles, documents, files, and so on. For example, an organization could have knowledge base-related documents and files stored on a Sharepoint site, or maybe that company may have another organization setup where these knowledge base articles are stored (because the company doesn't want to keep them in two organizations). With this functionality, we can now set up access to those records, files, and articles.


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Terminology changes in Power Apps portals

In November 2020, Microsoft renamed Common Data Service to Microsoft Dataverse. Some terminology in Microsoft Dataverse has also been updated. For more information go through the blog "Terminology updates in Dynamics 365 and Power Apps".

Based on the terminology changes in Dataverse and customer feedback,  in March 2021, Microsoft updated some terminology in Power Apps portals. The terminology updates are listed below.


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Enhancement in UX for subgrids and form tabs in Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets

With the release of the new wave 1 feature 2021, you can now view how the data is presented in a Dynamics 365 form for phones and tablets. This feature makes it easy for users to view and work on forms. 


Create a new record :

Now you can directly create new records by selecting the "more actions" and "create a new record" button as shown below.


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Enhancements in merging records and duplicate detection in Dynamics 365- Wave 1 feature 2021

In Microsoft Dynamics 365, duplicate detection helps maintain accurate data by identifying and preventing identical records that are clean and reliable in your CRM system. 

 

Duplicates can take place when users create or edit information or while records are imported. 

A Duplicate detection screen will pop out when you are creating and saving a new record with the same record Name or Email which already exists.


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Create chatbot using Dynamics 365 Power Virtual Agent

Power Virtual Agent offers communication with the system. It allows you to create chatbots that can answer the questions asked by your customers, employees.

Let us dive into this topic. We will create a chatbot that can answer your questions for leads.

You need to have a Dynamics 365 account to create a Chatbot.

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Improved accessibility for business process flows in mobile- 2021 Wave 1 Feature

With the release of the new wave 1 feature 2021, you can now view your business process flow information on mobile also, including the name and time active. This is similar to the business process flows that you see on your desktop. This feature enhances the use of business process flows and makes it more flexible for users to view and work on it.


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Microsoft Dataverse for Teams environment- More Environments, More Places, and More Capabilities

Microsoft Dataverse for Teams environment:

In September 2020, Microsoft introduced "Microsoft Dataverse for Teams". It is a built-in, low-code data platform for Microsoft Teams. This allows users to build custom apps, bots and flows in Microsoft Teams by using Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents, and Power Automate. 

With this feature, you can store, manage, and share team-specific data, apps, and flows.


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The new search experience for Model-driven Apps is now also available on Mobile

In November 2020, Microsoft has introduced intelligence in relevance search, to improve usability enhancements. These enhancements make information discovery fast and easy.

 

Now you can find these enhancements on mobile. It includes a user-friendly search experience and smart suggestions during the search. The usability enhancements help you interact with search in a familiar and recognizable way, making it an essential part of how you navigate through model-driven Power Apps.


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New search experience and quick actions in Power Apps- 2021 Wave 1 Feature

Recently, Microsoft has introduced intelligence in relevance search. It improves productivity, makes information discovery easy and is often used by customers to navigate through Model-Driven Power Apps.


New experience rolled into relevance search:

With the release of Dynamics 365 Wave 1 features, it is easier to search for data in Model-Driven Power Apps.

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PL-200: Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant

Microsoft has added a new certification called PL-200: Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant, it is a replacement of the MB 200: Microsoft Dynamics 365 and PowerApps Certification. 

Topics in MB-200 are about designing the apps, fundamentals of Common Data Service, Security configuration, Integrations, Solution management, Data management, etc.

In PL 200, we have additional topics such as creating and managing Power Automate, implementing Power Virtual Agents chatbots, and integration of Power Apps with other apps and services.

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General Availability Of Monitor in Power Apps (Update 2021)

Monitor allows you to observe published apps during runtime. Also, it enables makers to start viewing a stream of events from a user’s session to diagnose and troubleshoot app performance during development in Power Apps.


Using the Monitor, you can diagnose and troubleshoot problems faster and build more reliable apps. This tool provides a log of all the key events during app authoring and run. Along with this, it also provides a better understanding of how the events and formulas contained in the app work. With this feature, you can improve performance and identify the errors easily.

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Introducing Intelligence in Relevance Search - Microsoft Dynamics 365 (2021 Update)

Relevance search delivers fast and comprehensive results across multiple entities in a single list, sorted by relevance. It finds matches to any word in the search term in any field in the entity. The matches may include inflectional words like, “find”, “finding”, and “found”.

Relevance search is text-based and can search only on fields of type Single Line of Text, Multiple Lines of Text, Option Sets, or Lookups. It doesn't support searching fields of Numeric or Date data type.

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Model-driven App Push Notifications in Dynamics 365

Push notifications are ubiquitous today for engaging users and helping them prioritize essential tasks. Now Microsoft has introduced a new feature, which will help us to send push notifications to model-driven apps using Power Automate.

With Microsoft updated Power Apps Notifications connector, we can direct users straight to a specified page like the relevant entity view or form.

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Simple Image control for model-driven apps in Dynamics 365

Microsoft has announced the preview for large images within model-driven apps in the wave 2 2020 features. "Preview for image annotation control" is also a part of this announcement. Using this feature, you can add images to a form with the ability to mark them with any additional information. 

This feature has greater use when you want to upload any image by highlighting an area. 

 Now let's see the steps to how to upload an image with highlights.

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Introducing New Certifications for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft has announced 2 new certifications for whose who are willing to pursue their career in Dynamics 365. They are:

  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Fundamentals Customer Engagement Apps (CRM) 
  •  Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Fundamentals Finance and Operations Apps (ERP)


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Portals capacity consumption reporting in Power Apps

Microsoft has now provided the capability to download "portal login" and "page view" reports from the Power Platform admin center, in the form of an excel file. 

These files allow administrators to view the reports generated within the last 30 days and show details like the number of logins and page views for Power Apps portals across all environments for a tenant.


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Troubleshoot Model Driven App Forms in Dynamics 365

Model-driven Power App now has the capability to get information about the concerns you are facing while working with tables, columns, rows by introducing Monitoring tool in your model-driven app.

This form will help you understand why a certain issue has occurred on your form.

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Manage page permissions from Power Apps portal Studio in Dynamics 365

Microsoft has simplified security management for portals. Now we can manage web page permissions from within the Power Apps portals Studios. Page permission management using portals Studio is quick and more efficient compared to the Portal Management app. You may still need to use the Portal Management app for managing page permissions of legacy areas. 

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Rich Text Editor (RTE) control in Dynamics 365

Microsoft has announced the rich text editor (RTE) control in Dynamics 365 fields. This feature can be used in the text, text area and multi-line text data type fields. 

To use this feature, you need to enable it in your desired field in the form. At present, this enhancement can be made only in the Classic UI.

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Enhanced Timeline Capabilities in PowerApps Forms

Microsoft has extended configuration capabilities in PowerApps forms to make it more productive. It is now available in all Power Apps forms provided there is a timeline on the form.

A timeline can be added to a form by drag and drop functionality.

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Configure mobile offline synchronization for the Power Apps and Dynamics 365 mobile app

The wave 2 feature 2020 offline capabilities for model-driven apps for users of Power Apps is now generally available. Dynamics 365 consultants can now use apps offline on their devices. When the internet is connected, the changes are automatically updated to the cloud. It also allows users to use commands such as create, read, update, and delete when offline.

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Terminology updates in Dynamics 365 and Power Apps

Microsoft has updated the terminology of Dynamics 365 for better customer interaction. They are no more called entities, attributes, records, etc. Here is a list which shows the changes in terminology:

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What is a Business process flow in Dynamics 365?

A Business process flow in dynamics 365 consists of different stages. Each stage consists of steps. Each step consists of certain fields in which data can be entered.  It is usually present at the top of the record.

There is a button called "Next stage" which helps to go to the next step.

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How does Microsoft Dynamics CRM work and what is it used for?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a software used for Customer Relationship Management that helps companies make smarter decisions and produce effectively. Dynamics 365 comes in two versions, Business, and Enterprise, which offer features and use on various levels.

It has the following modules:

  • Sales
  • Service 
  • Marketing

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Which is a better profile in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, technical consultant, or functional consultant?

The type of role you choose depends on your interest and programming skills.

If you are someone who loves to code and have the good technical knowledge, then you can choose to be a technical consultant whereas if you lack programming skills, you can choose to be a functional consultant.

What is the role of functional consultants?

Functional consultants are the domain experts who modify Dynamics 365 from UI. They work on creating entities, 

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Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 consultant a good career option for someone who doesn't have programming knowledge? 

Yes, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has a good career for someone who comes from sales and doesn't have programming knowledge. 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 help you to

  • Manage and maintain customer relationships
  • Track sales lead.
  • Pipeline
  • Deliver actionable data.

As you can see, most of the functionalities in Dynamics 365 can be performed by a non-technical person.

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What is the workflow in Dynamics 365 CRM?

Dynamics 365 workflows consist of a series of steps to automate your business process. A workflow can either be built-in or you can extend its functionality by writing custom code. Workflow processes can either run in the background or can sometimes require user input.

Workflows usually trigger on certain conditions:

Record is Created:

A workflow can be triggered when a record is created

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What is Microsoft Dynamics 365? What are its benefits?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a combination of both CRM and an ERP in the cloud. It is software as a service product that connects people, products, and data. It was built by Microsoft for better flexibility and extensibility.

Dynamics 365 was introduced in two editions:

Business Edition for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs or SMBs) which includes the Financials application.

Enterprise Edition for medium to large organizations that includes field service, sales, project service automation, and customer services with Microsoft premier ERP product.

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What are the job responsibilities of Dynamics 365 Consultants?

The foremost responsibility of a Dynamics 365 Consultant is to customize and maintain the CRM according to the organization or client requirement.  

When a project is assigned to a Dynamics 365 consultant, they need to figure out two things: 

  • What are the requirements to complete the project? 
  • What is the desired final output? 


Dynamics 365 Consultants are of two types. So according to the roles, their responsibilities also vary.

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Microsoft Ignite 2020 updates on Dynamics 365 and Power Platform

Microsoft Ignite 2020 has announced new capabilities across Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 to help deliver their vision.

These enhancements are announcing to prioritize customers and, there needs, to adapt to new ways to work, overcoming challenges at the workplace. These new features are:

1. Robotic Process Automation with Microsoft Power Automate Desktop

Microsoft Power Automate Desktop that is available for public preview grows with the capability of the robotic process automation of Power Automate.

With this, people with no technical knowledge can easily automate processes without writing a single line of code. It provides complete control and flexibility to programmers and developers in an environment that’s familiar.

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Microsoft Teams integration with customer engagement apps in Dynamics 365

Microsoft Teams is a platform used for document sharing, online meetings, and business communications. It can easily access Apps such as Power BI, SharePoint, and now, Dynamics 365 also.

Integrating Dynamics 365 with Microsoft Teams helps users to work with customer information and share files directly from Microsoft Teams. 

How to enable Microsoft Teams in Dynamics 365?

Step 1:

Go to advanced settings. Click on Administrator --> System Settings --> General tab.

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Diagnostic tool to Verify Network Capacity and Throughput

Bandwidth and latency are the two primary components of a network that affect the performance of Dynamics 365 and Power Apps.

Bandwidth is the maximum rate of data transfer across a given path.

Latency is the total round trip time required for a data packet or a signal to travel from one point on a network to another.

One of the main causes of the poor performance of Dynamics 365 and Power Apps is the latency of the network over which the clients connect to the organization. The performance of Dynamics 365 and Power Apps can decrease if the latency is high.

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Insert Knowledge Article Templates-Wave 2 feature

Previously inserting knowledge articles into an email could be done only by expanding the email window.  

But this feature provides agents on Unified Interface with an easy way to insert one or more knowledge articles into an email without expanding the email window. 

With this feature:

  • Users will have the ability to create, edit, or delete templates as per their business requirements. 


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Three Questions To Ask Before Investing in Microsoft Dynamics 365

There are many features checked when one has to consider a CRM (customer relationship management) system. The features, customizability, scalability, and cost are considered before implementing. All these features are important but some other features are also to be considered.

CRM can benefit any type of business. Implementation properly is very important to reap good results. All the companies do not have the culture for CRM. Though the companies are running in good profit this does not help them to succeed. Three questions have to be answered correctly to decide whether this system is very useful to your company.

First Question – Do you have the right resources?

The first question is whether the company has enough resources. This is a database that can be used by most of the employees in the company. There is a lot of improvement in productivity, sales, and profit. But it needs an initial investment and also some time. Both of these require some resources to be spent on this database. A subscription to the software is needed. The cost of this software would be a part of the investment. This system has to be operated by the employees and has to be grown to make it run smoothly. To run this application some partners, consultants, integrators, developers, and integrators have to be employed. They have to spend some time on this system. Database administrators and users are assigned to operate this system. IT support is required and sometimes the employees have to be trained.

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Serialization-Dynamics-365-Plugins-PowerApps

Problem

Plugin Registration Tool accepts only one assembly (dll) to upload. If you have third party dependency assemblies like Newtonsoft, you have to combine with some assembly merging tools such as ILMerge.exe.

Solution

You can directly use below static class to serialize and de-serialize objects without referencing  Newtonsoft dll.

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team Member License - Limitations

You might probably know, there is a Team Member license for Dynamics 365 CE which costs $8 as opposed to full user cost of $115. 

You might wonder how a team member license is different from a full user license.  

As per Microsoft Licensing Guide, Team Member

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Your essential guide to learning Microsoft Dynamics 365 & Power Apps

I have been a corporate trainer in most of my career before founding my startup Pascalcase to handle Microsoft Dynamics 365 projects. It was my monthly schedule to visit new companies and train their employees of the emerging technology. Almost everywhere I visited, I met amazing people eagerly looking to learn Dynamics CRM (now Dynamics 365). One question regularly came up in our discussions “How can I learn Dynamics 365 easily?” 

The best way to learn is to experience it. Don’t you agree? After all, Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Tell me, I forget. Teach me, I remember. Involve me, I learn.’

The question is, how do you involve yourself? Why would anyone hire you knowing you don’t have prior Dynamics 365 experience? It’s a classic Chicken & Egg problem. Please read this article till the end to know how I approached solving the problem.

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