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A one stop shop where the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem can learn, share, connect and network with others within the Community. Peer to Peer discussions , product demonstrations, blogs & videos.

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    This part is an continuation of common data service for PowerApps series. Here I will discussing about how to create data entities for CDS. An entity is a set of records which are used to store data similarly...(read more)

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    Today, I will be discussing about how to use common data service (CDS) for power apps. This blog will be divided into four parts. Below is the description of each part. Part 1 - Create environment for...(read more)

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    In this part, I will be discussing about how to import data for newly created custom entity. Here for getting data we have two options: - Get data from excel - Get data by using PowerQuery. Right now I...(read more)

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    In this part, I will be discussion about how to create app through CDS. In short we are connecting CDS with App. Following steps are required for connecting CDS with app. Step 1) Login to PowerApps . Step...(read more)

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    Introduction: In this blog, we will see how to show data of SQL server into Dynamics CRM. For this first, you need to connect your Power BI Desktop with SQL server. After that, we can show Power BI report...(read more)

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    Recently we had a requirement to delete the Account record without deleting the associated Contact records. If we try deleting the account record we’d get the following message box The relationship...(read more)

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    Plug-in on pre-validation Nishant Rana's Weblog Recently we had a requirement to delete the Account record without deleting the associated Contact records. If we try deleting the account record...(read more)

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    Virtual entities were introduced in Dynamics 365 (Online) version 9.0.  Virtual entities sound quite futuristic but put simply they enable integration of data stored in external systems without the need of custom code and data replication.  This blog describes the benefits of using virtual entities, how to use them and what to think about when using them.


    The first release of virtual entities only allows Read-Only access to the data and there are a few other limitations which I have been detailed here in this post.


    Key Benefits of Virtual Entities in Dynamics 365

    • There are no physical tables created in the database to store the data.  The data is retrieved dynamically as and when it’s needed allowing for a reduction in storage space, therefore, reducing monthly CRM storage costs.  Please note as it currently stands in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 licensing guide for Online (October 2018) as standard you will get 10GB.  For every 20 full plan users, you will receive an extra 5GB.
    • No code is required to display the external data in CRM, which reduces project costs and time.


    The initial release of virtual entities does, unfortunately, come with some limitations.  These limitations should be considered to evaluate the use of virtual entities.


    These limitations are:


    • The data displayed within the virtual entity is read-only.  This means that if a user updates the data the data cannot be pushed back into the external system.
    • Only Organization owned virtual entities are supported in the current release. When creating a new virtual entity you must ensure that the ownership dropdown is set to Organization rather than User or Team as per the image here taken from Microsoft Dynamics 365.


    • Please note that Field Level Security is not supported in the current release.
    • If the virtual entity has been set up with ‘User or Team’ ownership then any associated security role settings for the entity are not supported.
    • Auditing of the Virtual Entity is not supported in the current release and instead will be required to be implemented within the external database.
    • Downloading the data to use offline isn’t supported at this time.  This means that data isn't visible when working offline.
    • Virtual entities cannot be configured as an active entity.
    • Business Process Flows are not supported.
    • Queues cannot be set up for records within the virtual entity.
    • Once the virtual entity has been created it cannot then be changed back to a standard CRM entity.


    Data Modelling

    A further consideration to be made when using virtual entities is data modelling.  The data which is held in the external data store must follow these rules:


    Each entity within the external data source needs to have a GUID Primary Key associated with it. This GUID is used as the Primary Key in the virtual entity in Dynamics 365.


    You must be able to display the external data properties as Dynamics 365 attributes, this also applies for all entity relationships.  These attributes include


    • Numbers
    • Single Line of Text and option sets
    • Lookups
    • Date & Time


    As the data in the virtual entity is read-only, calculated and rollup fields are not available. If any calculations or rollups are needed these will need to be executed in the external data source.

    How to create a Data Source


    To create a new data source firstly go to Settings> Administration> VirtualEntityDataSources. From here click New in the toolbar, you will be prompted to select a Data Provider. The two options here are:


    • OData v4 Data Provider or
    • Solutions Component Data Provider


    Select the appropriate Data Provider then click OK.  A new window will now appear for you to enter the Data Source information. For the purpose of this blog, I have selected OData v4 Data Provider. Populate the Name and enter the URL then add any additional Parameters as necessary.  Click Save & Close, you will now be able to use this Data Source when creating new Virtual Entities.


    How to create a Virtual Entity

    Virtual Entities can be created in the same way other entities are normally created however there are a number of additional steps which need to be fulfilled which I have listed here:


    1. Navigate to Settings> Customizations> Customize the System
    2. Select Entities in the pane on the left and click New
    3. Populate the entity details as standard making sure that the following items are populated:
      • Virtual Entity tick box - this needs to be ticked in order for the entity to become virtual.  This cannot be ticked once the entity has been created so be sure to tick before clicking Save.
      • Data Source drop-down - this will display a list of all Data Sources that have been created in the system. Select the appropriate Data Source, if left blank no data will be pulled through into the entity.
      • External Name – Populate this with the name of the matching table in the external system.
      • External Collection Name – Populate this with the plural name of the matching table in the external system.


    Here is an example of a virtual entity for Suppliers which uses an OData v4 feed to pull in the information.


    the screenshot was taken from a Microsoft Dynamics 365 site.


    • Now you can start creating the fields needed to display the information in D365. When creating the fields ensure the External Name is populated with the matching field name from the external system.
    • Save and publish all changes
    • A refresh of CRM may be needed for the entity to display in the Sitemap. Once CRM has reloaded you can navigate to your newly created virtual entity to confirm the data is being pulled into CRM.


    Want to learn about other new features in Dynamics 365?  Check out our new blog about Multi-Select Option Sets.


    This blog was written by Luke Judge a technical CRM specialist at Caltech I.T. Limited in West Yorkshire, UK.

    The post Dynamics 365 v. 9 New Functionality – Virtual Entities appeared first on CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365.

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    After fiddling with the Homepage pane in GP 2018 R2, David Musgrave decided to fiddle with it in some older versions.

    Microsoft Dynamics GP – Repurposing the Connect Homepage Pane


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    More options now for the Historical Inventory Trial Balance report.

    Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 R2 – Exclude items from HITB with zero quantities or value

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    Zap SSRS Report Scheduler App for Dynamics 365 Online / On-Premise allows you to schedule Dynamics 365 CRM Reports (out-of-box and custom) to be emailed on periodic basis. To learn how report scheduler...(read more)

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    Find resources that help you build and sustain a profitable cloud business, connect with customers and prospects, and differentiate your business. Read previous issues of the newsletter and get real-time updates about partner-related news and information on our US Partner Community Twitter channel.

    Looking for partner training courses, community calls, and events? Refer to the Hot Sheet training schedule for a six-week outlook that’s updated regularly as we learn about new offerings. To stay in touch with us and connect with other partners and Microsoft sales, marketing, and product experts, join our US Partner Community on Yammer.

    New posts on the US Partner Community blog

    New events and webcasts this fall

    Upcoming US Partner Community calls

    Learning news

    MPN news

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    The year 1989 was a watershed year. In 1989:

    • The first of 24 satellites of the GPS system is placed into orbit
    • Nintendo began selling the GameBoy
    • The 486 series of microprocessor was introduced by Intel
    • Microsoft first introduced Microsoft Office


    The WWW was invented

    I graduated from college in 1989 and recall what one of my marketing professors said to me; “computers will change the world.” And in just 30 short years, computers and the invention of the WWW has fundamentally changed everything we know about society and how we communicate with it. Right now, I am sitting at a softball field, my iPad functioning as a hotspot, working on my laptop that has nearly a terabyte of storage space. As I look around, many other parents are working, playing Candy Crush on their digital devices or live streaming the practice to friends and family. Times have certainly changed.

    Or have they…

    If you look at technology from a business perspective, the challenges faced in 1989 are almost identical to those that businesses face now. Even with all of the advances of technology, managers and leadership still struggle with truly understanding simple things like inventory shortages, lost orders, which marketing campaigns have contributed to sales, P&L reports, missed shipments, and general lack of control. One of our clients used to have nine spreadsheets they needed to update just to manage a shipment. Yes, you read that right; nine spreadsheets.

    Traditionally, technologists have “thrown technology” at the problem. And by throwing technology at the problem, I mean one of two things. Either a behemoth consisting of one software vendor or a point to point integration of what used to be called “best in class”. The behemoth always took too long to implement, sometimes cost thousands of dollars, and, in general, wasn’t what the business wanted – or needed. Many times, it would languish, never to be really used to its best potential.

    Best in class… (I always used to love that term). It’s the “good on paper” solution. Business would get the best CRM, the best inventory system, the best marketing platform, the best accounting software. Then, consultants would tightly integrate each field, each workflow, each process. Anytime, the business wanted to change even a minute process, they needed to re-integrate each field, each workflow, each process. And, each of these best in class solutions would update their software or platform at different times. You’ve guessed it; anytime a change was made, each field, each workflow, each process had to be re-integrated.

    I won’t get into Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA’s) that was developed to help with those pesky point-to-point integrations – even though I thought it was pretty cool back in the day. And I won’t even go down the ASP path – although that’s a blast from the past too.

    So frustrating. No wonder why businesses didn’t really trust the technologists. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from VP’s of finance or Operations that “software vendors are only out for themselves”. And yes, a VP of Operations told me that at a trade show when we were talking about Business Process Management software.

    I suppose the question you’re asking yourself now is “why is she taking me on a trip down memory lane.” I am a firm believer in the only way to move forward is to understand your past.

    So, what is the way forward? Well, there is not one software vendor out there that can truly fill every desire of the business. And to be quite candid, everything is super easy to integrate these days. What’s left… we believe that in order to truly help businesses transform, our job is to first understand every businesses processes first. Every business and every business process? Yes. Because contrary to popular belief, every company – and how they handle activities – is just a little bit different.

    It’s one of the biggest reasons why we spend critical time getting to know the people and the business first. Understanding how the company is run. What types of processes are “must-haves” and which ones can be safely retired. By understanding HOW the business runs – and how it WANTS to run, chances are we can help cut some of the fat and make good technology recommendations so that the company can truly digitally transform.

    Learn more about Captivix.

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    Throughout Project Service Automation (PSA) there are Out of the Box (OOB) metrics, such as the Project Contract Performance tab on your Project Contract. However, this uses the baseline Contracted Amount...(read more)

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    In Project Service Automation, a Portal could be used that would allow Sub Contractors (who don't have a license to D365 and are Resources linked to Contact records) to go and submit Time Entries....(read more)

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    In one of my recent project, there was a requirement to disable/remove export button from report viewer (Only for certain set of users). To achieve this, we had to remove below two permissions from all...(read more)

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    Applies to Universal Resource Scheduling solution (version 2.4.5.xx), Field Service application (version 7.5.3.xx), Project Service Automation application (version 2.4.6.xx) On Dynamics 365 version 9.0.x) 


    We’re pleased to announce the latest update to Universal Resource Scheduling, powering the Field Service and Project Service Automation applications for Dynamics 365. This release includes improvements to quality, performance, and usability, and is based on your feedback and requests.  

    This release is compatible with Dynamics 365 9.0.x. To update to this release, visit the Admin Center for Dynamics 365 online, and find the solutionspage to install the update. For further details, refer to how to install / update a preferred solution. 

    See below for what we’ve updated in this release. 


    Bug Fixes  

    • Fixed: In certain cases, map routes were not being displayed on schedule board 
    • Fixed: Inactive records and records not within selected view no longer show in the filter dropdown in the unscheduled requirements grid on the schedule board 
    • Fixed: Issue finding availability for an onsite requirement when an approved time-off request overlaps with a booking 
    • Fixed: Bookings now have the same validation on create and on change 
    • Fixed: Double booking a resource on multiday schedule boards now works as expected 
    • Fixed: Continued performance improvement on schedule board 
    • Fixed: On the schedule board, zooming out with your browser now keeps rows properly aligned 
    • Fixed: Error when creating a requirement when both datacenter and machine time zone is set to certain time zones 


    Dan Gittler 

    Principal Program Manager, Dynamics 365 Engineering 


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    Applies to Universal Resource Scheduling solution (version 3.1.0.xx), Field Service application (version 8.1.x.xx), Project Service Automation application (version 3.1.0.xx) On Dynamics 365 version 9.1.x) 


    We’re pleased to announce the latest update to Universal Resource Scheduling, powering the Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation applications for Dynamics 365. This release includes improvements to quality, performance, and usability, and is based on your feedback and requests.  

    This release is compatible with Dynamics 365 9.1.x. To update to this release, visit the Admin Center for Dynamics 365 online, and find the solutions page to install the update. For details, refer to how to install / update a preferred solution. 



    • Standalone resource requirements that are not part of a requirement group now support fulfillment preference intervals! 
    • Requirement groups are now supported from any schedulable record! If the requirements within a requirement group are linked to a schedulable record, such as a work order, a project, a service activity, or any custom enabled entity for scheduling, the book button to launch the schedule assistant will appear on the schedulable records form and view. Clicking "Book" will launch the schedule assistant against the requirement thatis flagged as the primary requirement. If the primary requirement is part of a requirement group, the schedule assistant launches against that entire requirement group. 
    • When using the pop-out schedule board, the Dynamics border no longer loads, reducing confusion for users and improving performance. 
    • You can now search for characteristics and roles in the requirement group control. 
    • When adding columns to the requirement group control, the attribute selector remains open after an attribute is selected. 
    • When viewing a crew on the hourly schedule board, the resource cell displays the number of resources in the crew during the date range being displayed on the schedule board. Now, if the number of crew members varies during the date range, this is expressed on the crew resource’s resource cell. 
    • When saving schedule board filters as default filters, a message now confirms the save was successful. 
    • When deleting a resource, related resource territory records will be deleted as well. 
    • When creating a resource that is a pool, the capacity on the resources work hours will be derived from the pool members by default. 
    • Added quick create form for resource characteristic entity. 
    • When clicking the book button on the schedule board, keyboard focus automatically shifts to the booking panel. 
    • Added validation when creating resource association records to ensure data is acceptable. 
    • Added a button to enter accessibility mode on specify pattern. 
    • Updated and added various error messages and tooltips for better clarity.  


    Bug Fixes  

    • Fixed: Booking duration onthe schedule board booking panel no longer rounds 
    • Fixed: Small issues on schedule board in Edge, Firefox, and Internet Explorerwhen browser is zoomed in 
    • Fixed: Added missing hidden labels to schedule board filter panel targeting accessible experience 
    • Fixed: When searching within a filter on the schedule board filter control, the list is now properly filtered by the search 
    • Fixed: Bottom of letters are no longer cut off on schedule assistant panel 
    • Fixed: Removed the derive capacity option from crew resource form 
    • Fixed: Schedule assistant no longer suggests times in the past when a resource has a capacity of greater than one 
    • Fixed: Schedule assistant list view no longer partially cuts off the last row 
    • Fixed: Radius type has a clearer visual to show whether miles or kilometers is selected 
    • Fixed: In some edge cases, the duration in the schedule board filter control was not showing a number 
    • Fixed: Height of resource search bar on schedule board 
    • Fixed: Schedule assistant floating book button now properly disappears when switching from hourly board to daily board 
    • Fixed: In certain languages, "move bookings to next day" functionality on the schedule board was not working 
    • Fixed: "Move bookings to another day" feature on schedule board no longer warns that there are no bookings in selected status 
    • Fixed: Selected booking status is now respected when rebooking a requirement group 
    • Fixed: When using the schedule assistant, the availability of a crew member will be driven by start of search period instead of only looking at the crew membership record 
    • Fixed: The first requirement dragged to multiday schedule boards no longer causes an error message 
    • Fixed: Requirement group control disables ribbon buttons when updates are being sent to server 
    • Fixed: Size of schedule board settings panel 
    • Fixed: Arrows to scroll on schedule board now look enabled 
    • Fixed: Minor alignment issues in schedule board settings 
    • Fixed: Minor alignment issue for add tab button on schedule board 
    • Fixed: Minor alignment issue for the find availability button on the on unscheduled requirements grid in the schedule board 
    • Fixed: Minor localization issues 


     Dan Gittler 

    Principal Program Manager, Dynamics 365 Engineering 


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    Hello AX World, Some time ago I have hit a wall. Hard. I did not know why my Qty field kept loosing precision . Contract quantity was always 1 and it was partially invoiced many times. Therefore Qty was...(read more)

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    Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM

    With any Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM Release, there is a lot to learn, and October 2018 updates are no exception.

    You may have already read blogs from us about it, but this one will give you more key takeaways you should know about as a user or admin!

    Before reading, you may want to check out:

    Then, when you’re ready, let’s dive into more key General Availability updates from the October Release you should know about …

    1. Playbooks
    Playbooks are a new capability/feature in Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM as of the October Release that are designed to “help organizations automate repeatable sales activities and respond to external events”.

    Playbooks are predictive and event-driven guidance systems that suggest the next best action items for salespeople to take within their CRM system.

    There’s no doubt that we are living in the age of the consumer, and, as we become more aware of buyer behavior, as sellers, we must become more responsive to it.

    Playbooks offer this, as they are reactive process-driven repositories.

    Microsoft helps to put Playbooks into context – So, for example, if a key decision-maker leaves the project in the middle of a deal, this may jeopardize the transaction, but Playbooks can help you trigger a play that creates a set of tasks or actions needed to remedy the situation.

    Playbooks help you carefully orchestrate your activities to ensure your process and strategies are successful.

    Microsoft says Playbooks will allow organizations to:

    • Configure Playbooks and define the set of tasks and activities to automate once triggered
    • Search and launch Playbooks for a particular scenario
    • Track the status progress of running Playbooks against their outcome, successful or not

    2. LinkedIn Insights
    Any business process in CRM can be created or enhanced to include LinkedIn Insights about people and companies.

    Insights allow the user to complete stages more accurately and quickly; thus, driving sales through to completion.

    LinkedIn Insights include ample information about your customers, prospects, and leads; plus, it provides other functionalities beyond that to help your salespeople become even smarter sellers with CRM.

    Here’s some of the information you’ll discover while using LinkedIn Insights, in your CRM system:

    • Size, Industry, and Location Data about Companies
    • Company, Position, and Years of Experience the individual target has
    • Icebreakers and Conversation Starters to create warm introductions with your customers
    • First, Second, and TeamLink connections to provide warm introductions as they traverse the entire organization and the aggregate networks
    • Recommendations for people who are “similar to” a target, lead, or prospect that plays a key role within their organization

    You can learn more about LinkedIn Sales Navigator here.

    To keep up with key Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM updates and insight, be sure to join us for our next user group webinar.

    Register when you click on the image below.

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM User Group Webinar

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