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    How to Use Microsoft Power BI Reports to Create a Company Data Culture

    There’s no doubt about it: our world is data-driven. Virtually every choice we make is informed by data, whether it’s an everyday purchase, an important trip, or a big life decision. But despite this fact, businesses large and small are still failing to fully capitalize on the huge amounts of customer data available to them.

    Of course, some businesses have caught on to trends in data visualization. They’ve learned that by creating Microsoft Power BI reports, they can help foster a “data culture” in their organization. By creating a data culture, employees will naturally begin to utilize the available metrics and customer data in your organization’s CRM for making business decisions. The more that employees are presented with relevant data which can inform their decision making, the more likely your organization is to make profitable, competitive decisions.

    But how do you foster a data culture in your organization? The technology piece is surprisingly easy: Microsoft Power BI integrates seamlessly with Dynamics CRM, as well as other CRM solutions and Microsoft products. Below, we’ll outline five easy steps to get your organization on track when it comes to using data effectively.

    1. Prep Work for Power BI Reports: Ask Your Data Questions

    Before diving into the technical aspects of generating Power BI reports, there’s an important first step to take. You need to decide what questions you want to actually ask your data.

    What data exists that you haven’t analyzed yet? How do you want to use this data to make decisions? For example, could you use existing data about your best customers to help you target new prospects?

    Take note of some of the questions you want to ask before moving forward.

    2. Use Power BI to Access Your Data

    Now, on to the technical aspects of accessing your data.

    Regardless of which CRM you use -- whether it’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, or another program -- Microsoft Power BI makes accessing your data easy. Power BI connects automatically to the vast majority of popular CRMs, and it can even be linked directly to a database for real-time and/or automated reporting.

    Once Power BI is connected to your CRM of choice, you can proceed to the next step.

    3. Create Stunning Reports with Power BI

    Looking at data isn’t always fun. In fact, poring over spreadsheets for hours at a time can be mind numbing. You can only look at rows and columns of numbers for so long before everything starts to blur together. And, of course, presenting data in this form to your organization’s employees is unlikely to inspire data-driven decision making.

    With Power BI, you can create stunning visual reports and share them with team members in a flash. Drag-and-drop functionality allows you to create a wide array of visualizations using a range of business data. Options include bar charts, stream graphs, and even complex radar charts.


    4. Use Power BI’s @Mentions Feature for Maximum Engagement

    It’s easy for a spreadsheet of data to get lost in the shuffle. But with Power BI, you can ensure that team members are tagged and have access to the reports they need.

    With your team connected to Microsoft Office 365, tagging a team member on a report is as easy as using the @mention feature.

    A user might tag their boss in a report:

    ...or congratulate someone on work well done:

    5. Refine and Grow

    Congrats! Your organization is now using data to make smarter decisions.

    The next step is to refine your data collection and analysis processes over time. As more users within your organization begin to actively participate in data analysis, you’ll begin to build a data culture within your organization.

    Are you ready to become a full fledged data-driven company? Looking to integrate Power BI into your organization’s processes? Contact AKA Enterprise Solutions today and learn how we can help!

    AKA specializes in making it easier to do business, simplifying processes and reducing risks. With agility, expertise, and original industry solutions, we embrace projects other technology firms avoid—regardless of their complexity. As a true strategic partner, we help organizations slay the dragons that are keeping them from innovating their way to greatness. Call us at 212-502-3900!

    The post Microsoft Power BI Reports and Your Company’s Data Culture appeared first on CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365.

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    Imagine this kind of (probably simplified) scenario: You have added a field to the contact entity in the sandbox environment. Let’s say it’s “Saved Full Name” field You have also created a workflow...(read more)

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    Originally posted on Ajit Patra : In the previous post, we created the required Azure resources. In the last step of the previous post, we created Azure SSIS IR which is basically responsible for creating...(read more)

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    Introduction This article is about fixing “Duplicate Record Found for Entity error..” in Dynamics 365 Portals. Details Sometime Dynamics 365 CE display confusing error, for example recently one user got following error while assigning more

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    New information and tools from Microsoft to help you connect Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations to a website that hosts your custom help content. You can base your custom help on our content, on your existing Dynamics AX 2012 content, or on your own content, as long as you add the required new metadata.

    White paper:
    Tools on GitHub:

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    Some solutions are so complex, only an architect could create them

    There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why. William Barclay

    Articles of the Month


    Great Dynamics 365 articles this month



    The Hosk – currently reading

    The Hosk – last 5 recommendations

    Selected  HoskWisdom

    • To a developer, every problem looks like it needs code to fix it
    • All future development roads lead through CDS, PowerApps and Flow. So start heading in that direction now
    • Architecture is where the fun is, Development is where the pain is felt
    • You have to battle with code more than once, to make it maintainable
    • You’re only as good as the code you create
    • Projects approach methodology like people approach religion, they don’t implement all of it and use the bits they like
    • Write great code if you can, refactor when possible but get the job done
    • Technology should not dictate solutions, it should enable solutions

    Last months Monthly articles

    Last months recommended monthly articles

    Hosk’s CRM Developer Articles

    A collection of my favorite CRM Developer articles I have written

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    If you have ever tried extending the warehouse mobile flows in Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, you know the code is very complex and extremely difficult to make sense of and modify without introducing regressions in unpredictable scenarios. This was of course on our mind as well for some time, which is now I am pleased to announce the release of a new framework for implementing such flows,

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    I have been planning for this certification since quiet a while now. I am very much attracted towards the field service addition to dynamics CRM hence I decided to finally schedule the exam. So will...(read more)

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    Following on from part two in this series, this post talks about how to bring over any email attachments from a source CRM instance in to the destination CRM instance. Email messages are it’s own...(read more)

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    If you are registered with people that reports to you, you can see the “My team” tab, where you can see information about “your” employees. My team is divided in two tabs: Summary and My team...(read more)

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    How to compare two records buffer field to field. public static container compareRecords ( Common _record1 , Common _record2 ) { SysDictTable dictTable = new SysDictTable ( _record1. TableId) ; SysDictField...(read more)

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    You provision the Dynamics 365 v9 App for Outlook and click the Dynamics 365 button in Outlook, but what you see is a random dashboard from Dynamics 365, not the Outlook App pane with the set regarding options.

    The thing you need to know is that the Outlook app pane is a dashboard in Dynamics 365 v9, and like all dashboards, it can be security role enabled. If a system administrator mistakenly selects that App for Outlook dashboard in Customization and removes associated roles, the App for Outlook will not work correctly–users will see their default Dynamics 365 dashboard, not the App for Outlook.

    If this happens to you, navigate to Settings->Customization->Customize The System. Click the Dashboard node, then select App for Outlook dashboard. Click the “Enable Security Roles” button.

    Enable the dashboard for everyone.

    Save and publish customization, now users App for Outlook should display correctly.

    (Facebook and Twitter cover photo by Carson Arias on Unsplash)

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    Jet AnalyticsThis post is part of the series on Upgrading to Jet 2019.

    The new version of Jet Analytics has quite a number of new and improved features, although a lot of the descriptions don’t mean a great deal to me:

    Feature Description
    Azure SQL Database Managed Instance

    This release entirely supports Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, that represents fully managed SQL Server Instance hosted in Azure cloud — allowing customers to easily take advantage of new technology when released by Microsoft. In fact, 18.10 supports any of Microsoft SQL Servers, be it Microsoft Azure SQL DB Managed Instance, Single or Elastic Pool and of course the on-prem SQL database.

    Shared Semantic Layer

    Row Level Security
    In version 18.10, you can set up row-level security on models in the shared semantic layer. The security setup can be deployed to SSAS Tabular Endpoints.
    Controlling access to data on the row level can be a very useful addition to controlling access on the table or model level. One common example is a sales department where each salesperson needs access to data from their own sales region, but not everyone else’s.


    In Jet Data Manager 18.10, you can order fields on semantic layer tables in hierarchies. All endpoint types support hierarchies.

    Ordering fields in hierarchies can be a good way of making a model easier to grasp and use in PowerBI. An example is a table with products that often have multiple levels of categories.

    Data Formats

    You can now configure data formats and categories on fields which will be applied to SSAS Tabular endpoints and used in front-ends to decide how to display data. For instance, text categorized as “Web URL” can be displayed as a link.

    Display Folders

    “Display folders” is a feature of SSAS Tabular which allows you to organize the fields, measures and hierarchies of a semantic table by adding them to folders. This makes the model easier to browse, especially if it has a lot of fields. With display folders, you can (for example) bucket all address information on a customer table in a “Geography” display folder.

    Prevent Deployment of an Endpoint in Specific Environments Jet Analytics v18.10 includes the ability to set an endpoint as inactive in specific environments. This makes it easier to manage endpoints and prevent overriding production endpoints during development.
    Guarding Semantic Models can now be guarded for deployment and/or execution.
    Prioritize Models on Execution

    In version 18.10, Semantic Models can now be prioritized in the execution engine, which gives the user an option to influence the execution order to get certain items finished earlier than others.

    Clone Field

    Jet Analytics 18.10 includes new context menu command “Clone field” on all fields, as well as a new dialog for cloning fields (incl. Conditional Lookups, Supernatural Keys, Custom Hash Fields, transformations, standard data fields).

    Two options appear in the dialog: Cloning structure (incl. transformations) or data (only adding transformations for cloned data).

    Consistent Read on Dynamics NAV Adapter

    When you extract data from a data source that is in use, you can end up with inconsistent data where a foreign key in a record points to a record in another table that does not exist.

    Jet Data Manager 18.10 can use the fact that Dynamics NAV has a timestamp on every table to minimize this problem. If you enable the new consistent read setting, the JDM will only extract records older than the start of the data extraction. This will prevent inconsistencies caused by data added while extraction is running.

    Keep Lookup Values Up-to-Date on Incrementally Loaded Tables

    One of the challenges of using incremental load is that the value of a lookup field on an incrementally loaded table does not change if the value being looked up changes. The lookup field value is calculated when the row is loaded so the usual solution to this problem is to schedule regular full loads of the table.
    Jet Data Manager 18.10 includes a new setting on incrementally loaded tables: “Keep lookup values up-to-date”.

    When this setting is enabled, the JDM will do comparisons to see if any values being looked up have changed and will update the lookup fields accordingly.

    Improved Oracle Data Source

    Version 18.10 contains improvements to the Oracle data source, which makes it easier to set up the connection and makes the connection Oracle-version independent.

    The data source connector now supports EZConnect which means that you can simply enter the connection information (server, port and service name).

    More Information on Tooltips Tooltips are now on all fields with information on Transformations. Tooltips on lookup fields will now show information from the lookup data field, joins, conditions, etc. and there is an improved tooltip on conditional lookup fields. The tooltips react to all relevant changes to fields and relations, always showing up-to-date information, and are now shown for 30 seconds.
    Conditional Lookup Performance and Usability Improvements

    New features:

    • When dragging and dropping fields, a new easy-to-use dialog for adding relations is shown, displaying existing relations with a tooltip, possibility of extending an existing relation, or adding a new default relation or non-default relation.
    • When adding a new conditional lookup field or a new lookup field, a new simplified, comprehensible dialog for adding lookup joins is shown, with a possibility of copying joins not only from relations but also from existing lookup fields. This dialog also shows details of all joins in tooltips. Only different joins from existing lookups are shown (duplicates are removed from the list).
    • Dragging and dropping of fields in another table with the right mouse button creates a new conditional lookup field instead of a new relationship and allows for easy positioning of the conditional lookup field before or after the dropped field.
    • In the Add/Edit Lookup Field dialog, you can now select which Operator you want to “Set as Default”.
    • New lookup operator ‘None’ greatly improves performance in some scenarios + automatic changing (after confirmation) of the lookup operator to ‘None’ when adding joins different than ‘Equal’.
    • In the “Add Join” dialog, new lookup join fixed value operators have been added: ‘In list’, ‘Not in list’, ‘Like’, ‘Not like’.
    • Copying Lookup Fields within the same table via drag and drop (the right mouse button also offers two options: add or replace)
    • Copying Lookup Joins within the same table via drag and drop (the right mouse button also offers two options: add or replace)
    • Copying Lookup Sortings within the same table via drag and drop (the right mouse button also offers two options: add or replace)
    • Copying Lookup Conditions within the same table via drag and drop, also between lookups and transformations, and vice versa (the right mouse button also offers two options: add or replace)
    • Automatic renaming (after confirmation) of lookup fields and conditional lookup fields when the lookup data field is changed

    Performance Improvements:

    • Batch data cleansing now works for all conditional lookups and supernatural keys.
    • History tables have been optimized and work significantly faster
    • Conditional lookups can be merged, so all lookups are performed at one time.


    • The first relation is automatically created as default, and it is no longer possible to remove default from a relation other than by adding default to another relation or deleting the relation. If there are several relations, one is always default.
    • Creating relations by dragging and dropping fields is now possible also if a relation was already created in the opposite table. Relations now work regardless of in which table they were created, i.e. they can be used in both tables.
    • There are now consistent dialogs for adding/modifying conditional lookup fields, lookup fields, lookup joins, and lookup sortings
    • Lookups now allow MAX and MIN with the bit data type

    In the next few posts, I’ll be stepping through the upgrade process for Jet Analytics.

    Click to show/hide the Upgrading to Jet 2019 Series Index

    Upgrading to Jet 2019
    What's New In Jet Analytics 2019

    Read original post Upgrading to Jet 2019: What's New In Jet Analytics 2019 at azurecurve|Ramblings of a Dynamics GP Consultant

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    Introduction: Recently we had a business requirement where client wants to filter PartyList field by selected account in regarding field on activity entity form. As shown in below image, when we click...(read more)

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    Simple isn’t it? After all it was so easy All I needed to write to get the ClientUrl var clientUrl = Xrm.Page.context.getClientUrl(); And to get value of the field on the form var fieldValue =...(read more)

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    Simplanova team wants to thank all attendees  of our webinar: What are Extensions and How to Start Upgrading NAV Add-on to Extensions? We have shared our experience on migrating Dynamics NAV solutions...(read more)

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    Microsoft has recently bumped up certification requirements for Partner organizations who sell Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations.

    When it comes to your business, it’s crucial that you prepare your employees in order to set them and your business up for success.

    In addition to a full week of intimate networking and learning opportunities with other Partners, the Microsoft product team, and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), eXtreme365 Austin will be offering accelerated certification exam cram courses to help your employees prepare for the actual Microsoft exams.

     One of the expert exam cram trainers is Soheil Aghazadeh, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Certified Master at Guide To Learn, Inc. and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). Soheil holds more than 50 industry certifications across a spectrum of areas and is excited to be teaching two exam cram courses.

    eXtreme365: What is one thing attendees should expect to take away from your exam cram courses?

    Soheil Aghazadeh (SA): These classes are a one-day crash course developed for intermediate to advanced professionals. Although we don’t discuss the actual questions that will be on the Microsoft exam, we will help prepare professionals to quickly prepare to pass the MB6-895 and MB6-894 certification exam. The content will be focused around key exam-related topics as well as exam-taking tips and tricks with very little time spent in hands-on exercises.

    eXtreme365: Tell us what job roles would benefit most from your sessions and why.

    SA: For the MB6-895 exam, Functional Financial Consultants and Solution Architects who have previously passed the certification exam or have 3+ years professional experience in related Finance and Operations area.

    For the MB6-894 exam, Developers who have previously passed the certification exam or have 3+ years development experience in related Finance and Operations area.

    eXtreme365: How will these exam cram courses specifically help Partners prepare to pass the silver or gold certification exams?

    SA: Although these sessions are solely preparation and there is no guarantee for passing the exam, by attending, one can ensure the knowledge for passing the test is provided during the session based on exam definition. As part of the session, there will be ad-hoc demos, Q & A and short lectures with demos for clarification.

    eXtreme365: Aside from speaking, what you are most looking forward to about being part of eXtreme365 Austin?

    SA: It is always a pleasure to contribute to the partner readiness team, either at Microsoft or at events, such as eXtreme365. I’m looking forward to meeting talented individuals, sharing my knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, as well as doing my part to make the community stronger.

    eXtreme365: What is your best advice for Partners attending eXtreme365 Austin?

    SA: Get prepared prior to attending eXtreme365 by viewing relevant courses in the Dynamics Learning Portal (DLP) as well as the exam outline posted by Microsoft.

    eXtreme365 Austin Exam Cram Courses will take place during the week of December 3, 2018. View class details and register here. These classes are free, but you have to register in addition to the full eXtreme365 conference.

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    This has happened to me multiple times now; hence thought about blogging it. Some times when you are using more than two users to connect to Plugin Registration Tool it throws an error – which makes...(read more)

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    We've now added the functionality of the Letter Writing Assistant for SmartList into Web Client, for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 R2. For example, in SmartList, if you expand Purchasing, then expand...(read more)

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    If you are going to be attending Extreme365 Austin 2018, be sure to attend my two session on using Microsoft Flow with Dynamics 365.

    In the first session I will be demonstrating how to build Flow Buttons that connect to Dynamics 365.

    For the second session you will see demoed several trigger event types along with a new way to selectively import data into Dynamics 365 using Flow and Excel.

    Check out the full schedule today.

    Extreme365 Austin 2018


    If you haven’t made plans yet to attend, it is not to late to register.

    The post Catch me at Extreme365 Austin Demoing Microsoft Flow appeared first on CRM Innovation - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Consulting and Marketing Solutions.

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