Our Free Dynamics 365 #CRMSaturday #MSDyn365 Bootcamp has been a great success – what a day!

We have just had our first CRM Saturday Bootcamp at Microsoft UK London Paddington offices this Saturday, 22nd July 2017. It has been a lot of hard work for everyone at CRM Saturday especially the trainers: Neil Parkhurst, Janet Rob, Raz Choudry and Baris Kanilca. As for me, I did 16K steps just walking between the various rooms ensuring all sessions are adhering to our agenda times. Personally, my sessions both overrun by few minutes and some of my track attendees missed part of their breaks as I got carried away! For this, I’m sorry 🙂 It has been a seriously fun event with some excellent attendees.

Not only we had 110 excellent attendees @ our free #MSDyn365 #CRMSaturday Bootcamp. We also raised ÂŁ1,421 for the London Fire Fund, British Red Cross.

We learnt Dynamics 365 together in 3 different parallel tracks. There was a lot of excellent networking as well as some great fun at the various breaks and the Raffle ticket awards.

Some of our attendees even went back home with an XBOX S One, an Amazon Alexa/Echo and other prizes. What a day!

However, I’ll have to name names in this post! Firstly, many many thanks go to: Microsoft’s Matt Fox and Bruce Nicholson Scribe’s Henk Adriaans and Steven Thornhill Nigel Frank’s Oliver Norton and Andrew Brownlie

Without our host, Microsoft, and our sponsors, such an amazing events wouldn’t have been possible. And of course special thanks goes to our trainers: Raz Dynamics, Neil Parkhurst, Janet Robb and Baris KANLICA

And our helpers: Lipi Sarkar (MBA), David Robertson and Samira Kadiri

And of course many thanks to our Dynamics Community colleagues and Professionals who attended the event and made the donations to make such an event a success!

Important list of Deprecated Features and Funcationalities in Microsoft Dynamics 365

If you are currently responsible for a Microsoft Dynamics CRM system or planning / delivering a Dynamics 365 solution, then you need to be aware of this important Microsoft announcement about the deprecation of some features and functionalities.

Microsoft defines “Deprecated” as an intention to remove the feature or capability from a future major release of Dynamics 365. The feature or capability will continue to work and is fully supported until it is officially removed. This deprecation notification can span a few years. After removal, the feature or capability will no longer work.

Hence, you should start planning replacing these features from your current Dynamics systems or avoid using these capabilities in your current Dynamics 365 implementation projects.

Here is the list of features, functionalities and capabilities officially deprecated and will be removed from Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM:

  • Dynamics 365 for Outlook (Outlook client) is deprecated
  • Service scheduling in Dynamics 365 for Customer Service is deprecated
  • Dialogs are deprecated
  • Usage of Parature knowledgebase as the Dynamics 365 knowledge management solution is deprecated
  • Project Service Finder app is deprecated
  • Contracts, Contract Line Items, and Contract Templates entities are deprecated
  • Relationship Roles are deprecated
  • Mail Merge is deprecated
  • Announcements are deprecated
  • Ready-to-use business processes available through Add Ready to Use Business Processes setting are deprecated
  • Silverlight (XAP) web resource is deprecated
  • The following client APIs are deprecated
    Xrm.Page
    Xrm.Page.context
    Xrm.Page.context.getQueryStringParameters
    Xrm.Page.context.getTimeZoneOffsetMinutes
    Xrm.Page.context.getUserId
    Xrm.Page.context.getUserLcid
    Xrm.Page.context.getUserName
    Xrm.Page.context.getUserRoles
    Xrm.Page.context.getIsAutoSaveEnabled
    Xrm.Page.context.getOrgLcid
    Xrm.Page.context.getOrgUniqueName
    Xrm.Page.data.entity.save(string)
    Xrm.Page.data.entity.getDataXml
    GridRow.getData
    GridRowData.getEntity
    Xrm.Mobile.offline
    parent.Xrm
    addOnKeyPress
    removeOnKeyPress
    showAutoComplete
    hideAutoComplete
    Xrm.Utility.alertDialog
    Xrm.Utility.confirmDialog
    Xrm.Utility.isActivityType
    Xrm.Utility.openEntityForm
    Xrm.Utility.openQuickCreate
    Xrm.Utility.openWebResource

 

For full details about these deprecations and the official Microsoft announcement, please refer to the following Microsoft Documentation:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/get-started/whats-new/customer-engagement/important-changes-coming

Please note that deprecations described in this post and in the original Microsoft Documentation announcement, apply to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement as of the July 2017 Update. All Dynamics professionals should use this information to prepare for future releases of Dynamics 365.

Customer Engagement refers to the applications that make up the CRM portion of Dynamics 365, which includes the Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation applications.

 

Difference between Microsoft Dynamics CRM Portals, ADX Studio, Portals from Microsoft, XRM Portals and Open Source Dynamics Portal

Does this blog post title sound confusing? If yes, then I have to admit it is intentionally written to sound confusing. I made it confusing because this is how I felt after reading about the so many names and naming combinations I heard about Dynamics Porals, ADX Studio portal recently acquired by Microsoft, Dynamics Portals by Microsoft and Microsoft Portals SaaS module.

To clear this confusion, I found this comparison on Adoxio website to be helpful to clarify the confusion:

Source: https://www.adoxio.com/xRM-Portals-Community-Edition/

For those who don’t know, Adoxio is the consultancy part of ADX Studio that Microsoft didn’t acquire.

So to clarify, Adxstudio portal were up to versions 7 before Microsoft acquired them.

Once Adx code was acquired, Microsoft rebranded it to Portal, from Microsoft. This is the new SaaS Dynamics Portal from Microsoft which is normally included in your Dynamics 365 Enterprise subscription. This is also known and referred to as: Microsoft Dynamics Portals, Microsoft Portals for Dynamics 365 and few other permutations. This dynamics portal is only available in the cloud (SaaS) and is not available for on-premise

Microsoft has then decided to release the source code as a one-off release to the Dynamics community. This is the release of the Microsoft SaaS portal source code at a specific point this year but as mentioned, it is a one-off, as is with no support or bug fixing. You can understand more from the comparison in the image above.

Finally, Adoxio has taken the Microsoft Open Source Portals code and made it freely available on GitHub as XRM Portal community edition so that it can easily be downloaded, updated, and maintained by itself and anyone else, including other Microsoft Partners. This represents the definitive edition of Microsoft Open Source Portals for Dynamics 365 brought to you by the same team behind ADXStudio. xRM Portal community edition is available to be used both on-premise and cloud.

Hope this post has clarified the confusion between the various versions and the new promising XRM Portal community edition.

Everything you need to know about the upcoming Free Dynamics 365 Training Bootcamp at Microsoft UK London Paddington offices

CRM Saturday and CRM Boutique Mentoring programme are arranging a FREE Dynamics 365 CRM classroom training delivered by a number of Microsoft MVPs and Dynamics Experts. The event will also be used to raise funds to the London Fire Relief, British Red Cross. 100% of donations go directly to the charity. Trainers are volunteering and dedicating their Saturday to give back to the Dynamics community through training and to raise money to a good cause.

Thanks to Microsoft UK and our sponsors, there will be free lunch and refreshments throughout the day!

This hands-on classroom based training has 3 Tracks:

  1.  Track A: Application Core for those looking to learn the basics of Dynamics 365 functional capabilities. The focus of this track is at professionals and individuals moving into Dynamics 365 who want to learn the core Dynamics 365 CRM Sales and Customer Services application from a functional, capability and features knowledge. If a consultant already knows Dynamics 365 application good enough, then they should look at registering an interest in Track B: Configuration and Customisations of Dynamics 365. There will be a hands-on project expected to be delivered by groups of attendees in this track.
  2. Track B: Configuration and Customisation with No Code or Custom Development: for individuals who know Dynamics features and capabilities but want to learn how to configure the platform without code or development. It’s specifically aimed at professionals and End Users who want to get a hands-on training on how to configure and customise the system using out of the box configuration capabilities. Attendees must understand the application functionality well to attend this track, otherwise please register your interest in track A. There will be a hands-on project expected to be delivered by groups of attendees in this track.
  3. Track C: Unified Service Desk Specialist training. This is a highly specialised Unified Service Desk training by Microsoft MVP Neil Parkhurst with a combination of lessons and labs to get everyone a hands-on experience on setting up and configuring Dynamics 365 USD.

Securing your place:

Places are limited so please register your interest here as soon as possible before we close down the registration of interest: http://crm.boutique/register

Please remember to fill in all details included under the options section of the registration page.

If you have registered with CRM Boutique before, then you only need to update your account page. Make sure you update the options to confirm your interest in joining the bootcamp and which track you would like to be considered for.

Registration of interest must have details on how you see this training can help your career.

Registration of interest without full information including why you should be allocated a place, will be disregarded.

Places are allocated by application NOT on first come first serve basis.

 

Fundraising and Donations:

To extend the benefit of this bootcamp training we are using the event to raise funds for the London Fire Relief, British Red Cross. Trainees are expected to make a donation to this cause via the following Just giving page:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/saturday-bootcamp

Please note that 100% of all donations go straight from Just Giving to the Charity directly. We do not take any donations and we don’t even process it.

Sponsors:

Thanks to our sponsors,

  1. Microsoft UK, our host
  2. Scribe Software, Platinum Sponsor, and,
  3. Nigel Frank International, Gold Sponsor,

Thanks to them, this training has been made a reality. Without our sponsors, we wouldn’t have a venue, food and refreshments all day and we wouldn’t have been able to cover all training costs. Our Sponsors are the ones who made this event free!

Any sponsorship money left after covering the event costs, will be donated to the same JustGiving page for the British Red Cross.

Featuring these exceptional experts and MVPs: Raz Dynamics , Neil Parkhurst , Baris KANLICA , Janet Robb and more!

Hands-on Projects and Labs:

Tracks A and B will have hands-on projects to be delivered by groups of trainees. Track C will have a number of Labs. For this reason, all trainees are expected to bring in their own laptops with them. All trainees will also need to register for a free 30 days trial Dynamics 365 instance ahead of coming to the training. This is very important as otherwise, trainees will not be able to participate and may not get the full benefit of the training.

Awards and Prizes:

In addition to all of this, our sponsors will be offering valuable prizes as awards to highest performing trainees in the bootcamp. There will also be a raffle with excellent prizes.

More details to be announced on the day!

Full information here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/free-dynamics-365-training-bootcamp-microsoft-london-offices-mostafa

CRM Saturday is a free non-for-profit Microsoft Dynamics 365 event held in multiple cities around the world from Europe to Australia which has been extremely well received globally with very positive feedback and excellent participation.

CRM Boutique is a free Dynamics 365 Mentoring programme which has gained a large audience and membership over the past few months.

Free Dynamics 365 Entry Level Beginners and Introductory Training for Professionals who want to move to and learn Dynamics 365

Are you new to Dynamics 365 or have recently started to learn / study the Dynamics 365 CRM Platform?

Perhaps you want to learn what you can achieve using the Dynamics 365 platform?

You could be an IT professional who knows CRM concepts, worked with other CRM systems but wants to learn Dynamics 365 functionality, features and capabilities?

Or may be, you want to sell Dynamics 365 or participate in Dynamics 365 solution Pre-sales activities?

If your answer is “Yes” to any of the above questions, then apply to “Track A” of the upcoming FREE Dynamics 365 training bootcamp in Microsoft London Paddington offices on 22nd July 2017.

Track A Training will be led by ex-Microsoft and Dynamics 365 expert: Janet Robb

Not only you will learn features and functionalities in Dynamics 365 but Janet will also cover platform capabilities that directly increase User Adoption and improves Dynamics programmes success.

Places are limited so register your interest as soon as possible at: http://crm.boutique/register.

Full details about this free Dynamics 365 training bootcamp on Saturday 22nd July 2017 can be found here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/free-dynamics-365-training-bootcamp-microsoft-london-offices-mostafa

Understanding Dynamics 365 Business Process Flow Data Model following changes in December 2016 release (v 8.2)

Microsoft Dynamics 365 December 2016 release (version 8.2) included some significant changes to Dynamics CRM Business Process Flow data model and entities structure.

In the new Model, every time a business process flow is activated, a custom entity is automatically created to store the activated business process flow instances.

Before that, every time you create a business process flow, it is stored in the Workflow entity (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/mt622427.aspx).

The Workflow entity stores the business process flow definition. So once the entity is created, it is always in Draft state and its definition is stored in Workflow entity. XAML property is where the definition is stored and is mandatory/required.

Once you activate a business process flow definition (by changing the state of the corresponding Workflow entity record), a custom entity with the following name is automatically created to store the activated business process flow instances:

<activesolutionprefix>_<uniquename>

More details can be found in this MSDN Article here:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/dn481586.aspx

There is also the Process Stages Entity which contains: Step metadata for process stage (Client Data). It also contains stage Category (Qualify, Develop, Propose, etc.) as well as the Stage Name.

Properties represent fields of data stored in the entity. Some properties are read-only.

Name Type Details
clientdata Edm.String Description: Step metadata for process stage

Display Name: Client Data

Read-only property

owningbusinessunit Edm.Guid Description: Select the business unit that owns the record.

Display Name: Owning Business Unit

Read-only property

primaryentitytypecode Edm.String Description: Primary entity associated with the stage.

Display Name: Primary Entity

processstageid Edm.Guid Description: Shows the ID of the process stage record.

Display Name: Process Stage

stagecategory Edm.Int32 Description: Select the category of the sales process.

Default Options:

0 : Qualify
1 : Develop
2 : Propose
3 : Close
4 : Identify
5 : Research
6 : Resolve
7 : Approval

Display Name: Stage Category

stagename Edm.String Description: Type a name for the process stage.

Display Name: Process Stage Name

versionnumber Edm.Int64 Description: Version number of the process stage.

Display Name: Version Number

Read-only property

More information on the ProcessStages entity is here:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt790421.aspx

Finally, here is a Dynamics Community post with few more information and discussion on this subject:

https://community.dynamics.com/crm/f/117/t/241128

Join Microsoft Dynamics 365 UK Business Forward event Thursday 22nd June 2017

Microsoft UK is holding an important online event for Dynamics 365 called Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Forward. The event will be held on Thursday 22nd June 2017 at 10am UK time.

Here is a link to register and join the event:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/dynamics365/business-forward

The event will feature some keynote speakers including Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Cloud Globally. It will also feature James Philips and Judson Althoff, both Microsoft VPs as well.

For all Dynamics 365 Professionals in the UK, I think this event is important to attend so make sure you join it online. You could literally have it running in the background while you are delivering your lovely Dynamics 365 Solution! At least, that’s what I do!

Hope this helps!

Introducing Dynamics 365 for Marketing as part of the Dynamics 365 Business Edition Release

Dynamics 365 for Marketing is a new module in the widely anticipated Dynamics 365 Business Edition. This new module is targeting small and medium size businesses looking to implement Dynamics 365 Marketing Capabilities while Enterprise / Large organisations are advised to opt for the Dynamics 365 Adobe Marketing Suite instead.

The Business Edition Marketing module is built on the Dynamics 365 CRM Platform allowing for a number of advanced configuration and customisation features available in the powerful Dynamics CRM platform. Although this is a brand new module (i.e. not an incremental release), it does seem to come with a large number of advanced features that you wouldn’t normally expect from a first release application.

According to the publicly available Dynamics Roadmap, Dynamics 365 for Marketing first release will include the following features:

  • Customer Journey
  • Email Marketing
  • Event Management
  • Lead Management (Generation, Nurturing, Lifecycle, Scoring, Prioritization and Insights )
  • Marketing Analysers with Power BI
  • Marketing Pages
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Connector for LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

You can see full details of each feature at the Dynamics Roadmap here:

https://roadmap.dynamics.com/#edition=1#application=a9ab9157-e42a-e711-810d-3863bb363e80

The Customer Journey feature is about the orchestration of the customer journey to allow marketers to create multi-step, multi-channel marketing campaigns. The feature capabilities according to the Roadmap include:

  • Simple drag and drop design
  • View and edit marketing content in one place
  • Embedded content designers
  • Event driven extensible automation
  • In place insights
  • Easy visualisation of journeys

The Customer Journey feature seem to be built based on the same designer used in Business Rules. Here is a screenshot of how it looks like:

Dynamics 365 for Marketing allows for the creation and managing of Professional Marketing Emails and Email Campaigns. This includes the following features:

  • Simple, no-code drag and drop content designer
  • Many professional email templates ready to reuse
  • Basic and Inbox email previews
  • HTML Editor to edit the entire email content with no restrictions
  • Complete performance results and Insights for emails sent
  • Ability to use data from Dynamics 365 entities in emails, also including custom entities
  • Heatmap, geographical location maps and other advanced visualizations of email results

 

Personally, I’m really looking forward to it. Just not sure I have enough hours in my week to allow me to learn all these new modules and enhancements frequently released into the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform.

Video: Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition Sales App

The new Dynamics 365 Business Edition is targeting Small and Medium businesses who may not require the complete Dynamics 365 suite and platform functionalities but rather require a smaller smaller business focused capabilities and pre-built business processes that can still be easily configured. It is due to be released soon and there are lots of information available publicly now on the Dynamics Roadmap.

There is a new cleaner interface, simplified step by step guidance for setting up Business Edition but with a number of limitations. These limitations cannot be shared at this point of time. Dynamics Business Edition is also expected to come at a highly competitive price and much lower than enterprise licenses.

//The video has ben removed as it has not been officially announced / advertised by Microsoft yet. I shall re-post it again once it is publicly available.

 

Hope this helps!

New Lead to Cash functionality in Dynamics 365 Business Edition – From the Dynamics Roadmap

Dynamics 365 Roadmap site (http://roadmap.dynamics.com) is giving some snippets on how the new Lead to Cash functionality will work in the new Dynamics 365 Business Edition expected in July 2017. The Dynamics 365 Business Edition is targeting Small and Medium businesses who may not require the complete Dynamics 365 suite and platform functionalities but rather require a smaller smaller business focused capabilities and pre-built business processes that can still be easily configured.

If you are a regular follower of my blog, you will probably get bored from me repeating the importance of following the roadmap site to make sure you are always kept aware of what’s coming up. I repeat this because until today I’m still meeting fairly experience Dynamics Consultants and Architects who have never heard of the Dynamics Roadmap website. Hence, the repetition!

Back to the main subject, the new Lead to Cash functionality seems to be a Dynamics 365 Business Edition only feature. It is designed to allow sellers to follow a more efficient guided business processes taking users all the way from qualifying leads, to create quotes, send invoices and then to close deals.

Microsoft Dynamics Roadmap shared a screenshot of how the new Lead to Cash functionality will look like:

You can see all details on the roadmap page for the Dynamics 365 Business Edition:

https://roadmap.dynamics.com/#edition=1#application=326f31ea-2992-e611-80dc-c4346bac0910#area=

Hope this helps!