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.

 

Getting help with Dynamics 365 / Dynamics CRM solution problems and issues

I have been asked few times about how to get help from Microsoft on issues and problems with Dynamics 365 CRM. I have also been asked how to get an official Microsoft support case raised and how to get an official Microsoft response to an issue. For all these questions, I strongly suggest you visit the Dynamics 365 CRM support page here:

https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/northamerica/CRM/support/support-lifecycle/CRMSupport

On this page, you will see the whole range of support options you have from using Dynamics 365 Community forums (https://commuinty.dynamics.com) to guidance on how to open a ticket or raise a support request. You obviously need to have some sort of support agreement with Microsoft such as a Premium support contract or Dynamics Partner support tickets. You could also get support if you have a Dynamics 365 software assurance programme.

Hope this helps!

 

Using the new Dynamics 365 Knowledge Articles functionality versus earlier Dynamics CRM Knowledge base articles (KBArticle)

This post discusses 2 Knowledge Management features in Dynamics 365, one new and one old, and the differences between each of them. The new knowledge articles entity data model (KnowledgeArticle) in Microsoft Dynamics 365 enable you to create rich knowledge articles along with versioning and translation support. On the other hand, you can continue to use the legacy / earlier Dynamics CRM Knowledge Base Articles (KBArticle) data model. While you can continue to use the legacy Knowledge Base Articles, it is a good practice and a Microsoft recommendation to use the Dynamics 365 Knowledge Articles as they provide improved capabilities and translation support. In other words, Microsoft has probably left this feature for backward compatibility only but advices new Dynamics 365 Solution Implementations to use the new Dynamics 365 Knowledge Article instead.

When you create and publish a knowledge article, it become available to users in your Dynamics 365 instance so that they read and utilised the information in these articles to deliver accurate information to customers and follow the organisation’s processes and guidelines as documented in these knowledge articles. Use the KnowledgeArticle entity to store and manage knowledge natively in Dynamics 365.

To setup the new Knowledge Article solution, you can follow the following steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Service Management.
  2. Under Knowledge Base Management, click Embedded Knowledge Search.

  3. In the Knowledge Base Management Settings wizard, in Record Types, select the record types you want to turn on knowledge management for. The list will include all entities that are available for an N:N relationship. Knowledge management is enabled for case entity by default.

  4. Under Knowledge Source, in the Knowledge Solution field, select between the Dynamics 365 native knowledge solution.

     

    For more information and full details, you can follow these links:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/gg309345.aspx

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn946909.aspx

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt593096.aspx

 

Dynamics 365 Learning Path versus Dynamics CRM customisable help

Dynamics 365 Learning Path is a new feature in Dynamics CRM that provides an improved experience over the legacy customisable help in Dynamics CRM.

Customisable help allows you to override the Default Dynamics 365 Help with its standard Microsoft CRM content. It allows you to point your CRM Organisation users to a different URL for a customised help experience. Alternatively, you could override the Microsoft CRM Help Content with your own content so you can better describe your processes.

On the other hand, Learning Path allows organisations to set targeted help for users when they open a page, click a help button or perform an action. Learning Path is more of a contextual in-app help tailored for your organisation’s business processes as opposed to Customisable help that is more of a static help non-contextual.

You could use either of them based on your business requirements but in my view Learning Path is the more modern and flexible contextual help that could deliver more benefits to your CRM organisation. However, please note that you cannot use both Learning paths and Customisable help together – you need to choose one of them to work with.

Here is an introductory video of Dynamics 365 Learning Path:

You can see more details and the source for the information in this post at the CRM Customer Centre here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/create-your-own-guided-help-learning-path-for-your-customers.aspx

Azure Machine Learning for Dynamics 365 Products recommendations

One of the new exciting features in Dynamics 365 is the intelligent product recommendation features in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM.

Currently, Dynamics 365 product catalog includes some basic modeling ability to link various products for cross-sell / upsell and also accessory recommendations. This is a great feature which several businesses have found extremely useful. However, the limitation here is that these links are hare coded and require someone in your organisation to constantly maintain them and update links between various products on regular basis. At some point, these hard links will expire and will need to be removed and updated, etc. The other challenge is that it is base don assumption that customers who bought product x are also interested in product y. These will be business assumptions and not intelligently calculated linkage between various products.  Maintaining these hard links require the constant overhead and complexity of analysing recommendations ranking and imagining all possible combinations of products that can be sold together.

Now Microsoft is offering a much more advanced and intelligent solution that is quite unique amongst CRM system. Microsoft Dynamics 365 can now build the product links based on recommendations which use real-world transactions as a basis for their calculations and links that can evolve over time based on current customers buying trends and without requiring any maintenance overhead.

By connecting your Dynamics 365 Solution to Microsoft Cognitive Services (called Cognitive Services recommendations services – which is based on Microsoft Azure Machine Learning), you will have recommendation modeling techniques making recommendations without any manual intervention. Using real-world transactions or interactions to find products that are sold or viewed together, Microsoft Cognitive services will push through product recommendations into your Dynamics 365 solution.

Once you add the product recommendation feature in Dynamics 365 a capability is added to the product catalog to generate automatic recommendations. You can set up the product catalog and synchronisation to build a “machine learning based recommendation model” that makes recommendations in a ranked list at various places in Dynamics 365, such as at the account, opportunity or order level.

Please note that, Microsoft Dynamics 365 product recommendations feature supports existing line item entities (OpportunityProduct, QuoteDetail, SalesOrderDetail, and InvoiceDetail) and custom line item entities, as well as standard and custom product relationships.

Source for this information and more details can be found here:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt703320.aspx

and here is a step by step guide on how to enable Cognitive Services for Dynamics 365 product recommendation:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt703320.aspx#BKMK_ConnectLearnRec

Hope this helps!

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Integration with Dynamics 365 for sales from the Dynamics 365 Public Roadmap

In my post yesterday, I discussed the LinkedIn Connector for LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms as highlighted in Microsoft’s public Dynamics 365 Roadmap website: http://roadmap.dynamics.com
Microsoft is presenting that the LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration with Dynamics 365 for Sales enables organisations to improve the performance of their sales processes by taking advantage of the information richness available on LinkedIn’s company and person public profiles.
As I’m sure you must have heard, LinkedIn data is the Golden Dust everyone wanted and only Microsoft managed to get (which made SalesForce really annoyed). This direct integration between Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn is surely just the first step in a number of enhancements, capabilities and features that will massively differentiate and advance Dynamics 365 over and above Saleforce and other competitors.
This capability is promising to bring LinkedIn data such as company and person public profiles across to Dynamics 365. You can imagine how many beneficial uses such feature can bring from data cleanliness to data enrichment to competitor advantage due to data and relationship knowledge that your organisation will have while integrating Dynamics 365 with LinkedIn.
Microsoft further explains the feature as follows:
  • Display Sales Navigator person and company information on every Dynamics 365 for Sales lead, contact, account and opportunity page. This is just the start but I guess everyone will agree there is a lot more expected including the ability to bring in LinkedIn information into custom Dynamics CRM entities as well.
  • Automatically perform daily updates between systems so the accounts and contacts sales reps are actively working on in Dynamics 365 for Sales are saved to Sales Navigator. In addition, sales reps can see in Sales Navigator what people and companies are already saved in Dynamics 365 for Sales, and vice-versa. Again an excellent feature that could make real difference to many organisations and sales teams.
  • With a single click, write select Sales Navigator activities (InMails, messages, notes and call logs) to Dynamics 365 for Sales providing better communication, connectivity and full 360 degree view of customers including your communication through LinkedIn messages and InMails.

Personally, I think this connector is a winner and will massively differentiate Dynamics 365 way above its competitors such as Salesforce. I have been in CRM selection meetings where clients are already finding it a “no-brainer” to choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 just for the sole reason of having LinkedIn data in their CRM system.

With that said, we expect a lot more from Microsoft when it comes into LinkedIn integration with Dynamics 365.

Full details and source can be found at the public Dynamics roadmap here: https://roadmap.dynamics.com/#area=#application=326f31ea-2992-e611-80dc-c4346bac0910

 

Digital Transformation of the Property & Housing Market using Dynamics 365: Global webinar on #MSDyn365 #PropTech #MSDynCRM

Digital Transformation of the Property & Housing Market using Dynamics 365:

Please join me in my next Microsoft CRM User Group webinar on the 19th May discussing the Digital Transformation of the Property & Housing Market using Microsoft Dynamics 365.

This is a global webinar which will cover successful digital transformations delivered through Dynamics 365 in the Property Market. The session will also discuss regulatory and compliance challenges including Housing Regulations, GDPR and Data Protection.

The session is supported by Microsoft’s Ben Sandall (TSP – Housing Sector) with a chance for questions and answers about Microsoft Dynamics 365 focus in the Property & Housing market.

CRMUG have kindly accepted to make this session Free for everyone as an exception. Please register to attend using the following link (any problems please comment below and I’ll be happy to help you register):

https://dcicrmugportal.cobaltsaas.com/Meetings/Registration/MeetingDetails.aspx?mid=afe83f69-e5eb-4486-8a30-bad5b2b6a076

Looking forward for your participation.

 

 

Dynamics 365 Learning, Training and Resources Series: Partner Next Free Available training videos and material

In this series of post regarding Dynamics 365 Learning and Personal Development, I discussed some of the basics for learning Microsoft Dynamics 365 including an Introduction to Learning Dynamics 365, setting up trial Dynamics 365 Online instances and Creating your Learning Plans in Dynamics Learning Portal

In the last post in this series, I also talked about gaining access to Dynamics 365 Talent Portal through various ways.

In this post, I’d like to introduce Partner Next and its free training videos section. You can see the full list of Dynamics 365 training videos on this Partner Next section. The Videos cover various Dynamics areas including Customer Service, Operations, Sales, Financials and a lot more.

Here is a list of each Video on this page:

Module 1: Getting started with Dynamics 365
Module 2: The market opportunity with Dynamics 365
Module 3: Dynamics 365 workload 101 – Customer service and sales
Module 4: Dynamics 365 workload 101 – Operations and financials
Module 5: Dynamics 365 workload 101 – Customer insights and marketing
Module 6: Dynamics 365 workload 101 – Field service and project service automation
Module 7: Building a Dynamics 365 practice
Module 8: Key industry scenarios for Dynamics 365
Module 9: Dynamics 365 transactional options
Module 10: Next steps

Finally, Talent 365 Portal has an interesting Dynamics 365 Readiness guide, and you can also review their current Dynamics Learning Portal course catalogue for Dynamics 365

Hope this helps all new Dynamics 365 Learners! Always remember you can join the CRM Boutique Mentoring programme if you want a Mentor to support you through your career development.

Microsoft becomes the first Cloud Provider to offer GDPR contractual commitment publicly

In an official Microsoft blog post, Microsoft has guaranteed contractual public commitment for the European Union’s General Data Protection regulation (GDPR), a privacy regulation which goes into effect on May 25, 2018.

If your organization collects, hosts or analyses personal data of EU residents, GDPR provisions require you to use third-party data processors who guarantee their ability to implement the technical and organizational requirements of the GDPR.

Microsoft is making its contractual commitments available so that it provides key GDPR-related assurances about Microsoft services. Microsoft contractual commitments guarantee that any organisation using Microsoft cloud can:

  • Respond to requests to correct, amend or delete personal data.
  • Detect and report personal data breaches.
  • Demonstrate compliance with the GDPR.
This is great news for all Microsoft Azure cloud customers and equally significant for Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Customers in Europe who are directly impacted by all the new GDPR regulations.
Read the full blog post at https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2017/04/17/earning-trust-contractual-commitments-general-data-protection-regulation/#H1002zFpei8dJ9wC.99

 

Earning your trust with contractual commitments to the General Data Protection Regulation

What’s different in GDPR from existing Data Protection Act & how it impacts Dynamics 365

This is the third article in my series covering GDPR considerations for Dynamics 365. If you haven’t read the previous two articles, then you can read the first post here and the second article here.

In this post, I’m covering some of the highlights of GDPR and how they affect Dynamics 365. The main changes and their impact on Dynamics 365 can be summarised in the following points:

  1. GDPR applies to EU citizens personal data even if the data is processed outside the EU. This was not the case before. This has massive impact on outsourcing development work to teams outside of the EU as it may mean a change to implementation processes or lack of access to data to comply.
  2. With GDPR, you are required to have an explicit and informed consent by your data subjects (e.g. customers). This consent must be given to all entities that will process or analyse personal data. The consent should also be easy to withdraw. This is particularly important for Dynamics 365 Portals and websites to allow customers to easily withdraw their consent for you to access, process or analyse their data. This means your Dynamics 365 system and its portals must have the processes and the capability to allow for such easy withdrawal of consent.
  3. GDPR will give customers the right to compensation for monetary damages in the event that unlawful data processing occurs. Fines could go as high as 1 million Euros or up to 2 % of a company’s total worldwide annual turnover for non-compliance!
  4. Mandatory risk assessments and in-house data protection offices means you have to include rigorous Dynamics 365 data protection policies to your system and to your implementation project including everyone who may process any data in your Dynamics CRM system to be GDPR compliant.
  5. GDPR brings reporting requirements for every person or entity that is part of the Cloud supply chain. So every supplier and every contractor (not just employee) with access to Dynamics 365 cloud will have direct accountability and the vendor, Microsoft in this case, as well as the clients and Dynamics partners will have to satisfy reporting requirements on who can access this data.

 

In this post, we covered 5 main changes that GDPR will impact Dynamics 365, projects and live systems. These are really important considerations and changes that require amendments and adjustments to Dynamics 365 solutions and implementation projects.

In my next article, I’ll be covering in detail 7 areas of interest that directly impact Dynamics 365 programmes and solutions once GDPR is effective in May 2018:

  • Personal Identifiable Data (PII)
  • Customer Sensitive data versus Personal Identifiable Data & how to handle in Dynamics 365
  • Children data
  • Consent
  • The Right to Data Portability
  • Governance and Accountability
  • Incident and Breach Management

 

Disclaimer: I’m not a GDPR or Data Protection expert but a Dynamics 365 one. All posts on this blog including the GDPR series are provided as is and are the product of my research and understanding. Please speak to a legal or regulatory advisor if you need an expert GDPR opinion. However, you can speak to me if you need an expert #MSDyn365 opinion! 🙂