Auto publish and expire knowledge articles

We’re really excited about the new Knowledge Management capabilities  we shipped as part of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016. One of the common scenarios for Knowledge Managers is to schedule knowledge articles to be published and removed from public access at a specific time. Let’s say you’re the Knowledge Manager for our infamous Contoso wearables company. Your company decides to launch the new Fitness band on December 25, 9:00 AM EST. What it means to you as a Knowledge Manager is that you must manually publish all the self-service articles on a holiday when the product is launched globally.

Scheduling articles to be published

Guess what, we’ve got you covered. You need not be available in the office during holidays for this. You can use our Auto Publish feature to schedule your articles for publishing at any specific date and time. The knowledge articles will automatically be published using the system job “Update Knowledge Articles State job” created for the purpose of publishing and expiring articles. 

What this means is you can author, review, approve, and get the knowledge articles staged for publishing way ahead of time at your convenience. A knowledge article can have related translations in different languages to support a wider customer base. When you publish the knowledge article, also called the primary knowledge article, you have the flexibility to publish the related translations. You can also choose a few other details like the status your scheduled article will be in and the publish status to enter when the actual publish happens.

Enough talking, let’s show you how the publish dialog is going to look for our above scenario of scheduling knowledge articles for December 25, 9:00 AM.

Expiring articles to make them unavailable

Let’s say there’s a promotional offer on the Contoso wristband that is available only for the first five days after the product is launched. You have a few knowledge articles catering to this promotional offer to help your Customer Service Representatives. When the promotional cycle ends, you need not manually search for the related contents to remove them or modify their access. During publish time, if you are aware of the promotional content, you can choose the future date and time when the article should expire. For a Knowledge Manager, this simplifies things. You can expire the knowledge article into Archived or Expired status, or choose to keep it in the Published state. You will be able to choose the respective status combination as well.

The following screenshot shows the example where we want to publish the knowledge article on December 25 but expire it on December 31, 12:00 AM when the promotional offer ends.

How to trigger periodic review on your self-service articles

Let’s say your company requires a few critical technical articles to be updated periodically to maintain the quality of your self-service content. This is easy to implement using the Publish command. When you publish an article, you can choose a future date when the article should expire. In our scenario, we will configure the article to remain in the Publish state but change its status to “Needs review”. You can create a custom view or workflow to configure the articles that are in the “Needs review” status to act on them.

Scheduled articles

In the interactive service hub, you can use our Scheduled Articles view to identify all the articles that are scheduled to be published. If you are interested in finding whether a specific knowledge article is scheduled for publish, you can search for it or drill down using the different filtering options available on the grid. From this view, you can also revert the knowledge articles to draft or publish them immediately using the bulk actions available to you.

With every organization trying to embrace the power of self-service technologies, we hope these new Knowledge Management capabilities help you create and maintain your knowledge base much more efficiently. 

Regards, 

Shivasubramaniam Kavindpadi

We’re really excited about the new Knowledge Management capabilities  we shipped as part of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016. One of the common scenarios for Knowledge Managers is to schedule knowledge articles to be published and removed from public access at a specific time. Let’s say you’re the Knowledge Manager for our infamous Contoso wearables company. Your company decides to launch the new Fitness band on December 25, 9:00 AM EST. What it means to you as a Knowledge Manager is that you must manually publish all the self-service articles on a holiday when the product is launched globally.

Scheduling articles to be published

Guess what, we’ve got you covered. You need not be available in the office during holidays for this. You can use our Auto Publish feature to schedule your articles for publishing at any specific date and time. The knowledge articles will automatically be published using the system job “Update Knowledge Articles State job” created for the purpose of publishing and expiring articles. 

What this means is you can author, review, approve, and get the knowledge articles staged for publishing way ahead of time at your convenience. A knowledge article can have related translations in different languages to support a wider customer base. When you publish the knowledge article, also called the primary knowledge article, you have the flexibility to publish the related translations. You can also choose a few other details like the status your scheduled article will be in and the publish status to enter when the actual publish happens.

Enough talking, let’s show you how the publish dialog is going to look for our above scenario of scheduling knowledge articles for December 25, 9:00 AM.

Expiring articles to make them unavailable

Let’s say there’s a promotional offer on the Contoso wristband that is available only for the first five days after the product is launched. You have a few knowledge articles catering to this promotional offer to help your Customer Service Representatives. When the promotional cycle ends, you need not manually search for the related contents to remove them or modify their access. During publish time, if you are aware of the promotional content, you can choose the future date and time when the article should expire. For a Knowledge Manager, this simplifies things. You can expire the knowledge article into Archived or Expired status, or choose to keep it in the Published state. You will be able to choose the respective status combination as well.

The following screenshot shows the example where we want to publish the knowledge article on December 25 but expire it on December 31, 12:00 AM when the promotional offer ends.

How to trigger periodic review on your self-service articles

Let’s say your company requires a few critical technical articles to be updated periodically to maintain the quality of your self-service content. This is easy to implement using the Publish command. When you publish an article, you can choose a future date when the article should expire. In our scenario, we will configure the article to remain in the Publish state but change its status to “Needs review”. You can create a custom view or workflow to configure the articles that are in the “Needs review” status to act on them.

Scheduled articles

In the interactive service hub, you can use our Scheduled Articles view to identify all the articles that are scheduled to be published. If you are interested in finding whether a specific knowledge article is scheduled for publish, you can search for it or drill down using the different filtering options available on the grid. From this view, you can also revert the knowledge articles to draft or publish them immediately using the bulk actions available to you.

With every organization trying to embrace the power of self-service technologies, we hope these new Knowledge Management capabilities help you create and maintain your knowledge base much more efficiently. 

Regards, 

Shivasubramaniam Kavindpadi


Source;

The new light-weight CRM App for Outlook

What is it?

With no installation, no configuration, and no additional log-in steps, you can now quickly track your important customer emails directly within Outlook, whether on your PC or Mac running the desktop version of Outlook, or on the go through Outlook Web Access on your laptop or phone (Windows, Android, or iOS). You can even see relevant information from Dynamics CRM Online about the person who sent you the email, or pop open the full form directly from within our new CRM App for Outlook.

What’s the difference between the new CRM App for Outlook and the existing CRM for Outlook Add-in?

The new CRM App for Outlook is a light-weight app directed to accomplish a few specific tasks like tracking and converting emails as well as reviewing a few details about the specific contacts and leads from the email. Alternatively, the CRM for Outlook add-in is a full client for Dynamics CRM that allows you to have complete access to all of Dynamics CRM’s functionality, including dashboards and full grids, and even allows you to work offline.

For more information, see Comparing the Dynamics CRM App for Outlook with Dynamics CRM for Outlook.

How do I get the new CRM App for Outlook?

Note: The CRM App for Outlook is rolling out over the next few weeks to CRM Online organizations independently following the CRM 2016 release. If you don’t see the below options, your organization hasn’t yet received the feature. This app requires Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Online and Exchange Online.

Dynamics CRM Online users can easily add the app to their Outlook directly from within Dynamics CRM Online. Simply click on the gear icon and choose Apps for Dynamics CRM. Then choose Add app to Outlook under the CRM App for Outlook heading. The app will show up in the user’s Outlook interface when reading or composing emails anywhere they use Outlook.

Dynamics CRM Online administrators also have the ability to push the app to user’s Outlook interfaces through the newly added CRM App for Outlook settings page. To do this, simply navigate to Settings > CRM App for Outlook and click on the Add App for All Eligible Users button. Optionally, you can select individual users from the grid to add the app on an individual level. Use the auto-add feature to ensure all newly added eligible users automatically get the app added to their Outlook.

Keep in mind that for both cases, in order for users to be eligible to get the app, they will need to have their Exchange mailbox configured with Server-Side Synchronization for incoming emails as well as have the Use CRM App for Outlook user role privilege.

I’ve been using the preview version of the app, do I need to do anything?

Yes. With the release of Dynamics CRM 2016, the preview program for the CRM App for Outlook will end. Thank you for all of your valuable feedback. Once your CRM Online organization is upgraded to Dynamics CRM 2016, the older app that was available during the preview period will no longer connect to your Dynamics CRM service, and will be removed from the Office Store. You will need to manually remove the app and then follow the instructions listed above to get the new, fully-supported app.

To remove an app from Outlook, simply open Outlook Desktop and choose Manage Add-ins from the File menu, or from Outlook Web Access, choose the settings gear icon, then Manage add-ins. From there, choose Dynamics CRM and then choose the uninstall button to remove the app.

Where can I find more information?

CRM App for Outlook User’s Guide
Deploy CRM App for Outlook (lightweight app)
Set up server-side synchronization of email, appointments, contacts, and tasks
Add users, licenses, and security roles 

Regards,

Tony Schmidt | Twitter | LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

 


What is it?

With no installation, no configuration, and no additional log-in steps, you can now quickly track your important customer emails directly within Outlook, whether on your PC or Mac running the desktop version of Outlook, or on the go through Outlook Web Access on your laptop or phone (Windows, Android, or iOS). You can even see relevant information from Dynamics CRM Online about the person who sent you the email, or pop open the full form directly from within our new CRM App for Outlook.

What’s the difference between the new CRM App for Outlook and the existing CRM for Outlook Add-in?

The new CRM App for Outlook is a light-weight app directed to accomplish a few specific tasks like tracking and converting emails as well as reviewing a few details about the specific contacts and leads from the email. Alternatively, the CRM for Outlook add-in is a full client for Dynamics CRM that allows you to have complete access to all of Dynamics CRM’s functionality, including dashboards and full grids, and even allows you to work offline.

For more information, see Comparing the Dynamics CRM App for Outlook with Dynamics CRM for Outlook.

How do I get the new CRM App for Outlook?

Note: The CRM App for Outlook is rolling out over the next few weeks to CRM Online organizations independently following the CRM 2016 release. If you don’t see the below options, your organization hasn’t yet received the feature. This app requires Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Online and Exchange Online.

Dynamics CRM Online users can easily add the app to their Outlook directly from within Dynamics CRM Online. Simply click on the gear icon and choose Apps for Dynamics CRM. Then choose Add app to Outlook under the CRM App for Outlook heading. The app will show up in the user’s Outlook interface when reading or composing emails anywhere they use Outlook.

Dynamics CRM Online administrators also have the ability to push the app to user’s Outlook interfaces through the newly added CRM App for Outlook settings page. To do this, simply navigate to Settings > CRM App for Outlook and click on the Add App for All Eligible Users button. Optionally, you can select individual users from the grid to add the app on an individual level. Use the auto-add feature to ensure all newly added eligible users automatically get the app added to their Outlook.

Keep in mind that for both cases, in order for users to be eligible to get the app, they will need to have their Exchange mailbox configured with Server-Side Synchronization for incoming emails as well as have the Use CRM App for Outlook user role privilege.

I’ve been using the preview version of the app, do I need to do anything?

Yes. With the release of Dynamics CRM 2016, the preview program for the CRM App for Outlook will end. Thank you for all of your valuable feedback. Once your CRM Online organization is upgraded to Dynamics CRM 2016, the older app that was available during the preview period will no longer connect to your Dynamics CRM service, and will be removed from the Office Store. You will need to manually remove the app and then follow the instructions listed above to get the new, fully-supported app.

To remove an app from Outlook, simply open Outlook Desktop and choose Manage Add-ins from the File menu, or from Outlook Web Access, choose the settings gear icon, then Manage add-ins. From there, choose Dynamics CRM and then choose the uninstall button to remove the app.

Where can I find more information?

CRM App for Outlook User’s Guide
Deploy CRM App for Outlook (lightweight app)
Set up server-side synchronization of email, appointments, contacts, and tasks
Add users, licenses, and security roles 

Regards,

Tony Schmidt | Twitter | LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

 


Source;

Just released: Documentation for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Products Wave

There are many exciting new features available in CRM 2016! Here’s where to find all the documentation for admins, developers, and end-users for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update or Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 (on-premises).  

New feature lists and update prep

If you’re wondering,“What’s new?”, “How does this impact us?”, and “What should I know before I update?”, these pages will address those questions and get you started on a path for successfully adopting all the great new features: 

Videos about new features and onboarding 

See quick demos of new features highlighted on the Dynamics CRM 2016 Products Wave playlist, like:  

Also, the video content crew has created new videos to onboard your new CRM organization, including: 

IT pro, administrator, implementer, and customizer docs

These folks will want to dig in to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM IT Pro Technical Library – in particular, these new items for 2016: 

Dig in and enjoy! 

The 2016 wave includes a lot of exciting new capabilities, and we’ve given you many links to check out. If you ever want just one place to bookmark or get started, remember you can always start with the official documentation hub for all the CRM content websites: the CRM Help Center.  

Let us know in the blog comments what you think of the new content – or if there’s something else you need. Give feedback to the Documentation Team at any time. 

Cheers,

CRM Documentation Team

There are many exciting new features available in CRM 2016! Here’s where to find all the documentation for admins, developers, and end-users for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update or Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 (on-premises).  

New feature lists and update prep

If you’re wondering,“What’s new?”, “How does this impact us?”, and “What should I know before I update?”, these pages will address those questions and get you started on a path for successfully adopting all the great new features: 

Videos about new features and onboarding 

See quick demos of new features highlighted on the Dynamics CRM 2016 Products Wave playlist, like:  

Also, the video content crew has created new videos to onboard your new CRM organization, including: 

IT pro, administrator, implementer, and customizer docs

These folks will want to dig in to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM IT Pro Technical Library – in particular, these new items for 2016: 

Dig in and enjoy! 

The 2016 wave includes a lot of exciting new capabilities, and we’ve given you many links to check out. If you ever want just one place to bookmark or get started, remember you can always start with the official documentation hub for all the CRM content websites: the CRM Help Center.  

Let us know in the blog comments what you think of the new content – or if there’s something else you need. Give feedback to the Documentation Team at any time. 

Cheers,

CRM Documentation Team


Source;

Creating and customizing task flows

In this post, I’ll show you how to create new task flows to enable your users to quickly accomplish key mobile business tasks.

Enabling task flows

A quick disclaimer before we begin: task flows have been released as a preview feature for Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update only. For more information about preview features, see What are preview features and how do I enable them?

For task flows to show up on mobile devices you must first turn the feature on. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Administration > System Settings.
  2. In the Previews tab, turn task flows on and accept the terms of use.

Now that task flows are enabled, let’s head over to the process grid. Go to Settings > Processes.

In order to surface task flows, we can create a new user view:

  1. Under System Views, select Business Process Flows.
  2. Click the Advanced Find icon: .
  3. Click Edit Columns.
  4. Click Add Columns.
  5. Select the Business Process Type field and move it just after the Category column.
  6. Save As: Business Process Flows w/ Type.

Validate that the view shows the correct information by going back to the processes grid and selecting the Business Process Flow w/ Type view under My Views. There should be a new column to help us distinguish between business flows and task flows. 

Notice the three out-of-the-box task flow experiences that are already present. You can duplicate and modify these out-of-the-box task-flows as you see fit:

  • Update Contact
  • Make Contact on Opportunity
  • After Meeting (cannot be duplicated)

(Note: Because of platform limitations, no new task flows can be created on the Appointment entity.) 

Designing our first task flow

For this example, we will create a quick opportunity update flow called Nurture Opportunity. In this scenario, Nancy just got out of a briefing on an opportunity she is actively working on and she wants to quickly add information and context to the opportunity without having to open many forms.

The key is to only include a subset of the fields that are most pertinent to the task at hand, and intelligently guide the users towards updating all useful information without them having to understand the underlying data model.

Our flow can look something like this:

 

Now that we have understood our scenario and created a rough flow for the process, let’s go ahead and create the task flow.

Creating our first task flow

From the process grid, click .

The Create Process dialog will open, enabling you to create different types of processes: Actions, Workflows, Dialogs and Business Process Flows.

  1. The first thing we will do is give the process a name. This name will appear to your users, so make it descriptive. In our example we will call it Nurture Opportunity.|
     
  2. Then we will select the process category. Task flows and business flows are both types of business process flows. Once you’ve selected Business Process Flow, a new radio button will appear allowing you to select task flows. For Category, select Business Process Flow.
     
  3. As with other processes, you can decide which entity acts as the primary entity. In short, you must define which entity acts as a starting point when launching task flows. In our example we will choose Opportunity.
     
  4. The Business Process Type control is new. By default, the process is configured to run as a business flow, i.e.. the classic experience you are already accustomed to. However, there is now a new format; you can run the process as a task flow. In that case it is only available for mobile users. Select Run process as a task flow (Mobile only).
     
  5. Finally, you will see a Name control just below. This is the logical name of the task flow for any custom client API needs. It is automatically populated; however, you may change it if needed.

Finally, click OK.

Configuring the task flow

After creating the new process, the task flow editor will automatically launch. The editor will feel very familiar as it re-uses some components of the current business flow editor.

You will notice that there is a Details section where you can find information on the current task flow, including:

  • Process Name: the name shown to users
  • Primary Entity: starting entity
  • Owner: creator of the process
  • Name: logical name used programmatically
  • Image: the image that will be used in the task flow menu and at the top of each page. There is a default image for all new task flows, but by clicking on Set Image, you can upload your own image if you wish to differentiate processes visually. (Note: pre-crop the image to 144×144 for best results.)

Pages

As you may notice, in task flows you will be working with pages, which share similarities with stages in business flows. In short, by adding fields to a page, you are simply configuring each page of your process. There are three areas of interest for each page:

  1. Page Label: which is the title users will see on each page as they traverse the flow.
  2. Page Information: which contains two un-editable fields: the primary entity and the logical name of the page. This information is useful for referring to that specific page using the client API (documentation currently not available).
  3. Control area: this section enables you to select the specific field that needs to be shown as well as the label. However, since task flows are multi-entity enabled, we also allow you to fetch fields from any related entities (relationship has to be N:1/Lookup) using the Source column. Finally, we have also included two special keywords as sources: Label and Section. These allow you to better organize the flow of information on your pages.

Branching

After configuring the first page, we need to determine what happens once the user clicks the Next button. Similarly to business flows, we can create a branching condition; however, now you can use the Source and Field controls to branch on almost any field of the primary OR related entities (N:1 relationships), and even compare values between entities (when Type equals Field).

 

Business rules

Furthermore, to automate actions, task flows have been enhanced with the flexibility of business rules. It is now possible to create a business rule on any field of the primary or related entities. Most actions of business rules are supported; these include:

  • Show error message
  • Set field value
  • Set business required
  • Set visibility
  • Set default value
  • Lock or unlock field
  • And a new action: Run Script. This new action enables you to trigger custom JavaScript directly from the business rule*

* Running a script directly from a PBL is available for task flows as a Preview only. The same Xrm.Page object model found in entity form pages is available. We are looking for feedback as to how you want to use this experimental capability. 

To create a business rule for our process, simply click Business Rules on the action bar:

From the dialog, you can create a new business rule. Note that the business rule will be scoped to only run on the task flow, i.e., you can’t set an entity-level scope from this business rule editor.

In our example, we will set a specific business rule to run that depends on the opportunity pipeline phase. First we set the condition, and as before, the condition can pull fields from the primary entity as well as any of the related N:1 entities using the Source and Field selectors.

Finally, we can configure the specific action taken when that condition is validated. In our case, we want to mark the Proposal Meeting field as Business Required. Again, we can use Source and Field to specifically target the control to be affected. 

Bringing it all together

Now that we understand the building blocks of a task flow, we can continue adding new pages, branching conditions and business rules to effectively create an easy to use process that our users can utilize to quickly accomplish their tasks without having to think about the underlying entity data model.

 

I hope this post effectively highlighted some of the new innovations in business processes and productivity. Task flows are being released as a preview feature in Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update. We highly encourage you to try it out, and let us know what you think.

Other Resources

What are task flows and how do they compare to other tools in Dynamics CRM? 

What are preview features and how do I enable them?

Preview feature: Create a new task flow.

 

Regards,

Daniel Dallala | Twitter | LinkedIn

In this post, I’ll show you how to create new task flows to enable your users to quickly accomplish key mobile business tasks.

Enabling task flows

A quick disclaimer before we begin: task flows have been released as a preview feature for Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update only. For more information about preview features, see What are preview features and how do I enable them?

For task flows to show up on mobile devices you must first turn the feature on. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Administration > System Settings.
  2. In the Previews tab, turn task flows on and accept the terms of use.

Now that task flows are enabled, let’s head over to the process grid. Go to Settings > Processes.

In order to surface task flows, we can create a new user view:

  1. Under System Views, select Business Process Flows.
  2. Click the Advanced Find icon: .
  3. Click Edit Columns.
  4. Click Add Columns.
  5. Select the Business Process Type field and move it just after the Category column.
  6. Save As: Business Process Flows w/ Type.

Validate that the view shows the correct information by going back to the processes grid and selecting the Business Process Flow w/ Type view under My Views. There should be a new column to help us distinguish between business flows and task flows. 

Notice the three out-of-the-box task flow experiences that are already present. You can duplicate and modify these out-of-the-box task-flows as you see fit:

  • Update Contact
  • Make Contact on Opportunity
  • After Meeting (cannot be duplicated)

(Note: Because of platform limitations, no new task flows can be created on the Appointment entity.) 

Designing our first task flow

For this example, we will create a quick opportunity update flow called Nurture Opportunity. In this scenario, Nancy just got out of a briefing on an opportunity she is actively working on and she wants to quickly add information and context to the opportunity without having to open many forms.

The key is to only include a subset of the fields that are most pertinent to the task at hand, and intelligently guide the users towards updating all useful information without them having to understand the underlying data model.

Our flow can look something like this:

 

Now that we have understood our scenario and created a rough flow for the process, let’s go ahead and create the task flow.

Creating our first task flow

From the process grid, click .

The Create Process dialog will open, enabling you to create different types of processes: Actions, Workflows, Dialogs and Business Process Flows.

  1. The first thing we will do is give the process a name. This name will appear to your users, so make it descriptive. In our example we will call it Nurture Opportunity.|
     
  2. Then we will select the process category. Task flows and business flows are both types of business process flows. Once you’ve selected Business Process Flow, a new radio button will appear allowing you to select task flows. For Category, select Business Process Flow.
     
  3. As with other processes, you can decide which entity acts as the primary entity. In short, you must define which entity acts as a starting point when launching task flows. In our example we will choose Opportunity.
     
  4. The Business Process Type control is new. By default, the process is configured to run as a business flow, i.e.. the classic experience you are already accustomed to. However, there is now a new format; you can run the process as a task flow. In that case it is only available for mobile users. Select Run process as a task flow (Mobile only).
     
  5. Finally, you will see a Name control just below. This is the logical name of the task flow for any custom client API needs. It is automatically populated; however, you may change it if needed.

Finally, click OK.

Configuring the task flow

After creating the new process, the task flow editor will automatically launch. The editor will feel very familiar as it re-uses some components of the current business flow editor.

You will notice that there is a Details section where you can find information on the current task flow, including:

  • Process Name: the name shown to users
  • Primary Entity: starting entity
  • Owner: creator of the process
  • Name: logical name used programmatically
  • Image: the image that will be used in the task flow menu and at the top of each page. There is a default image for all new task flows, but by clicking on Set Image, you can upload your own image if you wish to differentiate processes visually. (Note: pre-crop the image to 144×144 for best results.)

Pages

As you may notice, in task flows you will be working with pages, which share similarities with stages in business flows. In short, by adding fields to a page, you are simply configuring each page of your process. There are three areas of interest for each page:

  1. Page Label: which is the title users will see on each page as they traverse the flow.
  2. Page Information: which contains two un-editable fields: the primary entity and the logical name of the page. This information is useful for referring to that specific page using the client API (documentation currently not available).
  3. Control area: this section enables you to select the specific field that needs to be shown as well as the label. However, since task flows are multi-entity enabled, we also allow you to fetch fields from any related entities (relationship has to be N:1/Lookup) using the Source column. Finally, we have also included two special keywords as sources: Label and Section. These allow you to better organize the flow of information on your pages.

Branching

After configuring the first page, we need to determine what happens once the user clicks the Next button. Similarly to business flows, we can create a branching condition; however, now you can use the Source and Field controls to branch on almost any field of the primary OR related entities (N:1 relationships), and even compare values between entities (when Type equals Field).

 

Business rules

Furthermore, to automate actions, task flows have been enhanced with the flexibility of business rules. It is now possible to create a business rule on any field of the primary or related entities. Most actions of business rules are supported; these include:

  • Show error message
  • Set field value
  • Set business required
  • Set visibility
  • Set default value
  • Lock or unlock field
  • And a new action: Run Script. This new action enables you to trigger custom JavaScript directly from the business rule*

* Running a script directly from a PBL is available for task flows as a Preview only. The same Xrm.Page object model found in entity form pages is available. We are looking for feedback as to how you want to use this experimental capability. 

To create a business rule for our process, simply click Business Rules on the action bar:

From the dialog, you can create a new business rule. Note that the business rule will be scoped to only run on the task flow, i.e., you can’t set an entity-level scope from this business rule editor.

In our example, we will set a specific business rule to run that depends on the opportunity pipeline phase. First we set the condition, and as before, the condition can pull fields from the primary entity as well as any of the related N:1 entities using the Source and Field selectors.

Finally, we can configure the specific action taken when that condition is validated. In our case, we want to mark the Proposal Meeting field as Business Required. Again, we can use Source and Field to specifically target the control to be affected. 

Bringing it all together

Now that we understand the building blocks of a task flow, we can continue adding new pages, branching conditions and business rules to effectively create an easy to use process that our users can utilize to quickly accomplish their tasks without having to think about the underlying entity data model.

 

I hope this post effectively highlighted some of the new innovations in business processes and productivity. Task flows are being released as a preview feature in Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update. We highly encourage you to try it out, and let us know what you think.

Other Resources

What are task flows and how do they compare to other tools in Dynamics CRM? 

What are preview features and how do I enable them?

Preview feature: Create a new task flow.

 

Regards,

Daniel Dallala | Twitter | LinkedIn


Source;

Collaborate across your organization with Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups are a shared workspace for email, conversations, files, and events where group members can collectively get stuff done. 

You can use groups to collaborate with people across your company, even if they don’t have access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. For example, you can create a group for your sales team and invite other Office 365 users to join the group, and then share documents, conversations, meeting notes, and OneNote information related to specific accounts or opportunities. 

How to get the new Office 365 Groups integration 

The Office 365 Groups feature is available for all Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online organizations through Office 365. The feature is delivered as a solution that an administrator can install onto their Dynamics CRM Online service through the CRM Online Administration Center. Learn how to deploy the Office 365 Groups solution.

Can I upgrade the Office 365 Groups Preview solution? 

Thank you for participating in the Office 365 Groups Preview. Your feedback was valuable in directing the full release. You may upgrade your Office 365 Groups Preview solution to the version available at the time of this writing (v2.0.0.2) but any existing groups you’ve created will no longer be connected to your existing Dynamics CRM records. You will have to recreate any groups and migrate any data manually. If you require these connections to be maintained, please wait to upgrade until Feb 2016. We are actively working on our next update which will contain full upgrade support from the Preview version of the solution. To upgrade the solution, follow the same steps as you would to initially install the solution except the ‘Install’ button will now read as ‘Update’. 

Known upgrade issue 

In rare cases you may receive the following error we attempting to create or view an Office 365 Group immediately after upgrade: 

Process action associated with this process is not activated” 

In this case, the processes that are required by the solution were disabled during the upgrade. You can easily re-enable them through the Customization page. To do so, navigate to Settings, then choose Customizations. Then choose Customize the System. Under Components, choose Processes. Ensure the following actions are Activated: 

  • Check Duplicate Group Name 

  • Create Collaboration 

  • Delete Document 

  • Post Conversation 

  • Publish Conversations 

  • Refresh 

  • Refresh Conversations 

  • Refresh Documents 

  • Refresh Meetings 

  • Refresh Members 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Collaboration 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Conversations 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Documents 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Header 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Meetings 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Members 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Setting 

 Additional Resources 

Office 365 Groups are a shared workspace for email, conversations, files, and events where group members can collectively get stuff done. 

You can use groups to collaborate with people across your company, even if they don’t have access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. For example, you can create a group for your sales team and invite other Office 365 users to join the group, and then share documents, conversations, meeting notes, and OneNote information related to specific accounts or opportunities. 

How to get the new Office 365 Groups integration 

The Office 365 Groups feature is available for all Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online organizations through Office 365. The feature is delivered as a solution that an administrator can install onto their Dynamics CRM Online service through the CRM Online Administration Center. Learn how to deploy the Office 365 Groups solution.

Can I upgrade the Office 365 Groups Preview solution? 

Thank you for participating in the Office 365 Groups Preview. Your feedback was valuable in directing the full release. You may upgrade your Office 365 Groups Preview solution to the version available at the time of this writing (v2.0.0.2) but any existing groups you’ve created will no longer be connected to your existing Dynamics CRM records. You will have to recreate any groups and migrate any data manually. If you require these connections to be maintained, please wait to upgrade until Feb 2016. We are actively working on our next update which will contain full upgrade support from the Preview version of the solution. To upgrade the solution, follow the same steps as you would to initially install the solution except the ‘Install’ button will now read as ‘Update’. 

Known upgrade issue 

In rare cases you may receive the following error we attempting to create or view an Office 365 Group immediately after upgrade: 

Process action associated with this process is not activated” 

In this case, the processes that are required by the solution were disabled during the upgrade. You can easily re-enable them through the Customization page. To do so, navigate to Settings, then choose Customizations. Then choose Customize the System. Under Components, choose Processes. Ensure the following actions are Activated: 

  • Check Duplicate Group Name 

  • Create Collaboration 

  • Delete Document 

  • Post Conversation 

  • Publish Conversations 

  • Refresh 

  • Refresh Conversations 

  • Refresh Documents 

  • Refresh Meetings 

  • Refresh Members 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Collaboration 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Conversations 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Documents 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Header 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Meetings 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Members 

  • Retrieve Office Groups Setting 

 Additional Resources 


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What are task flows and how do they compare to other tools in Dynamics CRM?

What is a task flow?

Task flows are a new way of interacting with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, allowing users to focus completely on the work at hand. With this new type of business process flow, you can easily create guided interactions for your CRM users, giving them experiences with just the information they need so they can get their work done quickly and efficiently. If your users need to update information from multiple records to complete a work item, or their next action depends on what they did last or the state of one of the records they are working on, then task flows may be able to provide a better experience for your users.

Out of the box, we’re providing three experiences to help get you started. These are best used as templates to make your own custom experiences that are targeted to your users and your business needs.

For an in-depth walkthrough, see Creating and customizing task flows.

How do task flows relate to business process flows in Dynamics CRM?

There are now two types of business process flows: business flows, and task flows. Business flows, which have been available for some time, are best used for tracking larger processes, those that drive the business goals forward and are commonly available to all users of the same role in the organization. Task flows are best used for helping users accomplish individual smaller goals, which can help move forward the larger business processes. As an example, if you have a business flow that’s tracking an opportunity through sales stages, you can have corresponding task flows that help your users to make solid progress toward drafting the proposal or otherwise advancing the opportunity to the next stage.

Are there capability differences between business flows and task flows?

There are currently a number of differences between the two types of business process flows:

    Task flows are user level.

  1. If user 1 has launched a task flow A on an opportunity, and user 2 launches the same flow A on the same record, they will each have a separate experience, meaning they can be working on different pages at the same time.
  2. Contrast this with business flows, where for any given flow, there is a currently active stage that is applied to all users’ experience.
    Different users can work on different task flows for the same record.

  1. If user 1 launches task flow A on an opportunity, user B can still work on task flow B on the same opportunity record.
  2. Contrast this with business flows, for which there is a single active flow per record for all users.
    Task flows can have editable controls from not only the primary record, but also N:1 (lookup) related entities.

  1. This is a true multi-entity context, where you can edit information from multiple entities on the same page.
  2. Contrast this with business flows, for which you can only have information from the current entity scope on any given stage.

<ol?You can define conditional branching logic based on any primary and N:1 related entities.

  • Contrast this with business flows, for which branching logic must be based on the entity in the previous stage.
    You can define business rules.

  1. Support for conditions and actions on the primary and N:1 related entities.
  2. Contrast this with business flows, for which you are working in a single entity context.
    Task flows are currently in preview, and therefore have some limitations:

  1. They’re available for mobile users only.
  2. They’re not supported for solution import or export.
  3. They’re not role based (a user’s available task flows are based on permissions).
  4. You can’t use them in offline mode.

How do task flows compare to process dialogs in Dynamics CRM?

    Task flows allow you to present bound controls to your user.

  1. When you add a control to a task flow, it is connected with an attribute in the system, and will automatically display the associated data, and save to that record.
  2. Contrast this with dialogs, where data is handled through the use of arguments, variables, and queries, and the customizer must handle data retrieve and save scenarios.
    Task flows support business rules and client API.

  1. Contrast this with dialogs, where only a limited number of actions are available.

When can you get your hands on task flows?

Task flows are available as a preview feature, for customers using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update. Users can launch the experiences through the Dynamics CRM mobile app, on their choice of supported Windows, iOS, or Android device. To enable this feature you will need to go into Settings, in the Previews tab, where after you have accepted the terms, you will be able to toggle task flows and enable for your organization.

For more information about preview features, see What are preview features and how do I enable them?

For more information about task flows, see Preview feature: Create a new task flow.

To install the latest CRM for phones and tablets app, click on the links in Install CRM for phones and tablets.

Source: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Communtiy

No Better Time to Buy – Microsoft Dynamics Price Change 16 Jan 2016

Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV Module Based Licensing and Business Ready Licensing price changes – effective January 2016


Microsoft has announced that it is realigning Microsoft Dynamics NAV, CRM & AX user prices across versions and licensing models effective 1 January 2016, resulting in a price increase on the additional users you might need in the future. So, if you think that you will need more users in the next 6 to 12 months, there is no better time to buy those users before the prices go up on 1 January 2016.

This change will not impact the enhancement plan cost of users you have licensed prior to 1 January 2016, subject to the Customer Services and Support Plan Policy.

Also, as you might recall, Microsoft launched Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 in October 2012 with Perpetual Licensing – a new simplified licensing model with one edition, one functionality pack, and two user types. We would like to take this opportunity to tell you why existing customers are upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016. If you are interested, I can tell you about the favorable upgrade conditions you might be entitled to as a customer with an active maintenance plan.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM – FieldOne for Oil Field Services

Microsoft acquires FieldOne, global provider of field service management solutions for the enterprise


 

I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft has reached an agreement to acquire FieldOne Systems LLC (“FieldOne”), a world-class provider of field service management solutions that allow organizations to better manage and deliver service to their customers in the field.

In today’s connected world, people expect to engage and be engaged by organizations in new ways, in ways that are most convenient for them. To help businesses respond to these changing expectations, we are committed to providing the most comprehensive customer service offering, and this includes the best field service capabilities. Field service management is a specific but critically important area of customer service, providing companies with the ability to deliver end-to-end field service. This is a unique, and transformational point in time for these solutions as enterprises look to improve their responsiveness to customers with service in the field – taking service directly to the customer anytime a service cannot be managed by phone or other channels.

In this critical area, FieldOne really stands out. They have the baseline functionality that organizations need to drive a more effective field service operation. They are a leading provider of end-to-end solutions that enable businesses to drive revenue, reduce costs and deliver great customer service. Their industry-leading solution specializes in delivering a full set of capabilities that include work order management, automated scheduling, asset contract, inventory and procurement management, workflow capabilities and mobile collaboration – providing enterprises with a comprehensive modern field service solution. This gives companies the ability to do things such as adjusting routing on the fly and delivering service arrival estimate times within a smaller window, which is essential for more personal customer engagement.

FieldOne is a great fit for Dynamics CRM adding to our extensive customer service capabilities – which includes chat, knowledge management and self-service functionality from Parature which we acquired in January of 2014.  Like Parature, FieldOne is offered to customers as a cloud service. It’s built on Microsoft technology for fast integration, it already works great with other Microsoft productivity offerings like Office 365 and SharePoint, and has cross-platform capabilities meaning it can work on different devices enhancing the mobile experience which is so critically important in field service management. FieldOne was built from the ground up to leverage Dynamics CRM, and this means that our customers can take advantage of its capabilities right away.

Today’s announcement also reflects the investments we are making to deliver true systems of intelligence – enhancing our current offerings with predictive learning and analytics to deliver an intelligent, proactive customer engagement solution. Field service businesses are aggressively trying to move away from a reactive break-fix model to a predictive service based model. With this acquisition, Microsoft can help companies tap the potential of predictive service by bringing together the powerful combination of FieldOne, Azure IoT and Cortana Analytics. That means that organizations can use insights that effectively provide servicing proactively while streamlining the provisioning of service to significantly reduce costs.

Microsoft is dedicated to providing customers with complete and comprehensive solutions that address their end-to-end service needs. Today’s acquisition is a major step forward in providing the most complete customer service offering in the market through Dynamics CRM. And with the potential to enhance these capabilities through machine learning and predictive analytics, we are changing the game in customer service.

source : http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2015/07/16/microsoft-acquires-fieldone-global-provider-of-field-service-management-solutions-for-the-enterprise/

Dynamics CRM / WordPress Integration for Automated Lead Conversions

 

 

CloudFronts has released its Gravity Forms to Dynamics CRM Integration solution for automated lead capture from the #1 CMS platform to the #1 CRM platform!

WordPress – Dynamics CRM Lead Conversion

CloudFronts Technologies, a 100% Microsoft Dynamics focused Partner for CRM, AX, BI and Azure, has released its Gravity Forms and Dynamics CRM integration solution for general availability. This solution was initially released as a limited release Public Preview last month and the company has since resolved several issues through feedback from its clients and internal teams. This finished solution also marks the release of CloudFronts’ first product for Dynamics CRM customers globally. This solution is currently available for Dynamics CRM Online and will soon be made available for Dynamics CRM On-Premise environments. Interested parties may register for a 30-day trial here.

Key Features of the solution are highlighted below:

Automated Web to Lead Conversion – The solution integrates the very popular Gravity Forms (a WordPress form Plugin) with Leads in Dynamics CRM. When a visitor to your WordPress site submits the contact form, it is converted to a Lead in CRM.
1. Robust Technology Infrastructure – The integration service is built on top of Azure and utilizes some of the latest features from Azure to provide a highly reliable Lead conversion platform. With a queue-based delivery and a high uptime of 99.9%, the integration service ensures your leads are never lost in ‘translation.’
2. $5/Month pricing – A single $5/month pricing! Convert as many leads as desired. Pricing is also independent of the number of CRM users. Only a flat $5/month pricing is required.
3. Cancel anytime – There is no contract and customers may pay on a monthly basis through recurring payments. Customers may also cancel at anytime and will not be billed going forward.
4. Edit Mappings – Easily edit form mappings between Gravity Forms and CRM.
5. Access to Support – CloudFronts’ Support teams are here to help. Just send any related questions to support(at)cloudfronts(dot)com.

Sign Up for a Free Trial here – http://www.cloudfronts.com/gravity-form-crm-integration-product/.

For more information on CloudFronts Technologies, visit http://www.cloudfronts.com or email us at info(at)cloudfronts(dot)om

source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/11/prweb13069625.htm