Dynamics 365 is a great tool for storing your business data, but if that is all you are using D365 for, then do we have news for you! One of the biggest values of D365 is the ability to create reports gaining valuable insight from your data. These reports can be setup in a variety of ways depending on your environment and organizational needs.
Do any of the above diagrams look familiar to you? If your response is “WHAT ARE THOSE!?” then you, my friend, are missing out! All the above are reports based on D365 data. These D365 reports can be run directly from D365 which gives users ease of access to analysis of business data. There are several types of reporting options available for D365, some are out of the box, while others require a bit more work to setup. With that in mind, many organizations opt to export their data to Excel and then use Excel to create reports, when they could be using these much richer options instead.
D365 out of the box comes with report building functionality, in the form of Charts and Views. Users can setup Dashboards incorporating these components, which can help them take their first step into the world of reporting. The CRM Report Wizard allows users to build reports using filters and conditions, like Views, with a touch more functionality and flexibility over the latter options.
While these out of box options are great, they do have their limitations which is why we also provide external reporting options. SQL and XML Reports are great for generating more complex reports and documents. However, if you are looking for an option that is more robust, and intensely eye-catching, then Power BI is the way to go. Power BI is one the most powerful BI and reporting tools on the market and integrates seamlessly with D365. Power BI allows for powerful drill down capability and smart slicers to filter your data however you like.
Reports are a great way for organizations to better understand performance, and with the various report options available, you are not limited to a specific visualization type. Data can be displayed through bar graphs, pie charts, map representations, grids…just to name a few! Maximizing the reporting options is great for upper management, who want a quick, high-level representation of how the business is doing. But wait there’s more! Automated reports can be generated with a click of a button and often require no additional maintenance once they are setup, reducing time and effort and improving efficiencies.
Setting up the native SharePoint integration in Dynamics 365 can greatly benefit your organization. SharePoint allows users to store files, organize them, and provide ease of access to their colleagues. One of the biggest upsides of enabling this integration is that SharePoint offers much more storage space then D365 Sales, so you do not need to worry about your D365 instance running out of storage, thereby incurring steep costs to increase storage limits.
D365 SharePoint integration allows records in D365 Sales to have their own folders in SharePoint, this ensures all files have their own place in the system. This blog will walk you through the step-by -step process on how to setup your D365 SharePoint integration.
Before you get started, ensure you meet the following criteria so the process runs smoothly.
- Dynamics 365 Sales License with System Admin Access
- Office 365 Global Admin Access
Once you have verified the requirements, log into your Dynamics 365 for Sales web client and go to the Settings tab, in the drop-down menu select Document Management.
In the Document Management screen, Click on Enable Server-Based SharePoint Integration.
This will open a pop-up window to walk you through the setup, first simply click Next to start the process.
Next select whether your SharePoint is Online or On-Premises, once done click Next.
On the next screen, enter your SharePoint site URL. Keep in mind your SharePoint should be under the same tenant as your D365 environment, once done click Next.
Once your site has been validated, click Enable and this completes your setup process.
Now that your Server-Based SharePoint Integration has been enabled, you can go back to your Document Management screen and select which entities should be enabled for SharePoint folders.
Click on Document Management Settings and in the pop-up window select the entities which you anticipate storing documents against and click Next.
On the next screen, you can define the folder structure. It is suggested that you choose Account, thereby creating the structure wherein the Account is the primary folder, and associated records fall as sub-folders beneath it. Make your selection and click Next.
Once this is done, click Finish.
That’s it! If all the steps were performed successfully you will now see a document option under your enabled entities which will allow you to store and manage files using SharePoint directly inside D365.
One of the newer modules in the Dynamics 365 family, Field Service, leverages the latest technology offered by Microsoft and combines it into one powerful solution. D365 Field Service is an integrated solution with your current D365 environment, enabling you to be field ready with your already configured environment, filled with customer data.
D365 Fields Service has tools to help organizations optimize their resources, effectively manage team members and automate work order creation to save you time and money. Field Service can even be used with IoT devices to alert you of an issue even before your customers are aware there is one.
In D365 Field Service, Work Order Management, Service Scheduling and Resource monitoring are 3 key capabilities provided by D365 Field Service.
Work Orders in D365 Field Service are records that track service jobs. Work orders can be created automatically based on set criteria from your opportunity or case records or created manually. Within a work order you can track specific incidents types, estimated time required to complete a job and create the bookings for the work orders With Work Orders stored in D365 you also can create rich reports to identify which phases of your services can be improved upon.
Scheduling Service has never been easier with D365 Field Service. With the Field Service Schedule Assistant, all you must do is specify your criteria and the system will find the best resource to get the job done. Field Service considers factors such as skill set, availability and even current location of your resources to help make the best decision possible. If you want to get even more efficient, you can setup up resource scheduling optimization to let the system handle all the scheduling for you.
Finally, Resource Monitoring gives your manager and dispatch team a 360-degree view of where all your resources are. The Field Service schedule board tracks your resources’ schedules and where they currently are based on job sites. The schedule board also displays the status of the job in different colors to easily distinguish the various statuses of jobs, from Traveling to In Progress to Completed.
DocuSign for Dynamics 365 brings all the benefits of the DocuSign electronic signature solution to your finger tips inside D365. With a seamless integration into Dynamics 365, you can access DocuSign functions directly from your form’s tool bar. Some of the key functions include the ability to sign and get signatures, track document status, and dynamically pull data from records.
The most known function of DocuSign is the ability to capture electronic signatures which are encrypted and secure, allowing for accelerated turn around on getting those all-important signatures. Consider all the sales transactions in your pipeline which are slated to close, why not simplify the process for you and your customers by providing the option to sign electronically. DocuSign takes the hassle out of the traditional pen and paper approach by allowing users to sign on any device and have it integrated back to D365.
An added benefit is that elements of your DocuSign documents can be dynamically populated from your D365 records. This is a real timesaver, eliminating the need for your team to customize the document each time it needs to be sent to a new customer. In addition to being time saving, it also eliminates human error along the way, providing you the confidence of knowing the document was sent correctly the first time.
A final noteworthy feature of the DocuSign/Dynamics 365 integration is the ability to track the progression of your email and document. This level of transparency provides 100% visibility into the entire process, affording you piece of mind every step of the way.
Ever find that two or more of your Dynamics 365 contacts are related and want a quick way to record that relationship? Or have a Contact that is related to an Account record even though it is not directly associated? Well look no further because we have your answer.
Connections in Dynamics 365 are a great way to link records together without any hassle. Sometimes you may want a quick way to link records together without having to spend hours coming up with a custom solution to satisfy this everyday requirement. Connections is your answer for that, whether it be linking records of the same type or of completely different record types.
To connect two records together, all you need to do is click on the Connect button in the tool bar.
This will open the new connection window.
From here, lookup the record you wish to connect to by clicking the name field and then selecting search for more records.
Once the Lookup window opens, find the record you wish to connect to by adjusting the Look for and Look in settings. You can use the search feature to help you narrow down items in the list.
Once you have located your desired record, select the record and click add.
Once the connect to record has been added, choose the relationship (role) which associates it to the current record. You may add additional details in the description field to further describe the relationship.
Once all the information has been added, hit save and close to create the connection.
To view Connections which have been associated to a record, click the down arrow next to the record name in the command bar, and select Connections.
Ever wonder how your team can work more efficiently in D365? The answer is automation, and the number one tool to automate processes in D365 is workflows. Many of the simple (and complex) tasks users perform in D365 can be automated using workflows. Workflows evaluate given parameters and perform actions based on predetermined logic. Such an example is the automation of sending a welcome email when a new contact is created without you having to lift a finger.
Workflows in D365 are processes that typically work in the background to automate the flow of information. D365 Workflows are comprised of triggers, conditions, steps and actions. These properties determine the behavior which you want to have occur which impact your D365 records.
There are many functions you can accomplish using workflows in D365, below are some of the most common:
- Automate Emails – Send out Emails to accounts, contacts or users when a certain criterion is met
- Transfer Information – Automatically pass data from one entity to another entity
- Update Fields – Update fields value based on different conditions and field value changes
Everyone knows that Dynamics 365 has many great ways to link entities together, however once they are linked what controls do we have over their behavior? Enter, Cascading Rules. Cascading rules are a set it and forget it setting which controls the behaviors between two related entities. Cascading rules in D365 allows users to control what actions are passed down from one entity to another.
A great example where cascading rules come in handy is when users want to reassign the owner for a specific account record. However, they do not want its related activities such as emails, tasks and appointments to change owner when this happens. This is when you would go into cascading rules and update the assign setting to prevent the assign action from being passed down to its related activities.
In D365 the out of box settings for cascading rules, for a good majority of relationships, is Set to Parental (Cascade All), which means the action taken on the parent entity will be passed down. Now this may be suitable for some relationships, but in the case of the assign action being applied to Activities, this typically causes some undesirable results.
Toggling the Type of Behavior to Configurable Cascading allows you to customize each of the relationship behaviors individually.
Below are the possible cascading options you can select for each action.
Cascade All: The action taken on the record will apply to its related entity records.
Cascade Active: Similar to Cascade All, except that the action taken on the record will apply to the related entity records, so long as the related records are in an Active or Open state. [Related records that have been deactivated will not be affected.]
Cascade User-Owned: Similar to Cascade All, except, that the action taken on the record will apply only to related entity records owned by the user.
Cascade None: The action taken on the record will not apply to the related entity records.
Global Search is one of the most widely used features in Dynamics 365 since everyone needs to lookup records on a regular basis. Global search makes finding records easy because it allows users to query the entire D365 database in a quick and easy way. The main difference between global search and entity search is that global search checks multiple entities in the system while entity search only looks through records for a specific entity type.
Global search is great for looking up records if you only have a rough idea or small piece of information to go on. This is because global search checks multiple entities and multiple key fields in those entities for your search word. Global search casts a wide net and finds anything with a close match. With that said, global search does not check every field for a match because that would simply take too long.
With the above in mind, do you know which fields are being checked in your company right now when you perform a global search query? To find out, you will need account admin privileges, allowing you to look at the system backend and customize your global search setup.
To start, let’s check which entities are currently enabled for global search. To do so, go to Settings > Administration in the navigation menu.
Within the Administration screen click on System Settings.
In the system settings pop up window, go to the General tab and then click Select for the option “Select entities for Categorized Search”.
From here you can see which entities are included when performing a global search and add and remove entities as needed. You can add entities by selecting the entity in the left-hand column and clicking Add to move it to the right-hand column. Similarly, you can remove entities by selecting them in the right-hand column and clicking Remove. Once you have the entities you want included, you can reorder them to impact the order in which they are displayed when results are returned. You can select up to 10 entities to query when performing a global search. This maximum is set to help balance the quality of results with performance.
Once you have setup which entities to be included in the global search, you can now customize which fields the system will query for when performing the search.
To do so, go to the entity you wish to view/modify the search fields for and in the action bar click on System Views.
In the new pop up window, select the entities Quick Find View. This view controls the information which is searched and displayed in your global searches.
In the view editor, use the Add View Columns and Add Find Columns to control which fields are searched (find) and displayed (view) in your global searches.
Once you have updated your view, based on your preferences, save and publish the changes and your global search criteria will have been updated.
Dynamics 365 Teams are a great way to manage records and tasks because teams can own records and have a definitive security role associated outside the scope of a Users default role. This provides enhanced visibility to managers regarding which group is responsible for which objective; extends a Users reach enabling them to access and work with records they otherwise would not have privileges for; and allows for a simplified security structure, particularly when managing a large group of users.
A few examples of situations wherein teams are best utilized include:
- When Users span multiple business units but share a logical association
- Security Roles within a Business Unit are primarily restricted to User Access Only
- In Customer Support where work is routed to a Support Queue and the management of the Cases is best done through team ownership
To setup a new team in D365, go to the Settings tab in the navigation menu and select Security.
In the Security section click on Teams.
In the team view window, click the New button on the command bar. This will open a new team form.
In the new team form, simply fill out the required information and click save. A team can take on one of two types, Owner and Access. An Owner Team can own records and the Team must have an associated security role or roles. An Access Team is not assigned a security role and the team does not “own” any records, records are shared with members of the access team. (The example follows the path of creating an Owner Team.)
Once the record is saved, you can begin adding members to the team by going to the Team Members (Users) subgrid. Click on the plus sign and then the search icon. This will provide a user drop down list, simply click on the user you wish to add.
If the user you are looking for is not in the list, click on the Lookup more records option at the end of the list. This will open a lookup window, here you can view all users in the system. To add a user from this window, click on the check box next to the user name and hit select. Once all the desired users are selected, Click Add to add all of them to the team.
Now that the users are added, you will need to assign the team a security role which will be passed down to all members of the team. To do so, select Manage Roles in the command bar.
Next select the role(s) you wish to assign and select OK once you are finished.
Out of the box, Dynamics 365 has many great out-of-the-box entities such as accounts, contacts, leads, and opportunities. However, it is often the case, that the out of the box entities may not be the right fit or the only fit for every business. Businesses often have their own special requirements, and when these requirements do not fit the D365 mold, we look to custom entities to accomplish the desired result. Through the configuration of custom entities, D365 can be tailor fit to meet any business’ unique needs. That means custom forms, fields, business process flows, views, charts, and dashboards, all based on your specific requirements.
D365 out-of-the-box is like a good suit, you purchase it because you like the suit, but know that to get the “right fit,” your next stop will be your tailor. Custom entities are your D365 tailor. With custom entities you can construct entities based on your organizational needs. These custom entities can drastically elevate your D365 experience. By creating custom entities you’ll have a unique, one of a kind system, unlike anything on the market. This could be as simple as an entity to capture employee data in your organization, to a collection of custom entities working together to bring you a whole new experience.
The following is an example of some custom entities built to manage human resource activities. The below demonstrates a custom navigation tile built to clearly distinguish the custom entities which have been built to fall within the Human Resources component of the system, thereby easily distinguishing it from the out-of-the-box areas of the environment.
The Candidate entity in the collection had fields created and a custom business process flow built to manage the hiring process. This entity had relationships built which further tie it to the other custom entities which fall within the human resources collection. Being this is all custom built, the skies the limit. If you can imagine it, you can make it a reality.