October 12, 2018
Leveraging Colin Vermander brilliant article on using Liquid Templates to return JSON, I would like to demonstrate creating and using a ‘service’ to asynchronously retrieve Dynamics 365 data into any portal page.
Why is this useful?
Liquid Templates tags are rendered on server side before a response is returned to the browser, so FetchXML tag will return a static result once the page is returned.
But what about responding dynamically to client side events such as option selection, button click or expending an element to view more details?
Sending the page to the server again is no longer an option if you want...
February 22, 2018
The Create Portal Content wizard is a nice new feature in Portal version 8.3 that was published recently. This wizard simplifies the process of creating webpages along with entity forms and entity lists by admins.
If you are not familiar with the process of provisioning new pages in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portal, you can do some reverse engineering of the Portal elements automatically created by the wizard.
In the following demo, I am creating a new Page for authenticated Portal users which displays Lead records with an option to create new record. It assumes that the user has the required Entity...
February 8, 2018
The requirement for recurring job execution is quite common in Microsoft Dynamics implementations. Here are some of the business requirements I have encountered:
Send monthly newsletter to target customers
Synchronize MSCRM Users details with Active Directory once a day
Once a month, disqualify all leads that have no open activities
Once every hour, export Appointments from mail server and import into Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 has no reliable built in scheduling mechanism that can be leveraged for custom solutions. The Asynchronous Batch Process Pattern I have written about in the past can be used with daily...
January 30, 2018
Azure Function is a fantastic mechanism for various integration scenarios. Here are few key characteristics:
Being a serverless application, Azure Function has the best time to market when it comes to deploying a web service
Pay-per-use pricing model means you pay only for what you use
Built in integration options in PowerApps and Flow allows you to give non-developers new building blocks when designing application and processes
CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) support allows consuming Functions from server/client side in any domain you find suitable
What can you do with Azure Functions in the context of Microsoft Dynamics integration scenarios? Just about anything:
Export/Import data to/from...
January 10, 2018
While reviewing existing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online implementations, I have noticed a repeating assumption by which Custom Workflow Activity, executing within an a-synchronous process, is not subjected to the sandbox 2 minutes execution timeout limitation. This false assumption led to wrong architectural designs in which long running processes are assigned to be handled by CWA components. As this article states, Custom Workflow Activity code registered to work in sandbox mode is subjected to the 2 min. execution timeout limit, just like Plug-in code. If you want to test this declaration yourself, just put a Sleep statement in your...
December 18, 2017
I noticed the following note in the developer guide article. This note embodies big promise for many organizations that are currently planning or actually migrating from version 2011 (and up) to version Dynamics 365, as it removes (or at least dramatically postpones) a big chunk of work required to migrate code that uses the 2011 SOAP endpoint to use Web API endpoint. In typical enterprise level projects (versions 2011 to Dynamics 365) the 2011 SOAP Endpoint (a.k.a OrganizationService) is heavily used in Plug-ins, Custom Workflow Activity components, external application integration and even client side code. For organization...
May 12, 2017
Why would you want to set Access Mode for user to Non-interactive? Setting the Non-interactive access mode fro a user will prevent him from accessing Dynamics 365 application UI in any official Dynamics 365 client: Web, Outlook and mobile. While human users need an GUI to actually do some work, external applications interacting with Dynamics 365 do not. Note that security mechanism such as Security Roles, Field Level Security etc. apply to users with Non-interactive access mode just as Read-Write users. Assigning the Non-interactive access mode to applicative users used for interaction with external applications is a...
May 2, 2017
Looking at the list of traditional CRM activities I always miss the SMS, being a common and effective type of communication between organizations and customers. Sending SMS triggered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 events (e.g. Case created) used to be a developer’s task. You had to write Plugin or Custom Workflow Activity code to access the SMS provider web service and maintain it as endpoints sometime change. With Flow you can integrate applications in a declarative manner so an event in one application will trigger an action in another application along with custom conditional logic and even wait...
January 21, 2017
I am back. It has been a while since my last post. About a month ago I started a new job as a Dynamics TSP (Technology Solution Professional) at Microsoft. It is a technical role aimed to support Dynamics related sales processes. Sadly, It means giving up my MVP title, as Microsoft employees are not eligible for this award. This is a major change for me. In the last 8 years I was self employed of a sort, without a regular schedule, office or boss. Switching to work in one of the largest corporations on the planet is...
October 27, 2016
I have been planning to do this for over a year now, finally found the time. Started learning HTML5 (I recommend Pluralsight courses), and this is my first project. In version 2016, Microsoft finally introduced some drag & drop file upload for the Word/Excel template feature, but that’s it. I would like to have similar UX in entity forms and Dashboards. In this two-parts post, I’ll describe a working solution that allows users to upload a file by dragging it to a specific area in any business entity form or Dashboard. The solution version available in this...