Working with Resco Mobile CRM: Part 3 – Designing Forms

Previously I have written about installing the Woodford App’ for Resco Mobile CRM and setting up a new “Mobile Project” – which you can find here: http://wp.me/p3wxxT-1a. In this part I will attempt to walk through some of the basic design functions that can be used to configure the content accessed by users.

Three of the main areas you will likely consider for configuration in Woodford are:

  • Fields
  • Views
  • Forms
  • The Home Screen

Creating Forms: In my last post we identified entities and fields from our CRM instance and added them to a Mobile Project, once you have done so you can either configure a form or create a new one. As in CRM the forms you create will be used to add and edit records when they access the application, you can also view related records and show additional tabs such as; I-Frames, Maps and other special media, (in Woodford these could provide functionality like photo or signature capture, particularly useful for users working in the field).

There are 2 types of forms: Contact Information Forms and Edit Forms. Contact Information Forms allow you to display fields and associated records. An Edit Form is where you can enter and edit data. In my recent work with Woodford I removed the existing Contact Information Forms for out of the box entities as they weren’t required, but this will largely depend on your requirements. If you don’t want to use these forms you can select the form an click “Delete”.

To create a new form navigate to; Settings > Woodford > Mobile CRM Woodford in your CRM instance, once the Silverlight application launches open your mobile project and scroll down to Entities > Select your Entity > Expand the Entity > Click Forms, (in this example I will be using Contacts) > navigate to the toolbar > Click New. You will then need to give the form a Name and a Type, here you can choose “Contact Information Form” or “Edit Form” – depending on the functionality you want to deliver.

new_form

Once the “Designer” form has loaded, (for new forms this will be blank) you can navigate to “Add Fields” from the toolbar, upon clicking the button you will see a drop down list of the fields you enabled previously. Once you have clicked to select your first field the “field explorer” list will be populated with all other available fields which can be added to the form by double-clicking the field name. You can drag and drop fields around the form for placement as well as from the “field explorer” list on the right of the screen.

Note: You can remove fields by either dragging them away from the form, or clicking “delete” in the toolbar. You can also edit the form properties on the left of the designer area once a field is selected.

new_contact_form1

In the form designer there are some key functions that you may want to re-use in addition to “Add Fields”: Add Detail – adds a ‘Tab’ as in CRM, Add List – adds an associated entity view. Add Spacer – useful to enter a break between fields as in CRM itself.

To Add a List you can either select a Detail or a List element in the designer, available lists are then visible in the “field explorer”, or by selecting from the toolbar. You can add lists that use related and unrelated entities, lists can display associated Activities, Notes, Opportunities etc. in your form.

When you have added your fields, detail tabs and lists don’t forget to hit “save”, or “save and close”. Once you have closed the form you can click “Publish” in the toolbar, you can also choose to “Validate” your mobile project – this will check for any errors in your configuration.

Note: You can also check for errors in the “About” sections of the Woodford app’ and the client version on the user’s device or laptop.

For more detailed information you can download the Woodford Guide from www.resco.net

new_contact_form

new_contact_form To Whenlick on ̍Newˈ.

Type: select ̍Public ViewˈChoose a template (shows the number of fields on the view, you can add more fields later on when designing the vie

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Working with Resco Mobile CRM: Part 2 – Mobile Projects

In part one of this post I wrote about the installation of Resco Mobile CRM for MS Dynamics CRM for a client using the latest version of the Woodford solution (at the time of writing 7.4). For details on that post you can use the following link: http://wp.me/p3wxxT-13

Step 1 – Launch MobileCRM Woodford: Once you have installed Woodford as per the previous steps you will need to create a new “Mobile Project”. To launch the console app’ navigate to; Settings > MobileCRM > Woodford in your CRM instance, the Silverlight app’ may launch automatically depending on your browser – if not click the “MobileCRM Woodford” icon in the CRM UX.

CRM_app_launch1

Within the app window you will see a number of different options in the left hand navigation pane by default, from here you can manage different app’ settings and features (as per Fig. 2 below), these include:

  • Mobile Projects (this is where we create and manage of projects)
  • Security (displays the devices currently accessing Woodford and the attached user IDs)
  • Mobile Users (add, enable, disable users access)
  • Localisations (languages)
  • Geocoding (used for translating addresses to GPS data)
  • Plugins
  • Maintenance
  • Settings
  • Profile
  • Logs
  • About (find the build number and download updates)

To explore the administration in more detail you can download the Woodford Guide here: http://www.resco.net/MobileCRM/customizations.aspx

nav_pane1

Fig. 2

Step 2 – Create a Mobile Project: To start configuring Woodford, in the administration menu select; Mobile Projects > New, in the “Add Mobile Project” dialog as in the previous post you will need to select the “Type” of project you are going to be working with, you can choose between the following:

  • Standard User
  • External (Portal) User
  • Anonymous External User

Note: we will be using “Standard User” as we will authenticate our users using their CRM credentials and security roles.

Once you have chosen a “Type” give your project a name so it can be identified from others that you may create, in this example I have used “MobileCRM Project”, you will then need to set the “Priority” used for the project, the higher the number set the higher the priority (as I understand the documentation), so ‘1’ would supersede ‘0’ etc. and finally choose the roles that will be able to access the content for the project once published. You can select one or multiple roles and you may have different projects created for different role sets so that different content is displayed, such as a Sales project and a Service project. Click “OK” so you can start to edit the project.

Note: the roles you can select should reflect those you have in CRM, including custom roles.

new_project

Now when you open the main menu for Woodford you can select the “Activate” or “Deactivate” commands or choose “Edit” to work with the project.

Step 3 – Working with CRM Entities: Once you have created and opened your Mobile Project you can begin to configure the entities from you MS Dynamics CRM instance that you will use as part of the project. You should now have a list of all available entities from your Dynamics CRM server in the left hand navigation area.

The type of entities you will want to service through the app’ will vary depending on your organisation, for example if the project has a sales focus then you typically will be looking to add; Leads, Opportunities, Accounts, Contacts and Competitors, for those with a focus on customer service you may want to work with Accounts, Contacts, Cases etc.

Note: It is worth mentioning that unless you have purchased the licensed version of Resco MobileCRM you will not be able include custom entities in your mobile project, the free version only allows configuration using out of the box entities and fields.

To select an entity to add to the project you will need to navigate to; Entities > Select Your Entity > Click Enable (in the toolbar). Once you have done this don’t forget to click “Save” to save the change. The entity will now be visible as a bold item rather than with a ‘fade’ in the left hand navigation pane, the example below is for the Lead entity. Now that we have added the entity to the project we have the option to expand it, and should be able to see the five items that will roll down: Forms, Views, Charts, Fields and Indexes.

new_entity

As well as the entities display name, schema and description from CRM, there are a number of parameters visible for the entity:

Mode
If set to Online only, the data for the entity will only be available in the app’s Online Mode. If set to Online & Offline – the data of course will be available for both modes

Conflict Strategy – this is for cases when there the server and the mobile app want to modify data at the same time. Either you can set it to that the Server always wins this conflict or Device wins or it let’s the user decide (User Action).

Permissions – you can set the Read, Write, Create and Delete permission for the whole entity.

Advanced Properties – when the Include Lookup Labels is checked, the app will no longer show related data to that entity as “Unknown” in the offline mode. This often happened with Owner ID’s of records as the data with User names is stored in the User entity (by default the Owner entity is not enabled in Woodford).

Step 4 – Adding Fields: Once you have enabled your entity you can start to add fields that you want to add to your forms in Woodford, this interface is very easy to use, you can navigate through the fields associated with your entity and simply use the check box to add fields. Once you select and highlight a field you will be able to view the field “properties” on the right hand side of the app’ window.

field_properties

Some of the properties displayed are ‘read only’ in this area, the field properties available include:

  • Permissions
  • Requirement Level
  • Formatting (depending on field type)
  • Constraints (depending on field type)
  • Lookup Targets
  • Description

You can amend the formatting of certain fields from your chosen entity, the formatting is changed for the fields display in Woodford only, the types of formatting include:

Single line – field is formatted to have the appearance of a single line field in the mobile app

Multiline – field will have the appearance of a multiline field

Email the field in the mobile app will have an action button that after activating will give the user an opportunity to immediately create an email

Phone number the field will have an action button that will activate the phone call function on the device (the device will dial the number contained in the field)

URL an action button to open the URL in the native browser of the device will be available

Barcode action button activates a camera so user can scan Barcodes and QR codes. Function will only work on devices that have a camera with Autofocus.

HTML will format the text field into a HTML type (bodies of email, signatures and etc.).

Once you are done make sure to save your changes. When you are ready you can also click “Publish” to roll-out your changes, this however will largely depend on you having updated your forms, which I will try and walk through next time.

Until then, happy CRM’ing!

Working with Resco Mobile CRM: Part 1 – Installation

Recently I have been asked to implement Resco Mobile CRM for MS Dynamics CRM for a client. For those of you that haven’t worked with Resco, the advantage as I see it is that you can offer a tailored CRM solution across multiple devices using either out of the box or custom configuration for users with offline capability.

You can get a full overview of the features provided by Resco MobileCRM, take a look at their website http://www.resco.net/mobilecrm/app.aspx.

Resco is ridiculously easy to install and configure for most CRM’ers without the need for additional training, though it has to be said the downloadable PDF material can walk you through most configuration tasks step by step. In order to utilise MobileCRM you need to download the Woodford application solution from the website, the solution is free for organisations that wish to use Woodford for out of the box entities without the use of custom fields, if you do like my client want to use custom configuration then you will need the licensed version purchased fro Resco (for more information see the website or speak to your Microsoft Dynamics Partner).

Woodford is an application that enables you to create customizations of the app, manage licenses and mobile devices. The solution is imported into your CRM organisation and is compatible with both Online and On Premise deployments, (providing they are IFD enabled).

Prerequisites:

  • Resco Mobile CRM Woodford
  • Resco Mobile CRM App, which minimum version is indicated on the right upper corner of Woodford’s window—available for each of the supported platforms on Resco web (http://www.resco.net/mobilecrm/app.aspx)
  • Compatible version of MS Dynamics CRM

Please Note: Minimum Resco Mobile CRM version required for customisation is indicated on the right upper corner of Woodford’s window.

Step 1 – Download or Install Woodford: You can find the Woodford solution from by using the following link: http://www.resco.net/mobilecrm/woodford.html, you will then need to choose to download or install the solution, (you will need to be a System Administrator in CRM in order to sync’ with the server later on).

Please Note; Woodford integration by importing the managed solution file is not available for Dynamics CRM 4.0. Imported solution or standalone Woodford application is available for CRM 2011 and CRM 2013.

Step 2 – Import the solution:

You will need to import the solution into your CRM organization, and you will be able to run Woodford directly from CRM Settings section. In some cases this option helps overcome some authentication problems that you may encounter running the desktop version of Woodford which is also available.

Navigate to your CRM server or CRM Online instance and then; Settings >Solutions select the Woodford solution and hit the Import button. Once the import has completed don’t forget to publish the solution. The solution will then be available in the MS Dynamics CRM application by navigating to; Settings > Mobile CRM.

CRM_settings

Step 3 – Create your Mobile Project:

Once you have the Woodford solution installed you will need to create a new “mobile project” bu using the navigation steps in the previous section, if Silverlight app’ doesn’t launch automatically, you can click the “MobileCRM Woodford” icon in the UI.  A mobile project contains all customizations of the Mobile CRM application. This is where you can add/remove/change fields, entities, views, forms, etc.

To create a new project once the app’ is open by selecting; Mobile Projects > New. For internal users select the project type as “Standard” and give it a “Name”, the “Priority” attribute is used when multiple projects are created, the higher the priority number is used first for synchronisation. Finally select the “Security Roles” which will use the project forms in the client app. Then click “Ok”.

There you go! Resco MobileCRM is installed and you are ready to configure your project.

CRM_app_launch1

Some Useful Enhancements in Microsoft CRM 2015

With the latest update to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM application (first seen in the latest release for CRM Online) there are some useful enhancements that can be utilised out of the box. Some of the highlights noted whilst attending the Partner Boot-camp event are listed below:

Field Level Security is now available for OOB fields with the CRM 2015 update, there are a few fields that are still not available, however this should not affect the bulk of requirements. Previously there was a hack at the database level which could allow administrators to field level security to OOB fields, however this wasn’t available to those deploying online. Thanks to the update however this can be configured in a supported method via the customisations area of CRM.

Business Rules – can now be executed server side in CRM 2015 and there is additional functionality embedded to allow for the use of ‘if’ and ‘else’ conditions. To execute server side you need to add the business rule to run against the ‘entity’ rather than the form. The new functionality allows them to run on the CRM Apps as well as via the Outlook client. Additionally you can set default values and behaviours. Executing a business rule server-side means that imported data or offline sync’d data will be subjected to the rule. Unfortunately you still cannot hide form sections or tabs from a business rule, so you will still need JavaScript to execute these functions.

Business Process Flows – now include rule-based branching and can be used programmatically. This means that you can add up to 30 stages per BPF spanning up to 5 entities (including unrelated entities, for example the floe could move the user from a Case to an Opportunity). You can still have just one active BPF per record but you can switch processes, each stage can include up to 30 steps, there is no functionality for parallel waiting at this point.

Case Routing – Routing Rules and Case Creation Rules can be used to automatically create cases from incoming emails OOB. Conditions are used (as per the advanced find interface) to filter on particular attributes or subject strings. Workflow can still be created to route cases to queues via queue items. This functionality can be found by navigating to; Settings > Service Management.

Calculated & Roll-Up Fields – have been introduced into this version of CRM, this enables the configuration of calculated values and roll-ups without the need for development. Previously roll-ups would have been added via JavaScript or for more complex requirements via a Plug-in. A quick breakdown of what is available is as follows –

Calculated Fields

  • Read Only Fields in the UI
  • Real Time values
  • Can reference other calculated attributes but cannot be not self-referential
  • Not available currently offline
  • Calculated using system account
  • Cannot trigger workflows or be used in SLA calculations

Roll-Up Fields

  • Modified By and Modified on are not updated when a roll-up field changes
  • Formula cannot include records from a N:N relationship
  • Formula can’t reference complex calculated attributes
  • Formula cannot reference another roll-up attribute
  • Can be recalculated manually
  • Is calculated asynchronously
  • Account – Open Revenue and Account – Open Deals supplied OOB
  • Current Max. 10 per entity and 100 per org (Online) and this can be changed per Org, this allocation does not include the two OOB fields.
  • The use of Hierarchies is supported with these fields
  • Cannot trigger workflows or be used in SLA calculations

For more information on what is new in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and getting ready for the release check out the Customer Centre: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/get-ready-for-the-next-release.aspx