Voice of the Customer for Dynamics CRM Online: Getting Started

Those of you who have been working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in Office 365 will have noticed the ability to install “solutions” form the CRM Online Administration Center. One of which is “Voice of the Customer”, whereby you can add some pretty darn useful Survey functionality to CRM:

What is “Voice of the Customer”? For those of you that haven’t already played with this functionality, VOTC is additional functionality for instances using the MS Dynamics CRM 2016 Update to enable users to create and send surveys to gain feedback from your customers/clients on your products and/or services. The feedback can be used in your sales process or in relation to a case (how well did you do?). Previously you may have needed to implement one of the main ISV solutions such as Survey Monkey or ClickDimensions to do this, but with a few simple configuration steps you can enable the functionality directly inside CRM.

Voice of the Customer can be enabled as one of the new preferred solutions in Office 365 (along with Fantasy Sales Team and Company News Timeline). The official overview of the functionality is below.

“When a customer completes a survey, you can use rules to trigger follow-up actions that occur immediately. For example, if a customer answers a survey question that indicates an interest in one of your products, the system can generate a quote request and assign it to a salesperson. Or, if a customer replies with a complaint, the system can create a new service case and route it to the right queue for prompt handling. You can also send a survey automatically when a service case closes, to track how satisfied your customer is with the service they received.”

Enable Voice of the Customer

It is simple enough to enable VOTC for Dynamics CRM Online from the Administration Center in O365, just follow these steps;

  1. Log in to Office 365 as and administrator and select the Admin tile
  2. From the Admin Center home page expand “Admin Centers” in the left hand navigation pane and then select; CRM
  3. Once the CRM Admin’ Center has loaded select the instance you want to enable VOTC against in the instance picker and click on “Solutions”
  4. From the list of “preferred solutions” select “Voice of the Customer” and then click the “Install” button on the right – the solution will be installed, this may take a few minutes to completePlease Note: You may need to agree to the terms of service in a pop-out, you can do so by clicking “Install” again in this window and the installation will start.
  5. Once completed you will be able to see the additional entities created as part of the solution in the “Settings” area of CRM as well as an additional tile in the navigation bar.
  6. The next thing you will need to do is open the newly installed solution in CRM; Settings > Solutions > VoiceOfTheCustomer.
  7. Once you have opened the solution check the “I agree to the terms and conditions” check box, and then click the enable button.
  8. Close the solution.

    Votc_Entities_Capture.PNG

Once you have installed the solution you are ready to roll.

By enabling VOTC you can create and publish a Survey from within MS Dynamics CRM, when you publish the survey definition is sent to Azure and stored there (Azure Storage). When a respondent submits a survey, the responses are stored temporarily in Azure Service Bus and are then retrieved and stored in MS Dynamics CRM. Upon storing the responses in CRM, they are deleted from Azure.

It is possible to include CRM data such as customer name, product name, case number, etc. in a survey (within survey elements such as questions, answers, etc.) when rendering a survey for a respondent. When a survey invitation link is generated, this CRM data would be sent out of CRM and stored in Azure SQL Database in exchange for an identifier that is used within the survey invitation link.

This identifier is used to show the CRM data within the survey after the survey is opened using the survey invitation link. The identifiers within the survey link that is sent over email to a respondent is stored in the respondents’ email system.

For more information see the Microsoft Azure Trust Centre; https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/support/trust-center/.

Create a New Survey

VOTC has a user friendly ‘drag and drop’ interface inside of the Dynamics CRM web UI that makes creating a new survey easy.

To do so navigate to; Voice of the Customer > Surveys > then click “New“.

You will presented with a new record screen. Complete the required fields and click save.

survey_capture

You can add your own themes, logo, redirect text, redirect URL, survey completed text, next text, previous text and whole host of other items.

Upon adding the solution you may see a Default Survey Template in the Surveys area.

When you are ready, navigate up to the form selector and click the drop down arrow, here you can select the designer.

Survey_designer_select.PNG

Survey Designer

The next step is to design your survey, and the drag and drop designer makes this easy for end users. By default the user will be presented with three “pages” for the survey;

  • Welcome
  • Page 1
  • Complete

The user can add pages using the rather discrete “Add” button to the bottom left of the window. The elements available for survey configuration are listed on the right, simply drag and element to the page to add.

survey_designer_select

The different elements available out of the box include;

  • Short AnswerA question with one line input
  • Long AnswerA question with multi-line input
  • RatingRating input using; stars, smiles or flags
  • Single ResponseAllows respondents to select a single answer
  • Multiple ResponsesAllows respondents to multi-select answers
  • DateWell, it allows respondents to select a date for their answer
  • Numerical ResponseA question that only allows a numerical response
  • RankingAllows the respondent to rank their answers in preference order
  • Net Promoter ScoreA customer satisfaction metric
  • Customer Effective Score – A customer satisfaction rating on a 5 point scale

The next thing to do is add your survey elements;

  1. Add your welcome text to the pre-created element at the top of the page by clicking on the text box marked “Put your welcome text here”

    Survey_Designer01.PNG

  2. When you have entered your text click the “save” icon. If you need to edit what you have entered you can do so by clicking either the “inline edit” or “edit” icon on the right hand side

    Survey_Designer02.PNG

  3. You can choose another page by selecting the page thumbnail in the left hand navigation pane, you can edit the section header by clicking on it and drag questions to configure from the right.

    Survey_Designer03.PNG

  4. You can drag elements from the right and change the question text, tooltip, requirement level, layout and scoring;

    Survey_Designer04.PNG

  5. You can drag more questions onto the page in the same way as you would fields on the CRM form editor, just drag them to the position you wish them to appear;

    survey_designer05

  6. Update the text on the “Complete” page if required and click “Save” and then click “Publish” in the ribbon – once successful a banner notification will appear with; “Published to server.”
  7. You can then “Preview” a published survey, you can choose “Survey” in the form selector to return to the survey record, the notes and fields should have been updated similar to those in the screen shot below;

    survey_designer06

  8. You can use the “Copy Snippet” function to add a survey link to a CRM Email or Email Template – this could be sent automatically when a case is closed/resolved. Alternatively the string can be found in the Email Snippet field with an Anonymous Link under “Invitations and Actions” in the Survey record.

    Survey_Designer07.PNG

Hopefully this brief intro has been useful, there is far more to the survey functionality including conditions and analytics dashboards to alerts for responses. Have a play around in a sandbox and you’ll soon see the value.

Check out the Dynamics Community for more information.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dynamics 365 – A view from the Summit

On Wednesday the 12th October the UG Summit ’16 keynote delivered an overview of what is in store when Dynamics 365 is unleashed on the world, and there could be some exciting times ahead.

The Amalie Arena in Tampa Florida played host to the keynote for the 2016 Dynamics UG Summit and delivered, for want of a better word, a dynamic message on what is in store for the future of CRM by Scott Guthrie, with key demos by; Ryan Cunningham, Marko Perisic, Param Kahlon and a very energetic (and funny) demo from Amir Netz.

I was lucky enough to be among those present for what was a sharply delivered keynote interwoven with demos that attempted to highlight the combined power of Dynamics 365, including but exclusive to;

  • Mobile and cross-platform working
  • Power Apps
  • NAV & AX integrations
  • Document view & generation
  • Customer Intelligence
  • Portal Builder

Key Messages

From the information delivered, working in Dynamics ‘silos’ may become a thing of the past where cloud solutions are concerned. The importance of using Dynamics 365 to span the customer interactions and order processing work streams is clear, with much of the demo time featuring a narrative that crossed these platforms.

The flow of the keynote was structured to deliver the message that Dynamics 365 will be;

Purpose-built: with applications that fit roles, industries and businesses – so organizations can start with and pay only for what they need and grow at their pace to run their entire business in the cloud.

Productive: enabling greater productivity where people need it by seamlessly integrating with familiar tools like Outlook and Excel, surfacing them in the context of their business processes, roles and jobs.

Intelligent: delivering built-in Intelligence with business processes that infuses big data, advanced analytics and “internet of things” to proactively guide employees and customers to optimal outcomes.

Adaptable: enabling organizations to transform at the speed of business. Business leaders can change and evolve their processes in real-time using a modern consistent, and extensible platform – so they are not being held back by legacy technology.

summit16_01

New Features

In addition to the key note and demos the preview airlift content is available on Microsoft Connect. Some of the key features that were woven into the demos and from the material made available in the airlift that have stood out for me were changes to; Business Processes and Automation, Editable Sub-Grids and updated Email and Portal functionality.

Business Process & Automation

  • Concurrent Processes
  • Security & Programming
  • Drag an Drop Visual Designer
  • New Out of the Box actions
  • Charting and Reporting

As well as additional SDK support via the ODATA API, it is interesting to see the current list of functions that have been made available, such as; Add Case to Queue, Add User yo Record Team (useful), Apply Routing Rule and Get Sales Order Products from Opportunity (finally!!).

processui_capture

Editable Grids

  • Home Grid
  • Sub-Grid
  • Nested Grids (On Mobile/Tablet app)
  • Support for JS Events

As it stands editable grid features include support for most data types. Though there are exceptions, including; state, customer type, composites, partlists and lookyp entity related fields.

The ability to sort by or group by any column in the view would also be a welcome one. The support of JavaScript events for home grids and sub-grids OnRecordSelect, OnChange and OnSave will also be very interesting. This is a feature much sought after, and sometimes teased at in previous releases.

Email Engagement

A much lamented part of Dynamics CRM functionality for a long time now, which finally seems to have been given a much needed face lift!

There are welcome additions such as; interactions (opened, link clicks, attachment viewed), reminders, delayed send and template analytics. As well as the ability to use relationship insights and email templates in response to items in Outlook using CRM templates.

email_analytics.png

Portals

From Amir’s demo, the use of portals and configuration of portals for Dynamics 365 was perhaps when of the most powerful potential additions. Since the procurement of ADX Studio I have been keen to see the direction taken for a more integrated portal offering with CRM. The next version of portals – or PRM – is centred around increased collaboration, 3rd party service integrations, knowledge management and search enhancements. With a very exciting looking portal builder UI and the use of Excel style expressions instead of code such as ASP.Net.

Relationship Analytics

Dynamics 365 will have configurable functionality (such as KPIs and health indicators) that can enable your organisation to get a better understanding of the relationship between you and your customer or client.

The functionality should enable the capture of signal data from Dynamics and Exchange to determine the health of the relationship, risks and next actions. The idea is to determine where the effort is being spent and where it SHOULD be spent against your customer/client base to cultivate the opportunities available. Identify your top contacts and work across devices and applications to get the best outcome.

rel_analytics_capture

I am very interested in the use of apps and cross-device working. With demos paying particular attention to using a mobile device (phone or tablet), Outlook and the Dynamics web UI.

Not to mention the use of Financials (NAV light?) and Operations (AX Online) as an integrated extension of the Dynamics application. A similar look and feel for both Operations and Financials allude to a ‘seamless’ user transition between common CRM sales functionality and Order fulfilment.

An interesting note from the speech delivered by Scott Guthrie was the use of the term; “xRM” – remember that? Those of you who have been around CRM long enough will remember xRM was all the rage but then the landscape and the messaging from Microsoft in particular changed. Well it is back, and I would expect to be hearing it again. It appears it will be focused around making Dynamics 365 ‘yours’, whatever you are doing.

Some Questions

As with any glimpse of new functionality or a change in direction, the information conveyed at the UG Summit did leave some pertinent questions, such as;

“How will I transition my CRM Online organisation to Dynamics 365 as an existing customer?” and “Is a migration required or is Dynamics 365 going to be supported on the same online infrastructure with processes and additional links to Azure?” and of course; “How much of this will be available On Premise for the initial release and when?”

Other questions would likely include; “How easy is it to configure integration between sales, financials and operations in Dynamics 365 and are custom entities supported?”

Unfortunately at the time of writing those are answers that I don’t have, however if you have registered for access to the Dynamics 365 Beta, there are downloads available for On Premise versions of Dynamics CRM from Connect (https://connect.microsoft.com) as well as the airlift content.

One thing I am convinced of is that I and few others will have a decent amount of upskilling to do, and as always the future looks to be exciting.

Happy CRM’ing.

 

 

 

Resco Mobile CRM with CRM o365 – Action Required

If you use or have clients that use Resco MobileCRM for Dynamics CRM Office 365 (CRM Online) then you may have received and email informing you of a critical issue due to a change in authentication;

The email from Resco consists of the following;

Critical issue: Resco Mobile CRM is unable to connect and synchronize with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (Office 365) organization. The On Premise installations of Microsoft Dynamics CRM are NOT affected.

Cause: Microsoft changed the authentication mechanism that causes a critical issue. The bug in the authentication policy parser was uncovered by the removal of a deprecated authentication policy.

Affected versions: All Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online organizations. All Resco Mobile CRM apps version 9.1.3 and older.

Dates: The change will be deployed by Microsoft automatically, starting on October 14th.

Fix: Update your Resco Mobile CRM app to version 9.1.4 by downloading the latest version from the app stores. No additional action is required at this time.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at mobilecrm@resco.net

The steps to take are easy, you can get the latest version of Woodford using the “Update” button in the Silverlight application or navigate to; https://www.resco.net/mobilecrm/woodford.html and grab the related managed solution (at the time of writing 9.2.0).

I applied the changes in test first, ensuring that test users update the local mobile app and test prior to Production updates, and found the following steps below apply to ensure a smooth transition.

Navigation Steps;

  1. Open the current version of Resco in CRMwoodfordlaunch
  2. When the Silverlight app’ loads select your project(s) and click “Export” and then “Yes” to the dialog messagewoodfordhome
  3. Close the Woodford Application and navigate to the Solutions area of CRM
  4. Click to Import a solution and select the previously downloaded Woodford updatewoodfordimport.png
  5. Click to “Maintain” customisations and import the solution
  6. Check for alerts/errors then click “OK”.Please Note; at this point is may be a good idea to refresh your browser/clear the browser cache so you see the updated version of Resco Woodford in CRM.woodfordsitemap
  7. Launch the Woodford tool again (metadata will reload), check your build version has been updated
  8. Attempt to open the Mobile Project, if the project loads check for errors using the “validate” button, if all is well – click “Publish”Please Note; if the project should fail to load, click “Import” then select the backup of the Mobile Project taken earlier and “Ok”. Once the project has been imported, check for errors using the “validate” button, if all is well – click “Publish”.woodfordproject.png
  9. The final step is to get your Resco Mobile CRM users to download the latest compatible app version from their app store.

If you have any problems that cannot be addressed using these steps in test contact the helpful Resco support team.

Happy CRM’ing!

 

Upgrading MS Dynamics CRM 2011 to CRM Online

For organisations still operating Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 a move to the cloud could be appealing, but what is involved in upgrading to CRM Online from CRM 2011?

I have previously blogged on items to consider when contemplating moving from MS Dynamics CRM on premise to CRM Online via Office 365. Once you have had the green light to move however, what exactly is involved in getting there?

The move isn’t as simple as backing up a solution, or migrating a backup of your database, but it can be broken down into a few suggested steps;

  • Assess – Your Current State
  • Prepare – Customisations and Data
  • Upgrade – Your On Premise version
  • Review – The updates
  • Migrate – The Solution and your Data

In the following sections I will attempt to provide a little more information on these steps based on current experience and the CRM upgrade path.

  1. Assess

    It is important you take time to assess the current implementation of CRM to identify any current issues which could affect your ability to upgrade successfully.

    It is also advisable that any custom elements such as; JavaScript, Plug-ins, Reports and Third Party Tools are assessed for suitability prior to upgrading CRM.

    Custom JavaScript will need to be updated and optimised for later versions of MS Dynamics CRM due to code changes and cross browser support*, the size of this task will vary depending on the volume of JavaScript involved in your solution. There is a custom code validation tool that can be utilised in this task which can be downloaded here. You can find more information on checking JavaScript here via msdn.

    Third Party Tools & Integrations will need to be assessed in order to decide if they can be replaced with the latest CRM Online features or indeed if they are supported for CRM Online and if they themselves require an upgrade.

    Integrations could benefit from the new CRM Web API, for information on the API and limitations please see this MSDN article; https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/mt628816.aspx

    Reports may not be compatible with CRM Online, for example there may be reports built in SSRS, which is not available with CRM Online in Office 365. But you may be able to agree a strategy to replace some of these in Power BI.

    Data volumes will be an important part of the assessment; what can be cleansed? What data is required? How much storage will you need to purchase? How will attachments and documents be managed?

    *It is very important to identify which browsers are going to be used/suggested for users when accessing CRM Online as updating the legacy JavaScript to support many different browsers and the subsequent testing could be time consuming and/or costly.

  2. Prepare

    Once you have assessed the size of the task at hand it is time to begin the preparation for the upgrade – the data will be crucial to your end result, so it may be a good idea to start a data cleanse as soon as possible to ensure it is completed on time.

    If possible take a back-up of the current Production or an up to date Test instance
    and use this as an assessment/development instance. This means your current Production instance will continue unaffected until you are ready to move.

    Before the upgrade begins, obtain any product keys required. In later versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM the server and client keys are combined so that only one key is required. It may be a good idea to review the need for a Bing Maps key for CRM too, keys can be generated here; https://www.bingmapsportal.com

  3. Upgrade

    There is no supported direct upgrade path to CRM 2016/Online from CRM 2011, therefor the upgrade will involve multiple steps in order to reach your target version. To upgrade you will need to take the pre-prepared version of CRM 2011 to CRM 2013, then 2015 and finally to CRM 2016.

    migration

    This means you will create a CRM 2013 environment with an instance of SQL Server that is supported, such as SQL Server 2014. This step may take some time depending on the size of the CRM database involved, this is because of the number of significant changes to the database when moving between CRM 2011 and 2013. You may want to review the upgrade at this point to check for any issues and insure the latest CRM 2013 roll-up is installed, if you are happy then you can move on to the upgrade to CRM 2015 (use the latest update version) and then finally 2016.

    For more on the MS Dynamics CRM Upgrade path please see the following article; https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh699716.aspx

  4. Review

    After any successful upgrade of the CRM Server application you will then no doubt want to review the form layout, fields and workflow processes, as well as testing and updating any necessary JavaScript. The exact steps to take should be well defined from your assessment phase.

    Form layouts, fields capabilities and navigation of the application in the web UI changed significantly between versions so user acceptance testing and end user involvement in the review and configuration is key to successfully upgrading your solution.

  5. Migrate

    Once you and your user groups are happy with the changes it is time to migrate to CRM Online in the Office 365 cloud. This will likely involve the following;

    – Creating a new CRM Online instance in your Office 365 tenant
    – Exporting and Importing the CRM 2016 Solution from your On Premise version
    – Migration of cleansed CRM data (a third party tool may be required*)
    – Update and Test CRM plug-ins for CRM Online
    – Test your upgraded CRM solution (yes again)

    There may be some additional complication added to this step for any integrations that are affected by the move to CRM Online. Where possible this should be factored in using the CRM Web API.

    In order to allow users to authenticate with CRM Online using their organisational Active Directory credentials your administrators can enable Active Directory Sync’, single sign on can also be implemented using ADFS.

    *The size of the task involved in migrating the data to CRM Online will vary depending on the volume of records and if activities and other more troublesome items such as attachments are required – the recommendation is not to bloat the CRM Online database  with attachments, it may be a good idea to consider SharePoint online for documents storage.

Hopefully this post allows you to get started on your own upgrade plan, check out MSDN for lots more useful information and speak to your Microsoft Partner who can help you through the process.

Happy CRM’ing.

 

 

 

 

 

Get Data: Error Connecting PowerBI to the CRM Online OData Service

PowerBI in Office 365 can be a really useful tool, however many users may have come up against an issue with using the MS Dynamics CRM Online OData Service to “Get Data”.

You can easily register to use Power BI for your Office 365 tenant and download PowerBI Desktop, however it doesn’t appear to be as easy to use the “Get Data” function or register CRM as a data source using the OData Service for CRM Online.

If you a looking for a walkthrough on the set up of PowerBI, then this blog post from Steve Ivie is a useful place to start; https://www.packtpub.com/books/content/getting-dynamics-crm-2015-data-power-bi

The Problem

If like me you attempt to connect to CRM using the OData Service URL found in CRM Online then you might have used the following steps;

  1. Download and Open Power BI, from the pop-up menu select Get Data
  2. Select Dynamics CRM Online for the list and then click Connect
    GetData
  3. You are then prompted for the OData Service URL in the following dialog
  4. Now you would expect to enter the URL for the OData Service from CRM Online right? The format should be something like this; https://<your org>.crm5.dynamics.com/XRMServices/2011/OrganizationData.svcPlease Note: the URL ‘crm5’ section will vary depending on your datacentre. To find the OData Service URL navigate to; Settings > Customizations > Developer Resources in CRM.
  5. Once you have entered the URL click OK, the organisations available data sets should begin to load
    Odataentered
  6. In the Navigator menu select a data set or data sets from the CRM list and then click Load, (in the example AccountSet and ContactSet have been selected)
    powerbinavigator
  7. This is where the frustration starts! The load process is triggered and I receive the following message; OLE DB or ODBC error: [DataSource NotFound] OData Request failed (404) Not Found.At this point you cannot apply any changes and you have not data to work with. Close the message box.
    powerbierror

The Work Around*

Now, I researched the problem and couldn’t find a resolution for CRM 2015 Online, however if you have Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Online your PowerBi dreams are but a URL away for fulfillment – *note I didn’t call this a “solution”, I will take answers on a postcard (or comment) from anyone who managed to get the OData Service working.

  1. In CRM Online 2016 navigate to; Settings > Customizations > Developer Resources
  2. Grab the Instance Web API from the field;
    crmapis.jpg
  3. Repeat steps 1-3 from the previous section
  4. Instead of the OData URL, enter the Instance Web API from CRM Online and click OK
  5. Once you have connected to CRM select the entity tables you want to work with in the Navigator menu and click Load
    powerbiload
  6. The data sets should now load and the glorious world of CRM with PowerBI is yours to explore at last!

Hopefully this will save some people from trawling support threads, if there is a better way or a way you have managed to use the OData Service for CRM Online 2015 or 2016 please get in touch!

Happy CRM’ing for now. 🙂

 

Add Custom Controls in CRM Online

System Administrators can add Custom Controls in MS Dynamics CRM Online with Update 1 for 2016. There a 15 new controls available to use for the CRM Phone and Tablet App.

In my previous post I talked briefly about the ability to add Custom Controls for use with the MS Dynamics CRM Phone and Tablet app’. In this post I will quickly show you how to locate and use these controls.

Before we get started, if you are working in solutions, you may want to create a new one, if so navigate to; Settings > Solutions > and click “New” to add a solution in CRM. Then add the Lead entity as used in this example (or the entity you wish to work with).

Please Note: With CRM 2016 you will need to select the assets to include in your solution, you can choose to “include all assets” if you wish to.

To add a custom control for an option set in the Lead form, please use the following navigation steps;

  1. Navigate to the lead entity in your solution (see above).
  2. Open the main “Lead” form, or alternatively navigate to the field list associated to the entity.
  3. Double-click the field or list you want to add the controls to; in this example we have used the “Preferred” field (preferredcontactmethodcode).

    Leadform1

  4. Click the Controls tab, then Add Control.

    leadfiedlproperties.jpg

  5. Select the control you want to use, (in this example – option set) and then click Add.

    leadoscontrols.jpg

    Please Note: Different controls are available depending on the field or list type. For example, slider controls might only be available for numerical or money fields.

  6. Select the devices you want the control to appear on (i.e. phone, tablet or both), then click “OK”. Alternatively you can choose to “Cancel” the configuration changes.

    leadaddcontrols.jpg

    Please Note: Controls are not available for the phone header at this time. There may be additional steps to configure values based on the type of control.

  7. Save the form and click Publish.
  8. You should now be able to check your changes in the CRM Mobile App.  Sign in to the app on your device , there should be a notification when you connect to your organisation, (like the one below). Then click Download.

    synccontrols

Navigate to a lead record and you should see the field displayed using the new custom control selected as per the example from the mobile app’ below.

leadcontrolsmob

Mobile Custom Controls in CRM Online

In CRM 2016 Online Update 1 there have been a number of enhancements to the Dynamics CRM App, some of the most notable for their impact on user experience are Custom Controls.

So what is the idea? Well that’s simple enough;

  • Custom controls can expedite the entry of data using the mobile interface
  • Further aligns the user experience with the use of touch devices
  • Provide immediate visual references for CRM data
  • Reduce the need for custom development

What does that mean? Basically the enhancements help to make the native CRM Tablet and Phone app’ more appealing to the user. Along with offline synchronisation, the additional functions can further help your organisation to ‘configure once and deploy anywhere’ with Dynamics CRM for Phones and Tablets.

There are 15 custom controls available in this release, though currently the controls are for the Mobile/Tablet client only but are surfaced as regular Xrm.Page.ui control objects and are configurable in the compatible form fields of an entity.

Different controls are available depending on the field or list type. For example, slider controls might only be available for numerical or money fields, and the calendar control is only available for lists. Controls are configured via the form editor.

crmapp

Custom Controls as viewed in the Opportunity form

  • This current set of custom controls includes;

Linear Slider
Liner Gauge
Number Input
Radial Knob
Arc Knob
Flip Switch
Option Set
Star Rating
Website Preview

There is additionally a control for video embedding, and a nifty calendar control that you can add to give users a view of their activities in a calendar format instead of the more traditional CRM list.

So let’s have a quick look for a high level at some of what is available:

 

Option Controls

Option Set: Used for visual representations of relatively short option sets. Clearly view selected and other options without entering the field’s edit mode. To change, simply tap on the new value. Slider

Flip Switch: Displays as a traditional two-option field.
flipswitch

Numerical Input

Linear Slider: Used for numeric entry, with the exception that the numeric entry from a mobile keyboard is not possible here.

Slider

Linear Gauge: Drag values across a preset range or tap ahead to jump to a preconfigured step. Users can also enter data using their mobile keyboard when using this control.

gauge.jpg

Radial Knob: This is an excellent control for showing numeric values within a circular presentation. Data entry is completed by turning the knob to dial in a value. The range is fully configurable. An excellent addition to a touch interface.

radial.jpg

Arc Knob: The arc knob is another great way to track progress visually in the application, this could be applied to the probability of an opportunity or a percentage.

arc.jpg

Star Rating: Used to replace the entry of a whole number on a scale of 0 to 5. Simple yet effective way to view a rating. Could be easily applied to lead/opportunity rating and feedback reviews etc.

rating.jpg

Calendar Control

This control can be used on dashboard, entity list view, or as a sub-grid within another form to enable users to view their appointments or tasks in a familiar format. It could be used to replace the traditional activity list. It is only available for tablet and phone users and can be enabled in the Activities area.

Control Compatibility

At the time of writing the custom controls available are compatible with the following field types:

customcontrolstable

Client Side Reference for Custom Controls

You access controls using the following collections:

  • Xrm.Page.ui.controls
  • Xrm.Page.ui Section.controls
  • Xrm.Page.data.entity Attribute.controls

When a form displays a business process flow control in the header, additional controls will be added for each attribute that is displayed in the business process flow. These controls have a unique name similar to the following example: header_process_<attribute name>. For more information on client side references refer to the following MSDN post; https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg334266.aspx

If you don’t currently have the latest version of CRM Online you can get access to all 15 custom controls using a trial instance.

Remember; these Custom Controls are not supported in the CRM web application.

For a full list of enhancements in CRM 2016 Update 1, you can refer to the following TechNet post: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn531078.aspx

Happy CRM’ing. 🙂