The Dynamics 365 App Paradigm

A new feature of Dynamics 365 is the ability to create “Apps”. An app is a set of related features and functions that are used to deliver an outcome for a user. team or function I.e. Field Service App for field resources, Sales App for sales managers and sales reps to engage with customers.

The app paradigm enables customers to define quickly and cleanly a new interface for different users in the organisation to utilise. Its the ability to limit what a user sees in a controlled configurable manner. It will enable ISVs to deliver a controlled experience for the intended user.

In previous versions of Dynamics, you worked with a single app view I.e. sales, service and marketing. To control what a user could see you needed to manipulate the site map and it could get quite messy! The new App designer makes it very easy to personalise the experience for business users.

So what can I do with the App designer in the first release of Dynamics 365?

  • Define the sitemap elements
  • Define which Dashboards are displayed
  • Define the business process flows that can be utilised
  • Define the Entities to be included
  • Define which forms are to be consumed
  • Define the Views that will be available
  • Define which charts should be displayed

All in all pretty comprehensive ability to control what a user can see.

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Enabling resource scheduling for any entity

With Dynamics 365 Field Service, comes an amazing feature, the ability to schedule any entity, not just project tasks or work orders.

Why is this so good? Think of these scenarios:

  • I manage leads and I want to schedule those leads for calls base don the right skill match for the lead request
  • I need to schedule a team to deliver a presentation or process
  • I want real time updates on the progress of scheduled items
  • As a business we have cars that the staff can book, so need the ability to schedule the cars and see real time what is in use and when they will be back in

The list just keeps on going, the number of scenarios I can think about where there is a scheduling need is endless.

So how do I set this up, follow these simple steps to get you up and running:

  1. You will need either the Field Service or Project service App or a Plan license to utilise these features.
  2. Once you have installed the App, you will get a new site map node “Resource Scheduling”, select this node
  3. Now click on Administration and then “Enable Resource Scheduling for Entities”
  4. You will be presented with the screen below, showing enabled entities and ability o enable a new entity.
  5. resource-scheduling-1
  6. In the Add entity, select the entity that you want to schedule, I am going to use Accounts, for scheduling an Account Update meeting.
  7. For the booking relationship, select create new relationship and if skill requirements are required select create new relationship for skills.
  8. Then select publish, this will enable the booking relationship and skill relationship for Accounts. This may take a few minutes to publish, be patient 🙂
  9. Once completed you will be presented with a final metadata setting screen for the new scheduling entity. Here you can select the appropriate statuses for the booking process, default booking duration, and the Longitude and latitude fields to be used in mapping. See below for my Account:
  10. resource-scheduling-2
  11. Update as required and save and close the metadata. Your entity is now set-up.
  12. To  schedule, navigate to your entity and you will notice a new command “Book” as below.
  13. resource-scheduling-3
  14. Select Book, and you will be prompted with the schedule experience
  15. Select your resource and book and close
  16. resource-scheduling-4
  17. You can see the booking by navigating to the new Booking resource booking associated view and the booked resource can engage with the booking.
  18. resource-scheduling-5resource-scheduling-6

That is it, easy as! Great work from the Dynamics Team!