Dynamics CRM 2016 Release Preview Information

Dynamics CRM 2016 in the name of the next release for Dynamics CRM expected this Fall (December / January), and what a release it looks like it will be.

I have listed some resources that share some of the new features and content:

Microsoft Blog by Bob Stutz

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 – Delivering the Next Generation of Intelligent Customer Engagement

YouTube Video on the new features

Youtube2016

Preview Guide

CRMPreviewGuide2016

Changing the Entity Tile Colour

Did you ever wish you could change the colour of one of the entity tiles like account from the Case from purple to say yellow?

Well in Dynamics CRM Online Spring 2015 Update 1 you now can and its really easy if you know your hex colours 🙂

So my scenario I want to change the Case Purple tile to Yellow, this is what it looks like out of the box:

Changingthe entity colour in the site map 0

To change it to yellow, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open up Settings->Customise the system
  2. Open up the entity you want to change in this scenario Case
  3. Now you will need to use a hex converter like http://www.colorhexa.com to identify the colour you want
  4. When you have the hex code simply update the field in the entity form labelled Colour, as below
  5. Changingthe entity colour in the site map 2
  6. Now save and publish the entity
  7. Refresh you CRM browser and now navigate to Case, you will see it has changed to the colour specified
  8. Changingthe entity colour in the site map 3

Happy colour changing!

Immersive Excel, the future looks very exciting

So what is the immersive Excel experience you say? Well imagine you are working with a list of records and you want to do a quick sum or ad hoc calculation on the values, you can now open in Excel Online inside of Dynamics CRM and perform the action that you want to do. You can even update the values and reimport in if you have the right security roles.

So what do you need?

  • Dynamics CRM Online Spring Release Update 1
  • An Office 365 plan that includes Office products

What does it look like?

So basically select any view in CRM and then select export to Excel and select Excel Online.

Exporttoexcelonline

The view will then open in Excel online as below:

Immersiveexcel

Now you have it in Excel you can manipulate the data. In the example below I have summed up the estimated value and have added a Pie Chart for effect!

Excelonlinechart

Finally If update the Probability of my opportunities, I can simply select Save Changes to CRM button above the Excel logo and import the changes into CRM, easy.

Update Behaviour, the basics

One thing to note if someone else has subsequently updated one of the opportunities that I have updated in Excel, that specific row will fail on the import, the online update will always win.

What’s next?

At Convergence 2015 in the roadmap session, in the Fall release we may see some pre-built templates that can be opened in the context of the view selected and have the ability to create and then easily share. Slide from the CRM Roadmap session:

fall excel release

Export to Excel redesign, what you need to know

Have you ever exported to excel to find that some of the column formats that were exported did not match the type of record in CRM?

Well in the Spring Release Update 1 this has been fixed. So what’s new?

The Redesign

  • The export dialog has gone, you choose via the dropdown how you want to export the data i.e. to excel online, static or dynamic
  • What you see in the view is what is exported
  • No more warning messages, file format is set to XLSX
  • The column names and view column widths are used to pre format the excel sheet
  • The tab name is the same as the view name
  • All pages are exported
  • The data is always importable no more separate process, the same file is used
  • Export and import limit updated to 100k and 32mb

The New Mapping

The table below details the new CRM data format mapping to Excel.

datamapping

** Excel does not native data type to show date + time in one cell, as a result, only date is visualized in Excel for a date-and-time data.

CRM 2015 Update 1 Highlights – DiffinDays Calculated Field Update

I want an easy way to calculate the average time an opportunity is open for by sales person without writing any code.

Pre CRM 2015 Update 1, I would have to write some code to calculate the difference in days between created on and actual close date, then use a chart to display average for the sales person.

With the latest CRM Online release update 1 a new calculated field formula has been added “DiffinDays” this allows me to calculate the difference between two dates or difference between a date and Now.

So to solve my problem:

  1. Open up the solution file
  2. Navigate to the Opportunity entity -> Fields
  3. First of all I have to create a new field to store the actual close date, with the date behaviour set to User Local to match that of the created on date. The out of the box Actual close date is set to Date only which makes it incompatible with created on.
  4. Create a new field named “Number of days to close” as a whole number or decimal.
  5. Click on the field type and select Calculated
  6. In the designer, create the following rule, you can use the intelisense to type ahead
  7. calculated rule
  8. Save and the new field to a view and to the form optionally
  9. Now you will need to create a workflow to populate your new date field, simple check for actual close date to be populated and then update the new actual close date.
  10. Save and Publish
  11. Now navigate to the opportunity view for closed opportunities
  12. Create a new chart as follows:
  13. average days chart
  14. You now have the average open days for won and lost opportunities by sales person

As a note the image below depicts the entire set of Diff functions:

diffindays

MSDynamics World MVP Profile – FozzyNZ

Read an interview on me by MSDynamicsWolrd.com at:

http://msdynamicsworld.com/story/dynamics-profile-evangelizing-crm-across-industries-countries-creates-even-greater-understandi

Awarded MVP for Dynamics CRM for a second year

Thank you Microsoft for awarded me CRM MVP for a second year. Find my profile at http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Steven%20Foster-5000781

Do you know what a double tap of the space bar does on mobile phones?

Just something I found out, not that exciting really but may make your text messages or notes or emails on a phone just that little bit easier to read.

If you enter space twice then on phones it automatically adds a full stop and capitalises the next letter. 🙂

OneNote integration with CRM for Outlook

Do you know you can link Dynamics CRM records with OneNote?

Take the scenario, you capture unstructured notes in OneNote for your meetings and would like to link those unstructured notes to your CRM record.

Through using CRM for Outlook you can create OneNote pages straight from CRM records, that automatically link to the CRM record.

So how do I do this? Follow these simple steps:

  1. Open up Outlook and navigate to a CRM record, in my example Accounts
  2. Right click on the record that you want to create a OneNote for and select OneNote
  3. Onenote link Onenote Outlook Onenote
  4. Pick the location of the note and click OK
  5. Onenote link
  6. A new OneNote page will be created with some base CRM record details and a link to the CRM record that you selected.
  7. Onenote link
  8. If you click the link the CRM record will open
  9. If you now go back to CRM for Outlook and right click on the same record again and select OneNote, the OneNote page will automatically open allowing you to take further notes.

I think this is a great feature for linking CRM with OneNote. Note this approach does not create any link in CRM back to OneNote from the Form, but from a view in Outlook you can quickly get to the notes.

Online vs On Premise the top level differences

The table below outlines some of the head line differences between CRM Online and CRM On Premise, hopes its useful.

Capability CRM Online CRM On Premise
Exchange Synchronisation CRM for Outlook, Email Router, or Server Synchronisation (if using Exchange Online/O365). CRM for Outlook, Email Router, or Server Synchronisation (if using Exchange on premise)
SharePoint Integration Server Side with SharePoint Online (if using O365). Client-side integration
Social Listening Included based on number subscriptions purchased (10+) and availability in region. Additional cost
Workflows/dialogs 200 Unlimited
Custom Entities 300 Unlimited
SSRS Reporting Fetch XML or T-SQL from a locally replicated reporting server. Import DLLs, Fetch XML or T-SQL
Power BI Reporting Yes No
PowerView Reporting Yes Yes
Upgrade/Update Process Office 365 admin approves the upgrade before it is installed, update rollups applied automatically. Upgrades and update rollups installed by your administrator.
Direct Server Access No Yes
Phone App Yes Yes if environment externally facing via ADFS.
Tablet App Yes Yes if environment externally facing via ADFS.
Storage Limited to the amount of CRM Online storage available when your organisation is created, additional storage can be purchased when required. Storage Utilisation is calculated based on Data Size and Index Size and is shared across all instances. By default an organisation is given 5gb of storage, additional 2.5gb of storage is granted in increments for every additional 20 professional licenced users up to a maximum of 50gb. Limited to the amount of storage available on your server.
Update Release Cycle Two releases per year. Spring release functionality exclusive to CRM Online, so new functionality available online first. Fall release released to both CRM Online and On Premises, includes the functionality released in the Spring release.
Migrating Deployments CRM Online customers can migrate to CRM On Premise at any time. SQL database can be provided to client at scheduled time that can be imported to an On Premise deployment using the “restore” process in compatible versions of SQL Server. CRM On Premise customers can migrate to CRM Online and customization for entities can be imported; however, the MSCRM database cannot be moved to Online data centre, so a data migration exercise would be required.
Sandbox environments CRM Online provides non production environments as part of your subscription that can be used for Dev/Test/UAT. The number of organizations received depends on the number of users. A free sandbox environment is provided for organisations with 25 or more professional licenses. Non production environments can be installed, depending on local server availability.