Adding an associated view button in Unified Service Desk

If you have used the Unified Service Desk you will know that the navigation is different, you do not have access to the standard navigation bar, if you want to access an associated view then you need to add a button or a sub grid to the form. This is not a simple process if you have tried! So I have documented the steps to achieve this. In my example I am adding Connection to my contact form tool bar.

To enable this change you will need to create:

  • A new Hosted Control
  • A new Action Call
  • A new Button
  • A new Button Action

Once you have completed the following steps the outcome will be:

End outcome

The steps to create this:

  1. Open up your CRM via the browser and navigate to the Contact form or form that you will be adding the new associated view to
  2. Open the associated view
  3. Press F12 or select Developer tools in the browser settings
  4. Search for the name of the associated view in my case Connnections
  5. Find the following line and copy the URL, you will need it later.Developer tools
  6. Now Navigate to Settings->Unified Service Desk
  7. Select Hosted Control
  8. Create a new Hosted Control of type CRM Page for the associated view as below
  9. 1 - Hosted control
  10. Now navigate to the UII Actions associated view of the new Hosted Control
  11. Open the Navigate record
  12. Select the Action call associated view and create a new record
  13. Select the Hosted Control and Action Navigate and copy and paste the URL from step 5 into the data section as below.3 - create new action call and paste in url details
  14. The final step is to add a button to the form
  15. Navigate back to Settings->Unified Service Desk
  16. Click on Toolbars
  17. In my case I will open the Contact Navigation Toolbar4 - Toolbars select appropriate one
  18. Click into buttons and create a new button, as below
  19. Now add the action call that you created in step 12 to the button5 - Create new button control and link action call just created to it
  20. Save and you have completed the steps.
  21. Open Unified Service desk and you should now see the new button



Adding an image to a custom entity

So you have seen by default you can add an image to an account or lead, but how do you add an image to a custom entity?

It’s simple, just follow these steps:

  1. Open up solution that contains custom entity
  2. Select Custom entity and create a new field
  3. Enter a display name and then select the type as Image
  4. Click on the Custom entity definition (click the name of the entity)
  5. You will now see that the Primary image field is populated with your new image field
  6. Last step – Navigate to the forms of the custom entity
  7. Open up the form
  8. Click on Form Properties
  9. Click on Display tab and tick the “Show image in the form”
  10. Save and Publish
  11. You can now add an image to a custom entity

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide in the public domain!

Its exciting times again as we are again looking forward to the next instalment of Dynamics CRM named Dynamics CRM 2015 due to be released in the Fall 2014, for non US customers this is the 4th quarter of the calendar year. As with previous releases I would expect this to be the later part of the quarter.

So first of all here is the link to the preview guide: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide and the link to the press release

So what can we expect in the next release, lots in short, but in summary:

  • Dynamics Marketing
    • Multi-channel marketing
    • Email editor – with drag and drop features
    • Campaign Management Console enabling A/B testing, cross channel operations and others
    • Integrated Social Listening with embedded social insights for CRM
    • Sales Collaboration via a marketing calendar
    • B2B Marketing with enhanced rules and webinar integration
    • Marketing Resource Management with new calendars
    • Internal Process Automation via approval workflows
    • Geographical Expansion
  • Sales
    • Improvements to the sales processes enabling branching of the process based on business rules applied in real time
    • Product Families enabling bundling of products, product lifecycles, product attributes that can be inherited and identifying cross sell and up sell products and territory price plans
    • Sales Hierarchies for accounts, products and users that enable traversing a tree hierarchy. The hierarchy can include roll up fields
  • CRM for Tablets
    • Role tailored dashbaords
    • Hierarchy views
    • Offline draft mode
  • Customer Service
    • Further Case Management enhancements including pause and resume SLAs,  and tracking time of case on hold or waiting on customer,
  • Microsoft Social Listening
    • Further Source analysis
    • Location filters
    • More availability options
  • Platform enhancements
    • Global search similar to the existing mobile client search
    • Search added to navigation bar
    • Advanced find button added to the navigation bar
    • Synchronise additional types of information with Outlook
    • Enhanced Business rules
      • They now execute everywhere including server side
      • Richer business logic with If and Else If statements
      • Pre filling information when a record is created
    • Business process flows can now be accessed via the client API
    • Calculated fields (yeah) are now supported
    • Roll-up fields are now supported
    • Field Level Security is now supported for out of the box fields
  • A new updated compatibility list can be found here



How many members do I have in my Marketing List?

So you have created a static marketing list, added some members, but the count is greater than 5000 so in the associated members view you see 1 of 5000. How do I get a count of the members?

Its really easy and its been easy since V4 of CRM. On the marketing list entity there is a field called “Member Count”, add this to your form or view and it will display the actual count on the members in the list.

This only works for Static lists and by default only counts up to 50000 records. This can be increased in an On Premise solution adjusting the registry values.

Member Count



CRM in the social age


How does customer relationship management work in a world of a connected and transparent market of conversations?

Social media, tablets, and the plethora of smart mobile phones have changed the way people are connected to one another and has opened the door to peer to peer conversations. Today people are more informed and connected and often the important decisions are influenced by social conversations. In this connected world, how do you as an organisation ensure that you stay connected, listen to what people think about your product and services and inevitably become part of the conversation through marketing, sales and customer service?

In the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring Release Microsoft launched Microsoft Social Listening, an enabler for you as an organisation to listen to conversations and reply in line, to stay connected with what your customers are talking about.

Microsoft Social Listening can help you track what people are talking about to better enable you to:

  1. Prepare for sales meetings
  2. Identify new leads and opportunities
  3. Track campaigns on the social web, understand the sentiment of your brand
  4. Identify and connect with influencers and detractors
  5. Act on potential issues that your customers or prospects report via social media
  6. Listen to what your competitors are talking about and help you join the relevant conversations

So what does it look like, how easy is it to use?

Well for starters if you utilise Office 365 and CRM online and have more than 10 Online Professional licences then you are entitled to it for free! Otherwise you can purchase the subscription via the Office 365 admin centre just like any other product.

It has been designed to look and feel like Dynamics CRM and has been designed to be simple and intuitive so everyone who needs access can access with minimal user training. The screenshot to the side is of the homepage for Social listening and as you can see looks like Dynamics CRM 2013.

To set-up search terms to be monitored it is as simple as 1-2-3.

1. You give your search a name and assign to one of the predefined categories i.e. Competitors, Campaigns, Accounts, Products etc

2. You define the search terms in terms of core keywords, inclusions that must be in the post to be included and exclusions to be excluded from the search results.

3. Finally you test the search criteria to get a sense for the average monthly posts to be consumed and activate the search and you are all done.

Through the Microsoft Social Listening user interface you can drill into the results of the search, as standard MSL monitors YouTube, Twitter, Facebook Pages and non-private posts and over 70 million blogs. You can interact with the data and review trends, buzz, sentiment, authors and the reach of the authors. You can define alerts if certain keywords are mentioned or if the trend spikes. It becomes your early warning system and enables you to react quickly and efficiently to social interactions.

If you are using Dynamics CRM Online then you can also embed Social Listening into Dashboards and records.

This is particularly useful for tracking campaigns, competitors and providing your sales and service teams a view of what people are taking about.

So how could you get engaged, what scenarios should you focus on?

It has been recently said that to get people to believe in your message then they need to see it 3 to 5 times through different medians be conversation, website, blogs, social channels, press or newsletters for example. Business reputation is built on brand, loyalty, personal conversations and excellent products or services, every sales and marketing professional knows this and social provides a way to scale these conversations to a wider audience. I have listed below my top 3 scenarios for using Social Listening and empowering the business to engage:

1. Empower Marketing – listen to the buzz that is being generated as a result of a campaign and use this insight to generate and cultivate new leads for the sales team. Listening is a low touch activity, but when you listen to the key messages then you can drive high touch conversations with peers in the buying stage of the ‘buyer’s journey’.

2. Empower the Sales team with insights – Enable via dashboards and pre-defined searches keyword searches that identify potential customers actively looking for product recommendations to solve a business problem.

3. Monitor your competition – Listen to what customers are saying about your brand can open the door to offering relevant solutions, but listening to what people are saying about your competitors can showcase weak spots in their offering. Think of it as an opportunity to help, and have the appropriate salesperson send the customer something useful.

Next steps

Social listening like anything is easy to get going with but you need to have a strategy, a reason for doing it and once you have this defined then you can quickly enable via Microsoft Social Listening. Some key questions that you ask yourself to help you build a strategy are:

1. What is the reason for measuring social conversations?

2. What are you trying to achieve and how it is aligned with your customer experience and other initiatives?

3. How will social add value beyond just the bottom line?

4. What metrics will you use to confirm if what you are doing is working?

If you can answer these questions then you are on a good path to success. Intergen can help you with this journey and has tools and techniques to help you map out your social strategy and how this will affect your customer experience and journeys with your brand.

How do I make the SLA timers change colour?

Problem: I have read all the material online and in blogs but I am not sure how I make the timers change to orange when they are nearing failure.

Solution: The timer only changes to red by default when the time runs out. To make the timer change to orange when reached the warning state then you actually need to update the First response by status to “Nearing noncompliance” within the SLA settings. To do this:

  1. Open Service Management
  2. Image
  3. Open the SLA that you have created and open up the SLA rule
  4. Under the warning actions add a new step to update the following field to “First Response by Status” to “Nearing noncompliance”
  5. Image
  6. Save and Activate the SLA
  7. Now within the Form Designer for the Case you need to update the details of the Timer control as follows:
  8. Image
  9. Now publish your form
  10. You are all done

When you now create a case that is nearing non compliant i.e. its hit the warning time your timer will turn orange.

ClickDimensions – Jazzing up the form with the code editor

Problem: I create a form using ClickDimensions but its quite basic and the formatting does not match our website, what is possible, how can I make it look a little more professional?

Well with the latest release and the introduction of the code editor you can now update the CSS of the form and thus jazz it up a little, so how do I do this?

Lets take the following basic example from events page where we use ClickDimensions forms for capturing event registrations. Our forms look like this and we are not using form capture.
Intergen event form


So in this simple example we have nice background image, some padding and the font matches our website. So how did we do this?

Simple, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new form or open an existing form – settings ->Web Content
  2. Click on the Design button to enter the design mode
  3. If this is a new form drag and drop the fields on to the form, like below:
  4. Form Editor
  5. Once you have added your fields save and then click on the Code Editor button
  6. From here you can adjust the CSS and add JavaScript to jazz up your form.
  7. For this simple example we just add a background image and some padding.
  8. The default CSS for the body is as follows:
  9. We simply change the body to:
    background: url(“http://<<insert your public facing image location>/bgAirMail.png”) no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;
  10. As below:
  11. Code editor
  12. Now when you select refresh you will see a margin placed around the form as well as the image you chose as the background displayed.
  13. Save and publish the form and you are up and running.

So via the code editor on a form I can do some cool things to jazz up my standard form and make it a bit more interactive, use the HTML preview to help identify the CSS tags, you do need some basic knowledge of CSS to do this but lots of resources on the web.

For more information see and explanation of how you reference other areas of the form see