What’s new in the CRM 2016 Spring Release

Dynamics CRM 2016 Online SP1 has been released and again its another big release for Dynamics with a lot of new capabilities being added. The focus has been heavily on expanding the service and mobile capabilities of Dynamics CRM

In this blog I will summarise some of the changes and values that they bring you as a business:


  • The big news here is that it has gone Offline, you can now define the rules for offline access via the new administration settings area in Dynamics. Some caveats to be aware of, its only available to organisations that have 5 or more professional licenses or 1 enterprise license, the licenses do need to be assigned to users for mobile offline to be engaged, it is not available for trial or sandbox environment, and any changes to a user security privileges will not take effect for offline until after the next synchronization.
  • Data for the offline users is stored in a separate SQL Azure Database and for offline access stored on the device in a local database. It is important if you are going to use CRM Mobile Offline that you utilize tools like Intune to manage the devices connecting for security of local data. iOS and Android mobile applications can now be managed in Intune MAM without enrolling the device.
  • For more information on setting up Mobile offline see Offline User Guide
  • Other mobile enhancements include the ability for service reps to manage Knowledge base articles
  • For sales professionals to manage quotes, orders and invoices via mobile
  • Improved start up performance after admin changes
  • Ability to set-up mobile device conditional access – You configure conditions for CRM access at the Azure Active Directory group level. For example, you might want to set up conditions that require multi-factor authentication for mobile users accessing CRM when they’re not at work—or maybe you want to require it at all times. You can also set up conditions that require the user’s mobile device to be compliant with your policies before the user can access CRM.


As with every release a high degree of focus is placed on productivity as with this release. The following improvements have been made:

  • Collaboration with Office Groups – Office groups can now be reconnected to other records in CRM.
    • Notification of deleted groups within CRM to allow you to reconnect to another group
    • Project team members are automatically added to a group
  • Email signatures – you can now define signatures for users and queues for web client emails
  • Inline Help – Learning path is a new guided user experience tailored to roles in the organisation. The first release will see the content pre canned for some of the new features, we hope in future releases this will be opened up for configuration so that we can create personalized content for a releases


Service has seen some major enhancements with the release of Project and Field Services as core components of Dynamics CRM Online. These new features are licensed as an add on to a Basic license so are not included in the base license.

  • Project Services – manage project based sales, includes:
    • Estimate, quote, and contract work
    • Plan and assign resources
    • Enable team collaboration
    • Capture time, expense, and progress data for real-time insights and accurate invoicing
    • Project based contracts
    • Project planning
    • Resource management
    • Time and expenses
    • Project billing
    • Watch the video at Project services YouTube video
  • Manage your Field service workflows
    • Field service, the recent FieldOne acquisition has now been fully embedded and enhanced for Dynamics CRM.
    • Field service is an end-to-end solution that delivers advanced scheduling, inventory tracking, and asset management for service depots and highly mobile, in-field specialists who need to fulfill work orders and provide preventive maintenance across multiple sites under complex service agreements.
  • Create SLAs for any entity
    • With this release you can now easily create SLAs for a select few system entities and all custom entities. For example you could create an SLA for a Lead first response in, conversion SLA. Lots of possibilities for SLA configuration.
    • The following system entities are included:
      • All activity entities (such as Email, Task, and Appointment) except recurring appointments
      • Account
      • Contact
      • Invoice
      • Opportunity
      • Quote
      • Lead
      • Order
    • For more information on SLA configuration see My post on SLA set-up and SLA Help guide
  • Interactive service hub enhancements
    • Apply service level agreements (SLAs) for Case and custom entities. This functionality is the same whether you use the web client or the interactive service hub.
    • Track progress of SLA KPIs with the timer control.
    • Remove redundancies between similar cases by merging them into a single case.
    • Access forms and dashboards easily using keyboard navigation

Analytics Features

  • New Service Content Pack includes several key indicators such as cases created, cases resolved, satisfaction percentage, top agent leaders, and most used and viewed KB articles.
  • Improved Sales Manager Content Pack includes OData (Open Data Protocol) version 4.0 support.
  • The ability to embed Power BI tiles directly into CRM user dashboards. This allows you to launch an interactive report from Power BI tiles directly from a CRM user dashboard, without having to switch to the Power BI service.


Self service portals will be released slightly after the general release of Dynamics CRM Online and will include a set of preconfigured portals that can be deployed utilizing the Adxstudio recent acquisition capability. The following portals will be made available and will utilize Azure services:

  • Custom portal. The custom portal is a basic portal that contains flows and pages common to all portals. It includes basic support content as well as custom applications to meet the specific support needs of different organizations, including login/authentication features and contact pages.
  • Customer Self-Service portal. Lets customers access self-service knowledge and support resources, increasing customer satisfaction, reducing call center volumes, and ultimately allowing service agents to focus their efforts on issues of greatest impact.
  • Employee Self-Service portal. Creates an efficient and well-informed workforce by streamlining common tasks and empowering every employee with a definitive source of knowledge. Employee self-service is now available worldwide using CRM and portal capabilities, and is available in all CRM Online markets.
  • Community portal. Enables peer-to-peer interactions between experts in the community, subject matter experts within an organization, and internal and external users. Communities organically grow the catalog of available knowledge from knowledge base articles, forums, and blogs. Participants can provide feedback through rating and comments features. Contributors can also receive alerts on content revisions and workflow updates.
  • Partner portal. Create an environment for interacting with your partners and collaborating on sales opportunities to provide products and services based on your customers’ needs.

Unified Service Desk Enhancements

A number of improvements were made to the Unified service desk these include:

  • Interactive service hub integration. The interactive service hub can now be integrated with Unified Service Desk so users can open and control interactive service hub pages inside Unified Service Desk.
  • Windows Update. Unified Service Desk also supports Windows Update now. Windows Update is an easy and free way to help keep Microsoft applications (like the Unified Service Desk client) safer and running smoothly. Just turn it on, and you’ll get the latest security and other important updates from Microsoft automatically, or you can choose to apply updates manually.
  • Demo packages. New demo packages include samples for new Unified Service Desk environments, upgrading existing Unified Service Desk environments, interactive service hub integration, and Dynamics CRM 2013 or later web client.
  • Telemetry. You can now help improve Unified Service Desk by sending usage data to Microsoft anonymously.

Company News

  • The Company news and timeline solution lets users see the latest and most important news from Bing news on their mobile devices. News articles are organized by time (Today, This Week, Last Week) and contain the headline, date/time, and source of the news article. Important events are detected and categorized, including management changes, earnings releases, new offerings, cost cutting, growth, legal issues, acquisitions, and partnerships.You can use a new custom control to add and configure a news feed for the mobile apps.

Hybrid server-side sync (CRM on premises to Exchange Online)

  • You can use server-side synchronization to automatically synchronize email, tasks, appointments, and contacts between CRM and Microsoft Exchange. Now you can do a reverse-hybrid scenario by connecting CRM on-premises with Exchange Online. This means you can now use server-side synchronization for all four connection scenarios:
  • Serversidesync CRM 2016SP1

CRM APP for Outlook available for CRM On Premise

  • The CRM APP introduced in the CRM Online 2016 release is now available for CRM ON Premise. The following table defines the versions and functions available:
    Read email Compose email
    Outlook on the web (OWA) on all major desktop browsers Yes Yes
    Outlook 2013 Yes No
    Outlook 2016 Yes Yes
    Outlook for Mac Yes No


Customer Field

  • The customer field is a special field you find on some custom entities that let you select an account or contact record as the customer. In the new release you will be add a new field as a type of Customer to your system entities.
  • This feature will be available slightly after the general release of CRM

Filter your activities in the activity pane in CRM 2016

The activity pane is a great area in CRM to see all the activity regarding an account and if used well can create a great story of interactions. But there is often a lot of noise with system activities being displayed or activities that you are not interested in.

In CRM 2016, you can filter the activity pane by clicking on the filter icon, see screenshot below. You can then select the activities you are interested in.

actvity pane filter

May be in the future will also be able to do it by date, but not just yet.

CRM + OneNote = Productivity

In the latest release of Dynamics CRM Online, a large focus has been on increasing productivity, by deeper integration with the Office 365 products. One of these investments has been with OneNote. OneNote is a great tool for capturing all sorts of notes, from meeting notes, to actions, to pictures and the list goes on via any device. So image the ability to take ad-hoc notes and seamlessly link them to the appropriate CRM record be an Account or Opportunity or Case, no more hidden notes in emails, description fields, appointments it’s all discoverable.

So why Integrate to OneNote?

OneNote is a well-established tool that enables people to take notes, to collaborate to capture ad hoc conversations, to embed voice and photos of whiteboards, while being fully accessible on any device from Phones, to Tablets, to Desktops, to iPads and Android based devices.

If we look at traditional CRM systems, when it came to note taking or capturing the outcome of a meeting we were left with wondering what to do with the notes, do we attach them as a note, do we summarise using a text box field, do we implement a web resource to invoke a rich text editor in CRM, often though these notes were never updated in CRM, leaving a hole in the interaction, probably the most important interaction.

To demonstrate the value of this productivity enhancement, let’s take a simple example, I am a sales person going to meet a client regarding a new opportunity to deliver some services and implement a new product. I know I will be asking plenty of questions, taking notes and I am sure the whiteboard will be used to draw some pictures. So how does this play out with CRM and OneNote.

I open the CRM App on my tablet. I bring up my opportunity and review the customer details.  Onenote 1
I click on the OneNote link and start taking my notes in OneNote.

I can draw pretty pictures, write some notes, and do what I need to do.

Onenote 2 - Copy Onenote 3
I complete the appointment record against the opportunity  Onenote 4
My pre sales team can immediately review the notes of the meeting.  onenote 5


So as you can see a seamless experience for me and my team. Writing notes in a tool meant to write notes in. The benefits being:

  • Based on security access, everyone who needs to see my notes can, in the context of the record
  • I can work on any device anywhere, seamlessly
  • OneNotes are stored in SharePoint so no storage impact on my CRM Online
  • I can take photos, draw pictures, record videos, take typed notes, I am not restricted by a field or size of a field
  • I can collaborate real time with other users in the OneNote
  • Users do not need access to CRM to contribute to the OneNote
  • I can utilise other tools that are integrated with OneNote i.e. IFTTT.com provide many simple tools to really start empowering users usage of OneNote


How do we set this up, what do I need to know?

Ok, so you get the point CRM + OneNote = Productivity, so how do I enable it what are the must haves. It is simple really if you meet the following criteria you can enable this integration:

  • You have Dynamics CRM Online, with the latest Update 1 applied
    • If you a new customer, then when you create a trial instance of CRM you will be on this latest update
    • If you an existing customer then you can schedule your instance to be updated via the O365 admin centre
  • You have SharePoint connected to your CRM instance, be Online or On Premise
    • OneNote files are stored in SharePoint using the documents area


If you meet this simple criteria you can get going. So to start using OneNote integration, follow these simple steps:

STEP 1 Decide which entities you want to enable OneNote integration for i.e. Accounts, opportunities, Cases etc
STEP 2 Open “Customise the System” and for each entity make sure the Document Management and OneNote Integration flags are checked. Publish the changes.

onenote step2

STEP 3 If you have already enabled SharePoint integration skip this step. Otherwise you need to enable SharePoint Integration via Settings -> Document Management

onenote step 3

STEP 4 Finally you now need to select the entities in which you want to enable OneNote integration for. So navigate to Settings -> Document Management and select OneNote Integration:

onenote step 4

Now select the entities and click Finish. You have now configured OneNote Integration.

onenote step 4a

STEP 5 Once you have enabled OneNote, to create your first connected OneNote section, open up the record and ensure a document library has been created, then in the social panel click on the new OneNote tab and an OneNote file named Untitled will be created. Open this up and start creating your notes.

onenote step 5


Finally how are they stored and linked?


The OneNote files are stored in SharePoint within the document library for the record. Each record where you initiate an OneNote, a new Notebook will be created. In the social panel, sections of the OneNote notebook are displayed individually.

onenote step finally


In Summary

Bringing the power of OneNote together with the structure of Dynamics CRM, enables individuals to work within the tools that are best suited to the job, while being connected to the context of the CRM record. OneNote enables collaboration, sharing of information and enables users to work smarter reducing the duplication of data entry and the complexity of sharing insights amongst the team.



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.

Using ClickDimensions, how can I capture who forwards the email?

Problem: People can forward my email to anyone and as such the links are related to the person who forwarded it and not the person who received the email. So how can I capture the forward?

Unfortunately there is no easy way of doing this automatically, but what you can do and other customers do is add a button on your email, which states click here to forward this email. What this link can do is take a user to simple form that has a forward email box and a submit button. On entering the email and submitting the form we can then send an email to that new person with all the links correctly configured.

So what do I need to do to get this working, keeping it simple to start with

  1. First of all do you need to create an email template for the email that a customer may forward
  2. You then need to create a web content form, and add a single field “Email” to it
  3. On the actions tab, select send email and select the email template created in step 1
  4. Click on the embed button, and copy the link to the web form and paste it somewhere you can access later
  5. Save and publish the new form
  6. Navigate to the email template that you created in step 1 and edit
  7. You now what to add to your template a link or button (image) on to your email instructing the user to click here to forward the email. So the link you what to embed to the image is the link you copied in step 4. It is key that you do not use the insert web content feature and select the web content form as this will embed it with data on the person you sent the email to and thus prepopulating the email when the user clicks the button. So by using the link you copied no additional attributes will be copied to it, meaning it will be blank when a user lands on the form.
  8. Once updated the email template, you can save it
  9. You are now ready to send out your communication using the email template. Anyone who clicks the link to forward will have a new email generated out of CRM / ClickDimensions and you will be able to track the additional conversions and clicks.

With the model above it does mean that you need to clone the forward form for each email that you send out with the forward button on it as it is specific to a email template.

Another way that you could make it more generic is passing in a hidden variable to the form and using a workflow to evaluate this variable and send the correct email to the new person

To do this way, you will need a little bit of JavaScript knowledge as follows:

  1. Create a hidden field named Forward Email (you could use campaign code or anything that will identify the email to send)
  2. Follow the steps in this post to populate the hidden field from a URL string, note in the example it populates 4 fields you will only need to populate one – http://blog.clickdimensions.com/2014/06/pre-fill-forms-from-links-or-webpages.html
  3. Remove the form action to send the email and save and publish the form
  4. In the email template update the forward URL to include the additional text variable to be populated into the form
  5. Create a workflow that is triggered on the Form Field record
  6. The logic of the workflow should look something like this:
    1. Run on create
    2. Check to see if the Posted Form equals your Forward Form and that the posted field equals the new hidden field created in step 1, if it does continue otherwise stop the workflow
    3. Now you need to evaluate the hidden field, with an IF statement per Forward email, and the action if matches is to send a ClickDimensions email to the contact/lead with the email template selected
    4. You will need to add a new IF statement for each forward email option
  7. So once you have this created for each new forward email you need only update the workflow and not clone the form each time.

Hope this helps.

Insider’s Guide to Managing Service Level Agreements with Dynamics CRM 2015


The Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog


Insider’s Guide to Managing Service Level Agreements with Dynamics CRM 2015

How do you as a business manage Service Level Agreements (SLAs)? How can you utilise Dynamics CRM to manage multiple SLAs against a Case and monitor the performance against them? This post will discuss the ins and outs of setting up and working with SLAs from a business perspective.

Dynamics CRM 2015 provides the ability to manage Sales activity, Marketing activity and Service Activity. This post will focus on Service activity with a customer and specifically related to creating and managing SLAs.

An SLA or Service Level Agreement determines the level of service you will provide your customers. A level of service can be dependent on a number of factors including but not limited to:

–          Whether the Customer is entitled to service via an entitlement. An entitlement could be a something you sell or is included in a product offering i.e. you get 9-5 service with a response time of 8 hours

–          Based on an attribute of the customer i.e. high value customers get x service level and low value customers get y service level

–          Based on an attribute on the Case i.e. if the Priority or Severity is high then provide x level of service

–          Different channels of communications could drive a different level of service i.e. a post on Twitter could require a response in under 30 mins, whereby a response via email requires a response in 4 hours

–          Based on any other attribute related to the Case or associated records i.e. Customer details, product details etc.

As an organisation, you want to measure your levels of service to ensure that you are performing well against them and ideally meeting them. If you are not meeting them you want to be able to monitor why you are not i.e. is a particular team or user, or customer type or product type that is the issue.

Dynamics CRM 2015 enables you to both create multiple SLAs aligned to any attribute, channel or entitlement and monitor through views and charts on how you are performing against them.

I will now walk through the components that make up SLAs, how you create them, how they are executed and how you report on them.

Types of SLAs

Dynamics CRM 2015, provides for 2 SLA types as below:

–          Standard – standard SLAs were introduced as part of the CRM 2013 – Q2 2014 Spring release (Leo). They required a number of manual steps to get working, for example including in the warning actions updating the SLA status field appropriately, so that the timer field can behave as expected.

–          Enhanced – enhanced SLAs were introduced with the CRM 2015 release and removed some of the manual processes of the standard and introduced a number of new enhanced features.

Note: It is recommended to only use one type in an implementation and not mix and match, for consistency and ongoing management. If you have not used SLAs to date it would be recommended to use the enhanced SLAs over the Standard SLAs. If you have used Standard and wish to move to enhanced, you have to recreate the SLAs. Please note you should consider how your data and views are set up currently to report on the data captured.

The feature matrix below details the differences between the two:


Standard SLA Enhanced SLA

First Response By and Resolve By dates and statuses maintained on Case Entity



Use of new SLA KPI related records



Use of Quick view cards to display timers



Timer display added to Case Form



Ability to pause and resume SLA



Start date, warning, failure and succeeded date stored

No (partial only Failure date stored)


Last on hold time and hold minutes supported



Business Hours support



Entitlement Support



Ability to create custom SLA KPI measures



Ability to add success actions



Ability to add warning actions



Ability to add failure actions



Support for default SLA



Update the SLA status via the SLA Item rules



SLA statuses updated automatically



Components that make up an SLA

The following components make up an SLA:

–          Customer Service Calendar – defines the business hours to be used in the SLA calculation. A business can have multiple calendars to support different SLAs i.e. 24×7, 9-5 business days, Customer specific calendars

–          Entitlements – defines the agreed number of Cases or Time that has been contracted with the customer for support. Entitlements can only be associated to one SLA. An SLA can be associated to many Entitlements.

–          Service Configuration – define which statuses place an SLA on hold (shortcut to System Settings). Note that the pause and resume statuses apply to all SLAs and thus are not SLA specific.

–          Holiday Schedule – defines the dates that are considered holidays in a particular region. If you work in multiple regions then you may have multiple holiday schedules. Holiday schedules can be applied to the Customer Service Calendar to be observed.

–          Service Agreements – define the rules that apply to the agreement, when a SLA is triggered, when and what should occur if the SLA is successful, non-compliant or nearing non compliancy.

Creating an Enhanced SLA

To create an enhanced SLA you need to have first created your customer calendar schedules if applicable so that they can be selected as part of the SLA definition.

You should consider the following before creating SLAs:

–          If a customer does not have an entitlement what default SLAs should be applied? Only one default SLA can exist in the system, so all general SLA business rules will need to be included in the default SLA.

–          Should the SLA dates be calculated off the created or modified date?

–          Do we allow SLAs to be paused and if so what statuses are permitted?

–          How will my SLAs be structured? I.e. by product, by customer segment, by customer value, by type of case, by entitlement type, by priority / severity. It is crucial to have consistency of rules so that you and your customers understand how they applied.

–          What should happen if an SLA is nearing the warning time or failure time, what processes should be initiated on failure for example and does it depend on the type of SLA?

Once you have determined your business rules you are ready to configure them in Dynamics CRM.

To create an SLA record, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to System Settings -> Service Management
  2. Select Service Level Agreements
  3. Create New
  4. Complete the form, entering your specific information:

5. Save the new SLA to enable the SLA Details area

6. Select the “+” to add a new SLA detail record, complete with your data as described below:

7. Note you can over type the Failure and Warn after with your own defined values as long as you keep the same syntax i.e. x hours or y days
8. To enable the Success, Warning and Failure actions, you need to first save the record.

9. Repeat step 6 for each business rule. An SLA can include multiple business rules. If this will be the default SLA you will need to include all the default SLAs rules in this one SLA as only one SLA can be defined as default i.e. not associated to an Entitlement.
10. In my example I have defined multiple First response by and Resolve by KPIs by Customer category.

11. Once you have created the rules, activate the SLA, by clicking Activate

12. If it is to be the default SLA i.e. the SLA to be used when no entitlement is selected, click “Set as Default”

Note: Only one SLA can be defined as the Default.

SLAs in Action

Now that the SLA has been activated, any new Cases that meet the criteria will have the SLA applied.

The screenshot below is of a Case related to a premium customer. You can see two SLA KPIs created for First and Respond by SLAs, the applicable countdown timers and the details if the case has been on hold. The timers will automatically change colour from black to orange to red and to Green based on the warning, failure and success criteria.

Note: The Last hold date and minutes are not displayed by default on the Case form. You will need to add these to the case form to view them.

Each SLA that is triggered against a case is reflected as a workflow on the case. The clauses that you defined based on trigger for success, warning and failure are converted in Wait and If conditions. So if we take a look at the workflows associated to this case we will see two workflows and if we open one up you will see the conditions as defined in setting up the SLA depicted in workflow logic. It’s a great place to look if for some reason your expected SLA KPI is not working as expected.

Advanced Topic – Adding a new KPI measure

So we have discussed creating an enhanced KPI for the standard First Response by and Respond by KPIs, but what if you want to measure another KPI like for example Decision Date or Second Response by?

With Enhanced SLAs for Dynamics CRM 2015 you can now create your own KPIs. So what do you need to know?

–          The SLA KPIs are defined as lookups to the SLA KPI Instance, so by default there are two lookups one for Respond by and another for First Response by.

–          The timer is displayed by using a quick view for each SLA KPI. When a quick view is added to the case form you define the lookup field for which the quick view will display

–          Any new look-up to the SLA KPI instance are dynamically displayed on the SLA item form when defining the SLA details. So to add a custom SLA item you need to first create and publish the new relationship

So to create a new SLA KPI for Decision Date you will need to:

  1. Open up the customisations area – Settings -> Customisations -> Customise the solution
  2. Open the SLA KPI Instance entity and create a new 1:N to Case for the new SLA KPI, providing the name of the new KPI i.e. in this example Decision Date By KPI
  3. Open up SLA KPI Instance Forms and copy one of the existing Quick Views by using Save As
  4. Open the new quick view form and change the labels to reflect the new SLA KPI
  5. Save and Publish
  6. Open up the Case form and add the new quick view form to the Enhanced SLA tab
  7. Select the new lookup field to SLA KPI Instance that you created in step 2

8. Save and Publish
9. You can now create a new SLA item against an existing SLA definition or new using the new SLA KPI Decision Date:

10. Once you have created the SLA item and activated it, you will be able to view the new KPI Decision date on the Case Form as per the out of the box KPIs. You can as many new KPIs as required, triggered on             any condition.

Reporting on SLAs


You can report on SLAs by using the standard views, charts and excel. One key point to remember when you are reporting on Enhanced SLAs, is that the key fields to be reported on are stored in a separate relationship SLA KPI Instance.

To create a chart on first response by status, you will need to add the First Response SLA instance fields to the Case form. You can then include the fields on a chart. For example the chart below depicts the status of first response by all active cases:

You can report on any of the SLA date fields and review which cases are nearing non-compliance. You can create specific dashboards on SLAs so that you can monitor SLAs and performance against them.


If you have CRM installed in an On Premise or Hosted environment (not CRM Online), then you need to be aware of a current issue with date calculations for non US based users. If you do not apply this fix you will notice that the date calculations for the SLAs may appear incorrect because of the date format being used. Unfortunately until a fix is applied to CRM you will need to ensure that the CRM servers running the web application are set to the US region as per this blog http://blogs.msdn.com/b/emeadcrmsupport/archive/2014/06/25/dynamics-crm-2013-and-date-time-not-rendered-as-expected-for-notes-related-to-case-records.aspx.

Once you have applied this change then the dates will be calculated as expected. A detailed community support blog can be found here detailing some of the issues that other users have experienced with a reference to this fixhttps://community.dynamics.com/crm/f/117/t/129027.aspx?pi49829=2#responses.