Have an idea, bring it to life with D365 Custom Entities!

Out of the box, Dynamics 365 has many great out-of-the-box entities such as accounts, contacts, leads, and opportunities. However, it is often the case, that the out of the box entities may not be the right fit or the only fit for every business. Businesses often have their own special requirements, and when these requirements do not fit the D365 mold, we look to custom entities to accomplish the desired result. Through the configuration of custom entities, D365 can be tailor fit to meet any business’ unique needs. That means custom forms, fields, business process flows, views, charts, and dashboards, all based on your specific requirements.

D365 out-of-the-box is like a good suit, you purchase it because you like the suit, but know that to get the “right fit,” your next stop will be your tailor. Custom entities are your D365 tailor. With custom entities you can construct entities based on your organizational needs. These custom entities can drastically elevate your D365 experience. By creating custom entities you’ll have a unique, one of a kind system, unlike anything on the market. This could be as simple as an entity to capture employee data in your organization, to a collection of custom entities working together to bring you a whole new experience.

The following is an example of some custom entities built to manage human resource activities. The below demonstrates a custom navigation tile built to clearly distinguish the custom entities which have been built to fall within the Human Resources component of the system, thereby easily distinguishing it from the out-of-the-box areas of the environment.

The Candidate entity in the collection had fields created and a custom business process flow built to manage the hiring process. This entity had relationships built which further tie it to the other custom entities which fall within the human resources collection. Being this is all custom built, the skies the limit. If you can imagine it, you can make it a reality.

Custom entities truly transform your D365 environment to fit your business requirements, so you never have to compromise. D365 out of the box is a great base to get started, but one size does not fit all, and that is where the ease and flexibility of the system is best recognized and where custom entities shine. Talk to your team and determine how you can leverage custom entities in D365, then email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your ideas and get started on the path to building your perfect D365 environment.

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Do NOT get limited within Dynamics 365 --- Exporting Data to Excel

Analyze Dynamics 365 data to gauge performance. Recognize trends. Mass edit thousands of records. Share data with someone that is not a D365 User. These business requirements and so much more can be accomplished when you export your data to Excel or Excel Online from Dynamics 365. Plus extracting a large number of records is a non-issue because you can export up to 100,000 records in a single export file.

The Export to Excel feature has proven to be a vital asset in the D365 application over the years due its ease of use, and its obvious connection to Excel. With the continued enhancements in Dynamics 365, and the technology which can be integrated with the application, you can certainly do so much of your data analysis without ever leaving the environment, thereby reducing the need to export your data. Fact is though, so many have come to know, love and depend upon the tools and functions in Excel which bring data to life, thereby making the Export to Excel feature a much-coveted feature still.

Besides the need to extract data for data analysis, the Export to Excel feature carries another extremely valuable purpose. What if you have a query of 10,000 Account records, for example, and want to update the Industry field on all of them to the same value? Sure, you could select a maximum of 250 records per page and mass edit them. But consider this, 10,000 divided by 250, you would need to repeat the process 40 times. And let’s be realistic, out of the 10,000 records, chances are slim you would be modifying the Industry field value to the exact same value for all.

By leveraging the export to Excel function, not only can you view thousands of rows of data at once, you can also update all of them at once too. Data is exported in the same format as you see in your View, so text remains text, numbers remain numbers, and dates remain dates. The cell format in Excel may change for some formatting types, so you will need to be aware of this and be sure to update the affected rows accordingly.

Make any necessary changes in the exported file, and then import the file back into Dynamics 365. Just like that, your 10,000 Account records have been updated in a fraction of the time, and you have significantly reduced the risk of making an error.

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Need to access Dynamics 365 while you are away from a PC? Use the Mobile App!

Dynamics 365 is a sophisticated Microsoft business application, it grants the ability to better manage the relationships of your Sales, Customer Service, Field Service and Operation processes. But how can you access your data while you are out in the field, the internet is down or you are not anywhere near your PC? Dynamics 365 for phones and Dynamics 365 for tablets apps are the solution when you're on the go. These apps give you immediate access to accounts, contacts, opportunities, cases, and so much more!

How to get the App:

Go to the app store on your device and download either Dynamics 365 for phones or Dynamics 365 for tablets, depending on the device you are working with. Both phone and tablet users alike will appreciate the new Unified Interface. The Unified Interface provides an optimized viewing and interaction experience, relative to screen size, device, and orientation.

 Accessing the App:

Once you have the app installed, open the app on your device, enter your Dynamics 365 URL (web address), and click the arrow to continue. Next you will be prompted for your user name and password. If you are unsure of any of these values, contact your Dynamics 365 administrator.

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Effectively Brand Dynamics 365 with Themes

You can now brand your Dynamics 365 environment! Themes allow you to apply your distinct logo and color scheme to your Dynamics 365 environment. Three simple clicks and you are well on your way to a D365 environment with a look all your own.

1. From the Navigation Bar, select Settings

2. Select Customizations

3. Select Themes

 

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Create D365 Quick View Forms in 3 Easy Steps

Quick View forms are a great way to view information from different entities while remaining on a single record. Quick view forms enable you to surface data from associated entities and display the data in read only mode on the form. This is done through linking the two different entitles together using a lookup field. Below you’ll learn how you can setup your own quick view form in just 3 easy steps.

1. Create a Lookup field

The first step in setting up a quick view form is to ensure you have a lookup field to the entity where the data is stored. If you do not already have a lookup field created, you will need to create one. To do so, go to Settings > Customizations on the navigation bar and select Customize the System.

Next navigate to the entity you wish to add the lookup field to, and thereby surface the Quick View form on. Click the Fields node, and create a new field.

Once you click new, the following pop up window will appear. Indicate a display name and change the data type to Lookup and select the entity you wish to associate to. Once that is done, click save and close.

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Find what you need, and only what you need with Dynamics 365 Views

The records you store in Dynamics 365 typically share some association with other records of the same type. Whether it be leads owned by a specific user, accounts of the same relationship type, contacts located in a specific city, opportunities created in last “X” days. The list is endless and limitless. With a little planning, you can create Views which automatically filter records for you based on the criteria you set.

So, what are Views in D365?

Views display all the records of a specific entity type in your D365 environment. Out-of-the-box you are provided with a variety views, but you can add to these, creating custom views which are significant to you. Clicking the drop-down arrow next to a view name reveals all the views you have at your disposal.

There are two types of Views which can be created, system views and personal views. System Views are created by a System Administrator or System Customizer, and are available to everyone in the organization. Personal Views are those that a User can create for themselves, and are only viewable by that User (or Users they “share” the view with), and what this blog will focus on.

Creating a Personal View

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Create charts in Dynamics 365 to make your data pop!

Leave the spreadsheets to your data analysts, and appreciate the effectiveness that charts provide. Dynamics 365 comes with a handful of charts out-of-the-box which you can pair with corresponding views to surface data visually. Like most companies, you likely have unique measures which the standard charts do not account for. That is where the flexibility and ease of creating your own charts in D365 shines. Dynamics 365 provides a variety of chart types allowing you to create column, bar, pie, funnel, and many more chart types, to fulfill your business needs.

Charts interact with the view which is chosen, and the data reflected in the chart is refreshed when you toggle between views. So, if viewing My Opportunities, the chart will depict that information, if you switch the view to All Opportunities, the Chart will change to reflect the data of the newly selected View. Similarly, you can switch Charts to display the View data in another way.

There are two types of Charts which can be created, system charts and personal charts. System Charts are created by a System Administrator or System Customizer, and are available to everyone in the organization. Personal Charts are those that a User can create for themselves, and are only viewable by that User (or Users they “share” the chart with), and what this blog will focus on.

Creating a Personal Chart

To create a chart, navigate to the entity (Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities…) for which you want to create a chart and choose the view which best demonstrates the data you want to visualize. Click the charts pane to expand this section.

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See what matters most with Dynamics 365 Dashboards

Creating views and charts are a meaningful way to analyze and visualize your data, but they often live in multiple entities in Dynamics 365, and truth be told, you probably overlook or do not use them to their fullest potential. Custom dashboards in D365 give you the ability to pull together a variety of views and charts into one place, providing you a single stopping point to easily view metrics which span multiple entities.

Dashboards can be made up of views, charts, web resources and iFrames, allowing you to build your own collection of business intelligence metrics.

There are two types of Dashboards which can be created, system dashboards and personal dashboards. System Dashboards are created by a System Administrator or System Customizer, and are available to everyone in the organization. Personal Dashboards are those that a User can create for themselves, and are only viewable by that User (or Users they “share” the Dashboard with), and what this blog will focus on.

Creating a Personal Dashboard

You can create a personal dashboard by going to the dashboard area of Dynamics 365, and selecting an existing Dashboard and performing a “Save As” or create a new one. You are presented with layout choices, select one and click Create.

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Meet Advanced Find. Your Search is just Beginning.

Ever had your boss ask you to pull a report which meets a specific set of criteria or sat scratching your head trying to pull up a record, but could not recall the exact details? With Advanced Find in D365, you can find exactly what you are looking for in just seconds. Advanced Find is the most powerful and robust tool in Dynamics 365 for searching. Using intuitive, user friendly features, you can quickly create queries and search your entire D365 database with ease.

At first glance Advanced Find may appear a bit intimidating, however once you become familiar with it, you will find yourself using it all the time, and wonder how you ever worked without it.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know to get started using Advanced Find today!

The Advanced Find button is simple to locate, no matter which screen you are on, because it is housed in the D365 navigation bar.

Once you click on the  Icon, a window like the following will appear.

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Field Mapping - The Solution to Redundant Data Entry

Isn’t it maddening to fill out the same fields, with the same info, when creating a child record directly from its parent form? Well -- Stop Doing It! Let the system fill out those fields automatically for you, instead of eating up your own time on it!

One of the “quiet” features of Dynamics 365, that will significantly save you time and protect data integrity, is Field Mapping. The purpose of field mapping is to copy certain values (e.g. address fields) from a record to an associated record (e.g. a contact created from an account)

The following details how simple it is to create field mapping relationships.

In Customizations, locate the Account Entity, and go to the “1:N Relationships” node.

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Less options, more results with Dependent Option Sets in Dynamics 365!

Ever have the problem of scrolling down a long list of options only to miss what you were looking for? What if there was a way to limit your option choices based on values previously selected? Well now there is!

Dependent options in Dynamics 356 gives users the ability to filter down a long list of option values to just a handful of choices based on previously selected parent fields. This feature dynamically updates the options users see based on pre-set business logic.

Take the following transpiration data model as an example.

Traditional Option Set

Traditional option sets simply display all the options for each field without any consideration for previously selected option values. This method is cumbersome when it comes to long lists and can feel very redundant when looking through lists where some of the options obviously shouldn’t be there based on previous values selected.

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Sub-grids in Dynamics 365 - Everything you need in one place!

Wouldn’t it simplify things if you could go to one record and see everything you need to see? Ever find yourself heading into a meeting, and wish you could quickly “ramp up” on all interactions with the Customer? Getting the total picture in one place, enabling you to see every touchpoint, this is the benefit that sub-grids afford you.

One of the great things about Dynamics 365 is that it allows you to customize entity forms to display the information most relevant to your business. You will quickly find that providing your users with the ability to see, at a glance, a subset of related records when viewing a lead, contact or account record provides immeasurable value.

For example, your salespeople may benefit from seeing all tasks related to an account directly on the account record. Instead of having to navigate to a separate page or running an advanced find query, you can easily set this up by adding a task sub-grid to the account form.

To add a sub-grid to your account form, open the D365 form editor directly from the account record’s ribbon menu or by opening the general customizations menu, navigating to the account entity forms, and selecting the account main form.

Once you’re in the form editor, select the section that you want to add the sub-grid to, switch to the form editor’s Insert tab, and click the Sub-Grid button.

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Transform the Way Your Team Sells Series: Missed Opportunities

Picture This.

It’s a lovely Tuesday afternoon, and the sun is shining birds are singing as you are packing up your car to go to your first meeting. As a business owner, there is no such thing as a 9-5 schedule but today seems possible, you only have two meetings today and maybe even have time to make a pit stop to the office.

After your first meeting, you realized that you missed a call from the office and tried calling back, but there is no answer. Your first meeting took a little longer than normal, and you’re running a little behind schedule, so you check your email just to double check and no luck. Once you have finished with the second meeting you check again to see if there is anything and finally there is an email from one of your employees about a possible lead that wants to schedule up something today.

Now you are running behind schedule even more now cause the last meeting took longer than expected with a whole bunch of questions. Now, as you’re on route to your “final” meeting you try following up with this lead and no answer on the phone call and you send them a quick email right before you walk into your third meeting. The final meeting ends and as you check your email, you see that they had an opening for today but are booked until Friday and could book something then. You realize that you could be Missing Opportunities.

We are in the year 2018, the time of digital transformation and moving to the cloud; missing opportunities is not an option anymore. With the hectic life of a business owner, you need something that can help you and your company work in harmony and work more in sync. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales your team can add a lead into your system with little information and you can get a notification about the new lead.

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Tips on How to Stay Competitive If You Run a Small Business

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According to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, there are 1.1 million small companies (1-99 employees) in the country. However, 60% of small businesses fail within the first five years, so there's a big concern for entrepreneurs on how to stay competitive. Here are three ways you can stay ahead of your competitors if you run a small business.

1. Be passionate

Usually, small business owners started their business because of passion. Passion drives motivation, which makes small business owners the busiest people in the world. They don't finish their work when it's 5 o clock and rarely think about vacation. This drive and passion are factors that make them successful.

Convert your passion into hard work, and you’ll be one step ahead of the pack.

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Retrieving Data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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Retrieving data and metadata for reports In Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be done using SQL views. In Dynamics CRM, users can run queries on SQL views that are automatically created. As the image below shows, names within the SQL views are easy to identify. A Microsoft tip sheet notes that SQL-based reports in Dynamics CRM use the filtered views provided for each entity to retrieve data for the reports. 

To obtain the query, users can download the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) online. 

Apart from being automatically created, Filtered Views offer the benefit of being updated for custom entities, having security embedded in the view, and being supported after patches, service releases and upgrades.

To learn more about how WebSan Solutions can support your Dynamics CRM projects and implementation, visit our Solutions page or contact us

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CRM 2016 Improves Navigation Functionality

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The main navigation in the CRM 2016 ribbon not only altered its look, it also made functional changes, vastly improving the end user experience. The Main Menu Button now replaces the CRM logo. Clicking this button enables the user to switch between each of the functional areas without waiting for the page to reload. 

 

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Take the Guesswork out of Case Management

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Running a well-oiled support desk is not for the faint of heart. There are so many moving parts…Does the customer have a support agreement? Does the contacting party have authority to open a support ticket against the agreement? What is the issue? Is the issue covered under the support agreement? What is the expected turn-around time? How does this relate to its priority in the queue? Which support resource should be assigned the ticket? Is the support resource staying on top of the ticket? 

Did you know there is a whole area inside your Dynamics CRM environment that is fitted with tools to manage your support operations? It is neatly tucked away in Settings under Service Management and contains a slew of menu items to manage the many facets of the support process. 

Through the combined forces of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Entitlements you are armed with a pairing which allows for a flexible support model. SLAs offer variable levels of support, with varied turnaround times and price points, while Entitlements allow you to define the variable by which support is measured (time vs count), who can open support tickets against the agreement, the products/services covered under the agreement, and the channels by which a support ticket can be submitted.

Depending on how support tickets are received, Automatic Case Creation & Update Rules may prove to be a mighty ally. This feature automates the process of creating/updating records based upon predefined settings and conditions. One such condition is whether an Entitlement exists for the submitting customer. Take your automatically created cases, and make use of Routing Rule Sets, which read the properties of the Case and route the records to your various Support Queues to be picked up by your Support Resources to be worked on. It is worth noting that Routing Rule Sets can also be applied manually if your support tickets reside in a “bucket” for assignment.

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WebSan and MS Dynamics World Present “Maximize Dynamics CRM Right Out of the Box” Webinar

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WebSan and the leading global independent authority in covering the world of Microsoft Dynamics, MS Dynamics World have joined together to offer a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM webinar. The free webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 12 PM EST.

The session will look at the different features of Dynamics CRM 2015 and explore how one can mold, manipulate and build upon the software to meet the requirements of your organization. The webinar will explore how to use Dashboards, data export from Dynamics CRM to Microsoft Excel, implementation of business rules and processes to promote data integrity and the use of Workflows.

This collaboration with MS Dynamics World promises to bring an insightful glimpse of Dynamics CRM’s capabilities. Participants will also get the opportunity to ask questions to the speaker. Register today and don’t miss out on your chance to attend this webinar. 

Click here to register for “Maximize Dynamics CRM Right Out of the Box” webinar

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Leave Feedback to Unlock New Resources with Dynamics GP and CRM Demos

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WebSan Solutions’ Microsoft Dynamics GP and CRM interactive demos now enables users to leave feedback to unlock new resources that will offer additional information that can help in the ERP software selection process.

The Dynamics GP and CRM demos boast over 300 downloads and have been a trusted tool in helping give an overview of both systems’ capabilities and main modules. The demos give an inside look at what the systems can offer and show a preview of each system before users decide to purchase. Not only are the demos useful in the research process, they also prove valuable for their interactive functionality. The interactive functionality allows users to type in and click on specific fields; a feature that is not common to traditional software demos.

When users leave feedback for the demos after downloading, they are given links to valuable resources that offer additional information on the two systems. For the Dynamics GP demo, users can access an estimate of WebSan’s Dynamics GP implementation cost, while those who leave feedback for the Dynamics CRM demo can watch an exclusive webinar on maximizing Dynamics CRM’s out-of-the-box features.

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CRM for Outlook – Frustration Free Zone

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I was recently speaking with some likeminded CRMers in the community and we were discussing what we find to be at the top of the list for help desk inquiries. The overwhelming consensus was CRM for Outlook.

Do you ever find yourself faced with CRM for Outlook just not cooperating? Whether it be that you are having undesirable or unresponsive behaviors, the CRM tab is greyed out, or the CRM tab has vanished. Have no fear, you are not alone, and with a few checks and few clicks, more often than not, one of the following suggestions will be your golden nugget for resolution.

Check the following machine related roadblocks for starters...

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