Ever wonder how your team can work more efficiently in D365? The answer is automation, and the number one tool to automate processes in D365 is workflows. Many of the simple (and complex) tasks users perform in D365 can be automated using workflows. Workflows evaluate given parameters and perform actions based on predetermined logic. Such an example is the automation of sending a welcome email when a new contact is created without you having to lift a finger.
Workflows in D365 are processes that typically work in the background to automate the flow of information. D365 Workflows are comprised of triggers, conditions, steps and actions. These properties determine the behavior which you want to have occur which impact your D365 records.
There are many functions you can accomplish using workflows in D365, below are some of the most common:
- Automate Emails – Send out Emails to accounts, contacts or users when a certain criterion is met
- Transfer Information – Automatically pass data from one entity to another entity
- Update Fields – Update fields value based on different conditions and field value changes
Everyone knows that Dynamics 365 has many great ways to link entities together, however once they are linked what controls do we have over their behavior? Enter, Cascading Rules. Cascading rules are a set it and forget it setting which controls the behaviors between two related entities. Cascading rules in D365 allows users to control what actions are passed down from one entity to another.
A great example where cascading rules come in handy is when users want to reassign the owner for a specific account record. However, they do not want its related activities such as emails, tasks and appointments to change owner when this happens. This is when you would go into cascading rules and update the assign setting to prevent the assign action from being passed down to its related activities.
In D365 the out of box settings for cascading rules, for a good majority of relationships, is Set to Parental (Cascade All), which means the action taken on the parent entity will be passed down. Now this may be suitable for some relationships, but in the case of the assign action being applied to Activities, this typically causes some undesirable results.
Toggling the Type of Behavior to Configurable Cascading allows you to customize each of the relationship behaviors individually.
Below are the possible cascading options you can select for each action.
Cascade All: The action taken on the record will apply to its related entity records.
Cascade Active: Similar to Cascade All, except that the action taken on the record will apply to the related entity records, so long as the related records are in an Active or Open state. [Related records that have been deactivated will not be affected.]
Cascade User-Owned: Similar to Cascade All, except, that the action taken on the record will apply only to related entity records owned by the user.
Cascade None: The action taken on the record will not apply to the related entity records.
Global Search is one of the most widely used features in Dynamics 365 since everyone needs to lookup records on a regular basis. Global search makes finding records easy because it allows users to query the entire D365 database in a quick and easy way. The main difference between global search and entity search is that global search checks multiple entities in the system while entity search only looks through records for a specific entity type.
Global search is great for looking up records if you only have a rough idea or small piece of information to go on. This is because global search checks multiple entities and multiple key fields in those entities for your search word. Global search casts a wide net and finds anything with a close match. With that said, global search does not check every field for a match because that would simply take too long.
With the above in mind, do you know which fields are being checked in your company right now when you perform a global search query? To find out, you will need account admin privileges, allowing you to look at the system backend and customize your global search setup.
To start, let’s check which entities are currently enabled for global search. To do so, go to Settings > Administration in the navigation menu.
Within the Administration screen click on System Settings.
In the system settings pop up window, go to the General tab and then click Select for the option “Select entities for Categorized Search”.
From here you can see which entities are included when performing a global search and add and remove entities as needed. You can add entities by selecting the entity in the left-hand column and clicking Add to move it to the right-hand column. Similarly, you can remove entities by selecting them in the right-hand column and clicking Remove. Once you have the entities you want included, you can reorder them to impact the order in which they are displayed when results are returned. You can select up to 10 entities to query when performing a global search. This maximum is set to help balance the quality of results with performance.
Once you have setup which entities to be included in the global search, you can now customize which fields the system will query for when performing the search.
To do so, go to the entity you wish to view/modify the search fields for and in the action bar click on System Views.
In the new pop up window, select the entities Quick Find View. This view controls the information which is searched and displayed in your global searches.
In the view editor, use the Add View Columns and Add Find Columns to control which fields are searched (find) and displayed (view) in your global searches.
Once you have updated your view, based on your preferences, save and publish the changes and your global search criteria will have been updated.
Dynamics 365 Teams are a great way to manage records and tasks because teams can own records and have a definitive security role associated outside the scope of a Users default role. This provides enhanced visibility to managers regarding which group is responsible for which objective; extends a Users reach enabling them to access and work with records they otherwise would not have privileges for; and allows for a simplified security structure, particularly when managing a large group of users.
A few examples of situations wherein teams are best utilized include:
- When Users span multiple business units but share a logical association
- Security Roles within a Business Unit are primarily restricted to User Access Only
- In Customer Support where work is routed to a Support Queue and the management of the Cases is best done through team ownership
To setup a new team in D365, go to the Settings tab in the navigation menu and select Security.
In the Security section click on Teams.
In the team view window, click the New button on the command bar. This will open a new team form.
In the new team form, simply fill out the required information and click save. A team can take on one of two types, Owner and Access. An Owner Team can own records and the Team must have an associated security role or roles. An Access Team is not assigned a security role and the team does not “own” any records, records are shared with members of the access team. (The example follows the path of creating an Owner Team.)
Once the record is saved, you can begin adding members to the team by going to the Team Members (Users) subgrid. Click on the plus sign and then the search icon. This will provide a user drop down list, simply click on the user you wish to add.
If the user you are looking for is not in the list, click on the Lookup more records option at the end of the list. This will open a lookup window, here you can view all users in the system. To add a user from this window, click on the check box next to the user name and hit select. Once all the desired users are selected, Click Add to add all of them to the team.
Now that the users are added, you will need to assign the team a security role which will be passed down to all members of the team. To do so, select Manage Roles in the command bar.
Next select the role(s) you wish to assign and select OK once you are finished.
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.
One of the most common tasks for users in Dynamics 365 is entering data. Often users are required to enter data while on the call with a potential client or customer. Opening a new form and having to switch back and forth between screens can eat up valuable time for you and your client. It can also cause the user to lose focus and forget important information. Quick create forms give users a way to capture key information quicker and with less distractions.
To deploy quick create forms for your D365 environment, simply follow the steps below and you will be on your way to creating a more efficient data entry screen in no time.
Firstly, to use quick create forms you must enable it on the entity level. To do so, go to Settings > Customizations > Customize the System.
In the customization window navigate to the entity you wish to create the quick create form for and confirm that the ‘Allow quick create’ box is checked, otherwise select it to enable this feature.
Now that this has been enabled, go to the entity’s form section > click new > pick quick create form. This will open the quick create form editor.
From here simply drag the fields you wish to use from the field explorer list on the right onto the central panel. Keep in mind the quick create form is intended to be an abbreviated version of the main form, so only add the key fields you need to capture.
Once this is done hit Save, then Publish.
To test out your new form, simply go back to the main page and refresh your browser. Look for the new icon in the navigation bar and find your form in the list.
Below is a sample of how a quick create form looks like when implemented.
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.
2. Create a Quick View form
Next, we need to go to the entity the lookup was created for and create the quick view form. Navigate to the entity and go to the form section. Once there click the new button and pick Quick View Form.
This will open the quick form editor window. Here simply drag and drop the fields you wish to display to the form body on the left.
Once the desired fields have been added, click save and then publish.
3. Add the Lookup and Quick View form to a Form
Now that the lookup field and the quick view form have been created, it is now time to add them to a form where you want the associated data displayed. Go to the form you wish to display the quick view form on.
Open the form editor, drag the lookup field onto the form then switch to the insert tab. Here click Quick View form.
This will open the quick view control. From here, give your quick view form a name, select the lookup field you created earlier, pick the related entity, as well as the quick view form you created. Once done click OK.
This will create a field on the form. To apply these changes click Save and Publish on the Home tab.
Below is a preview of the result.
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.
In the example below, you will notice that regardless of which Transport Class you pick, you will still be shown the entire list of Transport Type options.
Dependent Option Set
With dependent option sets, Dynamics 365 will automatically exclude options based on your previous selection. This makes selecting the right option much easier. As you can see below, once the user has selected the Transport Class as Public. The Transport Type option will automatically filter to only show options available based on the selected Transport Class.
As you can see, this feature is sure to provide many benefits to users working in Dynamics 365. Below are just some of the immediate benefits your users will experience.
- User Friendly: Less is more! Instead of bombarding users with tons of unusable choices, dependent option sets make finding the correct option easier.
- Time Saving: With less options to go though, users reduce time spent entering data, and get back to the things that really matter.
- Eliminate Errors: With logic built into the option set, prevent users from selecting the wrong option by accident. This over time will improve overall data quality and reporting efficacy.
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.
In this window you can find every entity in D365 by clicking on the “Look for” drop down. In the drop down, select the record type you wish to perform a search on.
Next in the Details area, choose the fields you want to perform the search on, the query operator (equals, contains, begins with...), and the data value.
You have the ability to add multiple conditions, so repeat these steps for each condition of your query. By default, all conditions are processed as an AND condition.
To display results matching any of the specified requirements you will need to add an OR grouping. To do so, select the arrow next to each of the field names that you want to include as an OR statement, and choose Select Row. Then in the navigation bar, select Group OR.
Once you have entered all your query conditions, click Results in the ribbon.
See, that wasn’t so hard was it?
Now that you know the basics for using the Advanced Find feature in D365, you can query the system with ease and find exactly what you are looking for. However this is just the tip of the iceberg.