Our Free Dynamics 365 #CRMSaturday #MSDyn365 Bootcamp has been a great success – what a day!

We have just had our first CRM Saturday Bootcamp at Microsoft UK London Paddington offices this Saturday, 22nd July 2017. It has been a lot of hard work for everyone at CRM Saturday especially the trainers: Neil Parkhurst, Janet Rob, Raz Choudry and Baris Kanilca. As for me, I did 16K steps just walking between the various rooms ensuring all sessions are adhering to our agenda times. Personally, my sessions both overrun by few minutes and some of my track attendees missed part of their breaks as I got carried away! For this, I’m sorry 🙂 It has been a seriously fun event with some excellent attendees.

Not only we had 110 excellent attendees @ our free #MSDyn365 #CRMSaturday Bootcamp. We also raised ÂŁ1,421 for the London Fire Fund, British Red Cross.

We learnt Dynamics 365 together in 3 different parallel tracks. There was a lot of excellent networking as well as some great fun at the various breaks and the Raffle ticket awards.

Some of our attendees even went back home with an XBOX S One, an Amazon Alexa/Echo and other prizes. What a day!

However, I’ll have to name names in this post! Firstly, many many thanks go to: Microsoft’s Matt Fox and Bruce Nicholson Scribe’s Henk Adriaans and Steven Thornhill Nigel Frank’s Oliver Norton and Andrew Brownlie

Without our host, Microsoft, and our sponsors, such an amazing events wouldn’t have been possible. And of course special thanks goes to our trainers: Raz Dynamics, Neil Parkhurst, Janet Robb and Baris KANLICA

And our helpers: Lipi Sarkar (MBA), David Robertson and Samira Kadiri

And of course many thanks to our Dynamics Community colleagues and Professionals who attended the event and made the donations to make such an event a success!

Important list of Deprecated Features and Funcationalities in Microsoft Dynamics 365

If you are currently responsible for a Microsoft Dynamics CRM system or planning / delivering a Dynamics 365 solution, then you need to be aware of this important Microsoft announcement about the deprecation of some features and functionalities.

Microsoft defines “Deprecated” as an intention to remove the feature or capability from a future major release of Dynamics 365. The feature or capability will continue to work and is fully supported until it is officially removed. This deprecation notification can span a few years. After removal, the feature or capability will no longer work.

Hence, you should start planning replacing these features from your current Dynamics systems or avoid using these capabilities in your current Dynamics 365 implementation projects.

Here is the list of features, functionalities and capabilities officially deprecated and will be removed from Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM:

  • Dynamics 365 for Outlook (Outlook client) is deprecated
  • Service scheduling in Dynamics 365 for Customer Service is deprecated
  • Dialogs are deprecated
  • Usage of Parature knowledgebase as the Dynamics 365 knowledge management solution is deprecated
  • Project Service Finder app is deprecated
  • Contracts, Contract Line Items, and Contract Templates entities are deprecated
  • Relationship Roles are deprecated
  • Mail Merge is deprecated
  • Announcements are deprecated
  • Ready-to-use business processes available through Add Ready to Use Business Processes setting are deprecated
  • Silverlight (XAP) web resource is deprecated
  • The following client APIs are deprecated
    Xrm.Page
    Xrm.Page.context
    Xrm.Page.context.getQueryStringParameters
    Xrm.Page.context.getTimeZoneOffsetMinutes
    Xrm.Page.context.getUserId
    Xrm.Page.context.getUserLcid
    Xrm.Page.context.getUserName
    Xrm.Page.context.getUserRoles
    Xrm.Page.context.getIsAutoSaveEnabled
    Xrm.Page.context.getOrgLcid
    Xrm.Page.context.getOrgUniqueName
    Xrm.Page.data.entity.save(string)
    Xrm.Page.data.entity.getDataXml
    GridRow.getData
    GridRowData.getEntity
    Xrm.Mobile.offline
    parent.Xrm
    addOnKeyPress
    removeOnKeyPress
    showAutoComplete
    hideAutoComplete
    Xrm.Utility.alertDialog
    Xrm.Utility.confirmDialog
    Xrm.Utility.isActivityType
    Xrm.Utility.openEntityForm
    Xrm.Utility.openQuickCreate
    Xrm.Utility.openWebResource

 

For full details about these deprecations and the official Microsoft announcement, please refer to the following Microsoft Documentation:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/get-started/whats-new/customer-engagement/important-changes-coming

Please note that deprecations described in this post and in the original Microsoft Documentation announcement, apply to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement as of the July 2017 Update. All Dynamics professionals should use this information to prepare for future releases of Dynamics 365.

Customer Engagement refers to the applications that make up the CRM portion of Dynamics 365, which includes the Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation applications.

 

Strategic Business & Technical Considerations for Dynamics 365 CRM Cloud Deployment – CRM User Group July 2017

I have recently presented at the UK CRM User Group event in Microsoft London Paddington offices (I know I now seem to spend more time @ Microsoft Paddington than in my own office).

Anyway, I have received requests to publish my updated slides about the Dynamics 365 CRM Online Cloud deployment considerations. Please find these below. The slides are high level as I go in details during the session (and I hate long text on presentation slides). However, the slide deck still covers many of the core principles and strategic considerations that I believe every business and every organisation should consider before making the decision to go Dynamics 365 on-premise or cloud. There is no “one answer” or “one model fits all” here and there will be many good reasons for an organisation to choose one option over the others – and that’s what I try to convey in these sessions.

While you are here, if you organisation would benefit from a short and quick assessment of Dynamics 365 cloud versus on-premises decision, I’ll be happy to help you with that. I have been delivering these assessment frequently lately and I apply all my lessons learnt and experiences onto these short assessments to help businesses make the right decision for themselves.

You can get in touch via the contact page or via LinkedIn.

 

Difference between Microsoft Dynamics CRM Portals, ADX Studio, Portals from Microsoft, XRM Portals and Open Source Dynamics Portal

Does this blog post title sound confusing? If yes, then I have to admit it is intentionally written to sound confusing. I made it confusing because this is how I felt after reading about the so many names and naming combinations I heard about Dynamics Porals, ADX Studio portal recently acquired by Microsoft, Dynamics Portals by Microsoft and Microsoft Portals SaaS module.

To clear this confusion, I found this comparison on Adoxio website to be helpful to clarify the confusion:

Source: https://www.adoxio.com/xRM-Portals-Community-Edition/

For those who don’t know, Adoxio is the consultancy part of ADX Studio that Microsoft didn’t acquire.

So to clarify, Adxstudio portal were up to versions 7 before Microsoft acquired them.

Once Adx code was acquired, Microsoft rebranded it to Portal, from Microsoft. This is the new SaaS Dynamics Portal from Microsoft which is normally included in your Dynamics 365 Enterprise subscription. This is also known and referred to as: Microsoft Dynamics Portals, Microsoft Portals for Dynamics 365 and few other permutations. This dynamics portal is only available in the cloud (SaaS) and is not available for on-premise

Microsoft has then decided to release the source code as a one-off release to the Dynamics community. This is the release of the Microsoft SaaS portal source code at a specific point this year but as mentioned, it is a one-off, as is with no support or bug fixing. You can understand more from the comparison in the image above.

Finally, Adoxio has taken the Microsoft Open Source Portals code and made it freely available on GitHub as XRM Portal community edition so that it can easily be downloaded, updated, and maintained by itself and anyone else, including other Microsoft Partners. This represents the definitive edition of Microsoft Open Source Portals for Dynamics 365 brought to you by the same team behind ADXStudio. xRM Portal community edition is available to be used both on-premise and cloud.

Hope this post has clarified the confusion between the various versions and the new promising XRM Portal community edition.

Everything you need to know about the upcoming Free Dynamics 365 Training Bootcamp at Microsoft UK London Paddington offices

CRM Saturday and CRM Boutique Mentoring programme are arranging a FREE Dynamics 365 CRM classroom training delivered by a number of Microsoft MVPs and Dynamics Experts. The event will also be used to raise funds to the London Fire Relief, British Red Cross. 100% of donations go directly to the charity. Trainers are volunteering and dedicating their Saturday to give back to the Dynamics community through training and to raise money to a good cause.

Thanks to Microsoft UK and our sponsors, there will be free lunch and refreshments throughout the day!

This hands-on classroom based training has 3 Tracks:

  1.  Track A: Application Core for those looking to learn the basics of Dynamics 365 functional capabilities. The focus of this track is at professionals and individuals moving into Dynamics 365 who want to learn the core Dynamics 365 CRM Sales and Customer Services application from a functional, capability and features knowledge. If a consultant already knows Dynamics 365 application good enough, then they should look at registering an interest in Track B: Configuration and Customisations of Dynamics 365. There will be a hands-on project expected to be delivered by groups of attendees in this track.
  2. Track B: Configuration and Customisation with No Code or Custom Development: for individuals who know Dynamics features and capabilities but want to learn how to configure the platform without code or development. It’s specifically aimed at professionals and End Users who want to get a hands-on training on how to configure and customise the system using out of the box configuration capabilities. Attendees must understand the application functionality well to attend this track, otherwise please register your interest in track A. There will be a hands-on project expected to be delivered by groups of attendees in this track.
  3. Track C: Unified Service Desk Specialist training. This is a highly specialised Unified Service Desk training by Microsoft MVP Neil Parkhurst with a combination of lessons and labs to get everyone a hands-on experience on setting up and configuring Dynamics 365 USD.

Securing your place:

Places are limited so please register your interest here as soon as possible before we close down the registration of interest: http://crm.boutique/register

Please remember to fill in all details included under the options section of the registration page.

If you have registered with CRM Boutique before, then you only need to update your account page. Make sure you update the options to confirm your interest in joining the bootcamp and which track you would like to be considered for.

Registration of interest must have details on how you see this training can help your career.

Registration of interest without full information including why you should be allocated a place, will be disregarded.

Places are allocated by application NOT on first come first serve basis.

 

Fundraising and Donations:

To extend the benefit of this bootcamp training we are using the event to raise funds for the London Fire Relief, British Red Cross. Trainees are expected to make a donation to this cause via the following Just giving page:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/saturday-bootcamp

Please note that 100% of all donations go straight from Just Giving to the Charity directly. We do not take any donations and we don’t even process it.

Sponsors:

Thanks to our sponsors,

  1. Microsoft UK, our host
  2. Scribe Software, Platinum Sponsor, and,
  3. Nigel Frank International, Gold Sponsor,

Thanks to them, this training has been made a reality. Without our sponsors, we wouldn’t have a venue, food and refreshments all day and we wouldn’t have been able to cover all training costs. Our Sponsors are the ones who made this event free!

Any sponsorship money left after covering the event costs, will be donated to the same JustGiving page for the British Red Cross.

Featuring these exceptional experts and MVPs: Raz Dynamics , Neil Parkhurst , Baris KANLICA , Janet Robb and more!

Hands-on Projects and Labs:

Tracks A and B will have hands-on projects to be delivered by groups of trainees. Track C will have a number of Labs. For this reason, all trainees are expected to bring in their own laptops with them. All trainees will also need to register for a free 30 days trial Dynamics 365 instance ahead of coming to the training. This is very important as otherwise, trainees will not be able to participate and may not get the full benefit of the training.

Awards and Prizes:

In addition to all of this, our sponsors will be offering valuable prizes as awards to highest performing trainees in the bootcamp. There will also be a raffle with excellent prizes.

More details to be announced on the day!

Full information here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/free-dynamics-365-training-bootcamp-microsoft-london-offices-mostafa

CRM Saturday is a free non-for-profit Microsoft Dynamics 365 event held in multiple cities around the world from Europe to Australia which has been extremely well received globally with very positive feedback and excellent participation.

CRM Boutique is a free Dynamics 365 Mentoring programme which has gained a large audience and membership over the past few months.

Free Dynamics 365 Entry Level Beginners and Introductory Training for Professionals who want to move to and learn Dynamics 365

Are you new to Dynamics 365 or have recently started to learn / study the Dynamics 365 CRM Platform?

Perhaps you want to learn what you can achieve using the Dynamics 365 platform?

You could be an IT professional who knows CRM concepts, worked with other CRM systems but wants to learn Dynamics 365 functionality, features and capabilities?

Or may be, you want to sell Dynamics 365 or participate in Dynamics 365 solution Pre-sales activities?

If your answer is “Yes” to any of the above questions, then apply to “Track A” of the upcoming FREE Dynamics 365 training bootcamp in Microsoft London Paddington offices on 22nd July 2017.

Track A Training will be led by ex-Microsoft and Dynamics 365 expert: Janet Robb

Not only you will learn features and functionalities in Dynamics 365 but Janet will also cover platform capabilities that directly increase User Adoption and improves Dynamics programmes success.

Places are limited so register your interest as soon as possible at: http://crm.boutique/register.

Full details about this free Dynamics 365 training bootcamp on Saturday 22nd July 2017 can be found here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/free-dynamics-365-training-bootcamp-microsoft-london-offices-mostafa

Pub chain J.D. Wetherspoons has deleted its entire Customers emails database – Better for GDPR compliance!

Pub chain J.D. Wetherspoons has deleted its entire email mailing list. Not only that, the company has announced will stop sending newsletters via email.

Accord to a wired news article, the decision was announced on Friday June 23 in an email from chief executive John Hutson. In the email, Wetherspoons CEO said that “Many companies use email to promote themselves, but we don’t want to take this approach – which many consider intrusive,” “Our database of customers’ email addresses, including yours, will be deleted.”

The news comes after several UK companies have received fines for sending marketing messages to customers who didn’t explicitly consent to receive emails.

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined airline Flybe, car manufacturer Honda and Morrisons supermarket amongst other organisations.

Many analysts regard these fines as a warning call to organisation not taking seriously the upcoming Directive of Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

Jon Baines, chair of The National Association of Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officers, said: “On a risk basis, it’s just not worth holding large amounts of customer data which is bringing insufficient value,”

This is again part of GDPR expectations. Organisations should only capture and store information it requires for its operations and not just keep customers data without good business reasons or without proper protection.

If you have a Dynamics 365 solution or an in-flight Dynamics 365 implementation programme and you haven’t already considered GDPR considerations for your solution, please make appropriate arrangements as soon as possible.

You can read all my articles on GDPR considerations for Dynamics 365 CRM systems, solutions and implementation programmes here:

http://www.mohamedmostafa.co.uk/blog/category/gdpr/

Hope this helps!

 

Understanding Dynamics 365 Business Process Flow Data Model following changes in December 2016 release (v 8.2)

Microsoft Dynamics 365 December 2016 release (version 8.2) included some significant changes to Dynamics CRM Business Process Flow data model and entities structure.

In the new Model, every time a business process flow is activated, a custom entity is automatically created to store the activated business process flow instances.

Before that, every time you create a business process flow, it is stored in the Workflow entity (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/mt622427.aspx).

The Workflow entity stores the business process flow definition. So once the entity is created, it is always in Draft state and its definition is stored in Workflow entity. XAML property is where the definition is stored and is mandatory/required.

Once you activate a business process flow definition (by changing the state of the corresponding Workflow entity record), a custom entity with the following name is automatically created to store the activated business process flow instances:

<activesolutionprefix>_<uniquename>

More details can be found in this MSDN Article here:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/dn481586.aspx

There is also the Process Stages Entity which contains: Step metadata for process stage (Client Data). It also contains stage Category (Qualify, Develop, Propose, etc.) as well as the Stage Name.

Properties represent fields of data stored in the entity. Some properties are read-only.

Name Type Details
clientdata Edm.String Description: Step metadata for process stage

Display Name: Client Data

Read-only property

owningbusinessunit Edm.Guid Description: Select the business unit that owns the record.

Display Name: Owning Business Unit

Read-only property

primaryentitytypecode Edm.String Description: Primary entity associated with the stage.

Display Name: Primary Entity

processstageid Edm.Guid Description: Shows the ID of the process stage record.

Display Name: Process Stage

stagecategory Edm.Int32 Description: Select the category of the sales process.

Default Options:

0 : Qualify
1 : Develop
2 : Propose
3 : Close
4 : Identify
5 : Research
6 : Resolve
7 : Approval

Display Name: Stage Category

stagename Edm.String Description: Type a name for the process stage.

Display Name: Process Stage Name

versionnumber Edm.Int64 Description: Version number of the process stage.

Display Name: Version Number

Read-only property

More information on the ProcessStages entity is here:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt790421.aspx

Finally, here is a Dynamics Community post with few more information and discussion on this subject:

https://community.dynamics.com/crm/f/117/t/241128

Link to Dynamics 365 Preview Executive Briefing July 2017 video – in case you missed it

Hi Folks,

In case any of you couldn’t attend the Executive Briefing here are the links to the event recorded videos. I would say this event is a must-attend for anyone working on Dynamics 365 as it includes some of the largest updates and new features ever announced about Dynamics 365.

Here are the links:

Day 1: https://infopedia.eventbuilder.com/view?eventid=r9h2n6

Day 2: To be Published (Come back soon)

Day 3: To be Published (Come back soon)

Hope this helps!

 

What to look for when preparing for GDPR compliance? How can Dynamics 365 security & audit capabilities help?

This post is part of my GDPR series where I share some of my learnings and research on GDPR in general and how it affects my Dynamics 365 Clients and their Solutions / programmes. You can read the whole GDPR series here.
In this post, I’m trying to highlight key areas where organisations need to focus their attention and resources to ensure their compliance. This is not an exhaustive list of all key areas but are in my view the most urgent ones.
These key areas are: Data Classification, Metadata, Governance and Monitoring.
For Data Classification, this goes back to how you define your customers data as Personal Identifiable Information (PII), sensitive information or just general non-PII data. You need to know all the PII and sensitive data locations in all your systems and solutions including files such as documents, presentations and excel spreadsheets. If you can’t know where you data is stored then you can’t really protect it and you will more than likely be at risk of losing some information and face a massive GDPR related fine.
Second key area is metadata or audit information about collected and stored data. These include the When, Why and What for questions. When the data was collected, why you collected it and what are you going to use it for in the future. If you know the answer to these questions, you should then follow this up with regularly planned audit of your solutions / IT Systems to check if you should continue to store it in the future. It is a good practice to only store information you require to conduct daily business activities and nothing more than you need.
Applying this point on Dynamics 365 CRM would be by ensuring Auditing is switched on for all your Customer entities, mainly Contact and Account entities and other custom entities you might have created for your customers or persons you have relationships with. Auditing can be switched on through the customisation area of Dynamics CRM.
The next key area of focus for businesses preparing for GDPR is the governance and protection of the data including identifying who can access which data and under what circumstances. It also includes putting in place procedures for data access authorisation, apply suitable security roles and limit access to data at a granular level if needed. Microsoft Dynamics 365 has a wide variety of functionality and capability that can allow any business apply these GDPR considerations on their Dynamics Solution. Capabilities include User/Access Team security, Security Roles, Business Units as data containers, Field Level Security Profiles, Auditing, Multiple Forms per entity and many more great functionalities with lots of flexibility to achieve your optimal GDPR governance process.
Finally, the last key area that businesses should give attention to as part of their preparation for GDPR is Monitoring. GDPR stipulates that organisations must have robust procedures for monitoring data access and a strict security measures in an “Always monitoring” mode that immediately alerts relevant parties in case of any data breach. Security procedures and processes should include review of patterns of data access and making sure any irregularities and unexpected behaviour (from a person or a system) are spotted at a very early stage.
With that, I hope I have covered some of the key areas of considerations for organisations preparing for GDPR compliance especially those with Dynamics 365 CRM system. If you need help making your Dynamics 365 solution GDPR compliant and want to know more about Dynamics capabilities and functionality that allows you to achieve that, then please do get in touch via the contact page.
Hope this helps!
Disclaimer: This post like all other posts on my blog, are provided as is with no warranties. Please note that I’m not a GDPR or Data Protection expert but a Dynamics 365 one. All posts on this blog including the GDPR series are provided as is with no warranty and are the product of my research and understanding. Please speak to a legal or regulatory advisor if you need an expert GDPR opinion. However, you can speak to me if you need an expert #MSDyn365 opinion!