What’s New in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 is a sensation!! Previously condemned ‘ORION’ the upgrade is titled Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. There are many new enhancements that will improve user experience and clarify business processes. CRM 2013 also improves usability across multiple browsers. Here are some new features.

1.      Command Bar

The left navigation used in previous version is replaced by the user-friendly Command Bar. Each command option features a down arrow indicating there is a menu below it.

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The Command Bar drops down from top when you run your mouse over it.

2.      New User Experience

With an intuitive, less cluttered interface, you will notice the absence of pop-up windows. To navigate away from a page, hence, you do not “Close” the record, but select from the top navigation where you want to go.

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3. Process Agility

Dynamics CRM 2013 gives user visual guidance to navigate processes that makes workflow more prescriptive and easier to follow. In a significant departure from CRM 2011, a new process bar prompts user to follow next action steps in line with your mapped workflow to progress leads, opportunities, services cases and other tasks.

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4. Store Images In CRM 2013

Images can now be associated with all custom entities and some of the OOB, but with a catch-you still have only one image associated per record. This still serves the purpose in most cases where you want to store the contact or product image along with the record.

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5. Quick Create Form

The Quick Create form makes it easier to create an entity record just by filling in key information. By default you will get quick forms in some of the entities like account, contact, lead, opportunity etc.

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6. Portable Business Logic

Completely new to CRM 2013, Portable Business Logic is a wizard that allows you to create logical functions on the form including hiding and showing fields, enabling or disabling fields, setting requirement level. This new feature basically replaces some of the JavaScript needed in previous versions.

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7. Quick View Forms

With Quick View Forms, you can create a form on one entity and use it in another entity. Most of the fields will be read only. In the image below, a Quick View form has been added to Opportunity showing contact information for primary Contact. Therefore, user can quickly call or email the contact without leaving opportunity.

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8. Simplified Navigation

Rather than using a ribbon displaying every option to user, the navigation is streamlined to a few commands. The user can select the eclipses to find relevant commands for the records in context.

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9. Different Categories Of Processes

In CRM 2013, there are four types of processes that you can utilize.

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10. Auto-Save

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 has the ability to auto save a record as you edit them. CRM saves a record every 30 seconds, and when you leave the record, it is auto-saved. This feature can be disabled from Settings.

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 Written By: Akanksha Wadhwa (Dynamics CRM Team, Cipher Dynamics)

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Microsoft MVP Award 2013

HIMBAP

mvplogoI am pleased to announce that fourth year in a row I have been awarded  Microsoft MVP for Dynamics CRM.

Thanks to Microsoft, Dynamics CRM community members and my MVP program manager Biplab Paul and MVP program lead Tanmay Kapoor.

Special thanks to my family member and my community friends for their continuous support. A big thanks to my blog reader, I will keep contributing to the community and will share my knowledge as much as possible.

Thank you all once again !!!

 

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Step By Step Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 with Yammer

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update Microsoft introduced OOB integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Yammer integration. Yammer is an enterprise social network which is designed for private communication for members within a given organization. It is a social network for businesses and companies Like Facebook and Twitter is for Public use. You can set up basic account for free it is easy to use and perhaps most importantly it provides a private, manageable and secure online space for business to communicate. If your board room created a social networking site, this is what it would look like. Company domain users can access the company Yammer site. Yammer is designed for private communication for members of an organization/company. In this post we are going to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM online deployment, before you set up a connection to Yammer in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, you must create a paid Yammer account for your organization, such as an Enterprise Network or SharePoint Online + Yammer account. You can’t use the free edition for the integration.

Basically it’s an alternative for the activity feeds and you will have to choose as well.

Note: You can’t use Activity Feeds together with Yammer, but you will have the configuration and UI of the Activity Feeds. But in the back it connects with Yammer and saves all the post there.

Connecting to Yammer is a one-way process. After the connection is established, it cannot be removed.

You can follow below steps to enable Yammer integration:-

Step 1: Navigate to Settings > Administration > Yammer Configuration

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 Step 2: Agree to its terms & conditions

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Step 3: Once the disclaimer is accepted you’ll be asked to authorize your Yammer account. Click on ‘Authorize Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to connect to Yammer

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Step 4: If you’re already logged into Yammer you’ll see your enterprise Yammer network along with the groups. Otherwise you’ll be asked to login to Yammer.

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Step 5: Select your Yammer group and the security level. We’ve selected a specific group to ensure all the system posts & user posts go into a single group rather than cluttering up the ‘all company’ activity stream.

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Now that the connection is setup you can configure rules. These rules will allow you to instruct the system to post to Yammer upon specific system events.

Step 6: Click on ‘Edit message rules’ or go into Settings > Administration > Post Rule Configurations. Locate the rule you’d like to enable and click on ‘Enable for Yammer

In the example below, we’ve enabled the system to post to Yammer when a new lead is created. To test, create a new lead, wait a few seconds, login to Yammer, you’ll see the activity in the Yammer activity feed ticker on the top right hand corner. 

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 Written By: Namita Sethi (Dynamics CRM Team, Cipher Dynamics)

Walk through: Microsoft Office Add-in for Microsoft Dynamics AX

Excel and Word add-ins are used to view, analyze, and share information in Microsoft Dynamics AX. Bidirectional interoperability enables users to access and refresh data in Microsoft Dynamics AX without leaving Excel.

  • The Office Add-ins for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 allows business users to work with data in the tools they are familiar with i.e. MS Office.
  • The use of the Office Add-ins for Dynamics AX 2012 will allow users flexibility for tasks such as reporting, customized documents for different customers and more, all from within Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word 2010.
  • Data import can also be done with Office Add-ins.

 Install the Office Add-Ins

In Microsoft Dynamics AX Setup, Select Components click Office Add-ins. When users select to install the Office add-ins, the Remote Desktop Services integration component is selected automatically. Click “Next” to complete the installation wizard.

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When users installs the Office Add-ins, a new Microsoft Dynamics AX contextual tab is created on the ribbon in Excel and Word. Users can then use the controls on this tab to create and refresh data in an Excel spreadsheet or a Word document. Options like, Add data (for selecting service/ Query), Add Table (here you can select Tables from AX). You will also find option for publishing the data to and from Dynamics AX.

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 How to work with Excel Add-in

Fetch the Existing Data

  1. Open an Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Click the “Connection” button, from the ribbon, and make sure we are in the company account and instance we want to work on. 

AX_PB1_33. Next click on “Add Data” >> “Add Tables” to select an existing table & update data in it.

Here select table for customer group i.e. “CustGroup”.

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4. Click on create worksheet; this will create a new worksheet for each of the selected tables.

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 5. Click on OK button, it will create a new worksheet i.e. shown below,

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6. Click on “Field chooser” to add or remove fields to the worksheet, from the table on the left side. This can be achieved using either double click or drag/drop of any field will add a column binding (Insert as Column) to the location in focus.

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 7. Now click on “Field chooser” again, this will hide the field’s selection pane & will enable the “Refresh All” button. Select “Refresh All” will update the worksheet with the existing data from the selected entity of Dynamics AX.

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 Customer group

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 Add/Modify the Existing data through Dynamics AX Add-In

  1.  Modify customer group table by adding two new rows & publish the content. 

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2. Click on “Publish Data” & select “Publish options”, set it up as per the requirement & Click OK.

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Publish Data

  • Publish interactively – synchronous data publish
  • Publish to folder – write to a file, and use AIF services to import the data.
  • Track changes – when enabled, read, update, and delete supported.  Disabled, created records only.
  • Order of publishing – use when dependencies between order of objects in service or tables.

3. Click the publish button to insert/update records in AX.

4. Once published, it adds a new worksheet “Dynamics AX Status” to track the status.

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5. Now , go to Dynamics AX, select the legal entity , in this case I am selecting CEU , also select Account Receivable>>Set up>> Customer group, and check for records that were inserted with the help of Excel Add-In

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Result: Records have been successfully updated in AX with the help of Excel Add-In.

Written By: Neha Gupta (Dynamics AX Team, Cipher Dynamics)

Excel Sheets exported from SSRS can have custom name

We keep wondering to provide custom name to exported excel file from SSRS. SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 R2 has provided an easy way to do so. I will explain you with an example how?

For this example I’ll be starting off from the report created for Payables Consolidations in Dynamics GP.

The Scenario

Payables Transaction Entry has different kind of Document types like Invoice, Payment, Credit Memo, Finance Charge and Misc Charge. When the report gets exported to Excel, each document should get its own sheet name based on document type. So all documents from the invoice category should be located in a sheet called “Invoice”, all payments in a sheet called “Payment”, and so on.

The Report

Starting Position

Let’s first have a quick look what the export to Excel currently looks like, without any modifications to the report.

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All records are being exported to just one sheet.  And, by default, the name of the sheet is the name of the report.  (I made a copy of my existing report and called it Payables_Consolidation.rdl.)

In case you want to change the default name of the sheet, it’s possible.  On the report itself, there’s a property called InitialPageName.

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Fill in a value and here’s the result in Excel:

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Adding The DOCTYPE Group

To be able to get the different document type into different sheets, we need to add a group on Document Type to the tablix in the report.

With the tablix selected, right-click the Details line in the Row Groups pane and select Add Group > Parent Group.  Select DocType as field to group by and activate the Add group header checkbox.

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Remove the group column that gets added automatically and move the header cells from the main header to the group header.  Delete the main header row so that you end up with something like this:

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Open up the Group Properties by double-clicking the new DocType item in the Row Groups pane.  Select the Page Breaks page and activate the Between each instance of a group checkbox.  Doing this ensures that each group gets its own page in the report, and its own sheet in Excel.

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Let’s render the report and export to Excel to have a look at the effect of adding these page breaks.

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Indeed, every group has gotten its own worksheet.  However, they’ve also gotten the very original names such as Sheet1, Sheet2 and so on.

Customizing The Names Of The Sheets

On to the final part of the requirements: giving our own customized name to the generated Excel sheets.  This is actually really easy once you know how to do this.

First select the DocType group in the Row Groups pane so that its properties are displayed in the Properties pane.  In the Properties pane, locate the Group > PageName property and specify the following expression:

=Fields!DocType.Value

That’s it, that’s all you need to do!  Don’t believe me?  Here’s what the export to Excel now looks like:

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Conclusion

As we’ve seen in this article, it really doesn’t take too much effort to implement a custom name for the worksheets when exporting a report to Excel.

Written By: Sunil Chaudhary (Dynamics GP Team, Cipher Dynamics)

Know Process Based forms in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Microsoft has introduced Process based forms with the release of  Polaris (Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Rollup 12) in that we have completely different UI designs for the entities like Contacts, Opportunities, Leads, Accounts and Cases. Now we have two options to view the entity form.

  • Form Editor
  • Switch to Classic.

Basically the users who don’t have experience can Switch to Classic, so that they can view the form of particular entity. For example when we open Account entity form it looks as below.

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Actually once this selection has been made it will be default, when the user opens this account form next time it will show in  “Classic mode” only. And this view has two different types of forms:

  • Process Form. (E.g. Account, Contact etc…)
  • Information Form.

Every user has to go through this Process from, this is nothing but an Updated default form for particular entities.

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The Information form is used to show the form for the particular entity, and this form can be customized and can be shown to the particular users according to the security roles assigned, whereas the Process form can also be customized and can be shown to the particular users, according to the security roles. We can create multiple forms for the particular entities like Contacts, Opportunities, Leads, Accounts and Cases. And that visibility can be controlled by use of assigning security roles to each form. Now the Process form for (Account Entity) is customized and assigning security roles for that as follows.

3 We can assign to a new security role or the existing one. Now let’s see how we can apply security on entity forms:

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Click on New to create a new security role.

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Now let’s assign this security role to the Process form.

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When opening of assign security role it will be defaultly select all the security roles.

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This will display this Process form to all the users, if needed to assign this Process form to only Particular assigned security role user as follows.

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By selecting this, it can show this Process form only for the specified security role assigned user. After selecting (“Display only to these selected security roles”) option, if this Process form doesn’t need to show for any of the user, simply click on the checkbox as follows.

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By clearing this checkbox Process form will not be shown to any of the user. Publish the customization. So now click New button in Account entity it will show the Information form defaultly, because of disabling the Process form from all users.

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Now assign this Process form to a particular security role which created earlier, as follows.

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Publish the customization. Now check whether the user has that particular security role assigned.

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By selecting specified user assign security role.

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Defaultly it will assign some security role, now need to add the newly created security role in order to show Process form in Account entity for this user.

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Select Manage Roles in order to add the security role.

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Select newly created Security role. After selecting the security role the Account form will look as follows.

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Now we can see that there is dropdown in order to choose the Process form as well as Information form. This is done for showing example in Account entity, if needed to disable the Process form in all entities like Contacts, Opportunities, Leads and Cases do the same as above.