Tip #1026: Change your perspective on tracking email

Recently at the Extreme 365 conference someone asked the expert panel about tracking of email. Specifically, how to make the new app for Outlook automatically track all email like you can with the legacy Outlook Client.

My first response was that it absolutely could still do that.

In the Outlook client, you can set a setting to track all email. With that setting, all incoming email will be tracked, and outgoing messages will automatically be set to track as well (which makes the “track” button automatically selected on any new message created).

In the Outlook app, the same result can be achieved by setting the user option to automatically track all incoming email. For outgoing email that I send, creating a folder-level tracking folder and an exchange rule to automatically copy all sent email to the folder will result in all sent messages being tracked. Note this does not “set regarding,” but neither does the Outlook client auto-tracking option.

So if big brother wants to track all messages sent or received by a user, this is possible with the new Outlook app.

But a different perspective is maybe we should rethink our approach to tracking email. Companies using Dynamics CRM for 5-10 years now have built up vast quantities of tracked email messages. While these messages are of some value (sometimes extreme value, when a client complains about something, and you need to see the email history), the noise to value ratio is quite high.

Also, the Outlook tracking feature is no longer a competitive advantage to Microsoft. Salesforce and other CRM vendors have added similar functionality, rendering email tracking a commodity feature.

I would encourage anybody who wants to automatically make email messages visible within Dynamics 365 to consider the auto tracking capabilities of relationship Insights. With relationship insights, emails from clients are visible to users within Dynamics 365, even if they have not been tracked in the system, and the relationship assistant can intelligently alert users to customer issues and requests.

Business relevant emails can still be tracked in the system for public consumption; however, by using relationship insights, you will add value to user experience, provide proactive recommendations that drive user actions, not annoy users, and increase user adoption.

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Tip #1025: Updating Note with Workflow

Today’s tip comes from Nicholas Hayduk. You can be a tipster too, just send your revelation to jar@crmtipoftheday.com.

I’ve learned the hard way many times that you need to try something in CRM before claiming it is possible. Recently I was helping someone on the CRMUG forums with a problem involving notes and workflows. There was an action creating a note, and they needed to update the text of the note after it was created to make the note appear on a portal. I knew it might be a bit tricky to get a reference to the note that the action was creating, but if I solved that problem, surely I could use standard workflow functionality to update the note text, right?

Unfortunately not. While you can create notes with a workflow, editing them is not possible. If you create a workflow that runs on the note entity, and choose the Update step, the note won’t appear in the list (only the related entities will).

No notes in workflow

I’m not sure why this limitation is in place, but thankfully there is a pretty simple solution; Jason Lattimer has created a solution that include a number of very useful custom workflow activities, available at https://github.com/jlattimer/CRM-Note-Workflow-Utilities.

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Tip #1024: Make an entity regarding available from Outlook App

If you use the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook (the new Outlook interface), when you set regarding, you may notice that not all of your entities are available. Yet there is no “Outlook” checkbox on the entity. How do determine which entities are available to be selected as regarding objects for email from the D365 Outlook app?

The entities must meet the following conditions:

  1. Be activity enabled (check the activity checkbox on the entity configuration)
  2. Be mobile enabled. Outlook App and CRM Mobile App share the same interface, and if the entity is not mobile enabled, you will not be able to select it for the regarding record in the Outlook app.

This also means that the small number of system entities that cannot be mobile enabled (mainly goals, marketing, and legacy service entities) cannot have related activities tracked via the D365 Outlook App.

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Tip #1023: Go directly to any entity in Dynamics 365

Today Leon Tribe gives us a great time saving tip. Send your tips to jar@crmtipoftheday.com.

Want to save time and go directly to a specific entity? Let’s say that you want to find a KB article. Rather than log in to CRM and then go to KB articles, why not go directly to the KB articles?

You can if you know the URL format

https://<dynamics 365 instance>/main.aspx?pagetype=entitylist&etn=<entity system name e.g. knowledgearticle>

So if your org is leonrocks and you want to go to the case entity, you would enter


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Tip #1022: Finding your least active Dynamics 365 users

Neil “Mr. Agile” Benson sent us a great tip on how to identify your least active CRM users. Got a tip? Send it to jar@crmtipoftheday.com.

 was recently asked by a client to find a list of the least active Dynamics 365 users. Believing that my client just wanted to find these users so that she could give each of them a hug and some “special coaching”, I installed the Organization Insights dashboard (https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/product/dynamics-365/mscrm.04931187-431c-415d-8777-f7f482ba8095?tab=Overview).

The Active Users dashboard shows me the Most Active Users Performing Operations chart, but that’s only the top ten users. You can find a list of all the active users and their operations in the Organization Insights download area.


To find a downloadable list of active users:

  1. Click on the last tab on the left-hand side of the Organizational Insights dashboard.
  2. Select ‘Most Active Users Performing Operations’ and click Download.


Note that Organization Insight’s downloadable lists, unlike the charts, are not sensitive to the date range selection.

With the list of 88 active users and a list of all 100 licensed users, my client was able to pay a special visit to 12 licensed users who hadn’t logged in yet. I hope they all survive their special coaching experience.

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Tip #1021: Everything is an app

If you provisioning a trial and accidentally or deliberately missed the checkboxes enabling Customer Service, you will end up with Dynamics 365 instance with the “facelifted” Web UI but nothing else. Where’s the much tooted Universal User Interface (UUI) that was meant to replace Interactive Service Hub in the version 9? Well, it’s simply not installed.

One thing to remember that, in the new world, everything is either an app or a solution. Which is also an app but a “first-class” app, accessed via administration center. If you are craving to explore UUI:

  • Open Dynamics 365 Administration Center (https://port.crmX.dynamics.com/G/Instances/InstancePicker.aspx)
  • Select your instance
  • Click little pencil icon next to Solutions
  • Select Customer Service Hub, click Install
    Customer Service Hub Not Installed
  • Have a cup/can/bottle of a hot/cold beverage of your choice
  • Open your instance, click on Dynamics 365 on the top
    Customer Service Hub is available

Enjoy exploring it. Incidentally, that’s the only way to access Knowledge Articles.

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Tip #1020: Dynamics 365 mobile offline limitations

The following functionality does not work offline:

  • Workflows
  • Plug-ins
  • Cross-entity business process flows
  • Entity-level business rules

Limitation for mobile offline JavaScript client SDK for Create Record and Update Record

The client SDK can’t be used to create or update intersect entity records; offline disabled entity records; or activity party entities records. No upfront validation of data input occurs. All data-related validations are done during the sync to Dynamics 365.

Limitation for mobile offline JavaScript client SDK for Delete

The client APIs can’t be used to delete the intersect entity; offline disabled entity; or activity party entities.

Limitations for mobile offline JavaScript client SDK Retrieve

  • OData query options should start with $ like URL query parameters
  • $select only retrieves the attribute of the base entity and not of the related entity
  • OData query options should start with $ like URL query parameters
  • $expand only uses navigation property names
  • Only $select can be specified inside $expand
  • Only 5,000 related records can be retrieved—a next link is not provided if one exists

Limitations for mobile offline JavaScript client SDK Retrieve Multiple

  • $select only retrieves the attribute of the base entity and not of the related entity
  • OData query options should start with $ like URL query parameters
  • $expand only uses navigation property names
  • Only $select can be specified inside $expand
  • Only a navigation property where both the participating entities are offline enabled can be used
  • MaxPageSize is optional and should be > 0
  • $filter does not function – these conditional operators are supported (=, !=, < >, <=, >=)
  • Only – AND, OR, NOT – logical operators are supported
  • $filter can be applied on base entity attributes but not on related attributes
  • $expand returns next links for N:1 relationships
  • Next link is JSON formatted and users need to construct the next Retrieve call using the next link
  • $skiptoken, $getOnlyRelatedEntity is for internal use and should not be changed by users
  • $skip is not supported
  • FetchXml only retrieves base entity attributes

Limitations on views in mobile offline

  • Any entity view, which has a date hierarchy-based parameter used as filter criteria, is not available in mobile offline
  • Only system views are supported in mobile offline
  • If a view has attributes from any other offline-disabled entity, data will not be shown in that view in mobile offline

Limitation on mobile offline security

FLS attribute sharing is not supported in offline mode

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Tip #1019: Understand decimal precision in Dynamics 365

There are three places in Dynamics 365 that determine the number of decimal digits are displayed on money fields in Dynamics 365. If you find a money field is not behaving as expected, you need to know how these three settings work.

  1. Currency level: On the currency record, set the decimal precision. This will determine the default decimal precision to currency fields in CRM.

2. System Settings: In Settings>>Administration>>System Settings, there is a setting specific to pricing fields. If you set this to a different value than the currency default, fields like the unit price on quotes, opportunities, orders, and invoices will display the number of digits selected in settings.

3. Field level: when you create or edit the configuration of a money field, you can choose the currency default setting (the value selected in #1) or a different precision value.


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Tip #1018: Automatically create Dynamics 365 records from Social Engagement

This tip comes from Amy Pritts. Send your tips to jar@crmtipoftheday.com.

One of the really cool features of Microsoft Social Engagement is the ability to automatically create records in CRM from social posts. However, you should be aware that there are several steps to make this work.

  • To automatically create D365 records from MSE posts, users must set auto create rules both in Social Engagement AND configure record create rules in D365. Simply setting MSE auto create rules for specific entities like Cases to active does not automatically create a Case, it only automatically creates a Social Activity in D365.
  • This seems crazy to me—why would you have to set up specific entities for auto record create in MSE, then? But that’s when I read this caveat in the documentation:

So you have to set up this…

…AND this

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Tip #1017: Protect your cell number

Microsoft’s strong focus on security means sometimes they get false positives for people signing up for trials and misdiagnose them as bots or service abusers. If you provision multiple Dynamics 365 trials, chances are you found yourself in this situation more than once. Other scenario where you wouldn’t want to use your number if you have concerns about your privacy when submitting the number for MFA (multi-factor authentication).

Twilio, the voice and messaging service provider (and we have no affiliation with it), has a very extensive toolkit that allows to use a pre-registered number for MFA while still receiving messages on your phone.

  1. Create new Twilio account if you don’t have one.
  2. Register new phone number with messaging capabilities ($1/month for US/Canada number).
  3. Now can use TwiML Bins to setup message forwarding. Simply create a new Bin in your Twilio account
    TwiML Bins
    TwilML forwarding bin
    and save the following code to it:

       <Message to="+13655550123">{{Body}}</Message>

    (Obviously, use your cell number to forward to!)

  4. Head to your Active Numbers page, set your Messaging URL to configure with “Webhooks/Twiml,” and select your TwiML Bin from the available drop-down.
    Incoming number configuration
  5. You’re all set!

I do not believe you’re not circumventing or breaking anything as far as MFA is concerned because its purpose is to prove that you have something that others don’t. Could be a phone, could be just a phone number to receive messages to.

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