top of page

Improving Processes with D365 Dataflows, Solution Management, + More

Updated: Mar 25

October 2021


Enabling Greater Processes with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Dataflows, Solution Management, Quick View Forms, and Client Portal


When using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for your operations — although universally proven as a best-in-class solution — you may find that it doesn’t always provide the perfect fit for your processes. But the beauty of Microsoft is in its flexibility to bend to your needs; the key is leveraging expertise to make it work. JourneyTEAM takes a consultative approach with clients to get a thorough understanding of their Microsoft Dynamics 365 use cases and provide unique solutions to reach their end goals.



Here are four use cases where a standard approach didn’t provide that perfect fit, but through customizations, JourneyTEAM helped set these companies to get on the right track.


Business Use Case 1: Dataflows

A financial services firm sought an efficient solution to import their original documents monthly. With the help of JourneyTEAM, they planned to accomplish this through a dataflow, which performs this function if the data is created in a table.


Dataflows are designed to support the preparation of data into analytics, visualizations, reports, and dashboards that can be digested as actionable insights from Power BI. Dataflows are also versatile, with the ability to be moved across environments, right from within the solution.


Connecting to a Source

First, connect to your desired source. This could be an Excel workbook (the most likely case), a OneDrive, or SharePoint file.

· If you are using SharePoint, copy the path from the SharePoint document details.

· Connect to the organization through SharePoint. Be sure that access is granted so the files can be read from the SharePoint Library!

· Note: a limitation of dataflows is that dynamic file names can’t be used to identify the source document.


Set up a Dataflow

To set up your Dataflow, you will want to use the Power Query Editor, which can track all your data transformation activities. Loading in the data from your source will then allow you to transform and edit as you need to match your Microsoft Dynamics configuration.

· Power Query lists the steps to transform your data in chronological order.

· An example of one way you can transform your data: replace values such as Booleans using the ‘find and replace’ function, and change the data type to ‘true/false.’


Dataflows are designed to support the preparation of data into analytics, visualizations, reports, and dashboards that can be digested as actionable insights from Power BI. Dataflows are also versatile, with the ability to be moved across environments, right from within the solution.

Load and Map Data

After you have transformed your data to your preference, you can then load the data to an existing Dynamics Entity table, or map it to a new entity.

· First, you need to map the columns of your dataflow to fields on the entity record. It is advised to do this manually, as the auto-map function doesn’t provide the same accuracy.

· Next you need to decide if the records should be created or updated. To do this you will select the entity keys to compare to existing records. You can also choose to delete rows no longer in the document.

· Now you will decide how and when you want your data to refresh. If you want it to refresh automatically, you can pre-select specific time periods or dates and times. It can also be set up to refresh on a manual basis. If you want the data to refresh based on the file uploaded into SharePoint, you can create a cloud flow that triggers when it is updated, which will prompt the dataflow to refresh.

· Finally, you have the option to add existing dataflows to an environment. Note that this import needs to take place in the classic interface to be completed successfully.


Business Use Case 2: Appointment Booking Custom Portal / Solution Management

Another JourneyTEAM client wanted to provide a self-service portal in which their customers could enter their information to book an appointment. Through a JourneyTEAM consultation of their use case, it was determined that a custom portal was the best option.


To build a custom portal, you will need developer tools and a development team for maintenance. However, having these resources is advised regardless of your approach, whether using Microsoft Portals or a custom solution.


To Develop a Custom Portal

· Starting with the application hosted on servers, you can apply your personal branding.

· Portal users can schedule an appointment by entering their address, phone number, and customer information.

· On the back-end, once the customer enters their information, it will create a lead in Dynamics 365, can convert the lead to an account, and create a work order. The system will account for territories, assigning the correct one based on the work order details.

· On the front-end of the portal, the customer will then be able to book based on appointment times and dates that are available.

· Upon booking the appointment, Dynamics 365 will ensure the correct resource is assigned to the booking based on the information provided on the form.


Streamlining Solution Pushes

The Azure DevOps Pipeline approach can be especially useful. There are two different methods: build with Yammo scripting language, or use the Power Platform drag-and-drop capabilities. The pipeline tasks will perform operations in Power Apps. Customizations, processes, and plug-ins are all available to be pushed. The following describes the process using drag-and-drop in Power Platform.


· Once you install the tools, you can use them for publishing customizations, exporting unmanaged and managed solutions, unpacking and storing files, and getting pushes from the command line.

· A separate pipeline will deploy the solution to QA, INT, and production.

· Approval steps and processes can be implemented to ensure that approvals are obtained before the solution hits the next stage and upper lanes. For example, if everything is going to production, it could prompt the requirement for approval from a Change Management Director.

· If issues arise within this process, you can see what has failed by looking in DevOps and can then proceed with debugging the issue.

· Note that it is necessary to do a full solution push with this method, not in patches. Since pushes can be a time-consuming process, they can be performed simultaneously as you work on other tasks.


The Azure DevOps Pipeline approach can be especially useful. There are two different methods: build with Yammo scripting language, or use the Power Platform drag-and-drop capabilities.

Business Use Case 3: How to Build a Quick View Form

This client wanted to be able to view a map from the bookable resource booking that would show the service account address. Unfortunately, there isn’t an out-of-the-box option to have map control on quick view forms. With the help of JourneyTEAM, they explored an alternative option — a form component control that can be added to the service location address field on the form.


Add Form Component Control (Field with control will have to be a lookup)

· From the control settings, you will bind to the static value that references the main form of the related entity and the GUID of the form.

· The main form has security roles for users that are needed to see the form component control.

· Note that if this is going into a mobile app, it needs to be checked in the app designer to allow the form to be used. If not, it will default to the main form.


Business Use Case 4: Client Portal for Events

This client wanted to simplify the event registration process for their customers; for example, this could include allowing busy CEOs to have their assistants register for events on their behalf from an email. JourneyTEAM helped this client streamline the process by combining their portal, Azure Active Directory B2C, and the Dynamics 365 Marketing events framework.


As this client’s internal team creates new events in the system, it kicks off the campaign with an invitation email with an RSVP in the body. This RSVP redirects to a B2C password-less login that enables an easier registration experience. The email address used to register can be validated. In this use case, they had a stylized portal made in conjunction with a third-party creative firm.


Create a Customized Portal Page

· Portal pages can be edited, tied to event registration, have B2C directory checks and specific web roles for specific events.

· It can also pull up fillable registration forms. After it has been edited, a download calendar invite option is available.

· The flows can be tied to an assignment of permission/web role based on event invitation creation.

· Features lead to custom registration fields with dynamic forms/fields and sections with conditional formatting.



Get Started with JourneyTEAM

JourneyTEAM was recently awarded Microsoft US Partner of the Year for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (Media & Communications) and the Microsoft Eagle Crystal trophy as a top 5 partner for Dynamics 365 Business Central software implementations. Contact us for more information on our consultation services that can benefit your organization’s business processes and operations with Microsoft Dynamics 365. Contact JourneyTEAM today

Kommentare


Die Kommentarfunktion wurde abgeschaltet.
bottom of page