Happy New Year!
Last year, I started writing a couple of blogs for the July 2017 release of Dynamics 365 and the Unified User Interface (UUI) as part of a team testing out the new capabilities in V9. The teams objective was to feedback our findings with the Dynamics 365 community, listing out the new features and any new functionality discovered or if there are findings which may be considered an issue or problem for organisations looking to upgrade to the latest version of Dynamics 365.
My latest series, “Introduction to the Dynamics 365 Mobile Apps for V9.0 ” details our findings using the new mobile applications and the UUI. The first and second blog posts can be found here:
My previous blog (part 2) discussed the different types of Mobile App available for Dynamics 365 Users and how they could install the Dynamics 365 Mobile Applications for a Tablet or Phone device. Installation requires that the users would have a device matching the Hardware Requirements for Tablet or Phone version and also permitted to download the App onto their devices.
Additionally, Users require a Security Role with the correct privilege to access Dynamics 365 via the Mobile App; this point should really have been apart of this blog as it requires a change to Dynamics 365 customisations (i.e. Security Role change which is then granted to the users whom require mobile access).
This main subject for this blog will talk about what configuration items are required to be completed to allow Users to connect to their Dynamics 365 instances using either the Phone or Tablet App and utilising the Customisations which have been enabled for mobile use. I will discuss new features (such as the Custom Controls) in my next blog.
The are two main topics that will be covered (and broken down into smaller components):
- Configuring the Mobile App – connecting the app to Dynamics 365 and setting it up for first time use.
- Mobile Customisation – making changes to Dynamics 365 to allow items to be used on a mobile device.
Configuring the Mobile App
Installation of the Mobile App (Tablet or Phone) is the first step – the next step is to connect the app to the Dynamics 365 organisation.
My first assumption is that you are using an online organisation and Dynamics 365 V9.0 (at the date of this blog, V9.0 is only available for online instances). The screenshots below are for an online trial org and using the Dynamics 365 app on an iPad.
Connecting to Dynamics 365
To connect the mobile app to Dynamics 365 please follow the following steps:
- Open the app on the chosen device.
- Wait for the organisation URL page (let’s get set up) to display.
- Enter the URL for your organisation in the format https://ORGNAME.crmX.dynamics.com – where ORGNAME is the instance unique name for your CRM organisation and X is the region of your CRM data-center. (i.e. for Europe it is CRM4 or CRM11 for UK).
- Click the next button.
- Enter your credentials into the Microsoft sign in page and click login.
- The Dynamics 365 Welcome page should display.
Once the login has completed, Users will be presented with a list of “Apps” to select which are available in the Organisation. The screenshot below shows the available apps in my trial organisation:
The available Apps are the modular UUI Apps which I have previously mentioned, these will be discussed in the next section.
There are some basic settings that can changed without actually accessing one of the Modular apps and will affect how the Mobile Application is interacted with. The menu can be accessed by clicking the middle cog icon.
These are the same settings as the User can set in the web client (but a cut down version). The last option – Records per page may be a performance hit on slower connections if a greater number of records is returned.
This settings area allows User to define how the Mobile Application will interact with the device.
With Dynamics 2013 – Dynamics 365 V8.2, there were multiple changes needed to CRM from a customisation perspective to allow users to use the mobile applications and what objects they could interact with on their mobile devices (such as entities and fields).
Some of this customisation changes are still needed, but Microsoft have now provided us with greater control on how to complete this task and with greater efficiency through Modular Apps!
There are two main levels of configuration changes that need to be made to Dynamics 365 to allow Users to interact with Dynamics 365 and a chosen set of customisations on their mobile devices:
- Security Privileges – discussed in my previous blog; but this allows the Users to connect to Dynamics 365 using the Mobile Applications when the User has a Security Role with the Privilege enabled.
- Modular App
Modular App with UUI
With Dynamics 365 (V8.2) – Microsoft released the App Designer which brought allowed system customisers to build modular apps in CRM – this would collate the following components into a single accessible area of CRM which would not show any areas that are not relevant to the Users, but only the components which are included with the App:
- Business Process Flows
Each Modular App has its own Sitemap also – so the Users can have a personalised user experience i.e. not displaying the out of the box sitemap items which may clutter the User Interface.
With Dynamics 365 V9.0 – Microsoft released the new Unified User Interface which is a consistent framework across multiple devices. Any customisations made in the UUI would apply to any device that the Users access the Dynamics 365 instance. The UUI has replaced the MOCA framework which is what the Interactive Service Hub and the Mobile Applications were initially built on.
Modular Apps are now client specific, meaning that they can be created to run through the Web Client or the Unified Interface.
The web client Apps can only be used on a PC using an internet browser such as Edge or Chrome where as the UUI Apps can be used through a browser or across multiple devices through the Dynamics 365 Mobile Applications where set of components included with the modular App look the same across each device.
Creating a Modular App
This blog will not walk through creating a Modular App with the new App designer – the following link (Microsoft guide) will walk you through creating a modular app:
Create an App
Add the following components:
- Business Process Flows
Once you have, saved and published your Modular App (make sure it is set to UUI!), you can then select the App which will then allow you to view your customisations in the mobile application via the App selector.
App Security Roles
Remember to set/allow Security Roles to access the Modular App so Users can access the Modular App on their devices (which you can actually do from the Mobile Clients)!
- Navigate to the Modular App on the Mobile Device.
- Click the Ellipses (…).
- Click Manage Roles.
- Select the Roles you wish to allow access to (remember the roles should have the correct permissions for each Entity in the App).
- Click Save!
Sitemap with Icons!
When creating a Modular App – the Sitemap can also be configured which is now also visible on the Dynamics 365 in its complete form!
Sitemap in the designer.
Sitemap in the Web UUI.
Sitemap in the Dynamics 365 Mobile Application (the last icon is the default one for comparison).
Looking at the Web UUI and the Dynamics 365 Mobile Application, there are some custom icons which have been added (I have used the Visual Studio Icon library set) to the custom Entities. The formats for these are as follows:
- Transparency Enabled
- 16×16 size
I uploaded mine using Iconator with the XRM Toolbox!
Reading through the mobile app configuration documentation (link here) refers to be mobile customisations that are still aimed at a Dynamics CRM 2013 – Dynamics 365 V8.2 implementation.
Additionally, navigating to the customisation section of the Enterprise Edition which can be found here, this section also describes the “Code once deploy everywhere” but is also based on the old configuration items such as the options which needed to be set to enable the Entities, Dashboards and fields for mobile use.
Through testing, I have gone through and tried all the different settings that used to be required (enabled) for mobile use – and here are my findings:
Entity Settings Level
Entity – Enable for mobile (above).
Entities no longer required to be enabled for mobile, this has no impact if this switch is toggled.
Dashboard – Enable for mobile (above).
Dashboards are no longer required to be enabled for mobile, this also has no impact if this switch is toggled.
Fields, Tabs and Sections
Fields – Available on phone (above).
Fields are no longer required to be flagged for phone availability, but Tabs and Sections visibility (on the mobile device) is still controlled via the flag in the properties to enable them on the Mobile Application.
The Tab (5) and Field (75) restrictions seem to be lifted – I have confirmed this via more than 5 tabs and 75 fields and none are removed on the mobile device!
8 Tabs and more than 75 Fields above on the Registration Form viewed on an iPad
Tab Selection displayed through the Mobile Application on the iPhone.
This completes my brief guide on the configuration items required for allowing Users to access and use the Dynamics 365 Mobile Applications on their devices. I have tested a few of the old customisation items where by you were required to set a flag to enable the component for mobile use.
Most of these flags have been succeeded/replaced by adding the component (i.e. Entity or Dashboard) to the Modular App which are then inherently available through the Mobile Application.
As mentioned previously, my next blog will detail some of the newer features available on the Mobile Application, such as Custom Controls and Task Flows etc.
Thanks for reading,