CRM 2016 – Notes From Presentation

Upgrading from Dynamics CRM 2011 to Dynamics CRM 2016

Microsoft Canberra  29/4

As Dynamics CRM 2011 rapidly approaches end of life, many organisations are looking at potential upgrade paths.  Dynamics  CRM 2016, the most recent version, was released in December 2015 and represents significant benefit over previous editions.  This presentation focused primarily on the new features of Dynamics CRM 2016.

Note: Some content applies to CRM Online and CRM On-premises (where applicable).

Major changes (UI)

  • – UI/Touch Enabled
  • – Single Customer View
  • – Design once/deploy anywhere
  • – Big focus on mobility/BYOD/Cortana support/Remote wipe

User Interface Changes – Highlights

Streamlined nav bar
Toolbar based global search, added ‘quick create’ button (context sensitive)
Command bar (context sensitive) streamlined
Entity view (e.g Contact) removes popups (2011) and nav pane, displays single record view.  Responsive UI
Social view replaces activities & history (2013), combined from multiple sources (e.g Yammer).  Inline data capture.
Hierarchies – allows structured relationships between records
Mobile User Interface (FieldOne?)
Native application (Windows Phone, etc)
Capture activities in the field, e.g phone calls
Navigation integration (GPS)
Layout/display configuration driven vs code driven.  Rules aware. Field/data security fields/field level.  User can choose to share an entity’s (normally hidden) field with another user.

Productivity

Business Process Flows – visual cues
Collaboration – Office365 integration, e.g OneNote/OneDrive & Office365 Groups – structured & unstructured data (share with non-CRM users)
CRM App for Outlook – browser based email client, exchange integrated (a bit like OWA?)
Document generation – beyond generating emails, template driven ability to generate rich documents
Quick create – basic inline capture using popups if necessary to find & fill.  Quick create allows resumption of in-process activities, but still capture data as needed
Composite fields allow capture of data broken down for logical field types, e.g full name -> first / last name, addresses etc – streamlines UI
Process flow – Visual representation of status with a business process

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User can choose actions based on roles, stage gates.  Inline validation to highlight barriers to advancing the workflow
Workflow features clock timers (system wide by case/flow?), can span multiple business records, can trigger multiple outcomes/actions.  Flows can address different record types (scope)
Integrated social/office365/kb capability inside workflow stages.

Collaboration/Documents

Document management integration.  OOB integration to One Drive for Business, Office 365
Office365 groups – browser based online sharing and forum experience; launched from CRM or accessed directly.
OneNote directly linked, Notes integrated to shared OneNote experience.  Shared, users can see other user’s notes
Integrated plugin creates CRM contacts inline through Outlook or Outlook Web

Mail Merge Templates/Document Generation

Word templates (native) now supported for entity generation.  Templates stored in CRM, authored in Word.  Inline generates relevant documents on context (source entity), e.g Account Summary from Contact view.   Can also generate templates based on multiple CRM data types, the template can be edited in Word and uploaded to CRM to be used against CRM data.

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Social Engagement

CRM Online only?  Listens to social media feeds, provides analysis.  Can lead to creation of activities in CRM.
Shows keywords by sentiment, location etc.  Sentiment by region, demographic.  Shows key posts related; drill down to individual posts and create CRM cases.  Can extract details from posts to create contacts
Intention models – 4 types – uses Azure ML –  Information Request, Interest to Purchase etc.
Automated replies, based on rules.  Keywords, high impact profiles etc

Analytics

Excel templates, incorporates graphs OOB with predefined filters, etc
Interactive Service Hub – single/multistream dashboards, links to kbs.  Overview if case management, task lists
Delve – understanding unstructured data (e.g documents) relevant to context.  Presenting inline (uses Azure ML?).  Cross references against other sets, e.g. calendar, email, IM – CRM Online only?
Power BI – shows PowerBI inline via adapters.

Project Services vs Scheduling Engine/Field Management

Reactive scheduling and proactive scheduling – can reshuffle bookings, analyse booking needs – sensitive to rules based of skills, locality, localized work.  Integrates to field one (field management).  FieldOne features address validation (UI)?

Licensing Changes

Dual license – access to on-premise & online / bridging for migration, different data classifications (unclassified v protected etc.)
Basic license (like VSO basic)
Employee Self Service
Retired Connector License (no CAL for external data access)

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Summary

CRM Online, coupled with Office365 is feature rich, leverages the power of Microsoft Azure.  How much of this functionality carries over to CRM On-premises is a good question.  It’s not clear what is CRM Online only and is a base platform/suite capability (i.e available offline).


CRM Reporting Extensions – SSRS not listed

Just a quick entry in case you are trying to solve a problem when attempting to install CRM Reporting Extensions.  You might encounter a situation where you specify the SQL Server machine or instance name, but proceeding to select the SSRS instance produces a blank list. 

So you need to install Reporting Extensions AFTER you’ve successfully installed Dynamics CRM.  Partially this is so that the Organisation and associated reports (if any) are correctly published to SSRS.  Aside from this, also verify the following…

First thing to check is that you’re installing the Reporting Extensions on the SSRS/SQL location and NOT the CRM Application server(s).

If so far everything is correct, check the log file for the installer.  You can specify a location other than the default, invoke the installer from a command prompt like this:

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SetupSrsDataConnector /Q /CONFIG c:\temp\install-config.xml /L c:\temp\log.txt

If you find the following in the installer log:

  • “Could not find a local RS instance corresponding to the reporting url http:///<reportserver> for organization <org name>”
  • “Organization <org name> does not have reports published”

It could be that you’re trying to install against a 32 bit version of SQL Server, or an unsupported edition (see supported editions and how to check your edition of SQL Server in the References, below).

You can also use the command line to specify a configuration file, here’s an example:

<crmsetup>
  <srsdataconnector>
    <configdbserver></configdbserver>
    <autoupdateconfigdb>1</autoupdateconfigdb>
    <reportserverurl>
http://servername/Reportserver</reportserverurl>
    <autogroupmanagementoff>0</autogroupmanagementoff>
    <instancename>Titan</instancename>
    <configsku>OnPremise</configsku>
    <!– Set enabled = true for DB webstore integration.  Set configdb=”true” for config db webstore integration–>
    <webstore enabled=”false” configdb=”false” />
    <monitoring>
<!– Monitoring service account name and password. It can not be local system or network service account –>
      <serviceaccountname></serviceaccountname>
      <serviceaccountpassword></serviceaccountpassword>
    </monitoring>
  </srsdataconnector>
</crmsetup>

References

Microsoft Dynamics CRM reporting requirements – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh699754.aspx

How to determine the version, edition and update level of SQL Server and its components – https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/kb/321185

Install Microsoft Dynamics CRM Reporting Extensions using a command prompt – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh699725.aspx