Microsoft Dynamics CRM

{C# 6.0 and VS 2015 Quick Tip} Coding Superpowers for CRM developers – Part 1

Before I start this post, I will like to tell that the pre-requisites to this article is Visual Studio 2015 and C# 6.0 Edition.

C# 6.0 brings some new super powers to the table and I am going to cover this features in a series of post.

In today’s post I will focus on some new ways of writing things which makes code readability and usage a lot easier.

It basically gives CRM developers new Superpowers:

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1. Ability to declare types as Static( In the example below, I have declared System.Math as static with using clause,

this gives freedom to directly call the types in the code without needing to use full types.

For eg. Using Math.Sqrt is not required anymore. Sqrt is enough:

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2. Replacement to String.Format with $:

String. Format can be replaced by $ statements, making code cleaner to read:

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3. Lambada style function declarations:

C# 6.0 now allows for lambada style function declarations, For eg:

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The full code using the above features looks lot cleaner:

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Hope it helps and Happy C# 6.0, VS 2015 experience and Happy CRMing!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

{Windows 10 special} Why Windows 10 is a needed gem for a mobile application developer?

Windows 10 was recently launched by Microsoft. It brings some of the best features available for user interface, security, browser, design, etc. Another perspective I gave a look was how Windows 10 platform brings to the table for an Application developer in ever increasing mobile app world.

Here are 2 main reasons Windows 10 is a needed gem for a mobile application developer:

· Universal Apps:

Universal sums up this feature particularly, Microsoft is having a great intention across all products, to streamline the app development for desktop, phones and tablets. This apps can work across the types of devices.

This helps an application developer by giving more support for not putting design time of streamlining apps across and focus more on functionality.

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· Portability for Android and IOS based devices:

Microsoft has announced new toolkit which will support better portability for across the stack of Android and IOS devices, this is a welcome move as it means again the application developer can spend time on functionality and user experience, not on designing interoperability across devices.

It helps in managing better ALM for a company’s mobile strategy.

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Hope it helps and Happy Windows 10 experience!

Note: This mini-series is done as part of Windows 10 Tweetathon organised by Microsoft India MVP community.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

{Windows 10 special} 3 key features for security on Windows 10 which are great for end users

Windows 10 is launched recently and I have seen tons of content on the visual side of the offering. However, Windows 10 team has not only worked on visual experience and usability features. They have also taken care of Security enhancements which makes a lot of strides.

· Separation of Corporate and Personal data: Rules provisioned by IT administrators will deem data such as email, internal websites, applications etc, as corporate bound and Windows 10 will control access as set by IT administrators without user intervention.

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· Encryption abilities for Phone and desktop: The encryption provided by the IT administrators will not only last for desktop along, it can also be configured for phone. This is a great improvement considering the increasing usage of mobile devices in companies now.

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· Biometric authentication: This is not a new feature with OS nowadays and has been around for a while now, it will come packaged natively in Windows 10 without the need to install third party software.

This blog just covers some of the improvements with Windows 10 security features and improvements.

Hope it helps and Happy Windows 10 experience!

Note: This mini-series is done as part of Windows 10 Tweetathon organised by Microsoft India MVP community.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

{Windows 10 special}Top 5 features CRM end users can benefit by using Windows 10

Windows 10 was launched recently by Microsoft and today I am publishing a series of blogs on Windows 10 features that can benefit the CRM end users:

1. Improved Start Menu: The first thing you notice when you launch Windows 10 is the improved start menu experience. I have seen the users working on Windows 8 tablets and wanting an improved start menu. Windows 10 comes to the rescue:

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2. Edge browser: Officially Edge browser support is still awaited for most CRM versions. The updated news is here:

https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/dynamicscrmsupportblog/archive/2015/07/10/dynamics-crm-support-with-windows-10-edge-browser-and-office-2016

I had given a run on the experience in an earlier blog:

https://dynamicsofdynamicscrm.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/experiencemicrosoft-edgewindows-10-and-crm-2015-update-1/

By doing this, I came to terms that Edge browser is definitely a notch faster than other ones out there.

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3. Windows 10 tablet mode: This is a great user experience for ERP or multinational users. As soon as imply detach the keyboard and the desktop prepares itself for touch, the Start menu becomes the Start screen, and apps appear full screen, too. This opens a lot of opportunities for doing great user experiences with CRM where the apps can be using this combination mode to great benefits.

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4. Windows 10 task view:

This is a new edition where users can switch between various apps or software they are using on Windows 10. This takes you to an app overview where you can use your mouse to select the app you want.

5. Windows 10 Cortana :

Undoubtedly, user experience is only going up with one of the most promising products with Windows 10 is the voice enabled assistant Cortana coming to aid with Windows 10.

Hope it helps and Happy Windows 10 experience!

Note: This mini-series is done as part of Windows 10 Tweetathon organised by Microsoft India MVP community.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

{Quick Tip}Designing web applications UX for a mobile world

Often I see that I am interacting with some kind of web application with CRM. In recent years, I have seen the apps been devised to work on variety of mobile devices and tablets across different browsers and operating systems.

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This are few high level considerations that should be kept in mind for designing apps for Sales/Marketing or Service end users around Dynamics CRM in a ever increasing mobile CRM world:

· Functionality: Only the intended functionality should be designed in the web app, overdoing or not keeping the application simple can kill the purpose of the application. Any extra tabs or unintended buttons not spaced properly for instance can kill the usage of the application on a mobile or tablet.

· Content: Content in a website meant to run on tablets or mobile should be essential and not more than the one needed.

· Design for the thumb: It is very important to keep focus of the design in touch based devices should be around the users thumb. If there is enough space kept for the thumb usage, design will be properly spaced.

· Usability of the UI: It is essential to test the design properly to the target pilot users than just selling a design done by the developer. Agile and prototyping come to rescue here. Very easily can be a design which is a list box for one set of users is more convenient to be tabs for other in a mobile website. Thinking about mobile, tablets and touch experience becomes essential.

· Avoiding pop-ups: Just like CRM has moved to flow design, it is essential to navigate from one screen to another. Pop-ups have been proven to be a poor design for mobile websites.

This were just a few which I could see the top basic elements on the thought process. A good read is to do research on internet on mobile perspective because it is very important.

Hope it helps mobility design for you and Happy CRMing!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

{Quick Tip}Alerts area for System administrators In Dynamics CRM

This blog is intended for the use of System administrators. In CRM within Settings area, lies another wonderful area for Admins:

Navigate via Sales/Marketing/Service under Tools head to Alerts:

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Note that there are filters for Errors Warnings and Information alerts:

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Not only this, when you click ? symbol, you get information on ways to resolve this with direct links to TechNet:

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So, start using them and Happy CRMing!

Note: Used 2015 Update 1 for this blog.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

{Tool Review} Multi select field for Dynamics CRM 2013/2015

Multi select check box has always been one of the missing type of fields with Dynamics CRM. This time around one of my old colleagues has developed a great community supported edition for the Multi select box utility.

It can be downloaded from here:

http://xrmmultiselect.codeplex.com/releases/view/616614

It has a great manual alongside. I did try it out myself with CRM 2015 Online Update 1 and works great:

Step 1: Import the solution

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Publish it.

Step 2: Go to the entity form and add multiple two option fields(each for one select) on a section and Add the following webresource with parameters as the two option names separated by ;

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Step 3: Publish the form, our work is done here.

I kept the two options on the form visible for testing, in real scenario you can mark them not to be visible:

Both fields not selected:

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Both fields Selected:

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One field selected, other not selected:

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This is a very good user experience and great work done.

Hope it helps and Happy CRMing!