Monday, April 27, 2015

Cortana - how it works with CRM 2015

Cortana - how it works with CRM 2015

As you may already know, Cortana is "integrated" with Microsft Dynamics CRM.
Microsoft published article about the command we can use with CRM here:

I decided to test it a little and share the results. I would appreciate your feedback, if you have different results or some more information about this.

When you ask Cortana "What can I say?" and select CRM - it displays the list of commands you can use.

The list of what is displayed on the phone is  little bit different than what is presentend in the article mentioned above.
The Cortana in the phone does not offer "Open" feature and has two options how to get the selected view displayed.

So let's see how it works.
To do this in CRM Say this Result
Open an item CRM open <item> called <item name>.
“CRM open account called Contoso.”
“CRM open account named Contoso.”
Inputs whatever you say after "Called" into search query and displays the result. If there is only one result, it display the record.
Show a view CRM show <view name>.
“CRM show my active accounts.”
“CRM show me my active accounts.”
Hard to use, you have to know your view by exact name and Cortana must recognize it correctly, otherwise home screen is displayed. It is frustrating :-(
Search for an item CRM find <item> called <name>.
“CRM find account called Contoso.”
“CRM find account named Contoso.”
Works similar way as Open item. Also puts the text into search query.  If there is only one result, it display the record.
Create a new item CRM create <item type> called <item name>.
“CRM create contact called Maria Campbell.”
“CRM add new contact named Maria Campbell.”
It starts create screen for the recognized entity and fills in the name into main field. Unfortunatelly, for contact it is the last name, so if you say the whole name, you will have to edit it later on, so I just say ie.  CRM create opportunity and then fill it manually.
Create a phone call activity CRM remind me to call <call name>.
“CRM remind me to call Maria Campbell to set up appointment.”
Open a new phone call screen and prefills Subject, you then have to search for the "call from" and "call to"
The same result can be achieved with "CRM create phone call"
Create an appointment CRM schedule meeting to <subject>.
“CRM schedule meeting to discuss quote with Maria Campbell.”
Opens a new appointment screen. I was not able to use "CRM create appointment" feature, so this look like the only way how to create appointment.
Create a task CRM remind me to <task name>.
“CRM remind me to email Maria Campbell.”
“CRM follow up Maria Campbell.”
“CRM follow up with Maria Campbell.”
“CRM follow up on Contoso.”
Opens new task screen and prefills the Subject, basically the same result can be achieved when you say "CRM create task....."
Open task list CRM what should I do next?
“CRM what should I do next?”
Opens task - easy to use, very nice.

Note: The create commands work only with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update. The other commands work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online as well as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

CASE Status Reasons Transitions

CRM 2015 - how to edit Status reason transitions

I don't know why, but CRM has some great new features which are not presented by Microsoft much.

Status reason transition rules is one of those features.

Did you know, that you can now modify the status reason field options for the Case entity and custom entities to define which other status reason options people can choose?

There is one more restriction - each status reason option for an active status (green flag) must allow at least one path to an inactive status (red flag). This is because if you would not do it, it would not be possible to resolve or cancel the case.

When you go and edit a status reason field the Edit Status Reason Transitions button is in the menu. When you click this button the Status Reason Transitions dialog provides the option to choose Enable Status Reason Transitions. When this option is selected you must define which status reason values are allowed for each status reason.
You can enable or disable enforcing this rule.

Here is the screenshot of how we have it set up.
Case Status Reasons Transition Set Up
Case Status Reasons Transition Set Up
So let's hope, that Microsoft will work on this promising feature and enable it for more entities.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

CRM Application Certification Exam

MB2-704: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Application

I have passed the CRM Application certification exam for CRM 2015 today :-).

It was not very hard, but not too easy either. The exam is very similar to the previous versions and about half of the questions are focused on the new functionality in CRM 2015 and the marketing stuff is completely out. There is a separate exam for Marketing.

If you are going to take the exam as well, I can share what I studied in order to pass the exam.

If you have some experience with previous version of Microsoft CRM, you need to study mainly the new features that were introduced in CRM 2013 SP1 and CRM 2015. CRM 2015 Update is not included in the exam yet.

So do not forget to learn something about entitlements, automatic case creation, routing rules, access teams, SLAs, business process flows, product catalogue, queues and social listening.

Ususally when I was preparing for previous exams, I used the Training kits. Unfortunatelly, they are not available at the moment, so I was searching for alternate information.
There are plenty of materials in the customer source, blogs etc. But it was just too much, soafter anaqlysisi the exam structure I narrowed down to these three:

Introduction to MS CRM - this is usefull if you are starting with CRM just now

If you are not familiar with Social listening, than I can also suggest this:

I think that these courses cover all the topics for the exam, they follow the outline for the exam and also some quizzes are included, so you can test your knowledge immediately.

All of these are online courses and they are accessible to the Microsoft Partners.

So good luck,

Friday, April 3, 2015

Unified Service Desk - using with IFD

Unified Service Desk - using with Microsoft CRM thorugh IFD

We have been using Unified Service Desk for quite some time already.
It works ok, but the documentation is not as good as the SDK for CRM, so we usually run into many troubles.
Last issue we had was with logging in. Unified Service Desk can be used with CRM Online, CRM Onpremise or CRM through IFD.
When used with CRM online, the Unified Service Desk remembers the CRM credentials and the users enters them only for the first login. The local CRM is using the domain authentication, so no credentials are need either.
When we are using the IFD login (forms authentication), user has to enter CRM credentials after every start of USD. This is very annoying and we were investigating how to get rid of this. We had even a support ticket with Microsoft for this issue. And the result is that this a feature. The only workaround for this is to implement “Keep me signed in” feature in the ADFS by customizing FormSignIn.aspx
Keep Me Signed In ADFS
Keep Me Signed In ADFS

So I hope this will save you some time when you hit the same issue.