Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

Debugging CRM 2011 Plugins with the Plugin Profiler

Today's guest blogger is BJ Dibbern, a Senior Developer at Sonoma Partners.

There are a bunch of scenarios where you might want to debug plug-ins in CRM 2011 where at first glance it may not seem feasible. Need to debug while others are debugging? Need to debug sandboxed plug-ins? Plug-ins for CRM Online? Plug-ins that are registered in a production environment? All of these scenarios have a valid solution, and one that is not that hard to achieve.

Enter the Plug-in Profiler. Long story short, it lets you debug plug-ins offline. While you may have heard of the Plug-in Profiler before, you may not have considered it for your situation. This may be because it’s not as readily advertised as the standard debugging process of un-sandboxed plug-ins in a local on-premise deployment. Hopefully this post will help you have a better understanding of why the Plug-in Profiler is a great tool, and how it may be able to help you in the future.

First things first, you need to ensure that you have the latest and greatest version of the Plug-in Registration Tool which is included in the Dynamics CRM 2011 SDK. You can grab the latest version of it here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24004. If you have an older copy of the Plug-in Registration Tool, you may not be able to see the Plug-in Profiler as it was introduced in version 5.0.5 of the SDK. In the latest releases of the SDK, you should find the Plug-in Registration tool in the Bin folder of the SDK download.

I’m going to assume in this post that you are familiar with the Plug-in Registration Tool already and know how to connect to an environment. If not, please see this article for more information: Walkthrough: Register a Plug-in Using the Plug-in Registration Tool.

Now let’s follow through the few basic steps of debugging a plug-in with the Plug-in Profiler.

  • Connect to your target environment.
  • If you have not already, register a plug-in and step in the target CRM environment. Ensure that you keep a copy of the debug version of the plug-in assembly on the computer where you are running the tool – this is needed to use the Profiler.
  • In the main toolbar of the Registration Tool, select Install Profiler. This will take a few minutes to complete as it installs a solution to your target environment. You can uninstall the solution at anytime without any worry.


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  • Now we can enable profiling on a plug-in step. To do so, select a plug-in step (not a plug-in class) and click on the Profile button (highlighted below).

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  • In the dialog that presents, the defaults are fine for most use cases. Click OK.
  • Back in CRM, perform an action that causes an exception to occur in the plug-in step you are profiling. You will be presented with a Business Process Error dialog box. Note the key difference here is that the exception is not immediately visible in the dialog. Instead the error detail actually contains the profile the tools uses to allow you to playback execution.
  • Click the Download Log File button and save the details to your computer. This is the profile that the Profiler will use to allow you to playback execution.
  • Open your Visual Studio solution and attach to debut the process named PluginRegistration.exe and set your desired break point in the code.
  • Back in the Plug-in Registration Tool, click the Debug button, the below dialog will be presented.
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  • In the Step #1 box, browse to the file we downloaded in step 7.
  • In the Step #2 box, browse to the location of the debug version of your plug-in assembly. The plug-in type (field labeled “Plug-in”) should default if you’ve selected the correct log. Note that if you get an error here stating it could not parse the organization service fault, that you probably don’t have profiling enabled correctly.
  • Once you’re ready to debug, click the Start Plug-in Execution button on the dialog. This will allow you to step through your plug-in as you would normally when attached to the actual service.

Note that while it’s an awesome and powerful tool, the Profiler isn’t perfect. One thing to be aware of: errors with partial trust do not seem to be caught when attached to the profiler. You will need to debug those another way. You’ll notice that in playback of these types of issues, the profiler will throw an exception (generally on service calls) basically telling you that you’ve stepped through the execution past the point where the actual exception occurred.

Other than that one caveat however, the tool is excellent and I highly recommend checking it out.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Previewing Yammer for Dynamics MSCRM 2011 Online

Microsoft announced the acquisition of Yammer back in June of 2012, and rumors spread throughout the blogosphere about what that possibly could mean for their suite of products, including Dynamics CRM.  Recently we all found out.

A handful of features trickled out for CRM Online after the December Update or Polaris release.  Both the iPad Sales Experience and now an integration with Yammer were released in what we’re calling “Polaris Plus”.  These two new features, along with the  Polaris release, are available for CRM Online only.  These components should be available for On Premise deployments when Orion is released later in 2013.

We recently got our hands on an CRM Online org with the Yammer integration, and wanted to share our thoughts. 

First off, you must have a Yammer Enterprise account to be able to enable the Yammer integration with CRM.  I can see this requirement going away in the future, but for now, the Enterprise account needs to be obtained first which comes with a $3 per user per month price tag.

Another important thing to note is that if you enable the Yammer integration, then Activity Feeds for user posts go away.  Activity Feeds are still used for system posts, but for user posts, Yammer will replace the Activity Feeds that used to display.  Also, once you enable Yammer, you cannot disable it and go back to using Activity Feeds for user posts.  Therefore, be absolutely sure you want to update your organization to integrate with Yammer before you do so.

One limitation is that there currently is no migration plan to move the old Activity Feed User Posts to Yammer User Posts.  User posts in Activity Feeds will still be in the CRM database, but will not display in the CRM UI.

To enable the Yammer integration, in CRM go to Settings –> Administration –> Yammer Configuration.  Enter in your enterprise account details and you should be good to go.

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When individual users hit a Yammer page for the first time in CRM, they’ll be prompted to log in.  The Yammer email address used to log in must match their CRM User’s email address

Yammer has a similar look and feel to many other popular social networking sites such as Facebook so the user adoption should be very high.   Some of the features that you can perform with Yammer within CRM are:

  • Like and reply to messages
  • See where the message was created from
  • Click on the thread to view within Yammer.com
  • Preview docs, download docs, and even add comments to certain documents (such as Word) that other users will see when they preview the document.
  • Follow / Unfollow specific records (e.g., Opportunities) from CRM – This will automatically follow and unfollow the record in Yammer
  • Post to specific Yammer Groups or Users
  • Mention Users in posts using @

Some limitations of Yammer, and and functionality you currently cannot do within CRM with Yammer, but you can do on Yammer.com are:

  • Upload documents to posts
  • No migration path currently defined for old User Posts in Activity Feeds to the new Yammer User Posts
  • View Recent Activity (e.g., who’s followed records recently
  • Creating Polls
  • Praising another Yammer User
  • Following / Unfollowing in Yammer does not automatically follow and unfollow the record in CRM
  • Yammer search (searches conversations, people, groups, files, and different pages that are created in CRM)
  • Yammer posts will not appear when viewing CRM on an iPad (only system posts will show).  However, you can use the Yammer iPad app to get around this current limitation.
  • Yammer only supports English.
  • Cannot reply / like System Posts (if Activity Feeds are used instead of Yammer, this functionality is available)
  • “More” options on conversations (Add Topics, Stop Following, View Conversation, Bookmark, Email Me, Delete)
  • Cannot mention records on posts, only other users (if Activity Feeds are used instead of Yammer, this functionality is available)
  • No Lync integration currently with Yammer

The Post Configurations are still used to enable / disable an entity for Yammer.  Certain entities cannot have Yammer enabled against them (e.g., Appointment, Phone Call, Recurring Appointment, Dialog Session).  Remember that after you enable / disable an entity from the Post Configurations, you need to publish the entity for the changes to stick.  Post Rule Configurations are still used for Auto Posts as well (e.g., Opportunity is Won).  Workflow rules can be created to create Auto Posts as well, but for now, these will only be displayed in CRM and not in Yammer.

A huge benefit of the Yammer integration is that now external users of your CRM environment can see posts created from CRM, and also respond to them.  Therefore you can send out information about product updates through Yammer, and see responses that come back from clients, partners, etc. that have access to your Yammer account.  You can view and create Yammer posts from CRM, Yammer.com, or any mobile device like an iPad or iPhone (Yammer supports Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and Blackberry).  The posts will even tell you what the source of the message was so you can see who frequently uses a certain medium over another.

Here’s how the same post looks in CRM, Yammer.com, and the Yammer iPad app:

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In case you run into any issues with your Yammer to CRM integration, there are a couple things to try initially.

  • Visit http://status.yammer.com (Yammer’s site status)
  • Verify your CRM URL and Yammer.com are in the same security zone (e.g., Trusted Sites)

All in all this integration with a social networking site such as Yammer is a big step forward for Microsoft and should close a gap that was missing for some time.  As the integration matures and additional releases of CRM are made public, I can see a lot of the limitations listed above become features within CRM.  Therefore, I feel things can only get better from what should be a huge improvement to their previous solution.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Convergence 2013 Keynote Recap

The Convergence 2013 Keynote kicked off Tuesday with some exciting news of a new version of MarketingPilot that has a new UI with a Windows 8 look and feel as well as the ability to integrate seamlessly with CRM.  Microsoft then announced a Netbreeze acquisition for social tracking and analytics seamlessly within CRM as well as unveiling a glimpse into a Sales Experience app for Windows 8.

Sales Experience Windows 8 App

Towards the end of the keynote, Fred Studer gave a great demo with Revlon on a Sales Experience app for Windows 8.  They talked about a “tablet view of the world” that only focuses on what the sales teams need and not the other “noise” in the system.

The landing page is shown below, allowing easy and quick access to key information, accounts, tasks and account performance.

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Drilling into an account displays important information such as related tasks, notes, stakeholders and cases.

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Fred noted that the Contoso account had a related task to call Reuben to discuss a new product launch.  Fred was quickly and easily able to click a Phone icon on Reuben’s contact information from the Contoso account to launch a Skype call with Reuben.  He was then able to dock the Skype call to the left while writing notes against the Contoso account based on their conversation.  Very slick! 

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Netbreeze

Fred then jumped right into a Netbreeze demo.  He drilled into a campaign which showed an overview of “Share of voice” which displays how the campaign is doing by language, channel and docs.  

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Fred then drilled into the sentiment for a product.  The sentiment displays how well people are responding to campaigns.

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Drilling down even further, you can look at individual tweets which are highlighted based on positive or negative feedback.  Positive feedback is highlighted in green as shown below, while product names are highlighted in yellow.  This will be a very powerful tool for measuring your campaigns and provide the ability to quickly react to the responses of your campaigns.

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Fred then announced that everyone who has CRM will be able to get this as part of the product, great news!

So there you have it, another Convergence in the books!  Overall we are pleased with the new announcements and we can’t wait to get our hands on the new functionality.  The social tracking should be a great addition to help with campaign management while a Sales Experience app will help power sales teams with everything they need to succeed and grow the company. 

Topics: Microsoft Convergence Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Product Recap & Roadmap Primer

At this week’s Convergence conference, Jujhar Singh (Microsoft Dynamics CRM General Manager of Program Management) presented a session titled “Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Product Recap & Roadmap Primer”. Being software geeks, of course we wanted to learn as much as possible about the product roadmap so that we can share it with our customers. Fortunately, Microsoft posted all of their Convergence sessions online so that we can really study the presentation, take screenshots, etc. Love it! Here are our notes summarizing Jujhar’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM roadmap session.

High Level Product Roadmap

This slide below outlines the key Microsoft Dynamics CRM releases. We have already spent a lot of time detailing Polaris, and the Polaris Updates related to Yammer and mobile iPad support so we won’t go into those details again. The more interesting stuff (to us) is what’s coming in the future! In particular, let’s talk about the Gemini release which is the release associated with the Marketing Pilot functionality.

Side note, this slide references “BCM” and “Orion MKT”…we assume BCM means Business Contact Manager but we are not sure what that has to do with the Dynamics CRM product roadmap. I would guess that Orion MKT is marketing-related but again we have not heard that codename before. It seems like a good guess would be that this is related to the Netbreeze acquisition? Jujhar didn’t talk to either of these, so we’re left with a little mystery there.

Conv2013-Timeline

Gemini Release

The slide above shows Gemini releasing right at the end of March / early April so we expect to see it shortly! Microsoft announced the Marketing Pilot acquisition back in October 2012. Marketing Pilot offers integrated marketing management capabilities, complete from asset tracking to email marketing automation.Conv2013-MPDiff

More exciting to us was that Microsoft showed Marketing Pilot functionality in action. Here are some screenshots showing a campaign and email blast. Please note that these screenshots show email tracking (open, clicks, etc) along with email creation. This is great news because in the past this type of functionality required 3rd party ISV’s.

Conv2013-MP2

Conv2013-MP1

If you pay careful attention during the demos, you can see more of Marketing Pilot functionality areas flash by. With our quick trigger finger (!!) taking screenshots, we can see they are:

  • Projects
  • Marketing Execution
  • Assets & Media
  • Finance
  • Performance

Conv2013-UI8

Orion Release

Orion is the next product release after Gemini, and Jujhar’s slide shows it coming sometime in the “second half of 2013”. We could try and interpolate where in the second half it might land based on their line, but I think that is a little nuts even for us. Jujhar outlined the main development themes of Orion.

Conv2013-OrionThemes

Jujhar gave some quick demos to give a flavor of what the Orion user experience will be like. He really emphasized the “single window” experience to reduce/eliminate the number of pop-up windows that appear. Yes!

Conv2013-UI7

Conv2013-UI5

This shows how to navigate from one area to another (moving from “Sales” to “Service” for example).

Conv2013-UI6

This screenshot shows how users can access recently used records.

Conv2013-UI2

This shows how users would access related records (such as Activities and Contacts related to an Account).

Conv2013-UI1

After talking through the new Orion UI, Jujhar spent a few minutes talking about mobility updates. The Orion mobile highlights include:

  • Mobile client application for Sales (Windows 8 and iPad)
  • Mobile browsing client for iPad for all entities (not just Sales like it is today)…plus this will be available for on-premise customers too!

Conv2013-MobileRoadmap

After mobile, Jujhar talked through some of the planned Business Process updates. “Business Process” generally refers to the record header outlined below. Jujhar mentioned the following updates are coming for Business Processes:

  • It will be available across multiple entities, including custom entities
  • It will not be hard-coded anymore
  • It will be solution aware

Conv2013-BusinessProcess

Post – Orion

Lastly, Microsoft outlined some of the areas that the product roadmap will address post-Orion. These releases have been mentioned in the past as “Leo” and “Vega” but they are not called out on the roadmap slide above…so guessing the release timing will be very difficult!

Conv2013-PostOrion

Summary

Lots of great stuff and innovation are planned for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, including a total revamp of the user interface for Orion and beyond. Also great to see that Microsoft plans to support Android phones in the future as well.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Microsoft Convergence 2013 – Sonoma has Landed

The Sonoma Partners team has landed in New Orleans and we’re ready to take the city and Convergence by storm.  We’ve got a great group of Sonomans on site in New Orleans this week as well as a decent sized booth in the Expo Hall.  We have a lot of folks from the sales team, but also a few folks from the delivery side, and a few executives all whom are excited to meet with you and discuss some of the products we’ve built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform.  Please swing by and visit us at booth # 616 in the Expo Hall.

If you weren’t able to see my colleague Jacob Cynamon-Murphy’s session Monday afternoon, we encourage you to stop by the booth as we have a bunch of great mobility products to show off.  Our messaging and areas of focus this year are Enterprise Mobility and Professional Services.  Therefore we’ve showed up with a slew of devices loaded with some red hot applications that our team of expert developers have been working on over the past couple of years.  We’ll even have one of our senior developers on site who worked on an app for Permuta Technologies that runs on the Windows 8 device so swing by and be prepared with questions to try and stump us!

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We have the following applications on a variety of Windows and iOS devices (IdeaPad Yoga 11, ASUS Taichi 21, Samsung ATIV, Dell Latitude 10, Surface Pro, iPad/Mini) that we’re ready to show off.  These apps vary between applications that we built to address specific customer needs,

  • Permuta Technologies – Manage Troop Readiness Levels (Windows 8)
  • New Belgium Brewery  - Field Sales and Quality Management (Windows 8)
  • ABB Concise – Field Sales and Appointment Management (iOS)
  • Medline – Field Sales and Appointment Management (iOS)

We’re excited to get the chance to speak with you and show off all the cool tools we’ve been busy building, as well as hearing updates from Microsoft throughout the week.  With Microsoft’s recent releases, we’re excited to hear more about their Mobile direction, MarketingPilot integration, changes to the CRM UI with enhanced forms, and much more!

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The Convergence Mobile Party App is Here!

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We're super excited to announce that the first-ever Convergence Mobile Party App is now available! We designed this app to be platform independent - meaning you can run it on your iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, or any other mobile device. 

What does it do?

  • Shows you all parties happening at Convergence
  • Provides party details, including any registration links
  • Lets you know which parties your friends are interested in

It's perfect for people who are looking for parties to attend, and designed for party organizers to make their public events advertised (for free, of course!) to the Convergence attendees. 

How Do I Get it?

  • Visit www.convergenceparty.com from your mobile device
  • Log in using Twitter or LinkedIn
  • Enter your company name and email

That's it! From there you can check out all of the bashes going on during Convergence from March 17-21.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Translating Ribbon and Site Map Labels for Managed Solutions

Have a managed solution that you love but the ribbon and site map are not translated for your required languages? You came to the right spot! Thanks to my colleague Nick Coolidge, with a few easy steps you can have any custom ribbon buttons or site map links translated in minutes.

Create a New Solution

  • Create a new Solution (Settings –> Solutions –> New).

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  • Add the Application Ribbons and/or Site Map to the solution.

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  • Export the solution as unmanaged

Extract and Edit the XML

  • After the solution has been exported, extract the customizations.xml to edit it.

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  • For each supported language, add a Title to each LocLabel section.  *NOTE: Make sure to include the base English (1033) version and one to match your organization’s base language.

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Re-Import the Solution

  • In CRM, navigate back to the Solutions grid (Settings -> Solutions) and re-import the solution.
  • Click Import

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  • Browse for and select your solution file.
  • Hit next twice. The solution will import.
  • Then hit Publish All Customizations once it imports successfully.
  • Clear browser cache and reload CRM. Your label changes should show up in the ribbon.
Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM

CTI is Not Just for the Big Guys Anymore (Part 2 of 3)

This is the 2nd in a 3-part series covering Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) with Salesforce.com.  If you haven’t read the first post yet, I encourage you to do so and you can find that post here.  In today’s post, I am going to be doing a brief walkthrough of 1 of the 2 main options for integrating your telephone system with Salesforce.com.  This method has been around for quite a few years now, and is a desktop adapter that is installed on each client machine.  This software then runs behind the scenes and acts as an intermediary between the telephony server and your Salesforce.com instance.

The name of this series is ‘CTI is Not Just for the Big Guys Anymore’.  So, if you aren’t a ‘Big Guy’, what key items of functionality might keep you from attempting a CTI project?  Obviously, the first would be budget!  Small and Mid-Tier businesses definitely need to get the greatest value for their IT dollars.  Second, typically you need a system that can be maintained by you!  I work for a consulting firm and I am quite aware of the need for specialized knowledge and experience, especially when embarking into new territory.  However, at some point the organization needs to be able to manage the system themselves without perpetually engaging outside help.

This is where the Salesforce.com vision and approach to CTI becomes a key differentiator.  Salesforce has created a solution by which you may integrate practically any telephony provider with your CRM system.  By using the Softphone functionality that is embedded within Salesforce.com, the Force.com platform allows organizations to quickly configure the appearance and functionality of the end-user experience.  Additionally, it allows you to configure the way the screen appears depending on the type of call (Incoming/Outgoing/Internal).  And it does all of this without requiring ANY code.

Installing the Adapter

CTI desktop adapters for Salesforce.com must be designed to integrate with the specific telephony system that you use in your business.  This means that just as there are many different telephone systems, there are many different adapters.  Several of these can be found on the AppExchange that Salesforce provides for partners to deliver add-on services.  All of them run as an installer on your client desktops and require a minimal amount of configuration to set them up.  Because there are so many, I will choose not to get into the detail of describing each of them, and instead focus on the thing that they have in common: the Softphone.  The Softphone is a component within Salesforce.com that provides users with an interface for making and answering phone calls, as well as jotting notes about the call.  As I said above, the Softphone with Salesforce.com allows a great deal of configurability in the way you want your users to interact with the phone and CRM system.  It is the primary user interface for call center users or service users when interacting with customers.

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Configuring the Softphone

Salesforce provides for a great degree of configuration when displaying your softphone, and I won’t be able to go over them all, but here are the key points:

You can modify the information that is displayed to users by editing the Softphone Layout.  You do this by navigating to Setup -> Customize -> Call Center -> Softphone Layouts.  Here you select the layout that you wish to modify, as show to the right.  In this screenshot, I only have a single layout to modify.

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Once you have entered the Layout Editor, the administrator is provided with a series of options for modifying the layout of the softphone.  As you can see from the image below, the configuration page also provides a real-time Preview of what the softphone will look like depending on the context of the call.  In this example, we are modifying the Inbound call type to display the Caller ID and Dialed Number, as passed through from the telephony system.

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The ability to configure the softphone to display practically any object or field within Salesforce.com within the context of the call is where we get our true value.  In this example, the softphone searches the Contact, Account, Lead and Case objects for the phone number in question.  If a match is found, we can configure the system to display whichever fields we deem valuable.

I don’t want to search for Leads within my call center, so I’ll drop that object.  Simply select Lead in the Selections box and click the remove button.

(click to enlarge)

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If a Case is found, I want to make sure that the Priority of the case is displayed.  So you simply expand the bullet for ‘If a single Case found, display:’ and perform the same action in reverse.  Find the Priority field under ‘Available’ and click the Add button.

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Administrators also have the ability to set a series of parameters that control how Salesforce.com manages specific scenarios related to phone calls:

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As you can see, you can control whether Screen Pops open within the current window or open a new window.  You can also direct Salesforce.com on what actions to take depending on No-Match, Single-Match or Multiple-matching records

User configured options

System Administrators aren’t the only ones who get to configure how the softphone works.  Individual users have certain capabilities at their disposal to individualize the system as well.

Users may navigate to Setup then under Personal Setup: Call Center Settings à My Softphone Settings.  Here the user can set Salesforce.com to automatically log them into the call center when opening Salesforce.com.  Also, a user can override system settings for when a single record is found and set that record to automatically open or not.

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What does it look like when I’m done?

Here are a few shots of what the Softphone looks like in action:

In this screen I have just logged into the system and have not yet identified myself as ready for any calls.

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This example shows me answering a call with the softphone configured to automatically pop individual cases.  As you can see, Salesforce found two contacts that matched my incoming phone number and so it displays both of them.

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This last screenshot was taken after I configured the layout to show the Status and Priority fields on the Case entity.  When the call came in, the system automatically popped the appropriate record and shows me the relevant information.

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How is the desktop adapter different from Open CTI?

That is going to be the topic of the final post in this series.  The nice thing about using the desktop CTI adapter within Salesforce.com is that it can be purchased as a readily available product, it can be configured fairly easily using out of the box Salesforce tools and it is a stable technology as integrations go.  What we will see in the next post is that Open CTI removes the PC from the integration chain, and uses JavaScript and HTML 5 to communicate directly between the Salesforce instance and your telephony server.

 

 

 

 

Topics: Salesforce

Previewing the iPad Sales Experience for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online

Microsoft recently released their iPad Sales Experience for CRM Online.  Existing CRM Online orgs should now have the capability to now turn this on by Installing Product Updates.  However, new customers that signup for CRM Online will have this functionality enabled by default.  After you install the product updates or signup for a new Online org, you’ll be able to see the enhanced iPad Sales Experience on your iPad by simply hitting the website in Safari.

We were able to get our hands on this functionality and play around with it a bit and wanted to share some thoughts.  First off, you can only access this from Safari on an iPad, and you must have iOS6 installed to use it.  If you have a lower iOS on your iPad, you’ll be redirected to the Mobile Express UI.  For those users who are big fans of Mobile Express and you do have iOS6, there’s an option to launch CRM in the old Mobile Express mode via a link at the top of the page.

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As you can see above, a subset of the SiteMap is available on the iPad (including the What’s New and Dashboards).  Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity entities are displayed in the SiteMap, and will open up in the new process based forms that were made available in Polaris.  You can access other entities in Dashboards and Sub Grids, but not through the SiteMap, and when opening other entities, they’ll open up in either the Read Optimized or Mobile Express UI.

You can modify all types of fields on the iPad including lookup fields.  Lookup fields will initially show you the available records in a dropdown fashion.  However, you have the option to click Lookup More Records to get a modal lookup dialog that’ll appear overlayed on the CRM window.

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You can even work with the Dashboards and Charts similar to how you do within CRM.  When on a grid, you can expand the Charts pane to click on a section of the chart, and have your data in the grid automatically refresh for those records that section applies to, and even select a new field and chart type to report on different data.  This functionality mimics the web client exactly!

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There are some gotchas that you need to be aware of regarding the forms that appear for the native entities.  While the COLA entities will usually open up in the enhanced UI, there are scenarios where they’ll open up in Mobile Express, or the Read Optimized mode.  There are also scenarios for other native entities and what form mode they’ll open up explained below.

Scenario

Form Displayed

Exception

Script on Form

Mobile Express

If Mobile Express is disabled, an message will appear stating you cannot view that record on the device

Enhanced UI Form Isn’t the Default

Read Optimized Mode with Inline Edit Capabilities

 

 

Enhanced UI Form Isn’t the Default, and Default Form has Script

Mobile Express

If Mobile Express is disabled, an message will appear stating you cannot view that record on the device

Enhanced UI Form is Disabled

Read Optimized Mode with Inline Edit Capabilities

 

 

Enhanced UI Form is Disabled, and Default Form has Script

Mobile Express

If Mobile Express is disabled, an message will appear stating you cannot view that record on the device

Special Native Entities with Ribbon (e.g., Competitor)

Read Optimized Mode with Inline Edit Capabilities

Edit Button doesn’t appear if Mobile Express is disabled

Special Native Entities without Ribbon (e.g., Business Unit)

Do not open on the iPad

Some entities bypass read optimized and go right to mobile express:

     - Appointment

    - Recurring Appointment

    - Service

    - Case

    - Campaign

    - User

Entities that cannot be displayed on the iPad

    - Goal

    - Rollup Query

    - Rollup Field

    - Marketing List

    - Quote

    - Product

    - Article

Do not open on the iPad

A message will appear stating you cannot view that record on the device.

Some of the functionality / limitations of the iPad Sales Experience are:

  • Currently limited to just the Contact, Account, Lead, and Opportunity entities, as well as What’s New and Dashboards.  With the Orion release and the new UI being applied to all entities, I can see this being extended so that every entity you see when working on your desktop will be available to work on the iPad.
  • You can do touch base scroll, but there’s no pinch / zoom capabilities
  • SiteMap cannot be modified
  • Cannot multi-select in grids
  • A maximum of 9 browser tabs can be opened
  • Works in Landscape or Portrait mode with the SiteMap being collapsible to allow for more real estate to view your data
  • Similar to how the enhanced UI forms work with CRM Online, on the iPad you cannot create new records from sub grids.
  • Unable to create Charts / Dashboards / Personal Views
  • Unable to add attachments to Notes
  • The following items have been removed:
    • Getting Started Pane
    • Jump Bar
    • Gold Bar Notifications
    • Home/Most Recently Viewed Records
  • Limitations of the New Forms – options removed for the iPad:
    • Switch to Classic
    • Share
    • Form Editor
    • Process Configuration Editor

Some more information on the iPad for CRM Online is available at the CRM Online Resource Center.  Microsoft is making a bigger push in mobility recently, and this iPad Sales Experience is only the tip of the iceberg of where they’ll go over the next year or so.  However, if this is any indication of where they’re headed, I for one am pretty excited.  The iPad Sales Experience is very slick and a big step up from Mobile Express!

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM