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Dynamics 365 Defect: Cannot Create Emails in Unified Interface

Today's blog post was written by Angel Shishkov, Principal Developer at Sonoma Partners.

Version 9 of Dynamics 365 is out and available for new customers. One of the new features released is a completely new interface called the “Unified Interface” with the goal of standardizing the look and feel between different clients – web, phone, tablet, etc. This interface is brand new and obviously will have some issues to work through, however there is a particularly serious problem on Mobile clients.

One of the most obvious (and strange) problems in the Unified Interface is that it does not allow the user to create emails in CRM. The email activity is conspicuously missing from the quick create plus button in the top nav bar, the Activities ribbon, and the new Notes Pane (previous Activities Pane). Just to make sure that we hadn’t somehow hidden or lost the email activity create buttons, I constructed a URL that would normally open a new email form. A blank page opens with this message.


It looks like the email activity has been deliberately made read-only in the Unified Interface. We opened a support case with Microsoft, and they confirmed this is a defect and will be scheduled for a fix in the future. As of now, there is no ETA on the fix.

Script Errors

Another common issue we have seen in the Unified Interface is a lot of script errors, especially when a custom script web resource is attached to the form. The errors usually come from native script libraries, such as uclient/scripts/app.js, however some errors come directly from the XRM methods as well, such as Xrm.WebApi.retrieveRecord. These are reproducible from multiple clients – browser, phone and outlook, so it seems to be a problem specific to the Unified Interface. Microsoft support has noted that the product team is working through those as they find them.

Mobile Clients are forced into Unified Interface in v9

These errors will be fixed in time, so they are not a big concern. The problem is that with v9, the “Dynamics 365 for phones” mobile client forces the use of the Unified Interface. The previous version of the mobile client worked based on CRM “apps”, where an app was created in CRM that defined the sitemap, and entities, forms, dashboards available. It was a way to create a subset of CRM that was available to select users. The mobile client then used the Web interfaces and forms built for those apps to display its content. With v9, the mobile client will only display apps created for the Unified Interface. It is no longer an option to use Web Interface apps on the mobile client and they are not visible there. For one, this means you will need to re-create any CRM apps you are using on mobile currently, as your old apps will disappear from the mobile client. More importantly, this means that any bugs and limitations of the Unified Interface are automatically carried over into the current “Dynamics 365 for phones” mobile client and there is no choice or workaround to turn that off. This was reproduced and confirmed by Microsoft Premier Support working with the product team and confirmed as a feature in v9.

Normally when a feature is removed from Dynamics, there is a depreciation notice and a grace period during which customers can make adjustments before the feature is completely removed, however there was no deprecation notice for the Web interface being removed from mobile. Hopefully the issues with the Unified Interface are fixed quickly, so that there is less of an impact as customers begin upgrading to the latest version.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics 365