Posted on 22. July 2016

Install Project Service Automation (PSA) – Where’s it gone?

If you have tried to install Project Service recently you might have found that it's disappeared from the 'preferred solution' list in the Office 365 admin portal. So where has it gone?!

Although the CRM Online Help hasn't yet been updated to reflect the fact, it has now moved to the recently release and very exciting AppSource!

On the 11th of July Michael Kushinsky of Microsoft helpfully posted in the dynamics community the new instructions on how to install and upgrade from a trial installation – and there will be an official blog post about it soon.

I thought I would quickly show you how easy it is to use App Source to install PSA:

1. Select Settings -> Dynamics Marketplace

2. Search for 'Project Service' and click 'Try'

3. Accept the T&Cs (you always read them in full right!)

4. Wait for the solution to install and you're off!

I can't wait to see AppSource grow and mature!

Posted on 8. July 2016

Mastering Ribbon Workbench 2016

Since the release of the Ribbon Workbench 2016 I am in the process of updating the documentation to reflect the new user interface.

This video series on mastering the Ribbon Workbench 2016 will take you through from installing to performing advanced customisations.

Part 1 - Downloading & Installing

Part 2 - User Interface Overview

Part 3 - Hide Actions

Part 4 - Moving Managed Buttons to a Flyout Menu

Part 5 - Hiding buttons conditional to the form context

More to follow!...

Posted on 8. July 2016

Ribbon Workbench Version Compatibility

I'm pleased to announce that in addition to the managed solution that you can install inside Dynamics CRM, the Ribbon Workbench 2016 is also available in the XrmToolbox (if you hadn't already noticed!).

When you open the XrmToolbox you will see that there is the Ribbon Workbench available for download in the plugin store.

Keep checking out the store because tools are being added regularly by some great plugin authors.

Thank you to all those who are helping to beta-test, I have been really encouraged by your comments and suggestions. The re-write of the Ribbon Workbench (to remove its dependency on Silverlight) and the XrmToolbox version has been on my 'to-do' list for much longer than I would have liked and so I'm particularly pleased with this release.

The new Ribbon Workbench 2016 solution installs alongside the older version – so if you have an upgraded org you might get them all sitting there on your command bar. 

I'm keeping there on one of my organisations for posterity but you can safely uninstall older versions without losing any of your customisations.

Here is a version compatibility matrix for users of the older versions:

Name

Ribbon Workbench

Ribbon Workbench 2013

Ribbon Workbench 2016

Icon

Latest Version

1.0.1.9

2.0.1.3

3.0.16

Requires Silverlight?

Yes

Yes

 

XrmToolbox Version?

   

Yes

CRM 2011
(Inc. UR12+)

Supported

   

CRM 2013
(Inc. SP1+)

 

Supported

 

CRM 2015
(Inc. Update 1+)

 

Supported

Supported

CRM 2016
(Inc. Update 1+)

 

 

Supported

Supported

Posted on 8. July 2016

Dynamics 365 – what’s that?

Ever since Microsoft's announcement in 2005 of the 'Dynamics' brand, the strategy (code named 'Project Green') to homogenise the range of ERP products together into a single technology has been all but been forgotten. This has largely been due to Microsoft's investments in 'mash-up' technologies such as Power BI and integration platforms such as Power Apps and Microsoft Flow. The concept of 'metamodeling' your Enterprise to make integration and consolidated reporting easier is clearly not a new concept but now with these technologies and the prevalence of open APIs it has become a reality that's available to practically any organisation. The investment in the 2016 release of Dynamics NAV to integrate more natively with Dynamics CRM Online was a step in the right direction to bring the products closer together and with the recent Dynamics 365 announcement it seems like there is a concrete commitment to use Power BI, Power Apps and Microsoft Flow to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.

The idea of having a single system to drives every single process within a business may seem like nirvana but in reality would become so complex, hard to maintain and inflexible to business changes (such as mergers and acquisitions) that it would quickly prove to be as undesirable as having no system at all. In a previous life as a Microsoft BizTalk Consultant the Service Orientated Architecture was the perceived anti-dote to the monolithic systems of the 1990's. Unfortunately, the fact that the systems being integrated together naturally assumed that they were the only application you ever needed to use and had closed APIs, integration was not only difficult and expensive but also prone to failure.

I really welcome Microsoft's Dynamics 365 strategy and hope it will make the Business Solutions sit comfortably within the promised 'common data model' with ease so that we can also include other non-Dynamics parts of the business into the mix. I suspect that the individual product brands will remain intact as products in their own right (On-Premises deployments are not covered by Dynamics 365) and so much of the investment will be as applicable to third-party integration as it will be for the Dynamics brand applications. I really hope that we are starting to see this 'platform first' approach that the Azure team have always taken under Scott Guthrie's leadership now being applied to the Dynamics Business Solutions.

Why not check out the technologies that are making Dynamics 365 possible: