US - Washington DC – Power Platform / CRM / D365

Q3 2018 CRMUGDC Regional Chapter Meeting

By Kylie Kiser posted Aug 20, 2018 02:33 PM

Thanks again to everyone who came out to our amazing Regional Chapter Meeting last week! We had an amazing turnout to the ARC office in Arlington with attendees from DC, Reston and even Richmond!

If you missed the event, be sure to download the PowerPoint Presentations and take a look at the Photo Slideshow.

Then make sure you reserve time on your calendar for our upcoming events:
  • D365 Saturday - free training event at the Microsoft Chevy Chase Office with a great line up of speakers
  • Summit Chapter Party - if you are attending CRMUG Summit in Phoenix, you can meet up with other DMV attendees at our chapter party on Wednesday night. Watch the community for all the details.
  • Q4 Chapter Meeting - Our Q4 Chapter Meeting will be on November 14th and take place at the Cobalt office in Arlington. Speakers are still be finalized so watch the community for announcements. As always, you know there will be great discussions and networking!
Below are my notes from the regional meeting. As you can see, we had a great lineup of speakers and lots of interesting content share. Please share your questions and takeaways on the CRMUGDC Community as well!

Looking forward to seeing all of you at our next event!

Upgrade Panel 

@Mary Davis, @Christie Cripe, @Aaron Howell

  •  Test CRM for Outlook early 
    • Issues with App for Outlook 
  • Put a focus on training 
    • Use to build user adoption 
    • Tailor by department 
    • Q: Size of training groups? 
      • 8-10/session 
      • Better if by department, use their language 
  • Q: Data Migration and architecture? 
    • Looked at custom entities that could be on OOB entities. Plan how/when to handle (possibly not as part of upgrade but after) 
  • Challenges: Reviewing Business Process Flows and workflows 
  • Q: How was the upgrade received? 
    • Very well 
    • Power users were excited and helped build adoption 
    • Users who used less frequently were nervous 
    • Generally don't recommend waiting too long between upgrades so the changes are not too overwhelming 
  • Q: Added functionality? 
    • PCTB - more efficiencies with workflows and Business Process Flows 
    • ARC - no, slowly introducing post-upgrade in small bits 
  • Q: Removing custom code and using OOB? 
    • Cobalt - yes because their custom code was changed to replace. Customers do not even notice the change 
    • Arc - replaced some JavaScript with newer methods 
  • Q: Feature Requests? 
    • CRM team works to understand business process 
    • With upgrade there was excitement 
    • Built good relationships with business. Business will ask "Can CRM do …" 
  • Reporting 
    • Move SSRS to FetchXML now to get ready to move online 
  • Q: Tools to move data, concern is modified by/on, auditing 
    • Scribe 
    • Could copy whole environment but want to remove old/unnecessary data 
    • Migration Dynamics 
      • Can leave data behind 
      • Cannot map to new schema 
      • Cannot write audit records 
        • Could use note instead 
      • Preserves created and modified on 


Using Flow to Schedule Workflows
@Aiden Kaskela

  • Workflows have advantages over custom development (developer knowledge, time, money) 
  • Workflow activities are great but have limits, ex. Can't get user information 
  • Terms 
    • Activity - Actions you can take 
    • Input Parameters 
    • Output parameters 
  • Flow gives you workflow benefits outside of CRM 
  • Start with your action then the steps that it does 
  • Flow D365 options are limited 
    • Use to create a dummy record in CRM which triggers the child workflow 
  • Q: Syntax for querying? 
    • Same as query for web API 
    • MS documentation 
    • Jason Lattimer REST builder 
    • Dates can be funny -> need to use special functions 
  • Q: What about more advanced queries? 
    • CRM REST Builder 
    • Creates request and then copy our filter data 
  • Q: Will this improve? Will Querying be easier? 
    • Not announced, hopefully 
    • Could handle querying within workflow elements instead 
  • See blog on workflow elements with all details: 


PowerBI Introduction 

@Shannon Lindsay

  • BI is available to everyone 
  • Users want self-service reporting 
  • Tools: PowerBI, PowerApps, CDS, Flow 
  • PowerBI can access data from multiple sources with native connectors -> Over 80 and growing 
  • Simple to use, learn and deploy 
  • Training Resources 
    • YouTube 
    • PowerQuery, M, DAX -> Online Resources 
  • Q: Getting started? 
    • Started by combining excel files using PowerQuery 
  • Q: Training for users 
    • MS PowerBI in a day - PDF Tutorial, walks you through important steps 
    • Division between developers (setting up data) and data visualization specialists 
  • Users in the field use the mobile application 
    • Very basic training on how to see the data they want and drill down 
    • Takes time to get users familiar 
    • Not data or tech savvy 
  • Can embed data -> this will be publicly accessible so ensure this is ok 
    • Less interactive 


Developer Panel 

@Michael Ochs, @Aiden Kaskela, @Thomas Daly, @Vijayakumar Kenchugundu

  • Favorite new features for end users 
    • Auto refresh 
    • App structure - package items relevant to the user 
    • New user interface 
    • Editable Grid - not available in all versions 
    • Business Process Flows - quick data entry 
    • Flow 
    • Data Export service - replicate data for reporting, allows you to continue to use on-premise SQL reports while online 
    • PowerApps 
  • What's on the horizon that will impact existing integrations and applications? 
    • Virtual entities - view external data as if it was internal 
    • Less development to do the easy stuff -> Developers get to do the cool stuff 
    • Dynamics isn't enough - customers are asking for more, need to embrace Azure 
      • Users want to the tool to think for them 
    • AI and Machine Learning 
  • Mandatory Upgrades 
    • Won't be surprised if it changes 
    • Will be hard but people will adjust 
    • Salesforce already does this and hasn't lost customers 
    • Developers need to build with upgrades in mind 
    • October Release - Solution analyzer tool to show potential issues 
  • Citizen developer impact on developers? 
    • Governance is very important 
      • What is running? Owner? Etc. 
    • Need to do it the right way not just the easy way 
    • Healthy: encouraged with governance, good communication with developers, less demands for new things because they can build 
    • Dev skills are valued more because they can get it almost all the way 
    • Devs need to know how features work to understand how to leverage, potential pitfalls 
  • Custom Controls? 
    • Supported framework to build your own controls 
    • Add to AppSource for others to use 
    • MS provided framework and data binding 
    • Future: embedding canvas apps in forms 
    • PowerApps 
      • Canvas driven - traditional, pixel perfect apps, send/receive data 
      • Model driven - more like dynamics, specific app for a role a person plays 
  • Model UI in 9.x -> JS, load times, etc. 
    • Offline - not improved, expected 2019 
    • Faster, looks cleaner with new UI 
    • Look at Resco if pressing mobile need 
  • Advice for newbies, best practices 
    • Just do it and you will learn 
    • Use a trial to not be afraid of breaking it 
    • Practice - go to community and answer questions, think about how you would solve, read other suggestions 
    • Start with free version 
    • Watch YouTube Videos 
    • Take the time to learn what's new 
  • What language to learn? 
    • JavaScript - UI validations 
    • Then move into plugin development 
    • Plugins - .net framework, typically C# 
  • Tools - will they still be used? 
    • Yes, MS will use as long as it is supported 
    • Continue to add new features such as visual SiteMap editor 
    • Ex. Intelligent Query - solves gap, MS fixed but it still does not have all the features 
    • MS is contributing tools to the XrmToolBox 
    • XrmToolBox is great because it is easy to create tools in that framework 
    • MS wants a robust developer community 
  • Favorite part of the job 
    • TD: many different organizations, learn many different things 
    • VK: very flexible tool, can use many languages, learn many other technologies 
    • AK: get to play detective, search and find issues and solutions 
    • MO: Great, passionate, helpful community 


Silver Oak TWOMEY: Metrics, Meetings and Technology

@Geoff Ables

  • Focus on creating memorable experiences 
  • People-first 
    • Great but can be a struggle wit user adoption 
  • Continuous improvement 
  • Cheers! Why? Wine engages 4 senses already so this was to incorporate the last one 
  • Want to focus on users 
    • Workshops - at start then annually 
    • Ride-Alongs - day in the life of end users, bridge between what is going on and what's possible with technology 
    • User Acceptance testing (UAT) - Where are they getting lost? How can we improve? 
    • Annual survey and benchmark - how are we helping? 
    • Adoption and management reporting 
    • Word of mouth feedback 
    • Help desk input 
  • Needed to slow down and do fewer things at one time 

1 comment



Aug 20, 2018 03:05 PM

​​Great recap @Kylie Kiser!!  Hope to see everyone at Summit in sunny Phoenix!​