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Show activities as activity party in App for Outlook

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  • 1.  Show activities as activity party in App for Outlook

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 13 days ago
    When our users add an appointment or email from Outlook using the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, they set the item regarding an Opportunity or an Account in Dynamics 365 - never a Contact. The relationship to the contact is already there via the Required attendee, Optional attendee, To, CC,BCC etc. fields on the Appointment or Email.

    The issue with that is, that the Quick View Form in the App for Outlook is only showing activities that are set regarding the Contact. So when the user's view a contact in the App for Outlook, they cannot see the last or next activities with the contact.


    When you open a Contact form an view the Timeline or the Activities associated view with the 'Include related' set to On I get the desired outcome. All activities where the contact is an activity party - not only they activities that are set regarding the Contact.  

    Does anyone know if there is any way to achieve this outcome? It doesn't seem possible to add a sub-grid and select Activity party as the entity.

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    Niels Lønberg
    Semco Maritime
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    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


  • 2.  RE: Show activities as activity party in App for Outlook
    Best Answer

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 10 days ago
    Niels,
       You are correct, there is no out-of-the-box configuration to add activity party as a subgrid. Here are some options:

    1. Embed a Power BI report in the contact form - this does not require a programmer, but unless you buy a Premium license, the data the users sees may be several hours old because Power BI will be limited refreshing the data up to 5 times a day. Check out this XRMToolbox tool: https://github.com/DynamicsNinja/PowerBiEmbedder

    2. Create a Canvas App that shows the activities in a list view. I have met many people that do not have developer skills and have learned how to create Canvas apps. If you do not have any developer skills, the learning curve will probably take a few weeks to figure out all the moving parts. The benefit with this approach over Power BI is that it can query live data from CDS.  https://carldesouza.com/how-to-embed-a-canvas-app-in-a-model-driven-app-in-powerapps/

    3. Write a plugin to provide data to a subgrid. I recommend that you only use a developer with experience in D365 (CRM) plugins to write this kind of code. Here is a great article from Jonas Rapp that explains it: https://jonasr.app/2016/04/all-activities/

    4. Create a Power App Component (aka PCF for Powerapp Component Framework) that is surfaced in the Contact form. This requires programmer skills but will probably give you the most flexibility in the data presentation. This approach is fairly new and few people have experience with doing this. This method is definitely the future for extending the functionality of D365: https://prasannavadlamudiblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/step-by-step-to-create-guid-pcf-control/


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    Thanks.
    Nelson Johnson, Solution Architect
    BroadPoint, Inc., Bethesda MD
    Link with me! https://www.linkedin.com/in/nelsonjohnson/
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    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


  • 3.  RE: Show activities as activity party in App for Outlook

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 8 days ago
    @Nelson Johnson thanks for the very thorough answer. ​It's great to see all the alternatives.

    We have taken a 'no code' approach four our solution, and since we do not currently have a pro or premium version of Power Bi, the Canvas app route seems the most feasible option. However, I must say that the PCF alternative is the one I like the most. We are already using embedded canvas apps in our solution - but having a sub-grid for some related records for the contact and then a canvas app for activities makes the user experience a bit messy in my opinion.

    I did actually post this idea on creating a dynamic sub-grid with contextual awareness using FetchXML on pcf.gallery a while ago. There I also referenced the blog post by @Jonas Rapp you refer to in your post. This is just another case, where that feature could be used. Now there's just the small detail of actually creating such a pcf control 😄

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    Niels Lønberg
    Semco Maritime
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    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


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