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What's the best way to provide Documents uploading/tracking?

  • 1.  What's the best way to provide Documents uploading/tracking?

    Posted May 12, 2020 09:49 AM
    Hello, and thank you in advance for taking the time to read this...

    We are using Dynamics 365 Online, and we have a requirement to create a Dynamics model-driven app that will be used to track the review/approval of publications.  I am planning to create a few custom entities:

    • Publications Folder
      • This is a container for one or more Publications, and has fields such as Priority, Owner, Status, Status Reason
        • Once someone completes their review of all Publications in a "Folder", they assign the Folder to the next reviewer
    • Publications
      • This contains one record for each Publication that needs to be reviewed, and additional fields such as metadata, and several checkboxes for each reviewer to answer Yes/No during their review
    • Publication Review Comments
      • This contains one or more comments from each reviewer for each Publication
    From what I understand, there are 3 options:
    1. SharePoint integration
      • I enabled SharePoint integration, and tested uploading a handful of documents, but is it possible to add custom fields to each Document record such as the Review Checkboxes?  Also, I need to allow adding Comments for each Document record.
    2. Using out-of-the-box Notes functionality
      • I believe it is not possible to add custom fields to the Notes entity
    3. Using plugins to store uploaded docs in Azure Blobs
      • Is this a more flexible method for enabling a Document to be associated to one record in a Custom Entity?
      • Does anyone have examples I could use for getting started?
    Are there any other methods I should consider?

    Thank you very much for your time!

    #CustomerEngagement

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    Dave Storey
    Ocean Pearl Consulting
    Nepean ON
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    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 2.  RE: What's the best way to provide Documents uploading/tracking?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted May 12, 2020 02:58 PM
    We had a use-case that required documents be stored in different places based on business logic using the entity and some attributes on the related record. I have been using Flow (and Azure Logic Apps) to move documents out of D365 notes and put them where the business users needed them. I did a presentation on this at the Summit a couple years ago. The nice thing about this approach is that you can update custom attributes in Sharepoint to reflect the values of the fields from D365 (as per your your question #1 above).

    You are correct about the Notes entity - you cannot modify it. I had to create a custom entity called "Managed Document" which had notes related to it, and the Managed Document entity had all the custom fields.

    There is a free Azure Blob storage product in the Appsource. What I like about this is that it converts notes over to Azure Blob storage and it puts a mini icon of the document back in Notes so that you can (kind of) see what it is and if you click on it, you get it as a popup instead of having to download and then open it (as is the typical behavior of Notes Attachments): https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/product/dynamics-365/microsoft_labs.96257e65-dbbe-43db-b775-77cf1609530c?tab=Overview




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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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    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 3.  RE: What's the best way to provide Documents uploading/tracking?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted May 13, 2020 07:45 AM
    Dave,

    On the SharePoint Integration part, you asked if it was possible "to add custom fields to each Document record such as the Review Checkboxes?  Also, I need to allow adding Comments for each Document record."

    Are you using Word documents?  One way would be to use delivered Word Properties functionality to add additional information to each document.  Just open Word, and go to File >> Info, and you can see available property fields listed on the right side of the document.


    I also saw this article that describes how you can add additional custom property fields to the existing list of Document Properties

    https://www.howtogeek.com/217329/how-to-create-custom-properties-in-a-word-document/


    And of course, if you decide to use SharePoint, you will likely want to check out the advanced versioning and approval functionality SharePoint can provide:

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/governance/versioning-content-approval-and-check-out-planning


    These options above should all be available OOB with MS Word and MS SharePoint.

    If interested in learning more about how an add-on solution like DocumentsCorePack can help further streamline the process by automatically generating and saving documents to SharePoint along with designated metadata from Dynamics 365, or incorporating the document generation process with the MS PowerAutomate Approval process (or other advanced features), feel free to give me a call.

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    Patrick O'Donnell | VP - Business Development, the Americas
    mscrm-addons.com
    Patrick.ODonnell@mscrm-addons.com
    Atlanta GA
    770 781 8260 Cell
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    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


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