Top Five Improvements to Dynamics 365 For Administrators

Jim Lorrig / April 23, 2019
Top Five Improvements to Dynamics 365 For Administrators

There are many great features in the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement platform. Often times, the new features implemented with service packs are inspired by ideas submitted by, and voted on, by end-users and partners.  

Here at HBS, we’ve compiled a list of additional features that, if implemented, would make the platform even better!  These features impact the day-to-day administrative tasks that either a local or partner administrator deals with on a frequent basis.   

If you like any of these features you see (in no particular order), feel free to use the corresponding link and place your vote!
 
 

1. Dependencies List 

When displaying the dependencies for a field, a pop-up box is shown with the columns for Display Name, Name/ID, Component Type, Dependent Entity, Managed Solution and Dependency Type.



All of these are helpful.  However, this pop-up box could be better with a few additional features: 
  • Resize the box. With the six columns, you must use the scroll bar to see all the columns.   
  • Show the status when the Component Type is “Process” so you can understand if the process is active or draft.   
  • Make the Component Type more explicit: Business Rules and Workflows both show up as “Process”.   
  • Add ability to export the list. If there are many dependencies to work through, you may need to do research and record notes before acting on the information. 
If you agree with this, please vote using this link: https://experience.dynamics.com/ideas/idea/?ideaid=d7db892a-5256-e911-b047-0003ff68c788 
 

2. Workflow “Modified On” Metadata 

For anyone that has had to troubleshoot a workflow issue, it would be very helpful to know the last time the workflow was modified.  The standard view of Processes shows the Created On date, but Modified On, as an additional column in the standard view, would be a very useful field of information.   



Using Advanced Find, a personal view can be created to include the Modified On field but including this in the standard view would be more efficient.   

If you agree with this, please vote using this link: https://experience.dynamics.com/ideas/idea/?ideaid=e5cb847d-4456-e911-b047-0003ff68c788 
 

3. Workflow View 

I previously recommended that the Modified On field be added to the Workflow List.  If anyone has installed Field Service or Project Service Automation, there are many out-of-the-box workflows installed. Going into each workflow to understand details about the workflows is tedious and unnecessary.  



There are a few additional fields that could be included as columns in the list that would be helpful: 
  • Scope:  If a workflow is reported as not working, understanding if the scope was set up as User or Organization can resolve a question more quickly.   
  • Available to Run options:  Knowing if a workflow is a background workflow or a real-time workflow, or whether a workflow can be run on-demand, are all tools that help an administrator troubleshoot issues.    
The ability to configure the fields shown in the list would be the best option.    
 
If you agree with this, please vote using this link: https://experience.dynamics.com/ideas/idea/?ideaid=5e5c277a-5156-e911-b047-0003ff68c788 
 

4. Improve View Duplicates Screen 

For anyone that is responsible for managing and eliminating duplicate records via the merge function, the View Duplicates screen has available space that could be used better.  When a selection is made in the top grid, only one-and-one-half records are visible.  In the case where more than one duplicate exists, as in the example below, one must spend unnecessary time scrolling to see the other records.  Increasing the grid size is an easy fix since there is available space on the form.   



If you agree with this, please vote using this link:  https://experience.dynamics.com/ideas/idea/?ideaid=ccf93467-4556-e911-b047-0003ff68c788 
 

5. Enhance Workflow Editor Tools 

Troubleshooting lengthy workflows or multiple workflows, to get an understanding of the details of a workflow can be a large task.  For workflows that are triggered based on fields changing, clicking into the current view option and scrolling through the list of fields on the entity can take time if an entity has many fields.  I’ve seen entities with 450+ fields and only a single field is the trigger.   



Two features would be great additions to the workflow editor:
  • Improved Filter: When you click the [Select] button on the “Record field change” button, on the pop-up box to “Select Fields”, have a filter field to only show fields that are “checked” and have the filter field set to this by default.  That would allow you to quickly identify the trigger field(s).  Additionally, you’d then be able to uncheck the filter to show all fields, which is the current behavior, in case additional trigger fields need to be added.    
  • Highlight workflow lines that impact the database: By this I mean any row that performs a “Create”, “Update”, “Assign”, “Change Status” or “Start Child Workflow” step.  “Perform Action” may also need to be included.  The intent of the highlighting is to quickly find actions that are performing a database transaction.  I’ve seen workflows with 100+ lines where records are being created or updated in 12+ different areas, and those updates are being performed on multiple levels of conditions.  Quickly identifying the entities that are being updated can help troubleshoot a workflow more efficiently.   
 
If you agree with this, please vote using this link: https://experience.dynamics.com/ideas/idea/?ideaid=ee3014cc-5856-e911-b047-0003ff68c788
 

Whether you are a Dynamics 365 user or partner, I would encourage you to submit your own ideas, and vote for existing! 



 
Jim Lorrig
About the Author


Jim Lorrig
CRM Engineer II / Analyst

Jim has over 10 years’ experience working with sales teams, large (250+) and small (3), using CRM applications that provided visibility to ERP system data.  These businesses ranged in size from $1 million to nearly $1 billion in annual sales.  Jim believes that successful companies that utilize CRM recognize that their success is not due to CRM, their success comes from creating an environment that utilizes a powerful tool, CRM, as one component to achieve their success. 

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