All posts by ManuelGR

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Consultant Speciality: Field Service

Resource Pool

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What I mean here by “Resource Pool” is a Bookable Resource of the Resource Type: Pool.

  1. Create a new Resource with Resource Type: Pool
  2. optional: add members to the Pool as Child Resources (entity: Bookable Resource Group)
  3. set the capacity of the Pool either
    a) manually or
    b) let it be calculated based on the member’s aggregated capacity by setting Derive Capacity From Group Members to Yes

Tip: When creating new Resource Pools and setting the field Derive Capacity From Group Members to Yes and only than start adding Child Resources to the Resource Pool, the system triggers a comprehensive and time consuming Recalculation of the Aggregation, each time after you add a new member to the Pool.
So my recommendation when configuring the Resource Pool with this flag set to Yes is, to first add all the Resource Children (Pool Members) and than in a 2nd step turn the flag to Yes.

You now should be able to see the aggregated capacity of your Pool Resource. Click on Show Work Hours on the Pool Resource’s from:

When opening one of the days for which more than one Pool members were defined, you can see the available capacity here.

Also in schedule Board you’re able to see the Pool resource this way:

The Pool Resource Cell contains the number of Pool members

If you have Resource only temporarily joining the Pool, you also see this reflected in the counter for the number of available Resources on the Pool’s Resource Cell. This counter gets recalculated each time you change the displayed date range.

Resource Pool functionalities

  • you can have Pools consisting of these three Resource Type groupings, called Pool Type:
    – Equipments
    – Facilitiies
    – Combination of [Accounts, Contacts and Users]
  • the capacity can be automatically aggregated by setting the two option set ‘Bookalble Resource’.’ Derive Capacity From Group Members‘ to Yes.
  • the skills are not automatically aggregated to the Pool level
  • you can add skills (manually of by Flow etc to the Pool Resource (parent of the Pool members)
  • if you book a Work Order to one of the Pool members directly, the available capacity of the Pool doesn’t get reduced for the duration of the Work Order
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Deprecation of Resco based Field Service Mobile App

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Microsoft has announced the deprecation of the current Resco based Field Service Mobile App by June 2022.

From June 2021 on new Field Service setups have to use the new Field Service Mobile App which is fully made by Microsoft and in fact is a Model Driven App as we know it today.

The new App can be tested from Field Service Version 8.8.22.x onwards. In mobile App Stores (i.e. Google Playstore) the new app is called “Field Service Mobile (2020)” as of today.

There are some offline capabilities including sync filters already but it looks like offline logic implementation is not as easy and comprehensively possible as is it with the Resco based Field Service app. Also many other functionalities are currently missing, but Microsoft promises to catch up.

Some things that are still missing are: Push notifications, Geofencing and Location Auditing, Reporting, IoT Alerts, Remote Assist and MS Intune.

Interesting is also a new control called “Form Component Control”, which can be used to embed a Work Order form into a Booking form:

Will this be a general new feature which can be used for all other forms as well? – It looks like!

Resco will continue to evolve its Mobile Application Development Framework and will also continuously provide new features and mobile solutions. Resco already offers different mobile solutions and templates (i.e. an advanced Field Service template, Sales template, Route Planning, Inspections) that are working perfectly together with Dynamics 365 and will continue to do so after June 2022. That means by the time Microsoft catches up with current Resco technology there will be new functionality available for Users that stay with Resco as well. On the other hand also Microsoft is rapidly growing its Power Apps capabilities.

For now the direction to go would be for more sophisticated requirements and larger implementation projects Resco will probably be the better fit. For more simple / standard requirements Microsoft’s model drivel app could be worth to consider.

To sum that up – it will not be end of development for the excellent Resco Field Service mobile technology – it will rather be a separation between the Microsoft FS Mobile App and the Resco FS Mobile App. Of course we’ll eventually have to pay Resco separately if we want to use their enhanced solutions. But competition is generally good for the market and customer segmentation has always made sense.

Source and more information:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/mobile-2020-power-platform

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Missing Field Service Mobile Push Notifications?

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Just had a migration where I was blocked by not having the msdyn_FSMNotifications solution installed in my target environment.

The secret behind it: this solution can only be installed on top of Woodford.

So after you have installed Woodford you’ll need to go to the Instance Picker and click on Install (or Upgrade if available) for Field Service, even if it is already installed. This way only some additional solutions will be installed. There you go!

Sources / more information:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/upgrade-field-service
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/mobile-push-notifications

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Losing Office Security Group when resetting an environment

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If you are trying to reset an Instance/Environment, this is usually done on https://admin.powerplatform.microsoft.com/environments.

There you can click “Reset” to get the below shown dialog window.

Reset button in powerplatfrom admin portal.

In this window you have the possibility to select an Office Security Group. This field is even pre-populated with the assigned Security Group of the currently selected Instance.

So what you are expecting is that while filling in this form you can use the field “Edit Security group” to assign a Security Group to your reset Instance by choosing the Security Group in this field.

BUUUUT: nothing of this is the case. This field simply has no functionality here.

Even when you click on the lookup pen symbol next to the field so that a popup shows all of your Office Groups and you can select whatever Group you want: for your new reset Instance you’ll always have NO Security Group at all assigned.

So why has Microsoft decided to put this field on this form if it has absolutely no functionality? – Nobody knows.

Please Microsoft, fix that and don’t let us hang with the common statement “works as designed”. Because the design in this point is really more than bad.

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FS Mobile: Remove Signature from Notes

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On Resco for Dynamics or Field Service Mobile Client you by default have this (in my opinion unnecessary) Signature field on every Note form.

Note Form with Signature panel

So you might ask yourself why do you need the huge Signature area on each and every Note form. Usually it should be enough to capture Notes only on Work Orders and maybe for some special (custom) forms/processes. It confuses the End User if all he wants is adding an attachment or even only a text Note.

So what you can do is removing the Signature area by a simple On Can Execute rule on the Note form:

On Can Execute Command on Note form

After you have configured this you would not see the Signature panel on a Note form anymore and also not the Signature command from the upper right burger menu of the Note form.

Note Form without Signature panel
Note menu without Signature command

You can still configure one or more Signature sections for each of your forms as you already have it OOB on the Work Order form in FS Mobile.

Add Signature Tab to a Form

  1. in Woodford, go to Entity where you want to add the Signature
  2. click “Add Media”
  3. provide Name
  4. Select “Capture Signature” and “Clear”
  5. Optional: Provide “Required for Status”. Example: Status “Approved” only possible with Signature
  6. Subject: Title of the Note

Similarly you can apply this for Photos, Videos, Files, … You could also have one Tab for Signature capturing and another Tab for Photo and/or Video capturing. Or collect multiple Signatures on one form by having different Tabs for that.

More information & sources

More details/inspirational source of how to add a Signature to a Form:
https://red365ce.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/resco-mobilecrm-adding-a-digital-signature-to-forms/

For more information about On Can Execute, which enables you to conditionally hide or show commands/buttons in the upper right corner of forms, see here:
https://www.resco.net/woodford-user-guide/#__RefHeading__5865_1627906509

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Standard Setup Tasks Field Service Mobile

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Always, when I setup a new Field Service Mobile, there are some steps I go through to ensure, everything is initially working in a comfortable manner.

Surely some of the steps aren’t required but have proven to be my best practice for new instances.

  1. create Resources and ensure that they are enabled for FS Mobile
  2. install Woodford
  3. install the latest Project Template from here and make a derivate out of it in which you perform all following mobile customizations
  4. in Woodford, go to plugins and activate the most important Delete plugins: Work Order, WO Product, WO Service, WO Service Task, …
  5. in your Project Template derivate, go to Configuration and set Save Password to true

6. edit the Sync Filters to also include data from the past (1-2 weeks) for: Work Order, WO Product, WO Service Task, WO Service, WO Incident, Resource Booking.

7. switch the default Booking View Layout from Calendar to List. To do so, go to Home=>Bookable Resource Bookings=>Properties=>Properties=>Initial Control=>switch from Calendar to List

8. activate your 30-days Trial of Woodford here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/activate-fs-mobile-app-license

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Version History FIELD SERVICE, Universal Resource Scheduling & RSO

The official docs-page from Microsoft provides information to the major releases, i.e. V. 8.6, 8.7, 8.8 and so on:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/field-service/version-history

Also the latest generally available Woodford Mobile Project Template versions incl. download links and the Woodford solution itself can be found on the site above.

However the minor update documentation is not directly linked from the above mentioned page. Therefore I (try to) list all the update announcements I come across here:

Minor Update Versions

V.8.8.3.533 (Sept. 10, 2019)
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/09/10/enhancements-and-bug-fixes-for-field-service-version-8-8-3-533/

V.8.8.2.160 (August 11, 2019):
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/08/11/enhancements-and-bug-fixes-for-field-service-version-8-8-2-160/

V.8.8.1.45 (July 07, 2019):
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/07/07/enhancements-and-bug-fixes-for-field-service-version-8-8-1-45/

Field Service Mobile Updates

Mobile App V.11.3 and Project Template 1.0.2735 (September 30, 2019)
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/09/30/release-notes-for-field-service-mobile-app-version-11-3-and-mobile-project-template-version-1-0-2735/

Universal Resource Scheduling (URS) Updates

V.3.8.0.105 (June 11, 2019)
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/06/11/enhancements-and-bug-fixes-in-universal-resource-scheduling-urs-version-3-8-0-105/

Resource Scheduling Optimization (RSO) Updates

V.3.0.19263.1 (October 3, 2019)
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/10/03/whats-new-in-dynamics-365-resource-scheduling-optimization-version-3-0-19263-1/

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RSO enhancements October ’19

Version 3.0.19263.1 of Resource Scheduling Optimization brings the following functionalities:

  • Constraint “Meets Resource Preferences” also respects the new Resource Preference Type “Must Choose From” to force selection from certain Resouces only
  • new Objective “As Soon As Possible”: helps to front load rather than leaving some emergency/unplanned capacity
  • new Constraint “Meets Required Roles”: matches Requirement Roles with Resource Roles
  • RSO recalculates Travel Time also for locked bookings (Operation Details: “Only the travel time was updated for the booking.”)

Source & more information:
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/10/03/whats-new-in-dynamics-365-resource-scheduling-optimization-version-3-0-19263-1/

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Resource Preferences

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Technically the entity Requirement Resource Preference serves as a container for preferred, restricted or possible Resources under
a) the Account
b) the Resource Requirement of a Work Order
c) the Resource Requirement of a Requirement Group Template

On the field Preference Type you have the options

  • Preferred
  • Restricted
  • Must choose from (new!)

What is the difference between Must choose from and Preferred?

When having Preferred Resources you will get this after having clicked Find Availability on the Schedule Board (pretty new heart symbol):

Also the Find Availability will sort show your Preferred Resources at the top of the list.
When you open the Schedule Assistant by clicking the Book-Button on the Work Order you’ll find your Preferred Resources highlighted by the same pretty heart symbol as well, however not sorted at the top of your list:

The difference to Must choose from is, that with this option the Schedule Assistant or Find Availability really only brings you these Resources back in your search results.

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Bookable Resource – Form Customization

If you try to copy the OOB Bookable Resource form you might experience that some client side scripting doesn’t seem to be applied to your copied form anymore. Even when you haven’t done ANY other customizations except of copying it.

In this case the Facility/Equipment lookup isn’t hidden anymore when choosing the Resource Type Contact. On the uncustomized form this would have been hidden.

Strange as this usually doesn’t happen, right? If you have JS references you should have copied these references as well to your new form, right?

So when you dig deeper you’re finding that there now are business rules activated for the Bookable Resource form. I think this is rather new that MS delivers Business Rules out of the box. Fine for non-coders!!

The problem seems to be that the Business Rules here are set to scope “Information” which is only the one original OOB form, so your copy of it doesn’t inherit these Business Rules.

Another fascinating thing is that when you go into the Default Solution via old Solution explorer, you’ll see three business rules (above). When using Level Up (Browser Plugin), you’ll find 6 Business Rules taking effect here:

So you would need to go to the new maker experience to find / customize all 6 of them:

Next obstacle is: you can’t just change the scope of these Business Rules (I wouldn’t even know if this would be supported or not) as at least one of them has the Managed Property “Customizable” set to Flase:

Note: trying to customize from Business Rule “Show Enabled for Field Service Mobile field if Resource Type is User]” from within the new maker experience caused for me a state of no return, at least from make.powerapps.com: the BR got Deactivated and I could neither change it nor reactivate it anymore [improve@MS]. A resolution has luckily been to reactivate it from the old solution explorer (upper screenshot).

So what are you going to do to get the same behavior as on your OOB form also for your custom Resource form?

You need to copy the Business Rules delivered by Microsoft, than edit the Scope to your custom Form and activate the copies.
In the end you would have it like this:

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Customize the Schedule Board

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To customize the Schedule Board has some special limitations but also a lot of possibilities.

Requirement Lists

This is one of the most wanted things to customize.
You can easily use all different kinds of Views from the Entity Resource Requirement on the Schedule Board.

  • System views as well as Personal Views (good for advanced Users customizing their own Schedule Board tab) can be displayed.

Booking Templates

Can be defined per Schedulable Entity.

Good reference here:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/field-service/booking-template

Tooltips

  • displayed fields are defined by a View

Tooltips that are defined once across all Schedulable Entities:

  • Resource Map Pins: Resource Tooltips View
  • Organizational Unit Map Pins: Organizational Unit Tooltips View

Tooltips individual per Schedulable Entity:

  • Requirement Map Pins (here also personal view possible): Requirement Map Pin Tooltips View
  • Booking Map Pin or Booking Tile: Booking Tooltips View

Note: the Booking Tile’s Booking Tooltips View in the Daily/Weekly and Monthly View are not customizable as of now [improve@MS].

Details Pane

Sliding out from the right after selecting an item.

Views that are defined once across all Schedulable Entities:

  • Resource Map Pin or Resource Card: Resource Details View
  • Organizational Unit Map Pin: Organizational Unit Details View

Views individual per Schedulable Entity:

  • Booking Map Pin or Booking Tile: Booking Details View
  • Requirement Map Pin or Requirement from Requirements List (here also personal view possible): Requirement Details View

Map View filter

  • Requirement Map Filter View
  • Determines which Requirements (Requirement Map Pins) are shown on the map.
  • only the filter, not the columns matter
  • is independent of the Views on the Requirements Panel /Requirement Lists)
  • if Apply Territory Filter from Tab parameters (gearwheel symbol) is set to yes, ADDITIONALLY the Territories of the filter fields will be applied to sort out the displayed Requirement Map Pins

Other Adjustments

  • Increase Booking width (zoom in): slider at the bottom right. This is saved for the Schedule Board Tab (for all users).
  • remove columns from List View directly: only temporarily/local, not saved.

Customization Tips

  • make default schedule board not editable per Security Role
  • if the setting for a Schedule Board Tab from 2nd gearwheel, upper right corner, should be saved, the User needs update privileges for this Schedule Board Settings entity record. Changes would be visible for all other Users of this tab as well than. More information: Shared vs. personal Schedule Board (by Microsoft).

Advanced Customization

Resource Cell

See here:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/extending-schedule-boardif-i-can-do-you-too-scott-lefante/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/field-service/extend-schedule-board-custom-resource-attribute

Dynamically get the displayed date range and use it for count in Resource Cell:
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crm/2017/12/15/new-use-schedule-board-date-ranges-in-custom-queries-in-universal-resource-scheduling/

Custom Tab in Details area (left)

A Web Resource can be integrated on the right as Custom Tab:
https://www.powerobjects.com/blog/2016/08/01/advanced-customizations-for-the-custom-tab-in-the-field-service-schedule-board/

Query extentions / Filter Layout extentions

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/field-service/extend-schedule-board-custom-resource-attribute

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2017/10/16/blog-post-july-2017-update-for-field-service-and-project-service-automation-universal-resource-scheduling-part-1/?source=crm

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/common-scheduler/developer/extensibility-release-notes

Add a Sort By criteria

Get an insight into how to add a Sort By criteria by using the example of total available time. Also see how UFX works here.

https://community.dynamics.com/365/projectserviceautomation/b/dynamics-365-for-project-service-automation-blog/posts/how-to-sort-results-by-total-available-time-when-searching-for-resource-availability

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2017/12/15/sort-available-resources-by-total-available-time-in-universal-resource-scheduling/

Book-Button extention

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2017/07/14/dynamically-build-your-schedule-assistant-search-by-changing-the-url/

Custom Javascripts, CSS, and label localization on the Schedule Board

Create a new Client Extension record and associate it to the Schedule Board Setting record that contains your Schedule Board Tab or leave the Schedule Board Setting id field empty to have it affecting all Schedule Board Tabs .

https://community.dynamics.com/365/b/365teamblog/posts/july-2017-update-for-field-service-and-project-service-automation-universal-resource-scheduling-part-1

More information / sources:

6 tips for global versus local changes – Universal Resource Scheduling (by Microsoft)

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Mobile: Only load Customer Assets for which you have Work Orders

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If you have too many Customer Assets in your Dynamics 365 database and you don’t want to have all of them offline available in your Field Service Mobile client you can set up a Sync Filter to do that.

Open Woodford=>Customer Asset and click on Sync Filter.
Than set it up like this:

Woodford Sync Filter Customer Assets

After saving the filter don’t forget to set the Incremental Linked SyncFilter (on top of the field list) to Enable:

If you want to go deeper, you can read here what this flag does:
https://www.resco.net/woodford-user-guide/#__RefHeading__5819_1627906509

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Filter settings when using Requirement Groups

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Let’s assume you have this setup of a Requirement Group Template:

Because in the Schedule Assistant default value for Sort result by is always Fewest Resources First, you should maybe keep time between Search Start and Search End rather small.

Because only than you are able to see all possible combinations on one screen.

See here that even when Results per Interval was set to 7, in your result list you first get 4 results for an intervall and than only further down in the list you will get the remaining 3 results for the same interval.

This could especially be helpful if you prefer to send 3 Juniors instead of 2 Seniors to a job.

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Variations of the Requirement Group setup and further detailed hints

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Requirement Groups – options for alternative combinations

When creating a Requirement Group or a Requirement Group Template we are able to configure several possible combinations of Group members within one Requirement Group.

Example: We have a large Implementation Project and need two Project Managers. But these could either be one Senior plus one Junior, or alternatively two Project Managers on the Advanced level.

Our Resources are set up with these Skills and Rating Values:

Our Requirement Group (Template) will look like this:

Additionally I have opened each of the four Requirements of this Group configuration and set the corresponding Rating Value:

When we than execute the search by hitting the Book button in the ribbon of the Requirement Group (Template), and raising the Results Per Interval to 10, we’re getting these results:

Recognize that we are getting all possible combinations of Resources to fulfill each of the Requirements with an appropriate skill level in the configured combination and the system also respects our Rating Value. For example it does not propose to create a Group of Tom and Tim because Tom has only a low skill level (familiar) that would require a Senior (proficient skill level) on his side according to our configuration.

Requirement Group functionality

  • you can’t schedule Requirements that are part of a Requirement Group by using the Schedule Board. Use the Book-button from the parent record instead.
  • Requirement Groups are possible for Onsite, Location Agnostic and Facility Work Locations.
  • Always the same for all Requirements of a Requirement Group (updating them on one Requirement updates them on all others from the same Group automatically):
    • Duration (also gets auto-populated/updated from ‘Work Order’.’Primary Incident Estimated Duration’)
    • Fulfillment Preference
    • Work Location (also gets auto-populated/updated from Work Order changes)
    • Latitude/Logitude (also gets auto-populated/updated from Work Order changes)
    • From Date / To Date (also gets auto-populated/updated from ‘Work Order’.’Date Window Start’ /’Date Window End’).
    • Booking Setup Metadata and schedulable entity (Work Order, Project, custom entity, …)

Sources and more information:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/field-service/multi-resource-scheduling-requirement-groups

Hints for working with Requirement Groups in Work Orders (by leveraging Incident Type Requirement Groups)

Preferred Resources

If a Primary Incident Type that contains an Incident Type Requirement Group has been used in a Work Order, than the Resource Preferences which are kept as child records of the Service Account are not auto-populated neither into the Work Order nor into the Requirement Group based Resource Requirements of this Work Order.

However we can associate Preferred Resources to the Requirement Group Template.

Here a Requirement Group Template without preferred Resources:


Leading to these search results when setting the Results Per Interval to 3:

But if we now add two defined Resources into the Preferred Resource field of our “Associate”-Requirement of the Requirement GroupTemplate:

and than perform the search again with the setting of 3 Results Per Interval, we’re only getting two results per interval back:

This is because we have restricted the number of possible Resources for one of the Requirements to two. And because we don’t have any other Resources available which could fulfill the “Technician”-Requirement, there are only two options left per interval.

So if you have large customers who each have a certain selection of possible Resources (similar to Resource Preferences under the Account record), than you could create one Incident Type per large customer that, in combination with one Requirement Group Template per large customer, serve as a replacement of the Preferred Resource (Resouce Preferences with Preference Type: Preferred) under the Account.

Technically the entity Requirement Resource Preference serves as a container for Preferred Resources under
a) the Account
b) the Resource Requirement of a Work Order
c) the Resource Requirement of a Requirement Group Template

Find more info here: Requirement Resource Preference

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