All posts by ManuelGR

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Consultant Speciality: Field Service

Resource Crews

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If your customer is asking you which possibilities with Dynamics 365 Field Service you have to book several Resources for one Work Order, you will have plenty of them in mind.

So lets further specify the requirements:

  • scheduling of several resources for a Work Order all at once
  • if appointment dates have to be postponed, the bookings for all of the Resources should be postponed all at one

Which possibilities come to your mind?

Resource Crews

Let’s directly jump into trying that out!
So I want to create a Crew out of 3 Resources: one User, one Contact and one Equipment.

  1. Go to Field Service (App)=>Resources(Area)
  2. Let’s create three Resources which you want to be Crew members: a Contact, a User and an Equipment
  3. “+ New” on top of Resource list =>
  4. set Resource Type to Crew; provide a Name to the Crew:
Dynamics 365 Field Service Resource Crew

5. in your Resource of Resource Type “Crew” go to “Related”=>Resource’s Children

6. click on “+ New Bookable Resource Group”
7. for the field Child Resource choose the first crew member and also fill in the Name field
8. for From Date and To Date choose the timeframe in which you want this Resource to be member of the crew

bit confusing here is the naming of the entity: “Bookable Resource Group”. In fact for you this is solely an association between a Resource and a Resource crew (or technically between exactly two Resources).

9. hit Save&Close and repeat step 6 to 9 for all your 3 crew members

Dynamics 365 Field Service Resource Crew Members
Keep in mind that if you want to see all members of a crew you should either go to the Schedule Board (maybe better) or open the “Resource’s Children” subgrid in your Resource form if you have the Resource Type “Crew”.

10. now open your Schedule Board. You should see this:

Dynamics 365 Field Service Schedule Board with Resource Crew
A new Crew Resource is available and the individual Crew members are made unavailable for the time of their crew membership.

11. you might want to do a right click on your Crew resource and chose “View Crew Resources in Split View

this provides you with an even better perspective:

12. now lets drag and drop one of the Resource Requirements from your Open Requirements list onto the Crew Resource

After the system has finished its job (might take a couple of seconds) you will see this:

If I now move the main tile representing the Booking of the Crew by drag and drop, all Bookings for all the crew members get postponed automatically as well.

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Bookable Resource

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In Dynamics 365 Field Service you are able to create these types of Resources:

  • User
  • Contact
  • Account
  • Equipment
  • Crew
  • Facility
  • Pool

Resource Type: Equipment

  • Facility Equipment lookup appears and becomes mandatory after this Resource Type has been chosen.
  • Organizational Unit lookup becomes read only after this Resource Type has been chosen . Gets pulled from ‘Facility/Equipment’.’Organizational Unit’ or, if this is empty, than from ‘Project Parameters’.’Default Organizational Unit’.
  • Enabled for Field Service Mobile two option set disappears
  • in previous versions it was called Company Asset
  • makes sense to be used in a Resource Crew
  • for example: Truck, Excavator, Beamer, Hololens
  • Start Location & End Location cannot be set to Resource Address

Resource Type: Crew

Also see here for further details on how to set up a Crew.

Customizations

After I have created a copy of an existing form I faced issues that some of the scripting provided by Microsoft didn’t work anymore. As long as I don’t get further insights into this I would recommend to be careful when taking this road. Better maybe to customize the existing form instead of creating a copy of it for customizations. This, by the way, is also a way that has proved to be more stable when it comes to upgrading your org with latest MS solution versions. We faced lots of scripting errors on forms that we previously have copied. It turned out that MS replaced the JS libraries for the original forms but not for your form copies during the last larger upgrade cycle.

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Facility/Equipment

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Technical entity name: equipment
Microsoft reference here.

Originally coming from Service module.

  • Reachable in menu via Settings=> Business Management.

If you’re opening the form from Unified Interface you’ll see the lookup field Organizational Unit on the form.

For Organisational Unit there is no helpful field description [improve@MS].

But if you’re opening it from the former UI you’ll get another lookup field Site instead:

For Site there is a field description: “Site where the facility/equipment is located.”

So is Organizational Unit the “newer” replacement for Site (at least when it comes to Field Service?

If you are creating a Bookable Resource with Resource Type Equipment than the Organizational Unit gets automatically populated from Facility/Equipment.’Organizational Unit’ into ‘Bookable Resource’.’Organizational Unit’.

Work Hours

There is a Work Hours ribbon button in Unified Interface:

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Customize new Subgrid List in Unified Interface

In the new Unified Interface your surely stumbled already over this new Subgrid layout called “List View”:

Standard Layout OOB

This layout will change to the “old” Grid View as soon as you allow the section to have more horizontal space. This can be done by formatting the Form (or simply make your browser window wider).

This mechanism is called “Reflow”.

But did you know that you can also determine whether you want to display the Subgrid List View or the “old” Grid View by deactivating Reflow for a certain Subgrid?

Just open the parent Form in edit mode, double click on the Subgrid => Controls =>Add Control… => choose the “Read Only Grid”.

Than you can edit the property “Reflow behavior” to fix the Grid layout to the one or the other View type.

Another very nice feature is that you can customize the content displayed in the “List View” by creating a Card Form and referencing it in the Control properties (see above).

You would than be able to get something like this:

Recognize also the column names appearing for those fields added in the Footer.

For that, create a new Form of the Type “Card” and adjust it as to your needs:

Up to now I couldn’t find out how to get the “Color Strip” working.
I tried this without success.
There is an Idea out there that indicates that it doesn’t work (yet?).
So if you know more please let me know.

You can also add more than three columns into the Card’s body and additional fields into the Header and the Footer of the Card Form.
To control whether the footer is expanded by default or not go to System Settings => “General” => “Set the default card state for Interactive Dashboards” => “Display cards in expanded state”. Sadly this setting can be done only once system wide.

But still, I’m really exited by the great capability to customize the List View.

Sources & more information:

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Tips for Enable Resource Scheduling for Entities

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If you’re going to enable another (custom or OOB) entity for scheduling there is a great blog series from Sara Lagerquist (see links below) which has some good tips. Based on these tips I’m listing up some of the most valuable insights when it comes to extend URS functionality when you Enable Resource Scheduling for Entities.

ENABLE RESOURCE SCHEDULING FOR ENTITIES
  • don’t create new relationships from within the “Enable Scheduling” setup wizard as they won’t contain your custom prefix in their technical relationship names
  • think about doing a more sophisticated field mapping by Workflow instead of only using the static field mapping from the wizard
  • also take into account to leverage the standard field mappings for the newly created relationships to pass on additional parameters which are not exposed as fields in the wizard
  • don’t forget to maybe auto create Resource Requirements by another Workflow
  • also you maybe want to auto-populate Resource Requirement Skills / Characteristics for your new Resource Requirements
    • for only a limited number of Characteristics you might want to create several new Lookup fields on your newly schedulable entity to the Characteristic entity
    • for a larger number of Characteristics you could use Microsoft Flow to populate them into your Requirement Characteristic entity. Source for this Characteristics list to be picked up by Flow could be a new sub-entity from your newly schedulable entity (NewSchedulableEntity 1:n NewSchedulableEntity.Characteristics). If you want to make Service Tasks schedulable you could alternatively use the Service Task Type and place a new Subgrid “Service Task Type Caracteristics” there.

Sources & more information:

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PowerApps Portal

Will now be available independent of a D365 Customer Engagement licence .

  • for working with partners, customers, franchisees, external people
  • allow external users to interact with CDS data
  • anonymous users or leverage existing login providers like LinkedIn, Microsoft Account and others or enterprise logins via Azure AD, SAML2, OpenId Connect or WS-Fed.
  • portal designer toolkit (low-code/no-code)
  • template functionality
  • responsive
  • leverage or embed Power BI, Flow, SharePoint, Azure Blob Storage, Azure AD B2C, Azure Application Insights
  • pro dev extensibility

Source & more information:
Introducing PowerApps Portals: powerful low-code websites for external users

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AI Builder for Power Platform

Create Artificial Intelligence solutions without developer know how.
Introducing AI Builder for Power Platform (by Charles Lamanna)

  • leverage AI and machine learning
  • supports PowerApps and Flow
  • can be extended by professional developers (pro devs)

Capabilities & use cases:

  • form processing
  • object detection
  • text and binary classification
  • analyze and automatically respond to customer feedback
  • business card reader

Sources & more information:
Announcing new features, growing demand for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform
Introducing AI Builder for Power Platform

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New Auto-numbering for Field Service

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Inspired by this blog article from Karuna Karan I activated the new auto numbering for field service in a new trial organisation.

This is done by going to Field Service Settings and than click a ribbon button “Opt-In to Auto-Numbering”:

You than are than getting this warning dialog from Microsoft:

Opt-In to Auto-Numbering

By proceeding you will be opting-in to an improved implementation of Auto-Numbering utilized by several Field Service entities.

Benefits

  • Guaranteed unique record naming.
  • Fewer gaps in the names of affected entities since the name of the record is not generated until after a user creates it.
  • Starting number for names can be changed to a smaller number should the maximum number be reached.
  • Number length for names can be specified on a per entity basis.

Changes

  • The Auto-Number name will only be assigned after the record is saved.
  • Configuring each name’s format will be managed in a dialog.
  • When importing an entity as a separate solution from one organization to another, the Auto-Numbering format definition for the entity will be carried across as part of the solution.

Warnings

  • Once opted-in, reverting back to the legacy implementation of Auto-Numbering is not possible.
  • While opting-in, creation of new records may fail. It is highly advised that opting-in take place while there is no activity on the organization. The process will take a few moments to complete.

After you confirm this warning to proceed, the former button turns into this one:

When using that new ribbon button a dialog opens:

and you can choose there between those entities for which you could already decide about auto number format before:

Conclusion

Yes, an easy way to exactly archive what Microsoft mentions in the confirmation dialog:

  • guaranteed unique (biggest enhancement)
  • fewer gaps between the numbers
  • number length can be specified
  • usage of not utilized numbers when switching to smaller starting position

So thank you Microsoft for that.

However:

  • as Karuna Karan mentioned in his blog, it is still difficult to reset the already used numbers
  • it still has other format than the “old” auto numbers:
Common dynamics CRM auto numbers (OOB).
  • we do already have other means by using web.powerapps.com to create auto numbers OOB in a much more flexible way and add them into our solution files:
auto number functionality of web.powerapps.com
Auto number functionality of web.powerapps.com.
Auto Number Manager in XRM Toolbox.

So you’re asking yourself a bit why for Field Service OOB auto numbers there seem to be only some “minor” enhancements whereas the overall auto numbering has made such huge progress.

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Activate CE Field Mappings in Field Service Mobile

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Say you add the Contact subgrid into your Account form on Field Service Mobile because you’re expecting your Field Agents to also capture new Contacts and they are first searching for the Account first instead of adding the Contacts directly from Home=>Contacts.

Now if you tab on “+” at the top of the Contacts subgrid on the Account form the “New” form for Contacts opens.

And now the difference here is: if you leave the setting from below in its standard configuration as it comes out of the box, your address fields will stay empty so that for the new Contact you have to fill everything in manually.

But if you change the setting “Use Entity & Attribute Map” to “true”, the address fields on a new Contact form are automatically populated from the same fields on the Account form were you had started your journey.

Resco Field Mapping
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Embed Forms Pro Survey into Field Service Mobile

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Here is a nice article by Thomas Dayman that gives a short overview of how to embed a Survey Questionnaire created with the new Microsoft Forms Pro into the Field Service Mobile app.
The approach is to create an Offline HTML file where Thomas provides a sample code snippet for, and embed that via iFrame into a Form in Woodford.

Compared to Resco’s new Inspections the Forms Pro integration doesn’t support offline scenarios. Resco Inspections comes with additional licence cost whereas for Forms Pro it is still not clear how the licencing will look like.

Microsoft Forms Pro embedded in Field Service Mobile
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