Dynamics 365 April 2019 release: What’s new

april release

The next april 2019 release is a major update (major updates will be done in October and April every year) and it’s coming with many interesting new capabilities across the different Dynamics 365 apps: Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Portals, Project Service, Field Service, Power Platform(PowerBI, Power Apps, Flow), etc… So Microsoft keeps investing in AI capabilities and this next wave seems to bring some amazing features.

Let’s focus on Sales and Customer Service and Portals in this post where we have selected what we see as the top new features in each app.


  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration is becoming easier and the two existing packages will be merged into one. Alerts when key contacts change companies will be available.
  • Microsoft Teams integration including Relationship Assistant: This will make sales teams work together easier and automatically sync documents. Dynamics 365 records can be accessed in Teams within the new Dynamics 365 tab.
  • Customer insights: More data providers in addition to InsideView and Versium to help salespeople get customer insights contextually during the sales process

Customer Service:

  • SMS: This is a new channel introduced in Customer Service app. SMS Conversations with customers through SMS will be possible. Automated responses can also be set using this channel. An SMS subscription with Telesign is however needed.
  • Live Chat Channel: this is nowadays a must have channel in a customer service app, luckily Microsoft is going to launch this feature in the this next wave. Rule-based scripts can be set to anticipate customers demands.
  • Customers can bring their bots: The Omni-channel engagement hub allows customers to bring their own bot built on Microsoft Bot FrameWork and integrate it with Customer Service app.


  • Display External Data: Secured Client-side calls to external API will be possible within the portal. An endpoint is provided to give secure access tokens containing user identity information.
  • Enhancements to portal diagnostics tool: Administrators are going to appreciate this new feature which will help identify incorrectly configured markers, performance impacting slow running queries.
  • Maintenance mode for portals: Portal visitors will ne longer get that service unavailabaility error message when portal is under maintenanace and administrators can now activate maintenance mode and display a custom message in the portal to inform visitors that the website is under maintenance.


Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/

How To Set Date Format at Organization or User Level

This is a quick tip to show you how to set date format in Dynamics 365 (CRM) at both levels: User and Organization.

Organization Level:

This sets the default date format for the whole org.

Navigate to Settings->Administration and open System Settings.

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Go to Formats tab and click Customize then choose your preferred format

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User Level:

Users can also choose their preferred date format in the Format tab in their personal options.

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Dynamics 365: Install new Languages and edit label translations

Dynamics 365 has a native amazing capability which allows every single user to use the application in his preferred language by changing personal options.

But first the available languages are just languages added to support by the administrator. To add new languages you should go to Settings==>Administration==>Languages then select one or many languages you want to make available for users and click Apply to enable it.


language choice

Few minutes later, you can change your user language preference by clicking on Options in the navigation bar.



Click now on the last tab “Languages” and choose another language among the languages you previously enabled. Refresh the home page and check the language change!!


In the next post we will see how to easily edit label translations


Mass emailing with Mailchimp & Dynamics 365 for Sales


Mailchimp is one of the most popular and amazing mass emailing solutions that you can use for free for up to 2k contacts and 12k emails per month (check detailed pricing here https://mailchimp.com/pricing/).

mailchimp plans

With Dynamics 365 users can use marketing lists to group leads or contacts or accounts manually or according to specific criteria when querying customer data using Advanced Find.  Marketing lists can be linked to a marketing campaign which is a native feature as well.

When it comes to bulk email and unless you already have an integrated marketing automation solution like Clickdimensions you cannot use Dynamics 365 for Sales. Users should export customer data and import them in their mass emailing tool (which can be mailchimp, mailjet, atompark, sendpulse,…)  before sending them emails. That means you will have customer database in 2 different solutions without automated synchronization nor stats retrieved in your CRM system.

But there’s always a solution…

PowerMailchimp is an addon, a Dynamics 365 solution package to import, that I’ve been using (This addon is developed by PowerObjects, an ISV that has several other amazing and useful addons). It makes it easy to sync your Mailchimp and Dynamics 365 lists and send directly bulk email without leaving Dynamics 365. Stats (Successful deliveries, opens, clicks, etc..) are also synced and can be used in your Dynamics 365 charts and dashboards.


How much does it cost?

2 things to consider when estimating the cost of a Mailchimp/Dynamics365 integration:

  • Mailchimp: Free up to 12k emails per month for a 2k contacts databse. See pricing above.
  • Powermailchimp: 2$ per month. Price is per user, per month. All enabled users are automatically counted. This includes read only users, admin only users, and service accounts.

How to?

If you plan to use Mailchimp with Dynamics 365 you can get a 30 days free trial of that addon here. You can also find the user guide in that page so you can import the solution and follow some few steps to set the synchronization.

New Role-Based Microsoft Dynamics 365 Certifications

MS Certified.PNG

Microsoft has recently decided to retire most of Dynamics 365 certifications by june 30, 2019. You can check out all certifications scheduled to retire here https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/retired-certifications.aspx

New certification program to come will be about role-based certification. That means

Exam MB-200: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Core  This certification is requiered to achieve both Dynamics 365 for Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate and Dynamics 365 for Sales Functional Consultant Associate

Exam MB-210: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales is the second exam to get Dynamics 365 for Sales Functional Consultant Associate certification

Exam MB-230: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service is the second exam to get Dynamics 365 for Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate

Existing certifications Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer engagement Online Deployment (MB2-715)  and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customization and Configuration (MB2-716) are still available




Dynamics 365: POP3/SMTP Email server side synchronization


The most simple scenario you can experience when implementing Email service synchronization for your Dynamics 365 organization is having Exchange Online in the same tenant. This is the most simple case and it takes few minutes for administrator to set up email synchronization for the whole organization (all users). But what about having to sync Exchange online server which is not in the same tenant or other servers such as Gmail?

The good news is that Exchange Online synchronization is supported even if it’s not in the same tenant. The bad news is that each user has to enter his credentials in order to get his emails and appointments synchronized.

Whether it’s Exchange Online, Gmail or another provider, the first step is to get POP3/SMTP settings and create a new Mailbox Profile in Dynamics 365 and once related mailboxes are approved you can ask your users to enter their credentials so they can synchronize their appointments and emails.

This Microsoft links is listing all the supported scenarios whether you are online or on-premises.



The following link explains step by step how to set up the synchronization for a gmail server



Dynamics CRM 9.0 : Multi Choice field

Dynamics CRM 9.0 is here and finally we got a very useful feature we as consultants and ISVs have always wanted to have.

A new type of field has been added which allows now users to have a multi selection optionset as you can see in the following screenshot. It can either be local or global just like ordinary Optionsets.

Note: getting the field value using javascript getAttribute method will return values separated by comma (ex: 1000001,1000002,1000003)