Posts in: July, 2017

Dynamics365 is not a Database

Yes, it has a database that stores all of it’s information within it, but it is not a database.

Similar to Skype For Business and SharePoint that have databases to store all of it’s configuration models and user data within it, they are not referred to as databases.

Over the years I’ve been asked many times to take a customer’s existing database model and map it to Dynamics – i., pick up and replace.

This generally leads to a back and forth on how this should be done as we discuss legacy information, schemas that no longer apply or are used and features that can simplify the overall implementation of the schema.

I think part of the reason for this is the readability of the Dynamics schema whereas something like SharePoint

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VSTO – Enabling Ribbon Controls at RunTime

I recently ran into an issue where I needed to enable and disable Ribbon controls in a VSTO plugin where the Ribbon controls were initialized through a Ribbon.xml file.

This can be a bit challenging s the controls in the Ribbon XML file are not available to your code at design time when you are trying to write the actual code.

In addition, I needed to trigger the decision handling logic from another section of code not associated to the Ribbon.

Accomplishing this task involved a number of steps and was done building an integration to Outlook (not sure if this would be similar in Word or Excel).

Identify the controls at run-time

In each control that I wanted to control the state on, at the time of the Ribbon’s instantiation I had them call

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Creating Your Own Business Unit

Business Units are one of those dicey concepts in Dynamics where if done right – they make sense and are of big value to your implementation.

But when done wrong, they can be a black hole that makes your life very hard to recover from.

When discussing with clients why they need a business unit there are a few things I generally look for;

  • Do you have groups within your organization that need to keep their data separate from one another?  The best example being a parent company with subsidiaries which need to use the same system but cannot see each other’s data (because they are partners).
  • Are you trying to do implement security with a Business Unit (i.e., what people can and cannot do?).  If so, you should look at security roles.

Generally, when

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Do you still Customize the Default Solution?

Since the introduction of the solution framework in CRM 2011 (and now Dynamics365), I have not customized the default solution and find no value in doing so going forward.

Apart from their deployment and product shipping functionality, solutions provide a container where I can specifically look at what I am customizing and am working on as it pertains to my own entities.  Whether it is an unmanaged solution in Production or Development (hopefully not in Production), at the very least I have a container that takes me two minutes to create that nicely encapsulates all the changes I have made.

With the Default Solution, I see the world, everything that is in it and everything that is a part of it.  If I were to step away from this solution for a

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