How to Use the Dynamics365 Platform

Generally, when starting a conversation with a new customer about moving to Dynamics365, the first statement they always make is…

We don’t want to change anything and we want to use it as is.

Which runs completely counter to the inherent capabilities of this platform at large not too mention what their requirements are and what they want to achieve.

I get it – you bought a car – you love it, it does almost everything you want to do so you don’t want to change it, but guess what, if you want to keep using it for life and get the most out of it, you’re going to have to make some changes.

Same with Dynamics365, with this in mind, I put together the following diagram that I hope will help new customers in understanding how much they are leveraging the platform (i.e., are we getting the best use for our money) as well as help you (the one doing the work) in explaining to them where they are in the implementation and usage cycle.


I’ve broken down these phases below using the following criteria.

Out of the Box

  • No customizations, only configurations to the system.
  • Usage of Outlook Plugin/Web Access
  • Integration with Office applications (OneNote, Teams, SharePoint, Exchange)
  • Integration with Email System

Configure the Base

  • Customizations are made to the system (new entities, new attributes) without proper develop cadence to what is being built
  • Workflows within limits
  • All customizations reside in the default solution.

Customization First

  • Solution Development within the Dynamics Platform
  • Flows and Form Design with No Code
  • Business Rules and Processes
  • JavaScript Libraries
  • PowerApps Scripting with the UI

Developer Extended

  • Use of custom solutions in either a managed or unmanaged format.
  • Creation and use of custom plugins and workflows
  • PowerApps, Portals, JavaScript and Microsoft Flow

Fully Integrated

  • Dynamics is fully integrated with Line of Business via solutions such as Azure, Unified Service Desk, Channel Framework
  • Telephony Integration
  • External applications leverage Dynamics as Central Hub of the organization for information.

So there you have it, a diagram, and some criteria for where you are in the development lifecyle for implementing solutions for Dynamics365.  If you have anything you want to add, contact me and happy to discuss further.

I have a new book coming out in March 2020 called Code Your Way Up – it’s all about making that slick transition from kicking Software Developer to Superstar Manager.  It’s available now for pre-order on Amazon.

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