Don’t Sweat the Customizations

Dynamics365 (and it’s previous incarnations) is designed and built to be customized and integrated into your pre-existing Line of Business applications and/or seamlessly integrate into your new ones.

That’s the goal of the platform (in my humble opinion).

To this extent, the only times you should be afraid of performing customizations on the core or extended system are;

  • You don’t understand the requirements and are changing things willy, nilly all over the place.
  • You have gone beyond writing your own code and are now changing underlying code which may or may not be supported in future upgrades.
  • You are recreating functionality that already exists in the system in your own variant.
  • You are taking something called an account and making it look like a “cat” but then having to create another thing called an “account” because

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Why do I need the Unified Service Desk?

I’ve been (and will continue to do) some blogging on the Dynamics Unified Service Desk (USD) but I’ve failed to answer the first, probably most important question you might be asking yourself right now.

Why do I need the Unified Service Desk?

Before I proceed, answer these questions (no rush, I’ll wait).

  • Do I run a Contact Centre? Y/N
  • Do I have a phone system? Y/N
  • Do I already have Dynamics installed?  Y/N
  • Have I invested some serious $$$ in our company’s own proprietary Line of Business Applications? Y/N
  • Do I have agents that work remotely? Y/N

Do I run a Contact Centre?

Great, the USD is designed, from the ground up, to be your agent’s only app they will ever need to do their job.  No more wasted context switching between applications, no more trying to find the

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Adding Items to a Dynamics Queue

Continuing off my post of adding items to a queue programmatically, I wanted to add items to this queue (why else would I be using a queue?).

The code here is relatively simple and boring as I queried for a contact named Andrew, found him and added a new queueitem to the queue.

QueryExpression queryContact = new QueryExpression();
queryContact.EntityName = "contact";
queryContact.ColumnSet = new ColumnSet(true);
queryContact.Criteria.AddCondition("firstname", ConditionOperator.Equal, "Andrew");

EntityCollection entityContacts = _CrmService.RetrieveMultiple(queryContact);
EntityReference contactRef = new EntityReference("contact", entityContacts[0].Id);

Entity q = new Entity("queueitem");
q["queueid"] = new EntityReference("queue", _QueueId);
q["objectid"] = contactRef;
_CrmService.Create(q);

The results were anything but.

The first time I executed this code it worked fine, created a new queueitem record and associated to my man Andrew.

The second time I executed this code, it exploded with the following message (which seems odd for a queue to do).

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Creating a USD Configuration

When getting started with development in the USD (Unified Service Desk), the first thing you have to do is create a configuration profile (otherwise you get an error when you launch the USD).

A configuration profile is what allows you to create many types of USD implementations and associate them to users.  A user can only ever be associated to one profile.

USD_Config

Establishing a base configuration profile is comprised of three parts as indicated below.

usd

The Global Manager is a hosted control which

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Accessing Dynamics Queues Programmatically

I typically still code in Dynamics using LateBound requests.  There have been a few instances where I have switched to Early Bound but I continue to do this for the following reasons

  1. I don’t like dragging around proxies into my code that can change environment to environment.
  2. When not depending on proxies, I feel have more options to downgrade my code into different versions based on what can be discovered.
  3. I get to learn about all the hidden relationships between entities and attributes that gives me a deeper understanding of what lies beneath.

With that said, this week I needed to access some queues in Dynamics and see what was in them.

To do this, I queried Dynamics for my queue based on the name provided.

QueryExpression query = new QueryExpression();
query.EntityName = "queue";
query.ColumnSet = new ColumnSet(true);
query.Criteria.AddCondition("name",															

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