Variables in Canvas Power Apps | Global and Context

For all newbies, being able to use Variables is one the most curious questions put out immediately. Here’s a simplistic example of using Variables, both Global and Contextual in this post.

headerImg

Global Variable

Global Variables as the name suggest, run through the entire App itself and can be changed and altered when needed.
Global variables can hold boolean, string, number etc.

  1. Let’s say, I have a Text field called GuestNameField
    guestFieldAdded
    guestNameFieldView
  2. Global Variables are created and set by using Set(variable, value) function.

    Now, on the OnChange event of the GuestNameField above, I’m setting the variable by the formula Set(guestName, GuestNameField.Text). Where, guestName is the field I created on the fly and I’m setting the text from the GuestNameField textbox whenever the Textbox will trigger OnChange Event.
    formulaWritten

  3. And I have a Label called as DisplayValue which will read from the variable and set it’s text.
    readFromVar
  4. Now, when I run the app and type the name, and when I release the focus on the text box, the
    typeName
    And when the focus from the TextBox is released, OnChange of the TextBox will trigger and the Label will display the text written since it’s reading the value from the variable
    appear

Context Variable

Now, a variation to the Context Variable from the Global Variable is that the Context variable have the scope of the only the current screen they are declared in. Navigate function is also a form of Context variable in which case, you can pass values to other screens.

Context variables can hold strings, numbers, records and tables.

  1. Now, in case of Context Variables, you use UpdateContext({variable: value}) in the formula.
    contextVar
  2. And is accessed/read by simply writing the name of the variable directly
    directContextVarName
  3. And it behaves in the same way, you write something and it can be read
    typeName
    And displayed below as seen in the above Global Variable example
    appear

Checking your Variables

In case you’re wondering you’ll lose track of your variables, you can check the File menu and access the Variables section as shown below
menuItem

Global Variables as marked above can be accessed in their own section
globalStored
And if you open any of those, you can see and even navigate to where they are used.
globalUsage

Similarly, for Context Variables are denoted by the Screen names they are in.
contextStored

I tried to summarize this on a high level. You can refer this Microsoft Documentation for details Understand canvas-app variables in Power Apps.

Hope this was easy!

In case you are looking for more post related to Canvas PowerApps, here you go –

  1. Get N:N records in a Canvas Power App using Common Data Service connector | Power Platform
  2. Adding a Canvas PowerApp to Teams
  3. Correctly connect to an Excel file in a Canvas PowerApp
  4. Sending Image from Canvas PowerApps to SharePoint Document Library using Flows

Thank you!

Dynamics 365 PSA v2 to v3 Upgrade failed? Here’s what to do.

This is a little tricky upgrade from PSA v2 to PSA v3. I’m sure by this time of the year, most of you must have upgraded and this post by me comes a little late than it should.

Here’s my experience and what help from Microsoft Support I needed to complete the Upgrade successfully.

So usually, this is what you expect when you initiate the upgrade process. You go to the Instance Picker from Dynamics 365 Admin Center.
upgradeButton

And you can see that you are on PSA v2.4.x version and the New version available is 3.10.x. When you kick off, it starts running
upgradeInProgress
But, it fails like this.
installFailed

Let’s take a stab at it!

I usually prefer to go with the old school classic Instance Picker, if you want to have a quick access to it, check this post – D365 Admin Center: Instance Picker Link

Solution Health Hub

Note: Please be aware that below mentioned steps that involve Project Service & Project Service Upgrade Rule Set can only be provisioned by Microsoft Support and we need to create a Support Request with Microsoft for them to provide this Rule Set. These comes in a Managed Solution Microsoft Support installs from their end into your environment.

  1. Assuming Microsoft Support has enabled this Rule Set for your organization, you can go to Solution Health Hub
    createNewAnalysisJob
  2. Then, select either Project Service or Project Service Upgrade
    ruleSet
  3. It will automatically run asynchronously as and when you create it. It should display results in a few moments.
    failedValidation
    In this case, my failures were that Resource Requirement records didn’t have Hours & Resources were not filled in. Some Project Tasks didn’t have Project attached to them which resulted in corrupted PSA data according to the Rule Set and hence, the upgrade fails.
  4. Now, in my case, I cleaned this data manually. Post that, I created another Analysis Job to ensure that there are no more failures.
    passedRuleSet
    Also, there’s another Rule that isn’t mentioned here but is a reason for failure. That is – Project Name (msdyn_Subject) should NOT be Blank. Use Advanced Find to find these records and correct manually.  Please ensure this manually as it won’t appear here. 
  5. Now, there’s a workflow called as Update User Work History. It should have shown 3.3 or higher in the version to select, unfortunately, this will come once the upgrade fails 1 time.
    oldWF
  6. Now, you are all set to kick off Upgrade Once again. It will fail due to the incorrect workflow mentioned above in #5.
    installFailed
  7. Now, you can go back and check that workflow, it should have the correct version appearing (due to the partial upgrade that happened in #6 above, which eventually failed)
    updateUserWorkHours
    Set this to 3.3 and Activate the workflow again.
  8. Now, trigger the Update to PSA v3 one more time. And this time it should go through correctly.
    installedPlease note, due to constant upgrades in the platform/PSA, there could still be some undetected issues which could result in failure. Hence, I tried to put what I experienced in general.

    Post this, also ensure that all SDK Message Process Steps and related Workflows related to PSA are enabled.

In case you are also looking to find out about dependencies about failed Solution Upgrades, you can check this post too – Check Managed Solution failures in Solution History in D365 CE

Hope this helps!

Dynamics 365 Solutions’ New Experience in Power Apps, Solution Checker and more

If you’ve recently noticed Settings > Solutions area in Dynamics 365, you’ll see a notification that this has been moved
alertNotification

And you’ll be redirected to Solutions Area in Power Apps –
newArea

Solution Checker

Solution Checker is a helpful feature where it runs a validation of components in the Solution itself –

  1. If you see for your custom Solutions, if you haven’t ever Run a check on the solution, the status will be Hasn’t been run
    checkNotRun
    I’ll zoom it below –
    statusZoomed
  2. Now, you can run the Solution Checker against your entity to find potential issues and add/remove component that matter.
    selectRun
  3. Once the Run starts, it will show the status of Running… for the solution as well as in the Power App ribbon.
    running
  4. Once the run is complete, you can see the time stamp it completed on and also View/Download the results –
    runComplete
    viewResults
  5. You can see the results as below –
    sampleResult1
    So basically, it’ll show what best practices should be followed in order for the Solution to be meeting highest standards of configurations and customization.
  6. Another example from another solution is this –
    removeDebug
  7. Or something like – under Upgrade Readiness category
    upgradeReadiness

    Full details can be found here on Microsoft’s official document – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/maker/common-data-service/use-powerapps-checker#review-the-solution-checker-report

Solution Export Versioning

Now, every time you export a solution, by default it is set to Managed unlike Unmanaged in the Classic UI.

Also, notice the Version number is auto-incremented to x.x.x.1
defaultBehavior

And in further exports, the version keeps on auto-incrementing
incremented

Hope this helps!!

 

Setting Retry Policy for an HTTP request in a Flow | Power Automate

Often times, There could be an issue where your HTTP request isn’t hitting well. So, to overcome this, you might want your Flow to Retry after a certain duration and for some number of times.

You want to setup a Retry policy for the same. Here’s how you do it!

Setting Retry Policy

Follow this to setup a Retry Policy of your Flow

  1. Locate your HTTP step and navigate to Settings
    openSettings

  2. Once you’re in Settings pane, scroll below and look for Retry Policy.
    retryPolicyLocation

  3. Default type is set by default, if you expand it, you can select what should be the Retry Type. In  this example, I’ve set to Fixed Interval for simplicity
    Default is set to 4 retries at an exponential interval. (Exponential increment type is a little confusing to explain, you can check this post as users discuss how exponential time increments work – )fixedInterval
  4. In Fixed Interval type, I’ve set number of retry count to be 3 and duration between each retry should be 30 seconds (represented in ISO-8601 format)
    sampleRetrySet
  5. With that, the policy is set. And the HTTP request step will try for 3 times at the interval of 30 seconds each.

 

If you want to test using some HTTP request, you can sample HTTP requests from here – https://httpstat.us/

How it works

Look for Failed Runs to see the result –

  1. Open a Failed Run where you know HTTP request could have failed
    openFailedRun
  2. Now, look for your HTTP request where you set the policy on. Expand the same.
    openHTTPCallThatFailed
  3. Upon expanding, you can see that there were 3 retries and it failed due to a timeout i.e. 408
    failedRetries
  4. You can also check on the right hand side of the page which says that the total duration of all these retries were 1 min 30 seconds
    totalFixedTime

If you observe the Flow Runs, you can find the the Flow did consistently try to run at an interval for the number of times specified.

In case you’re looking for more Flow/Power Automate related posts, check below –

  1. Make HTTP request from Flow in Power Automate
  2. Using Parse JSON to read individual List Records in Flow|Power Automate
  3. Selecting (Current) in Environment in Power Automate CDS connector and why it matters
  4. Retrieve only active Dynamics 365 CE licensed Users in CDS connector in Power Automate
  5. Secure Input/Output in Power Automate Run History
  6. Approval Process using Power Automate
  7. Create a To-Do List Item of Important Outlook Emails using Power Automate
  8. RSS notifications to your phone using Power Automate
  9. Enable Flow button on D365 Ribbon
  10. Button Flow in Power Automate to replicate a Quick Create Form in D365 CE

Hope this helps!!

Debug Ribbon button customization using Command Checker in Dynamics 365 CE Unified Interface

Developers, it’s a little irksome to keep struggling with issues around making your ribbon buttons work correctly during the development phase.

At times, you wonder why your button didn’t show up on the form although you had set everything up correctly. Or even for out-of-box button, that didn’t show?

Scenario

In this example, I’ll find out by my Project Service Quote record doesn’t have a Activate Quote button on the ribbon.

noActivationButton
We can use Command Checker to find out why.

 

Enable Command Checker

Remember, this only works in the Unified Interface and not on the classic UI.

Command Checker is a developer feature to identify how a certain ribbon button has or has not rendered on your form/view. So let’s begin –

Add this command to the end of the Entity form page URL: &flags=FCB.CommandChecker=true&ribbondebug=true

Add make it look like something like below –
https://<ORG_NAME&gt;.crm<REGION>.dynamics.com/main.aspx?appid=7fbb5a25-b903-ea11-a816-000d3a58f769&pagetype=entityrecord&etn=account&id=aaa19cdd-88df-e311-b8e5-6c3be5a8b200&flags=FCB.CommandChecker=true&ribbondebug=true

 

Command Checker

Form Command Checker

  1. Now, if you navigate to the ellipses on the ribbon, check that Command Checker has now appeared.
    formCommandChecked
  2. A Command Checker Window will appear as below. Navigate to the button you are having issue on.
    baseWindow
  3. Then, click on Command Properties as shown above to see what didn’t pass through. And as shown below, we could see that one of the conditions in Enable Rule didn’t get through and hence, the button didn’t show up on the ribbon.
    commandCheckerWindowIn case you are also looking at how to hide out-of-the-box ribbon buttons, check this – Hide Custom Ribbon Button [Easy Way] – Ribbon Workbench

Global Command Checker

And with that, you must have also observed the Command Checker on the Navigation Ribbon bar as well.
globalCommandChecker
And it opens up as below –
globalCommand

 

Some other Ribbon Workbench related posts –

  1. Show Ribbon button only on record selection in Dynamics CRM
  2. Enable Flow button on D365 Ribbon
  3. [SOLVED] Navigating URL from Ribbon’s custom button in Dynamics for Phones app
  4. Fix Ribbon icons on the Unified Interface in D365 CE
  5. Create a New Record button for Activity Type entity using Ribbon Workbench: D365
  6. D365 Ribbon Button shortcut to open a Document in SharePoint Online

Hope this helps! Happy 365ing!

 

Using Parse JSON to read individual List Records in Flow|Power Automate

This is a scenario I came across when I was using Common Data Service connector [not Common Data Service (Current Environment)] connector to read Opportunities tied to an Account.

Example

In this scenario, I wanted to retrieve the Opportunities tied to an Account. So, my filter query was _parentaccountid_value(‘ACCOUNT_IDENTIFIER’)

Here’s my Flow starts. I want to read Opportunities that are tied to my Account in context –

baseQuery

Flow Inside a solution vs. Outside a Solution

Inside a Solution

Now, when I had this Flow inside a solution, the result didn’t have a body and instead just gave me Status Reason value as below –

missingData

Outside a Solution

Whereas, outside the Solution, I was able to get the array of Objects i.e. Opportunity data in the Body in the Output itself.
outsideSolutionResult

So, what can we do about the Flow which is used inside a Solution and you want to actually see what was the output? You may or may not require to see the records (depending on your implementation)

But let’s say you want to see what was returned, let’s just parse these results as is using Parse JSON to see what we got.

Use Parse JSON from Data Operation

Another way to read what you’re retrieving is using Parse JSON Data Operation.

  1. Search Parse JSON and you’ll see the result in Data Operation type of Actions as shown below –useParseJSON
  2. Now, you have to apply this to Current item from the retrieved List records in Apply to each operation. In case you don’t have the schema or not sure what to put it in. Simply use {} in Schema field. This will just pass through as is.
    applyParseJSON

Checking Result

Now, let’s test using the above and see if we can get the results

  1. Now, you can actually see the Inputs and Output of Parse JSON which is basically the same. This is useful if you want to visually see what’s going on through your Flow.
    visibleResult

But, if you don’t want to see what’s being passed through when in Production? You can Secure Input/Output in Power Automate Run History

Hope this helps you!!

Pass data to HTML Web Resource using browser’s sessionStorage in Dynamics 365 CE

If you’re using Xrm.Navigation.openWebResource(webResourceName, windowOptions, data), you probably are already using ‘data’ to the HTML Web Resource you are opening.

Here, I’m using an alternate method. I use JSON to send my data since it is widely preferred and used. Basically, I’ll Stringify my JSON object and add it to session storage, then – retrieve it from sessionStorage and Parse is back to object.

 

Opening Web Resource

Now, in my example, I’m not passing my data in the ‘data’ parameter provided by Xrm.Navigation.openWebResource(), instead I’m putting it in JSON.

  1. Let’s say, somewhere in my code, I want to send out a JSON to the HTML Web Resource which will open in a new window.
    So, instead of passing ‘data’ to Xrm.Navigation.openWebResource(), I’ll simply do the following –
    First, create a JSON object of what I want to send as data.
    Then, I’ll use sessionStorage.setItem(“<key>”, JSONObject); to add it to the sessionStorage and then open the WebResource using Xrm.Navigation.openWebResource()
    storedInSession

Reading from Session Storage

Reading from sessionStorage is as easy as putting data into it. Just the reverse –

  1. Assuming you are familiar with HTML and JS references, make sure you have correctly referenced the JS file you want to use with your HTML. Provide the name of the Web Resource in which you have your JS code.
    fileReferrenced
  2. Once the HTML document is loaded (I prefer using JQuery here to put things into document), you can read the same using sessionStorage.getItem(“<Key>”);

    And then, JSON.parse() the object retrieved from sessionStorage.
    retrived

  3. Also, if you look at the Application tab in Dev Tools of your browser, you can check for Session Storage info.
    You’ll find the Item you stored to the session
    inApplication

That way, you can use sessionStorage to keep your data in the browser session if you don’t have any other concerns or reasons not to use sessionStorage.

 

Hope this helps!!

Retrieve only active Dynamics 365 CE licensed Users in CDS connector in Power Automate

Let’s say you have a requirement where you want to work only on Dynamics 365 and you are using Office 365 Get User Profile action to retrieve all users.

In this example, I have some Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement licenses assigned to uers. And I want to retrieve only the Active D365 Users in my Common Data Service Connector.

Here’s how I do it –

Retrieve Users with Filter Condition

Now, the best thing you could do is identify what is the userlicensetype field of other Dynamics 365 users you might have retrieved in your previous executions.

licenseTypeFilter

I’ve used the query userlicensetype eq 6 to query for Active D365 users

If you want to retrieve Users who have been Disabled, you can check by using userlicensetype eq -1

Note: You’ll need to check the respective values for other users who have licenses like Team Member or Sales Professional. Since I haven’t tried those, I don’t have their exact number codes. Best way is to identify a user whose licence configuration you are looking for and look for their userlicensetype field value in Flow.

Result

This gave me only those users who have D365 Customer Engagement License assigned to them
4retrieved

And if I look at my O365 Portal, I can see that 4 users have the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement License
D365Licensed

There are even more ways you can use to identify for different licenses used. I recommend it’s good practice to retrieved only those users which are needed for your operation.

If you’re also looking to secure the Input/Output data in Flow, refer this Secure Input/Output in Power Automate Run History

Hope this helps!

AutoNumber field in CDS | PowerApps

The most desired feature is ability to create/customize your own auto-number field. ANd CDS let’s your do just that!

I remember the good old days when I had to write a plugin to function for AutoNumber which used to configuration from a supposedly separate Configuration entity and it scary to maintain the code and entity. But this solves all that with so much ease!
allRecords

 

Create an AutoNumber field in CDS

  1. Now, you can start by creating a field in CDS’ Solutions > [YourSolution]> [YourEntity]
    createNew

  2. Then, under Accounts, you can see that you can actually create an Autonumber. This is not available in Classic UI.
    Also, please note that you’ll need to keep this field Not Required and Locked (on the form) in order to function.
    underTextGroup
  3. Give it  a suitable name and then you have 3 options to format your auto-number field.
    2TypesOfAutonumber

    String Prefixed number

    You’ll need to define the Prefix, Min Digits, Seed value
    preview

    Date prefixed number

    With Date prefixed, you’ll need to define Date Format, Min Digits of Seed Value
    dateFieldPreview

    Custom

    With custom, you can define the Format. Refer Microsoft’s Documentation for the same – AutoNumberFormat options
    customPreview

Save and Publish as you usually would and place your field on the form you want.

Working

I used String method to design my AutoNumber field. Let’s see how it looks –
Once I save the record, the Auto-number will be filled in.
fieldWorking

If you happen to delete any records already created in the sequence, the auto-number functionality will continue counting upward and not fill out previous backlogs/last deleted auto-number records.

 

Hope this helps!

Call Azure Function from Dynamics 365 CRM using Webhooks

This is a vast topic to cover in a blog. But I wanted to write from a bird-eye’s view of how this will pan out in an implementation where you perform a certain operation in Dynamics 365 CRM and an Azure Function is called to perform further operations.

This post is written keeping in mind fair knowledge of Azure Functions, Storage accounts and subscriptions in mind.

I’ll try to keep the article short, so stay with me! 🙂

Create a Function App in Azure

  1. Let’s say you have created a Function App in Azure already and want to connect to Dynamics 365 CRM. Click on the big + New Function button in the screenshot below
    resourceOverview_LI
  2. Now, since I want to keep Visual Studio as my driver for coding and deployment, I’ll create a new Project in Visual Studio of type Azure Functions and click Next
    newProj
  3. On the next page, I’ll give a relevant name and hit Create.
    createProjectButton
  4. Since we will be using Webhooks to connect to the Azure Function, the trigger chosen here is Http Trigger.Make sure you select Framework because Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk assemblies don’t work on .NET Code, but on .NETFramework only.And then you should take care of what your Storage Account and Authorization should be – Finally click Create once done.
    frameWorkSelected
  5. The Project will open with 1 .cs file, so make sure you name your plugin initially –
    accountPluginGetsInApp
  6. It’ll take a while to create the Project. Once created, go to the Portal on Azure and click on the Get Publish Profile
    getPublishProf_LI
    It will be downloaded on the computer. Keep it so that you can import it on the Project in Visual Studio to use for Direct Publish.
    downloadedProfile
  7. Now, right click and chose Publish to make your first push as is so that the Account Function gets pushed to Azure App.
    firstPublish
  8. Then, click on Import and import the Publish Profile settings downloaded in step #5 above –
    selectImport
  9. Once imported, you’ll be taken here – simply Publish once.
    quickPublish
  10. Once Publish is successful, check in the Azure App in Portal, the Function should appear.
    accountPluginGetsInApp

 

Modifying code to read Webhook Call from Dynamics 365

  1. To keep it simple, I’m simply reading the context and then, you can flourish your App further to make it work as required.
    captureContextSo, I’m only reading the request into a String and logging it so that we can see it in the logs in the Azure Function app.
  2. You can use RemoteExecutionContext class to actually get all the contextual information into the Function app and then use it further. See below –
    remotecontext
  3. Once ready with your code, Publish it.

Now, let’s Register the Webhook and call the app.

If you’re also looking for remote debugging, this is a great article-Remote Debugging Azure Functions V2 “The breakpoint will not currently be hit. No symbols have been loaded for this document”

Register a Webhook in Plugin Registration Tool

Coming to Dynamics 365 CRM side of things, you can register a Webhook that will trigger on Account Name update to fire off the AccountPlugin Function App created above –

  1. In Plugin Registration Tool, register a new Webhook
    registerWebHook
  2. Enter Webhook Details. Select Authentication type as WebhookKey
    enterWebhookDetails
  3. Now, to get the key, go to the Function App in portal, and look </> Get function URL link.
    getKeyandURL
  4. Copy the same and paste in Notepad, separate the code part from the main URL
    selectCopy
    separateCodePart
  5. Paste the URL part in Endpoint URL and key in the Value field. Click Save.
    registerWebHookWIthDetails
  6. Now, add a Step to the Webhook. For this example, I’ve chosen update of Account‘s Account Name field
    addStepregisterStepInWebhook
    And Register it.

Execution

  1. The purpose was to simply ready Dynamics 365 Account record upon modification of the Account Name
    recordChange
    And save the record.
  2. In a minute or so, the Log will be generated (only the logs take a little longer to generate)
    triggered
    And thus, we are able to send data / or rather, call Azure Function and process Dynamics 365 CRM data using Webhooks.

Some other Azure related post you might like to look at – Use Azure App Passwords for MFA enabled D365 authentication from Console App

Hope this was helpful! Tried my best to keep it basic and short as possible. I’m sure you all will explore way beyond and develop awesome implementations!