Store ‘Today’s Date’ in a field to use in workflow conditions in D365 CE

Most of us need this in our workflow conditions to check against – to have today’s date handy and then use them in If conditions in workflows. But, the filter in If conditions in workflows don’t let you dynamically select On or after ‘Today’.

And when you want to compare to today’s date on selection of On or After, you are forced to enter a date and not dynamically select Today.

onOrAfterBlank

To overcome this, here’s what you can do to simply store Today’s Date in all records.

Calculated Date and Time field

So workaround this, you can simply create a new Date and Time type of Calculated field to store the current date and use it in your workflow conditions or wherever you need it.
createCalculatedField

Make sure the type of the field is Calculated and then, Edit the criteria.

Select Now() function to set the value of the field.
Now
And the final criteria condition will simply look like the below
finalCriteria

Once you save and publish all your changes, you’ll see that the field is automatically populated with today’s date.
allDatesPopulated.png

Using in Workflow Conditions

Now, you can use the same in the workflow conditions as shown below –

addedCriteria

and you should be able to use this in your workflow conditions which could look like this

addedOnCondition

Hope this quick workaround comes handy!

 

 

Modified By (Delegate) & Created By (Delegate) in D365

These fields which are everywhere but you don’t really pay attention to really mean something worth.

So if you feel you want to get hold of someone for modifying a record. Maybe also take a look at Modified By (Delegate) just in case so that the actual user might be someone else who wanted to do another thing on that record. šŸ™‚

Impersonation is one of the basic aspects of a plugin step that you need to carefully design to let another user (usually Admins for most implementations) make the plugin run under their context instead of giving more security roles/privileges to every other new user.

Well, same goes for Created By & Created By (Delegate) also!

Modified By

Usually, when you update something on a record, the Modified By is updated as expected. But notice that Modified By (Delegate) is not updated.
noDelegate.png

That’s because you are the rightful owner of the record and there’s no other person involved.

But what is someone else is modifying the record (who don’t have access to that record)?

In that case, Modified On (Delegate) field is populated with the name of that user. In such scenarios, Modified By (Delegate) user is the one who caused changes to the record.

delegatedUser

Why Modified By (Delegate) was populated

The reason this was populated was because the record was updated through a plugin by a user who doesn’t have Write access to the record.

But because the user invoked a plugin which was Impersonating as a User who has rights to the records, the record was successfully updated. And this, the actual user who called the plugin is the one who will be populated in the Modified By (Delegate) field.

impersonatingOtherUser

Hope this quick tip helps!

Duplicate Detection in Dynamics 365 using Keys

A superb way of restricting duplicate record creation is using Keys in Dynamics 365CE. This is definitely one of the most useful and easy to use features in Dynamics CRM.

In this example, I will create a Key for Email (emailaddress1) field to ensure there are only unique record values for this fields in my environment.

Create Key

It’s pretty straight-forward like creating any other Dynamics CRM component. Navigate to Keys under and entity like shown below –
createKey

And add a new Key and select attributes you want to use for that key
createdKey

Finally, save and publish your changes.

How it Works

Let’s say you already have an existing record ABC 1 with email address abc@abc.com
abc1.png

And if you try to create/update a record with the same attribute’s same value, you’ll get and error as below –
abc2

And the error will be
errorThrown

Hope this quick tip helps!

Business Card Scan in D365 CE Wave 2 Updates

We are close to getting D365 Wave 2 Updates in Oct 2019 and with Early Opt-in to Wave 2 Updates, we are already able to access one of the most desired and requested features of this release – Business Card Scan!

If you are yet to enable Wave 2 Updates for your organization, follow me post on the same here – Early Opt-in for October 2019 Wave 2 Updates. Please do so only on your testing/sandbox environment and not on Production instance yet.

Note that this is only available in US and EU regions as of now and works only in the Unified Interface.

Phone App to scan business cards

Most obvious thing to do is to pull out a phone to scan a card.

  1. Open Dynamics 365 for phones app. And navigate to Quick Create Menu
    qcMenu.png
  2. Then, select Contact
    contactQC
  3. On the Quick Create of Contact form, you’ll see a Business Card control that opens the Camera
    businessCardButton
  4. It will open you Camera and you can simply take a picture of the business card itself like below
    picTaken
  5. It will upload and fill out all the captured information from the card to the Contact form.
    infoCaptured
  6. You can simply Save the record and you’re done. It will be uploaded to CRM.

 

Uploaded

And here it is, uploaded in CRM already.

enteredInCRM

And if you take a look at the record, the picture that was used is also stored in Dynamics
cardInfo

Custom Control Used

If you look at the form customization of the Contact’s Quick Create form, you can see what control was used. It’s AI Builder Business Card control
controlUsed

Hope this helps!

Workaround to get Plugin Profiler from the Unified Interface in D365 CE

Developers like me, often need to Profile the Plugin so see what logic you are implementing and this is pretty common in the development lifecycle. But, Let’s say you don’t have the classic UI at your disposal and need to download the Profiler from the Unified Interface itself – Here’s a little detour you’ll need to take to get it right.

Alternatively, using Persist To Entity is also preferred. But example – if you have a plugin on Create and on PreOperation, you won’t want to record to be created, you can go with the below –

Ease of the Classic UI

On the classic UI, you would get the Profiled file correctly just by Download Log File button on the interface itself.

classicProfiler

And the file has correct data starting with –
startingWIth

And ending with
endingWith.png

Profiler Message on the Unified Interface

As of now, the message pop-up for the profiled plugin will give you this –
currentUCIMessage.png

And the file has this –

currentUCIFile

And the Plugin Registration Tool doesn’t understand this! You’ll get this parsing error if you try –
parseError
parseErrorMessage

Turn On Exception Logging

Before that, you can check this post on how you can quickly go to the classic UI’s Settings area here –Ā D365 Quick Tip: Shortcut to Settings from the Unified Interface

To be able to capture these details in the Plugin Profile entity, enable Plug-in and custom workflow activity tracing from the System Settings as shown below
turnOnLogging

You can’t add Plug-in Trace Logs to UCI

  1. Smarter way would be to add the Plug-in Trace Log entity to the UCI App itself and not having to go back to the classic UI. Unfortunately, you can’t do that.
    cantAddToUCI.png
    With that, we will have to go back to the Classic UI’s Settings > Plugin-In Profile Area to get out Profiled Log File.

Plug-In Trace Log

  1. Assuming you are back in the classic UI (maybe keep this open in another tab)
    Open the Trace Log record
    openProfileRecord.png
  2. Scroll down to the very bottom to find the Exception Details
    profiledData.png
  3. Now, copy that to the text file and attach it in the Plugin Registration Tool
    correctProfileFile.png
  4. This should work and you won’t get an error
    attached.png

Phew! I know this is lengthy. But we hope this will soon be eased šŸ™‚

Hope this helps you!

Nested Editable Grids in D365 CE v9 UCI

Nested Grids – as the name suggests is a grid-within-a-grid (or rather, Grid-ception!). Nested Grids will let you expand a sub-grid entry to look at another grid of the expanded record. This depends on how you configure it.

Be aware, Nested Grids work with Editable Grids and only for Tablet, Phones and Unified Interface. This is not available for the classic Web UI.

Configuring Nested Editable Grid

Here’s my entity structure – I have Account, having multiple Contacts and each Contact, having Opportunities under them. Like in the below diagram –

relationships

Now, I have a Contact grid on my Account form (just like we usually do).

  1. I now will have to choose the grid to be a Editable Grid ControlĀ as follows. Also, click on the Nested grid view control as pointed
    editableGridControl
  2. On clicking the Nested grid view pencil, the next dialog box will let you select what entity you want the Nested Grid to be for. Note that this is with respect to the Contact entity and not the Account entity. For this example, I chose Opportunities.
    selectEntity.png
  3. On selecting the entity, I have to make sure my View is also correctly set to show the records
    selectView.png
  4. Now, my dataset will populate from the selected Entity and View. next we will need to select what should be bound as a key. Going back to the Nested grid parent ID pencil this time
    selectNestedGridView
  5. Select what should be the field to bind the data. In this case, I want to show the one that is related to the Contact expanded.
    parentControlIdSelection
  6. Now, click OK for everything and your configuration should look like below.
    Finally save and Publish all customization.
    finalConfig.png

Using Nested Editable Grid

Now, if you look at the Contact grid on the Account form. You’ll see an arrow on each record which indicates that it can be expanded.
collapsed.png
And when you click on it, you’ll see the Nested Grid for Opportunities we configured in the section above
expanded
And yes, Opportunity too is editable in-line!

Hope this helps!!

Enable Flow button on D365 Ribbon

This is a pretty simple tweak to either show or hide the Flow button on the entity Forms’ Ribbon.

flowButtonVisible

Flow Button Not Visible

nowFlow

System Settings

Navigate to Settings > Administration. Go to System Settings
systemSettings

In System Settings, under Customization tab, look for Enable Microsoft Flow option.
customizationTab

You’ll be asked for permission
permission.png

Now, this is turned on
turnedOn.png

Flow Button Visible

Now, once you have enabled this setting, you’ll be able to see the Flow button on the View and Form ribbons across Dynamics 365 CE
flowButtonVisible

That was quick!!

Solving ‘The record could not be deleted because of an association’ error in D365 CE

Restricting Delete for child records is something customizers should start paying special attention towards defining 1:N relationships for entity records.

System Customizers often design this on purpose so that you are aware that the record you are deleting has child records associated with it and cannot be deleted.

Let’s consider this scenarioĀ  – Account is a parent of Subscription (which is a custom entity)

relationship

 

Error

Assume, Subscription 1 record has Account lookup to record A. Datum Corporation. When you attempt to Delete theĀ Account, you get this error message.

actualError

And when you download the Log File from the button on the error message, you can see at the very bottom on the Log that Cascade Delete failed due to the restriction.

It also mentions what child entity is causing it
highlightError

Reason

The reason being 1:N relationship on the Account entity to Subscription entity.

deleteRestrictionInRelationship

Workaround

Now, since this is a Restriction on Delete, you can either change it if you are allowed to modify the behavior and it should be fine
changeableBehavior
However, some system relationships can’t be changed. Example – Opportunity to Quote relationships
systemRestricted.png

To overcome this, you can remove the Opportunity Lookup value on the Quote entity and save the record.

Then, the parent Opportunity can be deleted.

Hope this helps!

Date and Time field’s Time-Zone behavior in D365

In most cases, customizers/administrators leave the Date & Time field as Local without paying much attention to detail.

types

With involvement of time, there are 2 behaviors while creating the field (or changing them, but there’s a catch)

You can change from Local to Time-Zone Independent any time, but can’t change from Time-Zone Independent to User Local once saved this way.
cantChangeBehavior

User Local

The Date & Time displayed in this field will be converted to the time-zone you are situated in.

localTime

Let’s say, the Date & Time is stored in UTC behind the scenes was 25th June 2019 6.30 PM, so whatever was stored, it will be converted to your System User’s local time according to the Settings. See below –

myTimeZone.png

Time-Zone Independent

This type of Date & Time of field, the time is stored in UTC, regardless of where you are located in the world.

timeZoneInd

If it is 6.30 PM on 25th June in UTC, it will be 12 AM in India on 26th June

 

It’s pretty basic, but needs to be done carefully!

Hope this helps.

Execute an Action from a Business Process Flow

One of the easiest and useful feature of a Business Process Flow is being able to Implement and Action right from a Business Process Flow just with a click of a button.

Here’s how you do it.

Let’s say you have an Action that you want to trigger that the Account was Approved for some sort and you want to alert the Stakeholders. You can have this functionality in your Action and call the Action from the BPF itself.

Action

  1. Let’s say your Action has some logic as below which you want to execute when you trigger Action on BPF
    actionLogic
  2. Make sure your Action is marked as below for it to be enabled for adding in a BPF
    enableForBPF

Once this is set, let’s move to the BPF part.

Business Process Flow

  1. In a BPF, since you have enabled your Action to be added to BPF, you’ll be able to add it as below.
    addActionStep
  2. In the Properties, look for your Action Process and select it and click Apply.
    actionFound
  3. Make sure you’ve clicked on Apply.
    apply

Now, you’re all set. Let’s see how it works.

Execution

Now, this is how you’ll see your Action on the BPF on the record,

executeButton

When you click on Execute, it will mention (if you don’t have any Input parameters) that there are not parameters and ask for Confirmation
noInputParameters

Once you confirm, this is how it will show while executing –
executing

 

If there’s any failure, it will show as below
executionFailure

 

And success like this
success

Simply click and the Action will execute!

Hope this helps!!