Dynamics attributes utilisation by FetchXML

XrmToolbox is an amazing free utility formed by many tools that have been developed by the community. During the last weeks, I have been particularly using and enhancing the Attribute Usage Inspector. This tool tells you the fields utilisation in your Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CRM) environment.

Figure 1 – Opportunity attributes utilisation for all records

In this article, I’ll show how I have extended this utility to allow FetchXML queries which defines the scope of the attributes to be analysed.

Visualising what attributes are used and what aren’t can be extremely helpful in your project analysis to understand adoption and drive new features.

In the above Figure – 1, you can see the attributes utilisation for the opportunity entity. In this case, the tool is using all the records and attributes in the system. You could also filter these attributes or even use a SQL query:

Figure 2 – Attribute Usage Inspector Settings. New FetchXML query option.

Additionally, I have recently added a new option to allow a FetchXML query (see “Use FetchXML query” in above Figure 2), which will define what attributes and records will be analysed  based on the results of the same query. 

Once you have selected the new setting “Use FetchXML query“, you will find a new dialog after you click on an entity:

Figure 3 – FetchXML Query dialog

The new FetchXML Query dialog allows basically 3 things:

  1. Generate the FetchXML query using a System View.
  2. Generate the FetchXML query using a User View.
  3. Use your own FetXML query just editing or pasting the text in the editor.

The FetchXML Query dialog also validates the query in run time to avoid potential mistakes. 

For instance, let’s say we want to understand certain opportunity attributes utilisation for those records created in the last months. Using the XrmToolbox FetchXmlBuilder, I have generated my own FetchXML:


Figure 4 – FetchXML Builder tool to generate custom FetchXML

I will then paste the same query in the FetchXML Query dialog shown in Figure 3:

Figure 5 – Attribute Usage Inspector using a custom FetchXML query

After clicking OK, the tool will use the same custom query to provide the corresponding results:


Figure 6 – Attribute Usage Inspector results with a custom FetchXML query

Notice how only a subset of the attributes are presented in the results and the number of records and % utilisation are determined by the FetchXML query.

How do I get this tool?

After you have downloaded the main XrmToolbox utility from https://www.xrmtoolbox.com, go to its Plugins Store and search for “Attribute Usage”, then install the Attribute Usage Inspector plugin:


Figure 7 – Install Attribute Usage Inspector from XrmToolBox Plugins Store

In case you were already using it, notice there is a new version 1.2018.9.11, which contains the new FetchXML query feature.

Where is the code?

The whole tool is open source and you can find the code here:

https://github.com/MscrmTools/MscrmTools.AttributeUsageInspector

https://github.com/rtebar/MscrmTools.AttributeUsageInspector

The Dynamics Community

You can reach and participate in the Dynamics 365 Community using the following channels:

Sites:

Dynamics in general

https://community.dynamics.com/

https://experience.dynamics.com/

PowerApps

https://community.powerapps.com

Flow

https://community.flow.microsoft.com

Power BI

https://community.powerbi.com/

Twitter:

#msdyn365community

 

 

 

 

Business Applications MVP 2018-2019

Last week I received at home a small ring that came all the way from US. It was a small gift from Microsoft to celebrate another year as part of the MVP community 🙂

rtb_blog_Business Applications MVP award 2018-2019

Since 2012, I have really enjoyed being part of this technical community where I have met very good professionals from all around the world.

Microsoft created this program more than 20 years ago to recognise individuals who help others to learn and understand Microsoft’s techonologies. Today we are more than 4,000 MVPs globally.

This award is split in different categories and areas depending on the technologies that we contribute to. Microsoft’s priorities and focus have evolved consideriable during the last years, which has also been reflected in the MVP award structure. My first year I got nominated as “CRM MVP“, then “Business Solutions MVP” and this year it was “Business Applications MVP“. Below you can see the current MVP award structure:

rtb_blog_MVP Award Categories 2018-2019rtb_blog_MVP Award Categories_2 2018-2019

If you would like to learn more about the Microsoft MVP Program, have a look at this site:

https://mvp.microsoft.com

Dynamics 365 October 2018 Release

In October 2018 there will be another big release for Dynamics 365, including Marketing,  Sales, Service, Social Engagement, Finance and Operations, Talent, Retail, Business Central (Nav), PowerApps, Microsoft Flows and Power BI (Business Intelligence), Data Integration and Mixed Reality business apps.

These were the news published just yesterday at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2018 celebrated in Seattle.

The release notes (Download the October ’18 Release Notes PDF) include more than 100 changes across all those technologies, so get a coffee and start reading 🙂

If there was a particular area that I had to highlight, that would probably be PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. See below my favorite features.

PowerApps

Dynamics 365 entity forms with embedded canvas apps

PowerApps within PowerApps! That’s basically it. So we will have the ability to put the powerful and flexible Canvas apps within our Model-Driven apps, like custom controls.

Canvas apps with Solutions

To improve our ALM process, we will be able to pack our Canvas apps within Solutions, allowing us to deploy them easily between environments (e.g. dev=>test=>…=>prod).

ramontebar_blog_d365Oct2018Release_Solution Checker_List

Solution Checker

This utility within the platform will help us to identify potential design and performance issues in our apps.

ramontebar_blog_d365Oct2018Release_Solution Checker_Dashboard

Microsoft Flow

Custom controls in Business Process Flows

Previously, business process flows only permitted the available XRM attribute types (such as text, optionset, lookup, number, and so on) to be surfaced as control steps inside business process flow stages. Now, custom controls, which offer rich interaction mechanisms both in Unified Interface and the Web Client, are supported. They power
controls such as sliders, radial knobs, timelines, and even the LinkedIn controls.

ramontebar_blog_d365Oct2018Release_BPF Custom Controls

Flow management connector, SDK, and APIs

Microsoft Flow is becoming the core processing solution in the Dynamics ecosystem. More documentation will be provided around its SDK and APIs to improve deployments, automation and governance.

Location as a connector

The feature allows users to create a location range that will trigger a flow when a mobile device enters or leaves it. Cool, isn’t it?!

Flows in Visio

We will be able to design our flows in Microsoft Visio, so you won’t have a excuse for “no documentation” now 🙂

ramontebar_blog_d365Oct2018Release_Flows in Visio

Dynamics 365 Saturday Madrid memories

As I expected in my previous post, it was definitely a great event!

We really enjoyed our weekend in Madrid for the Dynamics 365 Saturday where 290 attendees came to the Microsoft’s offices.

There were plenty of interesting presentations and a fantastic atmosphere. We received very good feedback from our sessions and we felt everyone took something away.

I leave below some pictures with all speakers and another with  @marcoamoedo and @mtcantero during the Dynamics Quiz session , it was really good fun! 🙂

 

 

 

Dynamics Saturday Quiz is coming!

This Saturday there is a fantastic event happening: Dynamics Saturday 365 Madrid.

Dynamics Saturday Madrid 2018 - With Ruperta.png

Apparently it will be one of the biggest Dynamics 365 Saturdays events celebrated so far. Apart from Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CRM), this time there will also be presentations for Finance and Operations, and Business Central over 3 rooms. My session will be in Calcium room at 16:50, see below the schedule:Dynamics Saturday Madrid 2018 - Schedule.png

You may have noticed a small little pumpkin in the first picture, that is Ruperta. She is our special guest who will help us with the Quiz on Saturday 🙂 For those who don’t know her, Ruperta was part of one of the most famous TV game shows in Spain years ago (Un, dos, tres… responda otra vez), where the participants were also challenged with a quiz.

After the great feedback we received from our Summit EMEA Quiz in Dublin, we want to continue the show in Madrid, but this time in Spanish and with new questions 🙂

The whole Quiz will be an interactive session where you will be able to provide your answers from your mobile device and see the results in real time. We will take one question at the time, share the results in the main screen and discuss the different answers. Our purpose is to create an entertaining contest where everyone can learn something.

And, very important…!

Thanks to the Dynamics 365 Saturday organisation, the first 3 winners will have a amazing award, so get ready and don’t miss it!

See you on Saturday!

 

 

Summit EMEA 2018 Dublin memories

Time flies and it is already weeks since the Summit EMEA conference in Dublin last month. It was definitely a great event and I really enjoyed meeting the community and exchanging experiences.

Apart from the Quiz session I already mentioned in my previous post:

Summit EMEA 2018 Dublin - Quiz rules

I also had the opportunity to collaborate in other 2 presentations, which were fun. One of them was with Microsoft, where we talk about Dynamics and Digital Transformation happening at Investec. They found interesting some of the changes we are currently carrying out. Although it was challenging to be in such a big stage, I feel like it went well and I received some positive feedback.

Summit EMEA 2018 Dublin - Investec and Dynamics presentation

The other one was with my MVP colleagues and some great member of the Dynamics community to talk about integrations. This topic is always an endless one and it was funny to hear the stories from the panel as well as the audience.

Summit EMEA 2018 Dublin - Integration Panel

Are you ready for the Dynamics 365 / CRM Quiz at Summit EMEA 2018?

The Summit EMEA 2018 conference in Dublin is almost there and we have been preparing some tough, fun and educational questions for those who like a challenge.

The Quiz will be focus, mainly from a technical perspective, on Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, CRM and other related technologies like Azure.

The whole Quiz will be an interactive session where you will be able to provide your answers from your mobile device and see the results in real time. We will take one question at the time, share the results in the main screen and discuss the different answers.

Our purpose is to create an entertaining contest where everyone can learn something.

But that is not all! For those who win the Quiz, there will some great awards, don’t miss it 🙂

You can join the event and add this session to your list following this link:

https://www.summitemea.com/conference-schedule/crmugsessions

See you in Dublin!

Session Title: DEV02 – Dynamics 365 CE Quiz! Who Will Be the Winner?

When: Thursday, April 26. 10:30 – 12:00

Where: Wicklow Meeting Room 3

SummitEMEA 2018_Dublin_Dynamics365_CE_QUIZ_Wael_Ramon

Slides Dynamics 365 Saturday London

What a great event we enjoyed last Saturday! 🙂

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Dynamics 365 Saturday event took part in London in the Microsoft Paddington offices. It was a great experience to see so many participants (150+) in such a collaborative environment.

You can now find below the slides for the presentation that my MVP colleague Baris and I used during our session, which covered the new features and deprecations coming with the version 9 for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement.

Finally, I would like to share this great picture that was taken on Saturday morning just to kick off the event with James Phillips, great memory 🙂

DUitCzFW4AEuhrS