Dynamics 365 remains popular as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) platform. One primary reason for that is the ability of organizations to customize the solution to fit their business environment. The way one company uses its CRM may be completely different from another, even if they work in the same industry. Business users in various roles interact with the system differently. Below are some tips on customizing Microsoft Dynamics 365 to suit your organization.
1. Use Email Templates in Outlook
Emails are a constant in the business world. Creating email templates lets users send professional-looking emails consistently while saving time. You can prefill Dynamics 365 email templates with properly formatted text messages, relieving you of the need to type out the same information for every email. You will need the right permissions to create email templates through Outlook using Dynamics 365.
- Open the Dynamics 365 pane in Outlook.
- Click on the three dots that signify more commands.
- Select Insert, then Add Template.
- Click Add Template.
- Choose the record type, then click Select.
- Use the search box to select an email template.
- Select Add to Email.
2. Create Email Templates Using the Power Platform
You can gain more control over the format of email templates by using the Power Platform to create Dynamics 365 email templates. You can use information already captured in your database to fill out an email, like a recipient’s first and last name.
- Log into the Power Platform admin center.
- Look for the Environments tab, then select your preferred environment.
- Click on Settings.
- Expand the Templates arrow. Look for the Email templates option.
- Select New from the Actions bar to start working on your email template.
- Look for the Email Template Type dialog, choose a template type, then select OK.
- Type out the text for your email template.
- You can add data fields to your email template if needed. Select Insert dynamic text, then click on Add data field.
- Click Insert to add the selected data to your new email template.
- Repeat Step 9 until you have added all desired data fields.
- Click Save and Close or just Save to keep your changes.
3. Create Reports
One of Dynamics 365’s best features is the ability to set up report types to meet everyday business needs. You can customize Dynamics to customize reports beyond the default templates. Businesses can create SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) or Fetch-based Reporting Service reports based on FetchXML.
Users can set up SSRS reports using Visual Studio .rdl files or author reports using a preferred text editor. Creating Fetch-based reports requires using Visual Studio, SSRS, and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 report authoring extension.
- Open Visual Studio.
- Select the report server project template.
- Open Solution Explorer, then use your mouse to right-click on the folder labeled Reports.
- Click Add New Report, then select Next.
- Go to the Select the Data Source page.
- Click New Data Source, then add the required details.
- Connection String
- Go to the Design the Query page, then manually paste your FetchXML query into the Query box.
- Click Next.
- Make sure you have all the required fields in your report.
- Enter a name for your report, then click Finish.
4. Set Up Workflows
Workflows in Dynamics 365 let you automate various backend processes. Users can also run them on-demand as needed.
- Open the module for which you need to create a new workflow.
- Select Setup -> [Name of module] workflows.
- When the list page appears, click New on the Action Pane.
- Select the type of workflow you wish to design on the Create workflow page, then select Create workflow to make the workflow editor appear.
You can pick from the following options when setting up your workflow.
- Drag items from the Workflow elements editor onto the canvas.
- Connect workflow elements.
- Set up configurations for workflow properties on the Properties page.
- Configure individual elements dragged onto your workflows, like approval steps and automated tasks.
Saving and activating a workflow
- Click Save and close to get out of the workflow editor.
- Open the Save workflow page.
- If there are no errors, you should see the Activate workflow page.
- Click Activate the new workflow to enable the item.
5. Create Views
Custom views let you define how information is displayed within a Dynamics 365 application. You can control elements like:
- What columns to display
- The width of columns
- Default sort options for records
- Filters available to restrict what records appear in a list
Users can set up views as personal, system, or public.
- Personal views — Users own personal views and are only visible to those with whom they wish to share them.
- System views — System views are owned by an organization and viewable to everyone.
- Public views — These general-purpose views are customizable by individuals.
Users can create custom views in Dynamics 365 using the built-in App Designer or the Solution Explorer.
Create New View
- Select New System View.
- Go to the View Properties dialog box and enter a Name. You can also enter an alternate description.
- Configure your sorting, filter, and column options.
- Click Save and Close, then select Publish All Customizations.
- Go to Settings -> Settings -> Customizations -> Customize the system.
- Look for Components, expand the Entities option, then expand your entry choice.
- Select Views, then double-click on the view you wish to edit.
- Make your changes, click Save and Close, then select Publish All Customizations.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What can you customize in Dynamics 365?
You can customize many things in Dynamics 365, including reports, views, workflows, and email templates.
- Can you use integrations to customize Dynamics 365?
Yes, you can integrate other solutions like Power Platform to make customizations within Dynamics 365.
Make Dynamics 365 Your Optimal Business Tool
Internet eBusiness Solutions works with companies in various industries to help them customize Dynamics products to suit their business environment. Contact us here to learn more about how we can help you optimize Microsoft Dynamics.