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Microsoft Dynamics 365 Audit Trail Management

Posted by Alanna Friedberg on Oct 18, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Microsoft-Dynamics-365-Audit-Trail-ManagementTracking down record changes in a complicated CRM can be a complex process. You’ve got to keep up with various business roles, workflow updates, and scripts that affect field values. Microsoft Dynamics GP audit trails make it easier for users to track what’s happening within CRMs and other Dynamics modules. Audit trails make it easier to manage issues that affect customers and clients. There is also a Dynamics 365 audit log export feature, helpful for organizations wanting a deeper look into potential issues within their CRM.

Why are Audit Trails Important?

Creating an environment focused on data privacy has become a top concern among many companies. Enabling Dynamics 365 GP audit trails helps businesses comply with regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enacted in the UK in 2016. Organizations also need a way to audit information and user actions to ensure that they are not vulnerable to a potential data breach.

Audit logs help administrators tasked with setting up and tracking how users move around in Dynamics 365 or Dynamics GP. In addition to executing functions in Dynamics CRM like migrating audit history, admins can also find ways to resolve critical issues, like:

  • Figuring out which users accessed the system
  • Tracking where users went when they gained entry to Dynamics 365 apps
  • Determining the value previously held in a field before it was updated
  • Monitoring recent actions taken by users
  • Seeing who deleted a specific record
  • Determining the location of users making updates to Dynamics 365 applications

Below are some of the operations admins can set up tracking for within Dynamics 365 modules:

  • Record creation
  • Record updates
  • Record deletions
  • Changes to privileges around sharing records
  • Security role updates
    Audit log deletions

Benefits of Using Dynamics 365 Audit Trails

One great advantage of Microsoft Dynamics GP audit trails is the ability to see changes made by other administrators. That’s a critical security feature that ensures that organizations can keep up with the actions of all users, regardless of their access level. Admin events you can review using audit trails include:

  • Published customizations
  • Application management
  • Instance configurations
  • Backups and restores
  • Attribute deletion

It’s also possible to see user actions, including reading, creating, and deleting records. Newer versions of Dynamics 365 let admins see read functions on business processes and track user adoption of new features. There’s also a setting that logs when users open records like emails and attachments. That’s useful for monitoring how well users follow security protocols around clicking on unrecognized attachments that could contain viruses or malware.

Setting up Audit Trails for Your Organization

Below is a general overview of configuring audit trails in Dynamics 365 CRM. The following actions are only possible for users with permissions equivalent to a system admin or a customizer security role.

  1. Open Settings, go to Administration, then select System Settings.
  2. Select the Auditing Tab, then click the Start Auditing checkbox. That starts the audit process for a Dynamics 365 instance within an organization.
  3. Look for Enable Auditing in the following areas. Click all the boxes for which you wish to enable auditing.
  4. Navigate back to Settings, then go to Customization -> Customize the System
  5. Pick the entities that you would like to track through auditing. Options you can select include:
    1. Audit user access — Let you track the activities of a user, including their name and the time they accessed or updated different areas of the platform.
    2. Common entities — Keep up with various entities within a Dynamics 365 module like an Account, Product, or Contact.
    3. Sales entities — Provides a way to track sales-related entities like Invoices, Opportunities, and Quotes.
  6. On the Auditing tab, click boxes for Single Record Auditing and Multiple Record Auditing.
  7. Click Save, then select Publish to publish the customizations.

You can repeat steps four through seven when you wish to add new Dynamics 365 entities for auditing.

Viewing audit log details

System admins can perform the following steps to look at the activity around any Dynamics 365 entities with audit trails enabled.

  1. Navigate to Settings -> Auditing.
  2. Select Audit Summary View.
  3. The following actions are available to admins from the Audit Summary View panel:
    1. Set up filters by choosing the Enable/Disable Filters options. From there, admins can filter by specific events like Views or Deletes.
    2. Pick an event and review specific activity details, like changes made to fields during a user update.
    3. Refresh and see all recent Dynamics 365 activities.

Enable and disable auditing on fields and entities

Admins can change the default auditing settings for specific entities and fields.

Go to Settings -> System, then select Auditing.

  1. Select Entity and Field Audit Settings.
  2. Go to Components, then expand Entities.
  3. Open the entity whose audit settings you wish to update.
  4. Go to the general tab and click the Auditing check box. You can also deselect the checkbox to remove auditing on fields within the entity.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Select the entity, then click Publish to publish the changes.
  7. To publish changes made to fields, select the field, go to the Auditing section, choose Enable or Disable, then click Save.

Best Practices for Dynamics 365 Audit Trails

Even though audit trails make it possible to perform functions like executing a Dynamics 365 audit log export, you still have to be careful how you manage them. Detailed auditing can increase the size of your organization’s databases.

Admins should track how much information gets captured and determine whether company policy calls for archiving of records of a certain to conduct a Dynamics CRM migration of audit history. You may need to go in and removes old audit logs periodically.  

Make sure there’s an established business need around enacting Microsoft Dynamics GP audit trails on specific entities. Internet eBusiness Solutions can offer guidance if you’re having trouble managing your organization’s audit trails in Dynamics 365. Contact one of our Microsoft experts today to set up a consultation.

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Topics: Dynamics 365