This week was fairly informative with some helpful tips for real life as well as some ideas for the future.
PowerObjects had a very helpful blog this week – How to Mass Send Emails in Draft Status. When working with E-mail records via workflow there are two actions: Send E-mail (a new E-mail) and Create E-mail. There is no action to send a draft email. There is a way around this, what you need to do is change the E-mail status to Pending Send and set the Number of Delivery Attempts to 0. This will cause the E-mails to get picked up and send. I really, really wish I knew this before I manually sent several hundred stuck, draft E-mails.
PowerObjects also posted about how to add an Image to a record in CRM 2013. As you know, there is a new data type of “image” available in 2013. This allows you to easily store a picture for your contacts or perhaps a logo for businesses you work with.
A topic that many people asked about at Summit was how to deploy CRM for Outlook. CustomerEffective wrote a great blog – Enterprise Deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook – that covers your options and things to keep in mind.
Donna Edwards wrote a very detailed article for the MVP Award Program blog about Business Process Flow. It is interesting to see how this will work. It is very nice that the flow can be associated with specific security roles, similar to forms. So this allows us to control which users have access to which processes.
The CRM team is trying to help use with our upgrade to 2013 by showing the pieces we should see in each menu. If you have made any kind of modifications to the site map, these should be preserved in the upgrade but you could be missing something you want to see. This article is a good way to check. The CRM Team also posted about working with Activities right in the Activity Feed. Now you can complete Activities, create new Activities and even filter the Activity list from directly within the Activity Feed. Interesting Note – one of the available filters is “Overdue” but this filters on UTC time not your time zone, so you will see some discrepancy there from what you may expect.
Sonoma Partners presented a great use case for Custom Actions – The End of Configuration Entities. Custom Actions are created through the user interface but instantiated through code. Consider a case where you have a plugin that needs a certain piece of data like a Server URL (Sonoma’s example) but you may need to update this (say for your different environments). Previously you could create a separate configuration entity that the plugin could look at for the information. Now, you can have it call the Action and get the information it needs that way. Then when changes are necessary, a user can simply edit the action.
Chris S also wrote an interesting blog on the New Features of Workflows especially how you can use Synchronous workflows. Most interesting tidbit for me was that if you stop a synchronous workflow as “Cancelled” it will throw an error message out to the user.
Remember the Industry-Specific solutions Microsoft released? Forceworks broke those down for us in – Unpacking the Industry Templates for Dynamics CRM 2013. Take a look because there may be a solution that can help you get started.