D365 Saturday Washington, DC 2019 Takeaways

D365 Saturday DC Speakers
Check out this All-Star crew of speakers for #D365SatDC!

I can’t believe it’s almost been a month since D365 Saturday in Washington, DC! This was a great event packed with amazing speakers and lots of great networking. I wanted to share some of my takeaways about the sessions I attended and what I learned.

To get started, you can check out some photos and videos of the event! I have uploaded my pictures and videos of several sessions (Thanks Hubby!) to a shared folder. Bill Tsai also shared his amazing photos! These give you a little sneak peak into all of the learning and fun!

Tame Forms with Power Platform and AI

Phil Topness Tame Forms with Power Platform and AI
Phil Topness laying out the solution we are building

Phil Topness did a dynamic presentation where we built an app live! This took the common scenario of a business with too many paper forms and showed the audience how to grab the data with AI, act on it and post to Twitter for the fun of it. Plus we played with sentiment analysis and acted based on the sentiment score combined with approvals using custom responses. The custom responses allows the maker to choose what the end user sees, instead of just Accept or Reject.

It was very interesting to watch the AI Builder configuration. To do this you need to provide some sample, varied data. This will be analyzed to determine which pieces are fields where data is being returned. This develops a model that can be published for use in the Canvas app.

Another tip I pulled from the session is the importance of renaming all of your forms in PowerApp Canvas App. This is important for accessibility as Form Readers will read that data.

There were too many tidbits to capture everything! You can watch a video of this session and see how to build the same solution yourself!

Enterprise Management of the Power Platform

Andrew Welch Power Platform Adoption Framework
Andrew Welch sharing why we need an adoption framework

Andrew Welch was with us sharing a process for deploying the Power Platform in large enterprise scenarios. This is a framework to help businesses see value quickly but also drive best practices. It is very important to have a plan so you are building strategic partnerships with the business and working with them to do the right things at the right time.

He stressed the importance of adoption. Adoption of the platform is a commitment to the cloud. This is not a one time implementation, adoption is a journey!

Keep in mind that there can be multiple ways to tackle one problem or business challenge. Take the time to analyze the possible solutions and find the best one for your team.

It’s also important to build a Center of Excellence. This is a team who knows and owns the platform. They can build the relationships needed to build the platform. Then they are responsible for connecting IT and the business but are not part of either group. The Center of Excellence can engage these groups to drive quick wins and share success stories. This group will drive excitement for the platform!

Check out more content from Andrew at Runwayview.com.

Workflow to Flow

Aiden Kaskela Workflow to Flow
Aiden Kaskela breaking down Flow triggers

Aiden Kaskela is well known for his collection of Custom Workflow tools – Workflow Elements. As someone who knows classic workflows well, where do you get started with Flow?

In this session, we talked about the benefits of Flow over workflow such as being able to query data. We also talked about the difference between the CDS and CDS (current environment) connectors. (Hint: use Current Environment one).

Working with data is different between the two platforms. In Workflow, you are pulling from the related data. Everything is in the context of the triggering record. With Flow you can query to get any data then work with that.

Tip: when you are querying, make sure to rename the steps so you can see the data you are looking for in the dynamic list.

We walked through all of the workflow steps and described which ones are available in Flow and the difference. Additionally we talked about the new actions available in Flow such as associating/disassociating records, deleting records, predicting, scheduling, and more.

This session was also offered as part of the Power Platform 24 event – check out the recording!

Flic and Flow

Elaiza Benitez Flic and Flow
Elaiza Benitez showing us her Flow magic

As part of her world tour, Elaiza Benitez stopped by to talk to use about Flic. Flic is a small button that can be attached to things and then used to trigger different actions. It requires the use of Bluetooth to connect to your phone and then you can configure it, grant access to your location and more.

In this example, Elaiza walked us through building a check in system for remote workers. They could click the Flic which would trigger a Flow to create a record in CDS.

The Flic button has 3 different commands – click, double click, and hold. We walked through configuring each one and the flow to follow those actions. Then discussed possible real-world use cases for this cool technology.

Evaluating Business Problems

To finish off the day, Mallory Lawhorne and I talked about requirements gathering and figuring out the best solution for business problems. First we talked about a common problem and how this was solved in several different businesses. We shared how this worked and the pros and cons of each. Then we moved into an interactive session and discussed how everyone handled their requirements gathering, the types of factors that go into their decisions, and tools used for this.

If you are interested in this session, we will be presenting it next week at User Group Summit – make sure to save it to your schedule! (If you are headed to Orlando, please check out my other sessions too!)

Check out this highlight video of the event!

Thank you!

As you can see this was a great event! There were so many amazing sessions and I wish I could have attended more of them! Thank you to everyone who came out to D365 Saturday Washington, DC! We are so thankful for your support of our local Dynamics and Power Platform community. See you next year!

Tacos after #D365SatDC
After a long day, it was time for Tacos!

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