Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dynamics 365 Portal Quick Start

Portals were introduced into Dynamics after the purchase of ADX Studio. Portals are hosted by Microsoft and free to use (providing you have less than 1,000,000 views per month). A Dynamics Portal can be used to publish content and to allow portal users to view and update Dynamics data.  The administration and management of the portal is done from the Dynamics Admin Centre under the Office 365 Admin Center.

You can select the type of portal and target audience you want when you configure your portal.

The configuration of the Portal content is done from within Dynamics in the Portal area. Here you can create records for content and Dynamics data that you wanted exposed via the Portal.  Dynamics Vews and Forms are used as the basis for data pages on the portal. You create them as normal then goto Entity List or Entity Forms and create a record to expose them on the Portal. Business rules and custom Xrm based Javascript are not supported by the Portal. You typically use Jquery for Portal UI based business rules.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Project Service Automation - Delegation UI and SDK Gotchas

A typical requirement for project management and time sheet systems is the ability to allow a manager to enter time sheets for team members. PSA supports this through the use of delegation records. A user can create a delegation record allowing another user to enter the hours they have worked on project tasks. Here I have created a delegation record for Joe Bloggs along with a  start and end date for when the delegation is allowed.

Now when I log on as Joe Bloggs from the Time Entry form I can switch users and add time entries for Joe Gill.

Delegation records are a bit cumbersome as the UI only allows a user to create delegation records for themselves and an administrator or project manager cannot create delegation records on behalf of another user. Also they can only be configured between two specifically named users. They cannot be configured in any type of generic or rule based fashion such as allowing a project manager to enter time worked for team members or allow membership of a team to give delegation rights. So entering delegate records for a large number of resources lends itself to improvement by writing some custom code using the SDK.