Flows from the field: Recurring jobs in Microsoft Dynamics 365; Swapping dialogs; Opportunity forms; Document generation; Rich text editing

December 6 2018

In our latest Microsoft Flow roundup we look at recurring jobs in Dynamics 365, swapping out dialogs, opportunity forms, document generation, rich text editing, and more.

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Recurring jobs in Dynamics 365 with Flow

Recurring jobs in Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement can be executed in a variety of different ways. Yaniv Arditi, writing in the Dynamics 365 Community, looked beyond options like Azure Scheduler or the Dynamics Workflow Timeout step to explore what Flow can do. Unlike Azure Functions, no coding is needed to use Flow as a scheduling mechanism thanks to an existing integration with D365.

Arditi gave an overview of how to create the action component, disqualify the lead workflow and define target business records. After creating a batch process record and setting the Flow rule, users can define a list records action and an update records action that will active, with the option of monitoring through run history. In addition, he shared a link to his blog from December 2016 with a different approach to using Flow execute workflows for D365.

Combining PowerApps and Flow for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Henrik Marx Larsen kicked off a two-part series about how to use PowerApps and Flow together for the "last-mile" of a Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations solution. He imagined a scenario in which a company is tracking equipment loaned to employees by using the loaned equipment function in the human resources module. Using a PowerApp, an employee could scan the equipment's bar code, closing the preexisting record and creating a new one.

To close the gap, Larsen developed a PowerApp to invoke a flow and send parameter-data, which can optionally be added to a SharePoint list. The flow will update the equipment loan record in D365FO. Meanwhile, a second flow is created the moment a new item gets added to the SharePoint list which emails the HR administrator a link to the item and inputs a new equipment loan record in D365.

Swapping out dialogs with Flow

Since Microsoft deprecated Dynamics 365/CRM dialogs, users no longer have access to a step-by-step data entry form. Instead, PowerApps canvas apps and business process flows have been used to fill the gap. Describing the changes, Jerry Weinstock, writing in the CRM Innovation blog, laid out a situation in which a sales executive refuses to login to Dynamics 365 to look at opportunities. The executive demands emails with updated opportunities lists. One solution the creation of a Flow button on their phone to generated an updated list of opportunities within the past 24 hours. However, the executive keeps changing the time frame they want, thus refusing to use the Flow.

Weinstock detailed how to copy the existing flow, delete the manually trigger element, and set it up to use the Common Data Service "when a record is selected" trigger. He also went over how to capture the user's desired time range, and how to modify the send email action and output for the stubborn executive in his scenario.

What to do with an opportunity form

Many users run into issues when a core Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement opportunity form is being used for the sales process. The question of what to do with opportunity forms holds true for Project Service Automation and Field Service as well. Antti Pajunen described how a flow can be triggered when an opportunity closes as "won" to engage Field Service.

In this situation, products are added on opportunity lines and the deal closes, instigating Flow, which creates a work order, work order products, and work order service. The products on the opportunity lines will be added to the work order product and work order service entities. If used with Field Service, options such as service, non-inventory and inventory products can be identified with the switch case section of the Flow.

Generating documents in Business Central with Flow

Renato Fajdiga blogged about creating documents in Business Central with Flow. He started off by creating a SharePoint list for users to log information such as item number and order quantity. With the right connection and fields captured in the SharePoint list, Fajdiga then needed to make changes with Business Central OData to pull item numbers for the sales quote line, setup the system to insert items, and define the document number for which he is inserting the numbers. He noted that the flow will only work if there is a one to one relation between headers and lines.

Flow adds rich text editing

Microsoft is adding an HTML-based rich text editor to Flow to create HTML emails. Stephen Siciliano, principal group program manager for Flow shared the announcement in a recent blog post. The "send an email" V2 action is generally available with Outlook.com and Office 365 Outlook connectors. The new editor lets users italicize, underline, color, bold or generate links and lists. It doesn't support the creation of tables yet.

"We will also be adding this rich text capability to more connectors and actions soon, like: creating pages in OneNote, sending messages in Microsoft Teams, writing stories in Medium, and posting to WordPress," he stated.

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About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at eearls@msdynamicsworld.com.

Before joining MSDynamicsWorld.com, Eamon was editor for SearchNetworking.com at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.

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