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As Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM apps mature, can we still talk customization?

by Sarah Critchley
Dynamics CRM Developer & Consultant,

The latest release the Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer engagement app suite have brought even more functionality to the application that customers can utilise right out of the box. Though this is obviously a fantastic thing, though it can raise the question of whether customising the system by adding complex workflows and other features still makes sense.

The out of the box, standard functionality has grown at an unrelenting pace in recent years. The introduction of a comprehensive service module, for example, allows many more customers to use Dynamics 365 for customer queries and complaints right out of the box. The rich knowledge article functionality allows businesses to digitise their knowledge and expand it across their business, emailing it to their customers at a click of a button. And with Dynamics 365 we saw the introduction of two new tools, Microsoft Flow and Power Apps, which aim to connect the applications up with more standard templates and functionality than ever before.

Since Dynamics 365 customer engagement apps are so functionally expansive, it raises the question (as it has done Here and Here) if the XRM platform, a term given to underlying customisation framework of the solution, is even required anymore for a business to get value out of the application.

The answer is the same as it always has been when building solutions for businesses: utilise standard functionality where you can, and build up from there using standard platform customising methods such as workflows, dialogs, and actions. Then move up to code if you need to.

This approach is one I will be arguing in favour of during my Workflow 101 sessions at

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About Sarah Critchley

As an individual that is knowledgeable in all aspects of the software development lifecycle and skilled in a diverse range of areas including development, consultancy and project management I am focused, determined and adaptive in any environment on the goals I aim to achieve. 

I have experience of leading CRM 2013, 2015 and 2016 projects that required a range of skills including pre-sales demonstrations and discussions, scoping and designing architecture, writing functional and technical specifications, customisations using out of the box configurations, scripting, plugin development and data migration. 

I also have a background in system testing & believe the customer should receive an end product that works to specifications and is of fantastic quality.