Microsoft Forms Pro preview: Experts see promise with Flow, Common Data Service tie-ins

April 24 2019


Forms Pro response data | Source

Microsoft revealed the preview of Forms Pro as part of the April 2019 release wave for the Business Applications group. Forms Pro is a form-building tool to create surveys and quizzes that looks much like its non-Pro sibling.

As two intrepid Microsoft MVPs have now demonstrated, the real value of Forms Pro comes from its use in the context of business processes like sales lead qualification or support cases, natively work with data managed in Microsoft's Common Data Service (CDS) and then delivering personalized surveys to the customer or prospect (or whomever). For a single sweeping look at the basic uses of Forms Pro in the context of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, read Neil Parkhurst's blog post that covers everything from the solution deployment to survey creation to personalization and data collection. And for a more stepwise approach diving into each segment of the experience, Megan Walker's ongoing series explores survey and quiz creation, sending a form, personalization, branching rules, chained surveys, and more. 

As Parkhurst admitted early on in his walkthrough, "Spoiler alert … I like Forms Pro." Walker offers less commentary but dives into a hands-on exploration of the tool, from designing the forms and the closely linked flows to interacting with CDS entities that can be used to personalize the survey experience.

Forms Pro is still in preview, meaning that it could still change in various ways. There seem to be some issues and limitations still. Parkhurst wrote that he suspected he had experienced some odd behavior at times. And Walker warns that the use of Flow premium connectors will require the right Flow licenses when Forms Pro emerges from preview.  

While these bloggers have covered many of the key concepts in their writings, from Flow and CDS to survey design, there would seem to be much more still to discover in areas like:

  • Using survey responses in Power BI reports and dashboards
  • Uses of survey data with Flow and PowerApps on either an individual or aggregate level
  • Applying machine learning and cognitive services, both when sending surveys and analyzing results
  • Incorporating Forms Pro into CDS portals

And as one comment for Walker noted, a big question for the future is how Forms Pro compares to Voice of the Customer. Walker responded that she is not ready to share findings on that yet. "I need to dig a little further before I am comfortable comparing the two," she wrote.

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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