This article looks at how Microsoft Forms with Flow can be used to create forms quickly that can pass data to Dynamics 365 online.

In the past, this task has always been a challenge. Getting developers to create forms that can create Leads in Dynamics 365 or using third party ISVS.

Benefits and Advantages of Using MS Forms and Flows:

Microsoft Forms and Flows can not replace fully the normal method of creating Web to Lead Forms. However, it can come close and advantages are clear for System Admins to use this methodology

  1. Marketing Teams can quickly design forms without using third party resources. Drag & Drop interface including themes and colour pallet.
  2. Forms can be used for surveys as well and shared via email.
  3. More economical then getting forms developed by third parties.
  4. Responses are stored within Forms as well and can be exported out to Excel
  5. Forms can be shared via link or embedded in a website.

Steps to Set Up Web to Lead Capture

  1. Login to Microsoft Office and select Form from apps selector. Log into your office online account by clicking here.
    menu

    Figure 1: Office Short Menu

    This menu is accessed by clicking on dots at top left of banner. This is a condensed menu and you may need to click on All apps to view Forms.

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Figure 2: Extended App Menu

click on Form to enter to start designing a new form. Follow simple steps to create a form. You may chose to design a quiz as well.

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Figure 3: Form Setting Menu

Once inside Form creation, there are various ways of personalizing the form for your needs. Different images, themes etc can be chosen. However, purpose of figure 3 above is not to go through form customization and highlight the settings menu. Clicking on … in top right menu activates from menu. Clicking on settings will pop up settings menu.

If you plan to use this form publicly, make sure ‘Anyone with link can respond’ is selected

Here various settings can be chosen. Most important, if you plan to use this form publicly, make sure ‘Anyone with link can respond’ is selected.

Once we are happy with the form, next step is to decide how to use and share the form. Several options are available to chose from.

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Figure 4: Form Share Options

Options currently available:

  1. Send a Link
  2. Download QR Code
  3. Embed to a website using iframe
  4. Email Directly

 

Fun Bit. Connecting the Form to Dynamics 365

This is where the fun begins. The form design is complete. You have decided how to use the form. Now we need to make sure that responses from the form are pushed into Dynamics 365.

We leverage the functionality provided by Microsoft Flow interface.

Using the office menu as in figure 1 above, click on Flow.

There are already pre-built templates available that can be used for various functionalities.

flowtemplate

Figure 5: Selecting Flow Template

You can be really adventurous and start with a blank canvas. However, to make things simple, I chose the template in Figure 5 above and modified it to create record in Dynamics 365 instead of SharePoint.

NOTE: Access to SharePoint site is required to start using the above template. Template attempts to connect to services as shown in Figure 6 below. If access to SharePoint is not available, choose a different template or start with a blank flow and add steps as illustrated in Figure 7 and 8.

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Figure 6: Flow Connection Screen

Edit template as shown in Figure 7.

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Figure 7: Edit Flow Template

Add Dynamics 365 create record connector

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Figure 8: Add Dynamics 365 Create Record Connector

Adding Dynamics 365 Create Record action will connect to one of 365 organisations that can be accessed by logged in user. Organisation to use can be selected from drop down.

d365connectorconfig

Figure 9: Dynamics 365 Create Record Connector Configuration

The connector is highly configurable and will display all the fields available for the selected entity by clicking on ‘Show advanced options’. Fields can be set to have specific value as well. For example, ‘Lead Source Label’ in Figure 9. This is set to Advertisement for any record being created through this process. Hence, it is very simple to categories records being created from different forms and sources.

Next step. Hit Save and enable testing……..

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Figure 10: Flow Save And Test

As seen in Figure 11, below, trigger even can be selected. Select ‘I’ll perform the trigger action’ as trigger for the flow is submission of data. This will occur when a user clicks ‘Submit’ button on the form

trigger

Figure 11: Test Flow Trigger

After clicking ‘Test’ the Flow becomes active.

For testing purposes, copy link to the form created and open in a browser window.

formsubmit

Figure 12: Demo Form Submit Data

Figure 12 shows the demo data that has been entered for blog purposes.

Thanks

Figure 13: Form Submission Confirmation

And as by magic, a lead appears in Dynamics 365 as seen in Figure 14 below.

Leadincrm

Figure 14: Submitted Record in Form as Lead in Dynamics 365

 

Good Things About using Flows

  • will provide the list of usage of flow. Can click on any instance to view the status and timing etc. For example, for the form that was submitted earlier in this blog, the steps with times is displayed in Figure 15 below
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Figure 15: Flow Stats for Blog Form Submission

  • Each Flow has its own Dashboard

flowdasboard

  • Flow can be turned off and on as requested
  • Flow can be packaged and exported

 

 

 

 

 

It seems like Microsoft is listening and are improving their products according to feedback provided. Albeit a bit slow sometimes, however, things are improving.

Now it is possible to find records that do not have a related record

With Spring ’18 release Advanced Find has been updated with a very useful feature.

Now it is possible to find records that do not have a related record.

Example – Cases with Tasks associated with them

A typical scenario can be where Tasks are assigned to staff members for cases raised.

In the past it has been straightforward to locate Cases where tasks are associated with a Case with certain criteria defined.

 

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Figure 1: Advanced Find window prior to Spring ’18 release

As seen in Figure 1, above, old Advanced Find will search for related records with a criteria selected and return all the cases where any associated Tasks are due on 18/06/2018.

There is no feature or option to find Cases that do not have any Tasks associated with it.

Inability to search for records that do not have associated records causes major issues for clients. How do you find those records????

Help is at hand in Dynamics 365 Spring ’18 release.

 

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Figure 2: Advanced Find window after Spring ’18 release

As it can be seen Microsoft has added extra option for a related Entity line. Now it is possible to select ‘Does Not Contain Data’ option for related Entity.

In the above example, figure 2, this will result in displaying all the Cases in the system that do not have any Tasks associated with them.

In the previous versions this was a difficult task to achieve.

I feel this new feature in Advanced Find is a very useful addition and will help companies in various ways.

I also hope highlighting of this feature will assist users in creating new queries and resolve some of the issues that are being faced daily.

Please feel free to leave any comments.

Microsoft released the latest Spring ’18 release in March 2018 and with it brought out some very useful new features. #D365 #CRM

One of them is MultiselectOption Set. This has been a long awaited and did present an issue when compring to other CRM system. Prior to this, to achieve same behaviour, either lookup type field had to be implemented or some clever web resource in conjuction with lookup field for better presentation.

Now there is a MultiSelect Option set to take care of this:

mutliselect screeshot

 

Let’s have a walk through this new field type and look at exciting things that can be done with it.

Below, the field has been added on the form and it is very easy to select all of the options in one go or select the ones that are needed as in my case.

field on form -3

Biggest Advantage comes from User Perspective by using MultiSelect Option Set.

  1. Easy to use. No need to go through lookup window and records
  2. No subgrid involved and acts like as any other field on the form
  3. Much simpler to use with Advanced Find. MultiSelect and ‘Equals’ mean that a record includes the multiple options in the field (see Advanced Find example below)
  4. Similarly, reporting is much simpler with field showing the values and no related tables to resolve in the reports.
  5. Options can be displayed in Views.

Advanced Find Examples using MultiSelect Option Set

Using the above record we can run Advanced Find on it.

Example 1: Search for records that have A,B,C selected for the field

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As it can be seen, this search did not produce any results. Advnaced Find will only show results that have these three values set. However, there is a ‘Contains’ option in drop down. Selecting that option would have shown the record edited earlier because Advanced Find will match any one of the values present in MultiSelect Option Set.

Example 2: Search for records that have A,C selected for the field

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Above search brings up the record that was edited earlier with that field.

Conclusion

As it can be seen it is a very useful feature to have.

  1. Makes it easy to place on form and use compared to having a sub grid for MultiSelect.
  2. Users can run more intutive Advanced Find queries.
  3. Reporting becomes easier for users. It’s a field that will display the chosen values.
  4. Views become more useful. The field can be placed as a column and all values being shown in the view. Filters and criteria can be set for this field in the views.

I feel this a very useful feature and one that will be used quite often. I can say this from experience. Having set up this feature on other CRM system for users, I can definitely see the power of it. No doubt that is one the reasons that Dynamics developers have been requesting for this for a while now.

It’s here and now and time to make best use of it.

 

Let me have your thoughts. Looking forward to any comments on this feature….good or bad…

Contact us for further information or with assistance of any aspect Dynamics CRM implementation