Upgrade Dynamics 365 Apps to Unified Interface

Empty Offices are getting normal as remote productivity tools are getting rich

Mobility and remote collaboration are vital for any business application while we are facing social distancing and global disruption today. With the deadline looming to upgrade the Dynamics 365 classical apps to the new unified interface, there is FOMO factor as the new enhancements have heaps of great features to offer including the mobility and collaboration across any device of choice from anywhere.

Oct 2020 is the deadline from Microsoft to upgrade your classical interface apps like Sales/Customer service/Project Service to new Unified Interface and this time is to allow you to perform testing and review the features with your team and perform the change management activities before the hard switch.

Recently we upgrade one business application at a public service agency and below are the recommendations based on my experience.

Step 1: Stock taking of your current artefacts

Review your current app especially for the customisation that has been done by you or your implementation partner and is not part of out of the box Microsoft App.

1- Discuss with team and stakeholders which of the customisation they like to move or drop. Remember, this is an opportunity to look at unused functionality, simplify the business process and improve lack of adoption.

2- Note all custom components like client-side web resources (Web resources), Plugins etc. Which solutions holds these customisations? Make a list.

Step 2: Run Solution checker

Microsoft provides solution checker in the powerapps maker portal, you will need to run the solutions checker against all the custom solutions (noted in Step 1) in the environment one by one. This will validate the entire code whether it needs to be modified and upgraded and show the results with recommendations.

Solution checker

Review the results and action all the items under “Upgrade Readiness” category. The solution checker validates the code against the following:

  • plug-ins
  • custom workflow activities
  • web resources (HTML and JavaScript)
  • configurations (example: SDK Message steps)
Action Solution checker issues

Check out what solution checker can do for you on this blog post too.

Step 3: Create a parallel new app

Start with a new model-driven app with default site map. Add all the entities and artefacts identified in Step 1 with the team. Identify gaps and issues and work on the deprecated features. If you have the following items in your app, you have to work and replace them with new recommendations.

  • Task Flows – replace it with Business Process flows
  • Process Dialogs – replace it with Business Process flows or Canvas apps
  • Service Scheduling in customer Service – replace it with Universal Resource Schedule

Step 4: Test and Roll out the new app

Test the new app with the key users and move is the final message as the old UI is gone (or will be gone very soon). You will have to test the new app and work on the issues and gaps if there are any. Also, recommend to record short videos and prepare how-to guides for the users to get familiar with the new interface which is after all more friendly and modern for them. Any new enhancements and support to be provided only on the new App in future.

The steps above and the best of you will be good enough to drive this home as many of the businesses have already upgraded. Don’t miss the opportunity to show the users that the same App can now be used from any device of their choice including all popular phones and tablets as business continuity these days demands the business to be run from anywhere.

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