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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Deprecation of Legacy D365 Web Client & Moving to the Unified Interface

Posted by Treana Chartier

Technology Update - D365 CE Web Client Update

In September this year Microsoft announced they’ll be deprecating the legacy D365 web client for D365 online users. So, if you use the standard Dynamics 365 web client, it’s time to check out the Unified Interface. Although support for the web client will continue until October 2020, we want to make sure you know if your system and users will be impacted, and how to resolve possible issues.

Some of the items being deprecated aren’t surprising. For instance, Dynamics 365 for Blackberry is going away at the end of the month, but Dynamics 365 for phones is already in place and ready to use. With the Voice of the Customer no longer being supported, you can use the new solution, Microsoft Forms Pro, which captures customer feedback using surveys.

Processes and workflows have evolved with Dynamics, which is why Task Flows, Set Process and Process Dialogs are being deprecated. The immersive business process flows, Microsoft Flow, and canvas apps can be used to create more robust and streamlined solutions for these processes.

Now that Dynamics 365 has the new scheduling experience, built atop Universal Resource Scheduling (URS), the existing service scheduling will be removed in a future roll-out, as will Parature Knowledge Base integration. Other deprecations include the removal of Contracts and associated entities, Relationship Roles, Announcements, and the “ready-to-use business processes.” One deprecated item, Mail Merge, will affect many clients who need to create those inside Word and Excel templates.

Realistically, consistent experience with the Dynamics 365 Unified Interface app builds a strong foundation for online users and offers the reason for most of the deprecations. The new app functionality allows online users to work from anywhere, on any device, with a consistent experience across diverse screen sizes, whether in a mobile, embedded or web client environment. As part of the user experience, the new navigation and overall performance will minimize load times on forms and grids, enhance form ribbons and reduce scrolling and clicking — always a great thing with users. Additionally, with Focused User Roles, user access is limited to only tasks and information related to their role. This will reduce user confusion and lower training costs for many companies.

Start Now

Although you technically have a year before the deprecation of the legacy D365 web client, do not wait to start using the new technology — it is available for D365 online users now.

First and foremost, take a look at the Unified Interface that’s already part of your account (be sure to use your dev or test environment). When you log into Dynamics 365 Home and sign in using your Microsoft 365 account, you’ll see all your applications for Dynamics based upon your license. The Dynamics 365 custom app is your regular interface (your legacy integration), and you may have Customer Service Hub, Sales Hub, Field Service or other applications, depending on your organization’s setup. Click on one of the apps and start navigating around the system. If you don’t see the apps as part of your options, you may need to create an app based on your legacy system. Here’s a great guide if you are ready to start learning your way around. If you need assistance, reach out for help.

When you are exploring the new interface, make note of areas you may need to modify or update. For example, if you’ve created unique entity forms, you’ll want to validate that they are user-friendly in the new interface. You will need to re-create your mail merge templates using the new Word/Excel templates. Also, it will be very important to test the different workflows, plug-ins and scripts, and review all APIs and any nonstandard solutions or web resources to ensure they are compatible.

I suggest that you have a specialist in each of your divisions or departments — your Dynamics CRM experts — start working in the Unified Interface app now. Engaging a team of users to work from the app is a great way to identify challenges or areas that need to be addressed while allowing your standard users to continue using the legacy web client until you are ready with any transitions.

If you are a D365 online user and need any assistance moving from the legacy D365 web client to the new interface, please reach out to us. We can help make the transition easier and assist in finding the right solutions for your company. Learn more about Armanino’s Dynamics 365 team or find more updates on Dynamics 365 CE throughout our Dynamics blog.

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