With CRM2016 becoming available I thought it might be worth mentioning some of the details starting to emerge regarding the next version of Unified Service Desk (USD). Aka USD 2.0.
The focus of the new release seems to be developer tools and stability. Hopefully that is a good thing as a faster more stable USD that is easier to maintain would be a major step forward. I have described some of the new features below;
Currently I tend to avoid having a unique configuration for each user, the maintenance overhead just doesn’t seem worth the effort. With 2016 Microsoft have addressed this issue with the ability to clone a configuration for each user. Also included is a new concept to build a default configuration which anyone without a specific configuration will inherit.
These features sound promising but I will reserve judgement until I can St them fully, as up to now the concept of a configuration per user hasn’t excited me.
I would be more excited about this if a configuration could be linked to a security role. So everyone with “Customer Service Role” got one config and everyone with “Service Management” got another.
Distribution of custom DLLs from Server
The level of benefit obtained from this will vary depending on the extent of your customizations. Many people will find they go beyond “standard” configurations resulting in the need to extend the product with custom code (DLLs) which will sit on the client. This then creates a headache of needing to deploy a fresh version of the USD client with each software change. Microsoft intend to address this issue with an in-built facility to zip up and deploy any client side extensions from the server. In theory this should make the management of a complex USD application simpler.
New USD Installer
The setup process for an application might not be the most interesting feature but Microsoft have created a completely new install routine for USD. It supports multiple languages and automatically installs any pre-requisites. In addition a silent installation will be possible helping to support deployment using group policy.
Whilst this might not be the most exciting news in the world it will help to make USD easier to deploy in larger installations. (Which is its focus!)
I must say after installing it a few times now the new install routine is a big improvement.
USD Browser Control
For me this sounds like the biggest improvement. Currently USD can be slow at times, is memory hungry and prone to hangs. A new browser which gives better memory management, reduced crashing and increased stability will hopefully give major benefits to all installations of USD.
For example, I have been involved in deploying USD in a thin client environment. Currently this results in challenges from the IT infrastructure guys because of the increased memory utilisation on the servers. Anything which reduces the memory footprint of USD will be a major benefit in theses environments.
And of course there is a nice cosmetic touch of showing a spinning timer as tabs are loading, a small change but one that actually really helps with the feel of the software.
And finally USD 2.0 is compatible with 2013 and 2015 so you can leverage these benefits even before upgrading to 2016. 😊