I was recently asked how you could use CRM announcements within Unified Service Desk (USD), well to be honest I am still “playing” with the best location to show announcements but I do think the concept of being able to broadcast announcements to call handlers directly within USD has some merit.
So here I describe the basics of showing announcements in USD. The following steps are involved;
- Create some announcements!
- Create a webresource to display announcements
- Create a hosted control to show the announcements
- Create an action to navigate to the announcements web resource
- Trigger the navigate action when USD desktop loads
STEP ONE – Create some announcements
You can find the announcements in the administration area of settings within CRM. Simply create yourself a couple of announcements as test data. Just so you know your web resource is going to work! You can define some better ones later. My first test announcement looked like the one below.
STEP TWO – Create a webresource to display announcements
Using notepad (or any editor) create a file called “Annoucements.htm” and include the following html.
Whilst researching this capability I found some simpler looking html but that didn’t work with my CRM2015 on-premise solution. But the following html worked. I will test it later on an on-line solution but I believe this will work in all situations
Once you have this file you’ll need to use customizations in your CRM settings to load the htm file as a web resource. Not forgetting to publish! See example below;
At this point, make a note of the URL that is created. You’ll need it later!
At this point you could include the web resource in a standard CRM Dashboard. Just to prove it is working before moving to the next stage.
STEP THREE – Create a hosted control to show the announcements
Nothing complicated here, just create a hosted control. Notice that the USD component type is “CRMPage” , it isn’t global and I have decided to display in the “RightPanel”. You could use any panel!
Note: When I tested my app I found that sometimes clicking on links within an announcement gave me errors. If you experience this try changing the hosting type from wpf to IE as that solved it for me.
STEP FOUR – Create an action to navigate to the announcements web resource
Next I created a simple action to navigate to the web resource I’d created. Again pretty simple stuff.
My action on my hosted control for announcements, which I just created contains the url I noted uploaded my web resource. (Minus my server / organisation)
STEP FIVE – Trigger the navigate action when USD desktop loads
Finally you’ll need to decide when to trigger the action. I decided to load the announcements when USD loads. So I added the action to the “DeskTopReady” event of my global container.
My announcements tab looks like this. I’ll need to add some polish like adding a navigation toolbar. And I might decide to refresh the content periodically. (Maybe each time I close a session or something.) But hopefully this post has given you enough information to implement your own announcement functionality in USD.