I’ve created a number of posts regarding Field Service and I’ve been lucky enough to have prepared tailored demos for several customers. In my experience creating a good tailored demo of Field Service takes some considerable effort. This post includes a basic video of a Field Service demo, I’ve also given notes on the configuration steps required to be able to create a demo such as this.
My goal here is to explain what I’d view as the minimum setup for a basic demo. A full tailored demo would involve many more steps that I won’t describe here, although I will mention a few tips during my notes!
Before I get started explaining the steps, a quick word about locations. Having data that is geocoded to your local area makes a Field Service demo much more powerful. All of the default demo data will be for various locations around America, many seem focused around Redmond, Washington. (I can’t think why. J ) I live in an area of England known as the Black Country, it doesn’t have much in common with Redmond USA! Assuming my potential customer is local they’re going to want to see locations they recognise. Several of my steps will therefore touch on creating address data for your company, resources and accounts.
Also, I will mention any challenges I have faced in creating a simple demo and show the “fixes” I have applied.
It is worth noting that I have created these notes using CRM Online 2016 Update 1. As new versions are released you may need to tweak this approach!
The steps I used to create a demo were;
- Setup a CRM online trial & install Field Service Mobile Client
- Connect to Bing Maps
- Set user address details
- Create a bookable resource
- Set your time zone and formats
- Geocode your company address
- Set account address
- Fix your mobile client!
Here is my demo video … then below I show the steps I took before creating this.
Step One – Setup a CRM Online trial & install Field Service Mobile Client
First of all, you will need to setup a CRM trial instance that has Field Service enabled.
When I reached the customize screen I opted for the “all of these” option. Rather than just selecting Field Service.
I have described this install process in detail before, so I won’t repeat myself. You can refer to the install instructions here.
Step Two – Enable Bing Maps
If you are creating a Field Service demo using Dynamics 365 you may need to enable bing maps. To do this go to administration in Resource Scheduling.
Then select the Schedule parameters option.
Next change the connect to maps option to “Yes”. If it is “No”!
Step Three – Set User Address Details
To be able to demonstrate the mobile app working correctly you are going to need at least one bookable resource. And you will want their home address to be a local address.
In a full demo I actually created multiple users who worked in different territories. I then show how the schedule board can be filtered by territory. But in a simple overview demo you might find one resource will suffice.
The address of users does not come from CRM, as it is one of several attributes that needs to be maintained in Office 365. So first of all go into office 365 and enter an address for a user. To do this open the user record and select “edit” next to the option that says “Display name Office phone”.
Below you can see that I have entered my home address for this resource. This address will get carried forward into CRM and will be geocoded to define the resources start location, so enter a full and accurate address.
Having set the resources address correctly we can look at their user record in CRM. You should see the correct address on the user form in CRM. Also you should see that it has been geo coded. Meaning your latitude and longitude values are set in the Field Service tab on the user. If these aren’t set or you are getting unpredictable results in your routes you can select the Geo code option in the navigation to refine the Lat/Long values.
Tip: If the latitude and longitude fields are set you can use the GeoCode option in the navigation to set / reset them.
Another thing to check on your user records is that they have been assigned appropriate Field Service Roles.
Step Four – Create a Bookable Resource
We have correctly setup the CRM user, now we want to create them as a bookable resource in Field Service. Navigate to Resource scheduling and select resources.
In bookable resources, just use the “New” option to create a resource. I have shown the resource I created below and highlight a few significant fields.
|Resource Type||In my demo I will need a resource that is a user who can therefore login into the mobile application.|
|User||This is a link to the user(s) we created in the previous step.|
|Time zone||Make sure you set this correctly! Incorrectly set timezones can lead to some unpredictable results.|
|Hourly rate||You will need to define an hourly rate but for a simple demo I wouldn’t focus on pay rates in detail. So the value isn’t that significant.|
|Start / End locations||In my demo I have the resource starting from their home location and ending the day at their company address. It doesn’t matter which way around you set these fields but I like to show that both addresses can be used.|
|Warehouse||I’m not going to demo inventory in detail! So in a basic demo I would link the resource to the main warehouse. (In a fuller demo you might need to define trucks as warehouse and show stock transfers etc.)|
|Display on schedule board||You are going to need this to be “Yes”|
|Display on schedule assistant||You are going to need this to be “Yes”|
In a full demo at this point I would take time to refine some additional details. Including setting the working times of this resource. (Using the “Work Hours” option from the navigation.) I would also add a number of characteristics (skills) to be able to show how these operate.
Step Five – Set Your Time Zone and Formats
I have already mentioned that incorrectly set time zones can cause issues.
Also, as I live in the UK our potential customers will be familiar with dd/mm/yyyy date formats, by default you will find American formats will be applied. So go into system setting and change to “English (United Kingdom)”.
You will also want to check the options for your user(s).
Firstly, confirm that their time zone is correct,
And that their formats are correct,
I have observed in trial systems that getting the time zones correct can be a little problematic. For a quick demo this doesn’t concern me much! But if you are producing a full tailored demo you may need to focus on time zones. One thatI have missed previsouly is to check that the schedule board is being displayed in the same time zone as the engineer is operating. (This is done via the “settings cog” on the schedule board.)
Step Six – Geocode Your Company Address
We have correctly defined the resources address, now we need to look at the company address. The company address comes from the business unit entity in CRM. In a large demo I might want to create multiple sites / business units. But in a simple demo I’ll stick with just the one business unit.
Setting the geo code information for the company address can be quite quirky! This is because there is no geo code option on the business unit entity. To get around this I first go to an account and enter a suitable address onto one of those. I then use the geo code menu option and note the latitude and longitude values.
Next I do something strange!
Before trying to set these values on my root business unit I need to make a customization change. To explain …. by default, the parent business unit field is a mandatory field. The root business unit doesn’t have a parent business unit. Meaning we can’t save a change to the root business unit. To work around this, go into the customizations area of CRM, open the business unit entity and find the parent business unit field. Then change the field requirement from business required to optional. (Not forgetting to publish your change!)
In a production environment, you would probably want to consider this change a little deeper. If you have multiple business units, the parent business unit field does need to be mandatory on all of the child business units. I am doing this just for a demo!
Now I can go into the security area of settings and open my root business unit. Below you can see that I have entered the required address and set the latitude and longitude values to those I noted earlier. Also notice that I have set the warehouse. Again I am keeping things simple for a demo. I have one company address and one warehouse.
Step Seven – Set Account Address
Next I need at least one account in my local area. For a full tailored demo, I will probably create a number of new accounts the customer will recognise in their local area. For a quick demo you can simply take one of the existing accounts and change the address.
At this point maybe I should explain a number of additional steps that can be required. What I am doing here is creating a minimal demo. The kind of demo you’d do to showcase basic functionality. Maybe a demo you’ll do during an initial customer meeting. Meaning I’m going to use the products and services that will come preconfigured in the demo data of the trial. In a tailored demo I would almost always need to create some products and services that would be recognisable to the potential customer. Doing so would open a number of additional challenges! Each work order is going to be associated with a price list, in the demo data the default price list is in US Dollars. For a quick demo I am not that worried about the products or their pricing structure. But in a tailored demo you’d need to take time to create some representative products and therefore you’d also probably need to define a price list in your local currency. (British Pounds in my case.)
In a tailored demo you may also wish to demonstrate agreements, incidents and inventory management. Each one of these will mean you’ll need to set-up some additional test data. For my simple demo I am going to skip these concepts.
Step Seven – Fix Your Mobile Client!
I am using a trial system created with CRM Online Update 1. In later releases you may not need this step.
In theory, I should now be ready to run a basic demo of Field Service but a quick test of my mobile client showed me an error. This is hopefully be a temporary problem and will get resolved soon. This is the error I saw as soon as I connected the mobile client. It also showed every time I opened a screen related to agreements.
If you are getting this problem, you’ll need to download Woodford and the Field Service project. You can then make a change to remove the “transactioncurrencyid” field that is causing the problem.
The open the Field Service solution.
On the configuration page you will notice two links. The first one will download the Woodford solution and the second will download the Field Service project. For a quick demo you might not have to use these links. But if I was doing a tailored demo then I would probably need to make a few tweaks to the mobile application. So regardless of this bug I probably would want to do this anyway. If you are unsure of the steps involved to download Woodford, consult this post.
Something to watch for at this point is the security roles assigned to the user you are using in the mobile. Even if they user is a system admin, ensure that have been given the Field Service roles. As otherwise the change you are about to make in the mobile application will not be applied to this user.
So now I have the Woodford client installed and the project imported we can fix the bug that is generating the error message we are seeing. To do this goto the agreements entity and open the main form.
Below you can see the way my form looked out of the box and that a field is shown at the bottom called “Invalid”! We don’t want that one. So simply delete this field. Save your project and publish. Now when you re-load the mobile client the annoying error message should have stopped.
Hopefully these notes will be an aid to anyone preparing a Field Service demo. Additionally, if you are new to Field Service, you may simply find viewing my demo video beneficial. J
NOTE: I have written these notes in October 2016. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is due for released in November 2016. This will include a revised version of Field Service. I do plan to create an updated version of this post once I have been able to test the new version.
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