I am very excited to be starting to use Cafex’s Live Assist product for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Unified Service Desk (USD), in this post I will explain how to install Live Assist and start to give you a little detail about the product. (More information will follow in later posts as I become familiar with this product.)
Before I start I guess a quick explanation of what Live Assist is might be useful. Live Assist gives web chat capabilities that can be directly built into Dynamics 365 and Unified Service Desk. Beyond that you can also co-browser, video chat and much more. I think it is a really cool piece of software. I plan to publish multi posts on my experiences of installing, using and configuring Live Assist.
This blog post will focus on the initial install process. Later posts will look at how to use and configure Live Assist.
- An online instance of Microsoft Dynamics 365 (I will be using a trial version)
- Unified Service Desk, version 2.2 or later
Using USD is optional. You can run Live Assist simply in the browser. However as Live Assist will commonly be used in call centres I suspect (hope) the use of USD will be pretty common.
Live Assist is not free! For a live deployment, you will need Live Assist licenses. But the trial will give you 30 licences for 30 days. At the time of writing this post I am unsure of exact pricing and I guess it may also vary depending on your GEO region, currency and number of users. I suggest you speak to your Microsoft Account Manager or Partner for pricing detail.
My Install Process
You can find some great information about doing a standard / trial installation on CafeX website. I also referenced these videos;
I have installed CafeX multiple times! The first time when I installed Unified Service Desk I used the Package Deployer to install Microsoft’s sample solution. On that occasional the Live Assist installation went pretty cleanly.
My second installation was more ambitious as I wanted to add CafeX capabilities into my existing USD environment. Like most people, I have a USD solution that has been configured for my specific purposes. So, my goal was to install Live Assist into that, so that I can then begin the fun task of tailoring how it will operate in my application.
- Create a trial solution
- Download USD
- Run the USD Package Deployer
- Install the USD client
- Import my USD application (Including importing its data.zip using the CRM Configuration Migration Tool.)
- Configure Live Assist
- Review what happened and test
- Fix my USD Panel Layout
- Fix my Knowledge Base
When I ran the package deployer I did a blank install and then imported my data.zip. You may wish to install the sample web application! If you do that the fixes I describe will not be required.
I am going to highlight the issues I observed and fixes I applied. But you should keep in mind that you may not hit these issues. And equally you may get different ones. (If you do get different ones I will be interested to hear your experiences.)
Steps one to five.
I am not going to describe these in detail. As they are either standard install processes or very specific to my environment.
Step Six – Configure Live Assist
In Office 365, go to the Admin option and select Dynamics 365. Here you will see the Dynamics 365 Administration Center. Click on the applications option.
You should see Live Assist for Dynamics 365 and its status will be Not Configured.
Clicking Manage will launch the Live Assist sign up process. Initially you will need to accept to grant permission for Live Assist to access your “CRM” online instance.
Now we configure Live Assist. To do this first select your Dynamics 365 instance. (I called mine “Neil Parkhurst MVP”!)
Then enter a contact email address.
Next select that you want to install Live Assist Powered by CafesX for USD.
And of course, you will need to “read” and accept the license agreement.
Next you will be told that provisioning is in progress and you’ll receive an email once completed.
Whilst this was happening I had a coffee! After about five minutes I received an email that looked like the one below ….
Clicking the Live Assist admin link took me to a login page;
Now I have to accept that Live Assist can read my profile.
And I confirmed my contact details …
And sign in ….
Eventually I arrived at a page which looks like this, which will enable me to manage Live Assist users. (I will add some additional users in a second, for now we are done!)
Step Seven – Review what happened and test
With the install process completed I could review what had been installed and start testing. Back in Dynamics 365, we can see that the Live Assist option has been added into our settings.
Additionally, Live Assist will have been added into the right panel navigation in the browser.
Viewing solutions will show you that the LiveAssistByCafeX solution will have been added;
Also, you will find that a number of hosted controls (etc) will have been added into your USD solution. (More on these later!)
When I have installed Live Assist with the sample package, as provided within the USD Package Deployer, it worked straight away. Installing into my customized copy of Unified Service Desk presented a few issues. (More on those later!)
Below you can see a list of the hosted controls that get added. Notice the “Custom Panel” that conflicted with the MainWorkArea I already had defined. (Whilst this was a problem it didn’t take me long to alter my actions to use the panel layout added by Live Assist.)
Step Eight – Fix my Panel Layout
Once I opened Unified Service Desk, I immediately observed that my panel layout was broken. I had two layouts which presented as two tabs. The one called “Main Layout” was my originaly. The one called “Custom Panel” had been added by the Live Assist install process.
In my hosted controls I could see both of these layouts. In my case I wanted to disable the one that CafeX had added. To do this I did an advanced find search to look for all actions linked to the hosted control added by Live Assist. So the one called “Custom Panel”. You can see my advanced find below.
Next I amended each of the actions using this hosted control to use my “Main Layout” instead. I had to change something like six actions.
You can see below that after I had made these changes my USD solution loaded correctly. Notice the Live Assist right panel.
Step Nine – Fix my KB Search
I already had the knowledge base configured and working in my application but after I’d installed Live Assist I found I received the following types of error.
Running an advance find on actions showed me that a number of actions had been added connected with the knowledge base. And that these were linked to a hosted control called “KB Search”, which existed in my application before installing Live Assist.
The actions that had been added by my Live Assist installation are shown below.
Reviewing the detail of my KB Search hosted control I found two issues. The install of Live Assist has duplicated my “default” and “Search” UII Actions. This in turn was preventing the KB Search control from loading.
Once I had found this resolving this issue was simple. I deleted one of the Search UII actions and one of the default UII actions. (It didn’t matter which as they were identical!)
But make sure isDefault is still set to “Yes” on the default UII action.
Conclusion / Opinion
I did hit some issues with my install process but they were very easy to resolve. So, overall I remain impressed with how easy Live Assist is to install. I managed to get it up and running in my “live” USD application within a couple of hours. Not bad going.
I can now start the process of reviewing what hosted controls, actions (etc) have been added. And then using that information to tailor the use of Live Assist in my solution. I will of course blog about anything and everything I uncover. J