MB2-715 Certification: (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Online Deployment) – Accessing Dynamics 365

As I revised for the MB2-715 exam (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Online Deployment) I am creating blog posts detailing all aspects of my revision. I hope these posts will aid anyone who is also revising for this exam. In this posts I will provide a high-level overview of Dynamics 365 and give a summary of options for accessing Dynamics 365 online.

What is Dynamics 365?

You may already know that Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s customer relationship management system (CRM). However its important to understand that Dynamics 365 actually encompasses CRM and other Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) features. Dynamics 365 comprises of multiple modules as depicted on the diagram below. The concept being that all of these modules will utilize a common data model and integrate seamlessly.

Traditionally Microsoft’s “CRM” systems have included;

Sales The ability to create leads and track their progress into an opportunity. And manage any resulting quotes, orders and invoices.

Customer Service Essentially based on case management capabilities to allow us to log and fulfill customer requests.

Marketing + Adobe Marketing additions aimed at promoting products and services to existing and new customers.

Additionally Dynamics 365 also includes;

Project Service Automation Manage project based engagements, from initial opportunity to fulfillment. Including project planning, resourcing, time sheeting and invoicing capabilities.

Field Service In some respects an addition to customer service, aimed at organizations with engineers in the field. Includes advanced scheduling features and mobile capabilities.

Finance & Operations based on Microsoft Dynamics AX, providing a feature rich ERP platform.

I will give details of how to access Dynamics 365 later in this post. We have options that involve no client install (via a web browser). Or we can use various apps. Plus additional options are available to developers.

 Licensing Approach (High Level)

Licensing is a potentially complicated subject! I will return to licensing in greater detail in a future post. For now, I’ll simply give an introduction.

Subscriptions are paid to Microsoft on a monthly basis per user and may include other Office 365 products. For example, it will be common to host Exchange, Dynamics 365 and SharePoint as one integrated solution under the Office 365 banner. This means the Dynamics 365 is administered in the same Office 365 admin center as the other Office 365 products.

As already mentioned Dynamics 365 is made up of a number of modules. This module segmentation continues into the licensing model, meaning organizations can acquire licenses for individual or multiple applications as required. We’ll dive deeper into licensing later in our revision! But below I have highlighted a few of the licenses that map to the modules mentioned.

Tip: Often you’ll find that a single user needs to access features from two (or more modules). In these cases a “Plan” can be purchased, as that will give access to multiple modules in a more cost effective manner.

It is worth knowing that online isn’t the only way to deploy Dynamics 365! Options include;

  1. Dynamics 365 online (as covered by the MB2-715 certification!)
  2. Dynamics 365 on premise (a local installation of all required software components on your own servers)
  3. Partner hosted (Essentially Dynamics 365 on premise but hosted online by a Microsoft partner.)

So far all the comments I’ve made about licensing refer to the Enterprise edition of Dynamics 365. As we dive deeper into licensing you will need to know that two editions exist. Enterprise and Business. The Business edition is aimed at small organizations with 10 to 250 employees. The Enterprise edition, therefore is optimized for large organizations.

Note: The Enterprise edition provides dual-user rights. Meaning it includes the potential for Online and On Premise access.

Accessing Microsoft Dynamic 365 Online – No Installation

Dynamics 365 online can be accessed in a variety of ways. One of the most common ways being via a web browser. One advantage of this approach is that there is nothing to install. Supported Windows operating systems include, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. See details below;

Tip: Ensure you are aware of the differences as part of your revision!

Windows 7

  • Internet Explorer 10 and 11
  • Mozilla Firefox (Latest publicly released version)
  • Google Chrome (Latest publicly released version)

Windows 8

  • Internet Explorer 10
  • Mozilla Firefox (Latest publicly released version)
  • Google Chrome (Latest publicly released version)

Windows 8.1

  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Mozilla Firefox (Latest publicly released version)
  • Google Chrome (Latest publicly released version)

Windows 10

  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Edge (Meaning Edge is ONLY supported on Windows 10)
  • Mozilla Firefox (Latest publicly released version)
  • Google Chrome (Latest publicly released version)

FYI: Older browser versions “may” work! But should you encounter any issues Microsoft support will request you upgrade to the latest publicly released version.

Obviously windows isn’t the only operating system! The following browsers are supported in other operating systems;

Android 10 Tablet – Google Chrome (Latest publicly released version)

Mac OS x 10.8 (Mountain Lion) – Apple Safari (Latest publicly released version)

Max OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) – Apple Safari (Latest publicly released version)

Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) – Apple Safari (Latest publicly released version)

Apple iPad – Apple Safari (Latest publicly released version)

FYI: Dynamics 365 may run quite happily in other browsers on these operating systems! However Microsoft support will request you switch to a supported browser if you encounter any issues.

All of these guidelines are also dependant on the minimum / recommended hardware requirements. The typical requirements are shown below;

Component Minimum Recommended
Processor 1.9 gigahertz (GHz) x86- or x64-bit dual core processor with SSE2 instruction set 3.3 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 64-bit dual core processor with SSE2 instruction set
Memory 2-GB RAM 4-GB RAM or more
Display Super VGA with a resolution of 1024 x 768 Super VGA with a resolution of 1024 x 768

It is also recommended that you have a bandwidth greater than 50 Kilobytes per second ( 400 kilobits per second). And latency under 150ms. Additionally these network requirements increase if you are using the Interactive Service Hub (ISH). Then the bandwidth must be greater than 1 Megabit per second (125 Kilobytes per second).

If you wish to use features that access Microsoft Office, such as export to Excel, then additionally you will need have access to Microsoft Office via;

  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Microsoft Office 2016
  • Microsoft Office 2013
  • Microsoft Office 2010

Note: For full Office 365 feature integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) you’ll need Office 365 Enterprise E3 or later. Other Office 365 plans are not supported.

Accessing Microsoft Dynamic 365 Online – Installed Apps

There are a number of applications that can be installed that will provide access to Dynamics 365. A summary of these is given below;

Method Notes
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook
“Traditional” Outlook client
An app that provides integration between Outlook and Dynamics 365. Including emails, tasks and appointments. Plus, access to Dynamics 365 data from within outlook.

The full “traditional” outlook client synchronizes data with Dynamics 365 and provides offline capabilities.

The minimum hardware requirements for Outlook access remain similar to that of the web client alone. But if you wish to use the traditional Outlook client for offline access then the minimum memory requirement increases to 4Gb. Additionally you will require 2Gb+ hard disk space. (On a disk that runs at 7,200 rpm or higher)

The Dynamics 365 Outlook client requires Microsoft Office 2010, 2013 or 2016. Running on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10. (And Internet Explorer 10 or 11.)

Additionally Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 are supported when running as a Remote Desktop Services application.

Note: Dynamics 365 for Outlook isn’t supported for Mac versions of Microsoft Outlook.

App for Outlook An alternative to the traditional Outlook client is the App for Outlook, used from within Outlook or via Outlook web access.

The App for Outlook involves no client install and supports the Outlook client and Outlook web access. (OWA)

Meaning the App for Outlook can be accessed on mobile devices or from a Mac via OWA.

The App for Outlook is enabled server side instead of the user’s PC. Therefore, its functionality is available on all of the different platforms Microsoft Outlook is available on.

I will dive deeper into the App for Outlook and the Outlook client in future posts!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for phones express Phone Express provides limited functionality. Ideally you should use Dynamics 365 for phones instead. Although Phone Express may provide basic access on devices not supported by the phone app.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for phones Provides a rich phone app.

Supports iOS 8.1 and later. Android 4.4, 5.0 and 6.0. Plus windows phones 8.1 and 10.

Note: A minimum of 1Gb RAM should be available.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Tablets Available for windows, iOS and Android tablets. You can download the app from the appropriate app store.

Microsoft Windows – supported on Windows 8 or later. 1Gb of memory and 720-p resolution is required.

Apple iPad – IOS 7,8,9 and 10 are supported. On third-generation iPads or later. This applies to iPads with a 9″ screen or larger.

Android – Devices need 7 inches or larger screens. Supported devices include;

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 and S running Android 4.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 running Android 4.2.2
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 running Android 4.3
  • Google Nexus 10 running Android 4.2, 4.4 and 5.0
  • Asus Transformer Pack Infinity TF-700 running Android 4.2

Note: In addition to the app it is possible to access Dynamics 365 via the tablets browser. Although this interface will not be optimised to the form factor or touch only experience of the tablet. Some features available in the mobile app, such as easily adding attachments to notes may not be available.

Always refer to TechNet for the latest details on supported devices. As this information can change from time to time.

3rd Party Tools / Development

The third method for accessing Dynamics 365 is via 3rd party tools or by development of your own bespoke functionality. An example of a 3rd party app would be the RESCO mobile application which incidentally is used with the Field Service module of Dynamics 365.

Please keep in mind that this blog post has been created as revision notes. I suggest you always check TechNet for the latest information.

In my next post I will continue this series helping anyone revising for the MB2-715 exam by reviewing the licensing model in more detail.

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