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

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 review mobile apps.

The skills measured statement that relates to mobile apps is shown below. From this we can see that we need to be aware of the Phone Express App and the new mobile client. Additionally we need to understand how to configure entities, security privileges, forms and dashboards.

Phone Express

I want to cover Phone Express first! (Or should I say not cover!) As I admit to being a little confused on why it’s still referenced in the skills measured statement of a Dynamics 365 exam. But it is, so you should be aware of this option.

There is / “was” a phone app called “Phone Express”. You can still download the Phone Express app from various app stores and it should work with older versions of CRM. But the Phone Express application will not work with any version of CRM since CRM Online 2016 Update 1 (8.0). As a test, I tried running it on my iPhone (iOS v11) connected to the current version of Dynamics 365 (8.2). Each time the app is loaded it will simply redirected you to the Apple App store to download Dynamics 365 for Phones.

None of this is an issue as Phone Express had reduced functionality when compared to the newer Dynamics 365 for Phones App. You can currently still see and maintain forms used by the Phone Express App in customizations!

Looking at an express form (shown below) highlights the limited functionality of the Phone Express App. As we don’t have the “rich” forms! The form is simply made up of a list of attributes.

Dynamics 365 for Phones / Tablets

Dynamics 365 for Phone app or Dynamics 365 for Tablets App both use the same forms as the CRM web application. (Although they will look a little different!)

Mobile devices include phones and tablets. Either of which can run the mobile Dynamics 365 app. On phones you can run the Dynamics 365 for Phones app and on tablets there is an equivalent Dynamics 365 for tablets app.

Note: There is no additional cost / license for any of the mobile applications. But you will need a Dynamics 365 license to use them.

Whether using the phone or tablet app, once you have downloaded it from the appropriate app store you’ll need to enter the url of your dynamics organization.

After entering your credentials there will be a pause whilst the required configuration is down loaded.

Eventually the mobile app will load. Below I have shown the tablet app. The phone app has a similar look and feel. Except the reduced screen size means you need to swipe left / right to navigate.

The phone app has a similar look and feel. Except the reduced screen size means you need to swipe left / right to navigate.

There are some security role options that will govern if users can access data from the mobile applications. See below that in the “Business Management” tab of security roles options for mobile and phone express exist.

Supported Platforms

Before installing an app, you will need to be aware of supported devices / operating systems. You can review full details on technet, here. (FYI: I will give a summary of support versions below but please be aware this is the type of information that changes over time, so please check technet for the latest details.)

For phones, you can run the phone app on Apple iPhones (iOS 8.1 and above), Android (4.4, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0), Windows phones (8.1 and 10). All need 1Gb (minimum) RAM.

For Windows tablets, you can run the tablet app on any Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 tablet. With a screen resolution 1366×768 (or better) and 1Gb (minimum) memory.

For iPads, you need an iPad of third generation or later. (9-inch screen), iOS 7 or later with CRM 2015 or CRM 2016 (online or onpremise). Or iOS 8.1 or later for CRM 2016 Update 1 Online onwards.

For Android tablets, you need android version 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.0 or 6.0. With a screen size of 7″ or larger.

CRM Web Application on mobile devices, you should also be aware that you can run the CRM web application on any supported tablet. This will give a similar experience to using the web client on a desktop browser. There are however some limitations. Including the following features NOT being available;

  • Pinch and zoom
  • Yammer
  • Reports
  • Customization editors
  • System settings
  • Advanced find
  • Process dialogs
  • Skype for business presence
  • Adding attachments to notes when using Apple iPad with CRM on premise.
  • Entities that use classic forms. (These include articles, bulk delete operations, connections, goals etc. You can see a full list here.)

Offline Access

It is possible to configure the mobile application for off line access. (Notice below that the application makes it clear once it has gone offline.)

Offline access is not specifically referenced in the skills measured statement, however it may still be useful to be aware of these feature.

There are actually two ways offline data can be handled. Available to everyone is the concept of drafts. Details of records recently used will be kept on your device. Meaning you can still read them whilst disconnected. Additionally you can enter new records as drafts. Drafts can then be saved when you next go online.

Additionally admins can configure a more seamless offline approach. With this option you can view, edit and create records whilst disconnected. Admins can use the mobile offline options available under settings to create offline profiles define which users can take data offline and what data will be synchronized to the mobile device.

It is possible to control which entities are available off line and associated filters in customizations. The screen shot below shows the configuration options on an entity.

Note: Notice that it is possible to enable an entity not just for off line but also for any access in the mobile app. By default several system entities are enabled but can be disabled if not required. Additionally any custom entity can be enabled for more.

You may also need to be aware that some system entities are not enabled for mobile and can’t be enabled! (Below, for example, you can see that contract is not and cannot be enabled for mobile.)

Before Dynamics 365 data can be taken off line an administrator will need to enable this feature. One point you might need to be aware off is that off line mode cannot be enabled for a sandbox, trial or preview instance of Dynamics 365.

Also, once offline mode is enabled users requiring offline access will need to be added to an offline profile.

Customizing Form – Web Form

Essentially the same form is used for the web application and mobile. Meaning the “main” form type is shown in the Dynamics 365 for Phones and Dynamics 365 for Tablets apps. Although you can opt to show different controls for some form components if required. Such as a slider control for entering values etc.

You should also be aware that only the first 5 tabs or 75 fields are shown in the mobile app. And no more than 10 sub grids are included. Also charts shown on entity forms do not show.

On each tab, section ot field you can control if it shows on the phone app. (No such control is available for the tablet app.)

It is possible to show multiple system or personal dashboards in the phone or tablet apps. You do, however, need to ensure each one has been enabled for mobile. Below you can see how in customizations you can select properties and use the enable for mobile option.

Whilst the same form is shown in the phone and tablet mobile apps it is possible to control how various fields function. For example, often you may find that phones or tablets require different controls that are touch friendly. In customizations, we can open any field and then use the controls tab to add additional controls. In my example below, in the web application I will display a normal text box for entry of the budget amount on my opportunity. But on the phone display a slider and one the tablet display a touch friendly number input control.

After making an alteration like this you will need to publish the change then re-load the mobile app. On reload of the app the user will be prompted to download a new configuration. Having complete the re-load you should see that the control has changed. Below you can see that my budget amount is no longer the standard text box!

When I prepared for my MB2-716 exam I created a detailed post on how to customize mobile forms. You can find that post here.

Hopefully this post will have given you plenty of information to help revise for the MB2-715 exam’s requirements around mobile devices. As part of your preparation I suggest you download the mobile apps and spend time using each one.

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