USD – Best Practice Analyzer

Unified Service Desk (USD) 3.3 has recently been released, one of its great new features is the best practice analyzer. In this post I will explore this new feature and hopefully show why you should immediately try this!

The Problem

Often in USD projects I have faced challenges with reliability or performance. Typically these issues can be connected with various aspects of the user’s desktop or maybe the USD configuration. Collectively these issues can result in poor performance or an unreliable experience. Some examples of potential areas include;

  1. Incorrectly set IE options can lead to several issues, including things that can make USD unreliable.
  2. Insufficient memory on the client machines could be a cause of slow performance.
  3. Poorly thought out configurations can slow the load of USD, start of sessions etc.
  4. And much more!

Until now diagnosing some of these issues has been a lengthy task. Or worse still, if you are unfamiliar with some of the issues they may simply remain unresolved. Not addressing them could ultimately result in an unresponsive or unreliable application that in turn will lead to unhappy agents in your contact centre.

Additionally I have often seen that a number of small issues exist which collectively work together to impact the users experience. This reality means diagnosing performance issues can be a challenge as normally you aren’t looking for one silver bullet but a number of minor “tweaks” that collectively can have a big impact.

The Solution

The newly released best practice analyser allows us to quickly find actual and potential problems. Using it is super simple, just click the analyse button. Having waited about 20 seconds you’ll be presented with a set of results. Some may show an error status but others will just be warnings.

Obviously I doubt the best practice analyser can, will or even should spot everything! But still I think running this tool is simply a no brainier. Why wouldn’t you want to confirm your application is following a basic set of best practices? Therefore I refer to my opening statement …. you should try this immediately.

Below you can see what happens the first time you run the best practice analyser. Simply click “Start Analysis” and wait just a few seconds.

After a few seconds you will see a result something like the one I’ve shown below. You can clearly see any errors and warnings.

Should you have any errors you can usefully expand each one to see some additional details. I haven’t got client caching configured, below you can see that the analyzer not only tells me what the problem is but also explains how to resolve the issue.

Tip:
You can get this same information for warnings and passed (green) items. Actually reviewing the green items might also be a benefit, as it will highlight some great best practice tips.

You may have noticed the downloads url. Navigating to this directory will usefully give you access to the report. Maybe you can get a user to run and email the results to your support team!

Setup (USD 3.3)

To enable the best practice analyser (manually) you will need to make a few changes to your USD configuration. The steps involved are these;

  1. Install USD 3.3 Client
  2. Create a hosted control
  3. Create an action
  4. Add to a toolbar button

Note:
I have opted for a manual install as I am not working with the Microsoft sample web package for USD. If you are, I guess, it may be easier to run the package deployer. Details can be found here.

Step One – Install the USD 3.3 Client

Download and install the USD 3.3 client. (or later)

Note:
Support is available for earlier versions of USD. (from 2.2 to 3.2) You can find details of this and Microsoft’s install instructions here. However, if you are using an earlier version I would suggest step one of following best practice might be to upgrade to the latest version.

Step Two – Create a hosted control

Below you can see my hosted control.

The details for my hosted control are as follows;

Field Details
Name Best Practice Analyzer
Display Name Best Practice Analyzer
USD Component Type USD Hosted Control
Application is Global Selected (Application is global)
Display Panel MainPanel
Application is Dynamic Yes
User Can Close Selected (Users can close)
Assembly URI Microsoft.Crm.UnifiedServiceDesk.BestPracticesAnalyser
Assembly Type Microsoft.Crm.UnifiedServiceDesk.BestPracticesAnalyser.BestPracticesAnalyserControl

Step Three – Create an action

Next we will need an action to load the Best Practice Analyser hosted control created in the previous step. This is a simple action that simply triggers the default action.

So the hosted control is “Best Practice Analyzer and the action is “default”.

Step Four – Add to a toolbar button

Finally you will need to create a toolbar button that will trigger the action. I decided to add mine to my existing about toolbar. (But you could add it anywhere.) So I simply created the toolbar button shown below;

Notice that my show tab is my Best Practice Analyzer hosted control. Also that I have added the action created earlier to the button.

I also (optionally) added the msdyusd_settings16 icon. You could skip this or use another image.

At runtime my toolbar looked like this;

Hopefully you will agree that using the Best Practice Analyzer is simple and something that you should routinely do. Enjoy.

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