Get Those Power BI Tiles Embedded in Your CRM Dashboards

For several years now, we have had the powerful analytics capability of Power BI. First as Excel add-ins and the Power BI Desktop tool since 2015. With the original Power BI service in Office 365, we were able to insert Power BI Excel reports using Dashboard iFrames and the SharePoint Integration, but that was deprecated with the move to the site.

With the Spring release of CRM, we have the ability embed Power BI tiles in CRM Dashboards! It is also quick and straightforward to set it up. Let's see how!

1. Prerequisites: CRM Online (2016 Spring Wave) and a Power BI O365 subscription.

2. Enable: Settings à Administration à System Settings.

Embed Power BI Tiles

From here, navigate to the Reporting tab and select Yes to enable.

Embed Power BI Tiles

3. Create Dashboards in Power BI.

Embed Power BI Tiles

4. Create or edit a Dashboard in CRM.

5. Click Power BI Tile or insert from the Command Bar.

Embed Power BI Tiles

6. Select a Power BI dashboard and a tile.

Embed Power BI Tiles

7. Complete the dashboard, Save, and close.

That's it! You now have a Power BI dashboard built in CRM. Users no longer need to navigate specifically to Power BI to interact with the powerful analytics. Pretty slick if we do say so!

Embed Power BI Tiles

If you click on any component, a new window is launched which allows for further filtering or drilling into the Power BI site.

Embed Power BI Tiles

Embed Power BI Tiles

That's all for the blog today! If you'd like to learn more about Power BI, check out our Webinar on Demand, Power BI Showcase!

Happy CRM'ing!

Goodbye Isn’t Forever: How to Show Deleted Dashboards After Importing

If you try to import an out-of-the-box dashboard into an environment where it has been deleted, the import process will show that is was successful, however, the dashboard will not show up in your default solution's dashboard list. In today's blog, we will walk you through the steps needed to show your deleted out-of-the-box dashboards after you import them from another org. Let's get started!

To mimic the issue as stated above, our example will focus on the Sales Activity Social Dashboard. We will assume that you first deleted this existing out-of-the-box dashboard from the environment by following the steps below:

1. Delete the Sales Activity Social Dashboard.

2. Export the same dashboard from another CRM environment as an unmanaged solution.

3. Import the dashboard into the org where it has been deleted. The import process will say that the import was successful, but you will see that it is not visible in the dashboard list.

Here are the steps needed to resolve the issue:

1. After you import the Dashboard, download the log file which shows up in last step of the Import wizard once it is successfully imported. Open the log file in a spreadsheet as shown below:

2. Copy the GUID without the braces. Now navigate to CRM's Default Solution where all the dashboards are listed.

3. Open any one of the out-of-the-box dashboards listed as shown in the screenshot above. We will chose Sales Activity Dashboard for our example. The dashboard will open in a customized layout as you can see in the screenshot below.

4. Now, on your keyboard press Ctrl + N. This will open in a new window. Next, replace the GUID which you copied earlier in the address bar as shown below:

5. Once you press the enter key, you will see the Sales Activity Social Dashboard which has been imported into CRM, but is not yet visible on the dashboard list. Basically, this means that the dashboard is imported and stored in the database, but is not showing in the dashboard list.

6. Click on Edit Component in the command bar. This will bring up a pop-up window as shown below.

You will see that the Label field is blank. Copy the label from the environment where you have exported the dashboard, paste it here, and save the dashboard.

7. Now, navigate to the dashboard view and you will the Sales Activity Social Dashboard in the view list.

That's it! Now you can view your dashboard after import. Want to learn more about dashboards in Dynamics CRM? Subscribe to the blog! You'll get great content like this delivered straight into your inbox. It doesn't get much simpler than that!

Happy CRM'ing!

What to do When: The ‘Set As Default’ button for Dashboards disappears in Dynamics CRM

The 'SET AS DEFAULT' button in the ribbon on the Dashboard page is not often used, but is very important. After going through the trouble of Creating a New Dashboard you naturally want to see it every time you open CRM right? What if you go to click 'SET AS DEFAULT' and find that it's not there?

Sometimes when you Change Your Home Page in Personal Options the 'Set as Default" button behavior changes. In our example below we have changed the home page to Service because that's what we use the most. When we first log in and when we click the home icon we go to the Dashboards tab of Service.

What to do When: The ‘Set As Default’ button for Dashboards disappears in Dynamics CRM

You can see that 'SET AS DEFAULT' is still an option on the Service Dashboards tab.

What to do When: The ‘Set As Default’ button for Dashboards disappears in Dynamics CRM

However, we are system admins and we just created a new Personal Sales dashboard that we want to see when we navigate to Sales. 'SET AS DEFAULT' is gone!

What to do When: The ‘Set As Default’ button for Dashboards disappears in Dynamics CRM

And even if we want to change the default dashboard to one of the out of the box dashboards provided by Microsoft, we are unable to do so.

What to do When: The ‘Set As Default’ button for Dashboards disappears in Dynamics CRM

One solution is to change the home page in Personal Options to Sales, and change it back after you've set the default Sales dashboard. If you want to change the default dashboard for Marketing or Service you have to change the Default Pane accordingly.

What to do When: The ‘Set As Default’ button for Dashboards disappears in Dynamics CRM

Want to learn more about dashboards? Did you know you can integrate dashboards with PowerPacks? If you are interested head over to our main PowerPack page or check out these two blogs!

Happy CRM'ing!

How to Place PowerMap in a Dashboard in Dynamics CRM

If you're looking for a more visual representation of records in your Microsoft Dynamics CRM, PowerMap will be your new best friend. PowerMap lets users choose an entity in CRM, choose a view, and plots all of the individual records from that view on one map. Users can map more than one entity, and more than one view at a time, and can also save their PowerMap preferences, including map configurations, zoom levels and views.

Here are a few ways PowerMap can be used:

Another awesome feature of PowerMap is that it can be added directly onto a dashboard for ease of use. The below steps will give you a walk-through of how to add this powerful add-on directly on your dashboard!

Things you will need:

Once you have completed the install and configuration you are ready to place PowerMaps on your dashboard!

1. Within CRM 2013 click on the little house icon on the top ribbon. This will bring you to your homepage.

How to Place PowerMap within a Dashboard in CRM 2013

2. From the homepage, click on the +New button. This will bring you to the dashboard layout selector.

How to Place PowerMap in a Dashboard in CRM 2013

3. Here you will select the type of layout you want for your dashboard. We will use a 3-column regular dashboard.

4. Click Create. This brings you to the dashboard editor. Name your dashboard to your liking. In the squares below, you will notice in the middle there are 4 icons that represent 4 objects you can add to your dashboard:


How to Place PowerMap within a Dashboard in CRM 2013

5. For the purpose of adding PowerMap to the dashboard, select Web Resource. This will bring you to the Add Web Resource page. Click on the magnifying glass and scroll down to Look Up More Records. This will bring you to the Look Up Record screen.

How to Place PowerMap within a Dashboard in CRM 2013

6. On the Look Up Record Screen, do the following:

How to Place PowerMap within a Dashboard in CRM 2013

7. Back on the Add Web Resource screen, click OK.

8. You can leave the values here as default.

How to Place PowerMap within a Dashboard in CRM 2013

9. All you have to do now is add any other dashboard components you wish to have on your dashboard, then click Save.

10. Refresh your browser then click on your dashboard view selector and select your dashboard you just created.

And there you have it. You have learned how to place PowerMap in a dashboard in Dynamics CRM!

If you like PowerMap and want to learn more, we have many more blogs on the PowerMap add-on that you can reference.

Happy CRM'ing!

CRM Outlook Client: Change Your Default Outlook Homepage to a CRM Menu

The Dynamics CRM Outlook client offers a tight integration with Dynamics CRM. It allows you to use the application from Outlook, as well as the ability to synchronize contacts and activities.

When you open Outlook, the default settings have it go straight to your inbox for your homepage. But wouldn't it be great to have availability to change your default Outlook homepage to a CRM dashboard or another entity from Dynamics CRM? With a small change in Outlook, you can set your Outlook homepage to default to any CRM menu.

Here's how to do it (note that there are separate instructions for Outlook 2010/2013 versus Outlook 2007.)

Outlook 2010 and 2013

  1. In Outlook, go to File in the upper left hand corner and select Options.

    change your default outlook homepage to CRM

  2. Then select the Advanced Menu option.

  3. Under the Outlook start and exit section, select the Browse option.

  4. Now you can browse through your folder list and select whatever CRM menu you want Outlook to default to when it is opened. Select OK. In this example, the Dashboards folder was selected.

  5. Select OK to close the Outlook options and restart Outlook.

  6. Now open Outlook and it will default to whatever menu you had selected above!

Outlook 2007

  1. Select the Tools menu from the ribbon and then select Options.

  2. Then select the Other tab and select Advanced Options.

  3. In Startup in the folder, select the Browse option.

  4. Then you would browse to the Dynamics CRM menu you would like as your default. This the same step as described in the instructions for Outlook 2010 and 2013. Close Outlook and re-open and Outlook will open to whatever menu you have selected.

With this small change, we now have full control over how the user interact with Dynamics CRM. Pretty exciting!

Happy CRM'ing!

Multi-Currency Functionality for Goals in Dynamics CRM

Goals in Microsoft Dynamics CRM are used to set revenue and count targets and to compare progress towards these targets. The multi-currency functionality for goals is Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an important feature that is used by many multinational companies to track currency values in multiple currencies. In today's blog, we'll focus on using multi-currency functionality to track and display revenue goals and the progress towards these goals.

All currency (money) fields in Dynamics CRM have two underlying fields. In the example below, the underlying currency fields for the "Estimated Value" field are "Est. Revenue" and "Est. Revenue (Base)". In case of multi-currency scenarios, the "Est. Revenue" field stores the value in the user's local currency and the "Est. Revenue (base)" field stores the value in the base / organization currency.

multi-currency functionality for goals in Dynamics CRM

For example, let's say the base currency of a company is UK Pounds and the local currency setting of a user is US Dollars (US $). All currency fields on the form, views, and roll-up charts will be displayed in local currency (US $ in this example), unless the base currency field is specifically added to the form, view, and chart.

In the case of the Opportunity entity, the transactional currency and the out-of-the-box roll up chart (in this case, the Sales Pipeline Chart) are displayed in local currency, which is US $ as illustrated below. If you want, you can build custom views and corresponding charts using the base currency fields to display values in the base currency.

multi-currency functionality for goals

However, in the case of the Goals entity, all of the currency fields, views, and out-of-the-box roll up charts display the currency values in the base currency. As you can see in the example below, it displays the currency values in UK Pounds which is the base currency for this organization. Both of the underlying (base and local) currency fields for the "Target", "In-Progress", and "Actual" fields display the currency values in the base currency.

This could be an issue for a global company that wants to use the multi-currency functionality and also wants their users to be able to track progress towards their goals in the desired local currency, rather than having to convert the base currency into the local currency manually or through heavy customization.

One way of resolving this issue is to build a custom chart. The built-in chart designer can be used for this purpose. As shown in the example below, the custom chart includes the out-of-the-box local currency fields for the "Target", "In-Progress", and "Actual" value fields. The custom chart will display the target and corresponding in-progress and actual revenue values in the user's local currency. This gives the users the ability to quickly review and track their progress towards their goals. The chart can replace the built-in Goal Progress chart on sales performance dashboards.

There you have it. Happy CRM'ing!

Creating Daily Goals in Dynamics CRM 2011

Goals are one of the exciting features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. They can be created for a wide variety of purposes: from tracking progress on how many phone calls salespeople are completing over the month to measuring current customer satisfaction scores against a yearly goal (made possible by our very own PowerSurvey!).

While goals can be created for any time frame (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc), we have found that it can be cumbersome to create goals with a short time frame since you need to create a new goal once the current time frame expires. Imagine if you had daily goals in Dynamics CRM for 50 salespeople. You would be creating 50 goal records every day! Surely there must be a better way…

We previously blogged about how to recreate goal records via a dialog, but wouldn't it be great if we could create these recurring goals and report on them?

Let's go to the drawing board!

First, we need to add a field onto the goal form. This field will be a picklist where we will decide how often this goal is recreated (daily, weekly, monthly, etc).

creating daily goals in Dynamics CRM 2011

Now, we need to create the workflow that will make this all happen.

First, we want to create the workflow as an on-demand process. We also want to mark this AS A CHILD PROCESS

Then, create the overall structure as seen below.

We first want to create some CHECK CONDITIONS to see what type of goal recurrence it is (daily, weekly, etc)

Next, we have a wait condition. We will have the workflow WAIT for however long the recurrence is (1 day, 7 days, 1 month, etc)

After the wait we will CREATE A GOAL. The key here is that the START/END date are set in relation to the PROCESS EXECUTION TIME. Here is what a daily goal would look like:

Finally, we will have the workflow start a child workflow. We want to configure it to start itself (FYI, my workflow is called 'Test2')

We can now run this workflow against any goal we want to recur!

BONUS TIP: If you want to report on daily goals created with this workflow, create a view for GOALS CREATED ON TODAY (or LAST 7 DAYS, LAST MONTH, ETC depending on your recurrence). You can then use this view on a dashboard to only show today's goals!

Happy CRM'ing!

How to Customize Colors in Dynamics CRM Charts

MS Dynamics CRM 2011 is an amazing tool that can show reports in a single view. Charts can easily be seen on the main dashboard of CRM or directly within the entity. With them, you can get a visual representation of data within its source entity. If you're just starting out on this great feature, see our blog on how to create charts. In this blog, we'll focus on changing the colors in Dynamics CRM charts.

Default colors in Dynamics CRM charts

CRM can generate reports quickly and easily, but it takes some configuration to modify charts. For example, let's say that in leads we want a pie chart to display the hot section to be red, warm to be orange and cold leads to show as blue.

The first thing we'll do is find which entity that our chart belongs to. In this example, the pie chart belongs to the leads entity. Under Settings, go to Solutions, where we will create a new solution.

Fill out the form and click Save. If you are selling this solution, you should have a designated publisher. If you are not selling this solution and you do not have a publisher, then simply type Default and hit the <tab> key for CRM to fill in the Default Publisher.

Once you save, the form should bring you to the Components page. Click on 'Add Existing' and select entity. Within the popup, select all of the entities that contain a chart that you want to change. For this example, we will select Leads. Once the entities are added to the sidebar, click on export solution. Export the solution as unmanaged.

Note that the way we are going will change the system view and not just a personal view. The file will export in .xml file format. Chose to open in your code writing software (e.g. Visual Studio, Notepad++, or notepad). Do not use WordPad or MS word as these are meant to write documents. Visual Studio and other code writing programs is more appropriate as they are meant for understanding and recognizing code syntax and testing.

As you open the file you'll have to navigate down through the xml to find <Chart Palette…>. Below is a sample of the code.

If you have multiple entities within the solution, a fast way to find which entity to work on is to click <Control><F> and search for the description or title of the chart that you want to edit. If that is still giving you issues, you can use a color reader to determine the order of colors currently in your CRM, so the color palette displays colors based on a RGB color model. After the quotation marks, any list of colors can be typed in and they will appear in the order typed. This is where we would want to change the color of the pie chart. If we refer back to our photo, there is an order in which the data is organized. In our code 97,142,206 comes first and thus will populate the 'Hot' field first. The list of colors you are looking for CRM to auto fill and add them in followed by a semi-colon.

So, for our example, we are going to simply cut and paste the red color to be first. (These are the default colors within Dynamics CRM.) As more fields are added they will be associated to the next color code in the color palette. If only one color is in the color palette then all of the fields will be that color.

RGB Color CodeColor
148,172,215Light Blue
189,213,151Apple Green
145,201,221Baby Blue

Once you make the changes, save the exported file and import it back into the CRM. Reload your CRM by refreshing the page. That's it!

Here are some other pages that you might be interested in:

Happy CRM'ing!

CRM 2011 - Adding Activity Feeds to the Dashboard

If you haven’t experimented with the Activity Feeds in CRM 2011 yet, they bring the concept of “social CRM” into your workplace.

With activity feeds you can follow various records you are interested in and get updates posted to your wall. Some of the updates can be configured to appear automatically (for example: post an update to the related account wall any time a case is opened). This is a great way for users to stay updated on important activity. The activity feed works a little like Twitter – just follow the records you are interested in and check your personal “wall” for important announcements from your MS CRM system. And just like Twitter, users can unfollow records when they no longer need updates.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM default homepage is set to dashboards. Since dashboards are meant to give you a 360 degree view of your workday, this makes a lot of sense. With activity feeds there is a new item added to the navigation bar under My Work called “What’s New”. This is your personal wall, where any updates to records you follow will be posted. Now we just need to marry dashboards and activity feeds to get the best possible visibility into the records we care about.

The first step is to edit the dashboard where you want your wall to be displayed.

Adding Activity Feeds to CRM 2011

Once in Edit mode click on the web resource icon in the empty area where you want to add the wall.

Adding Activity Feeds to CRM 2011

If you are adding it to the bottom of an existing dashboard instead of to an empty frame on your dashboard, click on the web resource icon in the ribbon.

Adding Activity Feeds to CRM 2011

In the Add Web Resource dialog window, press the lookup icon to search for the pre-defined web resource. Enter “personal wall” into the lookup screen and select the resulting record.

Adding activity feed to crm 2011

Press OK on the Add Web Resource dialog to add this component to the dashboard, then press the Save and Close button on the dashboard ribbon to view the results.

add activity feed crm 2011

Please note: Users who are not following any records will only have “What’s New” and the box to enter new posts. Until records are followed and updates made to those records, the posts area will be blank.

Happy "Social" CRM’ing!

The Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings for End Users That Increase Efficiency

What do you do for the user who says, “It takes too many clicks to…?” The following is a checklist of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 tools and settings for that increase efficiency for end users, including things each user can do to decrease clicks with minimal effort and no administrative privileges.

Set Personal Options

The user can access this in either the Outlook Client or IE. Changes made in one will carry through to the other.

Accessing Personal Options

  1. Change the user’s CRM home page to a page that frequently use. This dictates the first thing the user sees when they open CRM.
  2. Increase the number of records shown per page in any list of records to 250. This decreases the number of paging they need to do to see all the records in a view.
  3. Change the default mode in Advanced Find to Detailed. This auto selects the Details button when they open Advanced Find.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 1

Set as Default (Web Client)

In the web client each user can set the default view that displays when they click on a record type or an area of CRM. This is awesome because some of the out of the box default views are not relevant to all users. For example, the out of the box default view for Accounts is “My Active Accounts.” What if they don’t own any Accounts? They have to change the view every time they navigate there.

  1. Navigate to the record type or area you want to change (i.e. Accounts, Opportunities or Dashboards)
  2. Change to the view you want to see when you click on the area.
  3. Click on View in the Ribbon (you can skip this step for Dashboards)
  4. Click on Set as Default

Pin Views (Outlook Client)

The Outlook Client doesn’t have the Set as Default button, but you can change your default view for each record type by selecting the view and clicking on the pin.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 2

Copy / Email Link of a record (Outlook and Web clients)

Each record in CRM boasts the Copy a Link and Email a Link button in the ribbon. The user to whom you provide this link will navigate directly to the record.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 3

Copy / Email Link of view or selected items in the view (Outlook and Web clients)

Same concept as what’s in the record except the user will have multiple links or one link that navigates directly to a view.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 4

Jump Tabs (Web Client)

Each record contains a jump tab. Clicking on the arrow closes the current record and opens the next record in the view.  This is especially handy if you have to update a number of records, and have a view that contains all the records containing what you have to update.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 5

Create Relevant Dashboards

Dashboards are a mix of charts and grid views.  With a mix of the right elements, a dashboard can be a one stop shop for any click adverse user. Think about how the work it takes to create a dashboard can reduce the amount of clicks a user or team has to do to see and open relevant records.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 6

These little details play a huge role in increasing user acceptance which ultimately results in better data for your company. Brought to you by your friendly CRM Experts at PowerObjects.

Happy CRM’ing!

Searching in Dashboards inside Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Hey there MSCRM users! Let's talk dashboards!

One of the great things about working with 100's of companies using MSCRM is we get requests to do things that we haven't always thought of. Well this week someone asked if they could use our Global Search add-on for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 in a dashboard. We didn't know so I reached out to the team and we gave it a try.

Basically with the awesome new dashboard in CRM 2011 you can add web resources….so just add the PowerGlobalSearch as a webresource on a dashboard and wham! You now have a searchable screen on a dashboard. Think about the possibilities of creating custom dashboards that people will use inside your organization. It should also be mentioned that PowerGlobalSearch is configurable so you can get it searching exactly what you want and configure the reading pane to show the data you want.

Below are a couple of screenshot to see how this work:



Hopefully this will help someone out there. If you need more assistance please reach out to the MSCRM experts at PowerObjects.

Happy CRM'ing

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, Update Rollup 5 and Charts

The Update Rollup 5 has brought many amazing features and improvements to MS Dynamics CRM 2011, and one of those amazing improvements has come to the wonderful world of charts! Charts are one aspect of any program that provide a great deal of information. As a matter of fact, charts reveal more than they hide! A quick glance at a chart can tell us a lot more than a detailed scan of thousands of mundane records. So let's take a look at Update Rollup 5 and charts!

MS Dynamics CRM 2011 already provided great abilities to create charts based on so many system entities (Accounts, Goal Metrics, Recurring Appointments, Cases, Phone Calls…and the list goes on!). However, charts before Update Rollup 5 were simple, and they had one certain limitation – You could create a chart based on only one series (vertical axis), and Category (horizontal axis). However, UR 5 gives us the ability to add as many series and categories as we want, thus giving us an even more detailed view of our data, and making decision making easier.

Creating a chart with multiple series is extremely easy. Let us explain that with a simple example. Suppose we want to see all our active customers (Active Accounts) in all the states. In addition, we also want to look at the combined annual revenue of these customers grouped by state. This is what we will do:

In our left navigation menu, we would go to Accounts, click the "Customize" tab, and Choose Customize Entity.

That opens the Default Solution Window. Here we will click Charts, and then New.

On the new window that opens up, we essentially perform four steps.

  1. Choose a view that would act as data for our chart.
  2. Give the chart a name.
  3. Choose one or more than one Series (vertical axis).
  4. Choose one or more categories.

So, to go with our example, we will first choose Active Accounts from the "View Used for chart preview" dropdown, and enter a name for the chart.

Now it's time to add Series. We would add Account Name first, and for grouping choose Count:All. We also want combined revenue, so we would click "Add a series", and choose Annual Revenue. For grouping, we will choose "Sum". Since we want this data by State, we will add "Address1: State/ Province" in the Horizontal dropdown list.

Note: It is always a good idea to include a description of the chart as well!

And that's it! You can already see a preview of this chart on this window. Detailed charts look cluttered on this small preview screen, however, you can save this chart and add it to your dashboard to get a bigger/ better view.

If you want to change the type of chart, set Top/Bottom rules (e.g.," show me the top 3 states with maximum revenue"), or delete the series, then you would want to use these buttons:

The bigger chart on your dashboard would look like this:

Are there other topics you would like us to discuss? If so, let us know by commenting on this post.

Happy CRM'ing!