Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Workflow Editor won't open in Dynamics 365 for Operations

I have ran into this problem a few times, and for the life of me I could not figure out what it was. What happens is that I am giving a demo and want to show the workflow editor in Dynamics 365 for Operations. But when I click on a workflow to open the editor, it tries to do the one-click install and I get this fantastic error "Unable to retrieve application. Files missing in deployment".

So, now what do you do? Well in my case I could not figure out why it was happening sometimes and not other times. I found first that if I did it from inside the VM for my Azure hosted environment it would always work. So that is an OK work-around in a short notice demonstration. But it is certainly not ideal, as I prefer to demo straight from my web browser.

Then, I figured out that it has to do with the browser I was using locally. I have both IE 10 and Google Chrome installed on my laptop and sometimes I was opening the portal from one browser versus the other. We have this running joke at my company that if it doesn't work in IE you should try it in Chrome (and maybe a lot of people assume this).  Well because of this running joke, and my history of things just running better in Chrome, I have been using Chrome to do all my demos. As it turns out, Chrome was the problem with my one-click installer. (I guess my running joke is on me now :) )

So, if you do it in a new version of Internet Explorer, the one-click installation will just work. (This technically applies to both the Workflow Editor, and the Financial Report Designer (formerly called Management Reporter) one-click installations that happen when you open them from inside Dynamics 365 for Operations. )

THE SOLUTION:
In Google Chrome you will need to do a few basic things to get your one-click installations to actually be one-click:
  1. Download and install a an Extension to support one-click installation.
  2. Enable the extension (this should happen automatically when you install it) In my case, I was using Incognito mode, so I had to enable the extension specifically for Incognito mode. I almost always use Incognito mode when I am demoing because I use one domain and user name for demos and a different one for my real work. By using the Incognito mode, I ensure that I don't accidently demo something from my real Office 365 account that I use to do my day to day business.

The Extension that I chose and installed is found here:



You will want to click the Add to Chrome button and then follow the installation instructions.

If you need to enable the extension or enable for Incognito mode, then follow these steps:
  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Click the Customize and control Google Chrome button in the upper right corner of the browser


  1. On the Chrome Settings page, click Extensions on the left navigation bar.
  2. Then find your extension in the list.
  3. Make sure the Enabled check box is selected.
  4. Optionally, select the Allow in incognito check box to allow this to be used while in incognito mode.

When you are finished you can close the browser window. Note that after installing and changing the settings you will need to completely close you browser window and reopen it in order for the changes to take effect. When you click on the link again in Dynamics 365 for Operation to open the Workflow Editor or Management Reporter, the system will now be able to successfully install and launch the editor. It is also important to remember that the Workflow Editor will prompt you to log in again with your Dynamics 365 for Operations user name and password.

Another after thought on this...Make sure that the URL for your Dynamics 365 for Operations installation is set to always allow pop-ups. If it is not you may have to click allow pop-ups every time. This is technically true for just about any browser depending on your settings.

Thursday, April 6, 2017



Now, I don't want to get you all too excited; but this step is my favorite step so far in the Dynamics 365 journey to the ultimate Dynamics 365 environment. This is where I deploy the CRM components which are called Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation. After you complete this step it may feel like you have achieved your goal (and you really have). But…there are still some things you will want to do after you deploy the CRM environments. I will talk through those things and write a whole series to show you how to get your mobile apps working with your ultimate 365 environment as well. I have been having some fun playing around with the mobile apps and I would almost rather skip to that - but I don't think it would be super helpful to you since you don't have the CRM pieces yet.  So with that, why don't I stop blabbing about what I want to show and just walk you through it?
  
  1. Open portal.office.com.
  2. Log in with your credentials.
  3. On the Office 365 portal home page, click Admin.

  1. You may be prompted to log in again, if so enter your credentials again.
  2. A new tab will open in your browser with the Admin center for Office 365.
  3. Click Admin centers to expand, and then select Dynamics 365 from the list.


  1. A new tab will open with the Dynamics 365 Administration Center.
  2. On the Instances tab page, select an instance from the list where the STATE is Instance to configure, and the INSTANCE TYPE is Sandbox. (If you are trying to deploy a production environment then choose production).
  3. Then click CONFIGURE in the pane to the right of the instance.

  1. On the Configure instance page, select the check box for All of these.
  2. In the Name field, type a unique recognizable name such as Development or Test for example.
  3. In the URL field, type what you want to be included in your URL. For example, this would probably include your company name and DEV or TEST.
  4. In the Purpose field, type a description for what the environment will be used for.
  5. You can optionally select a Security Group. Any users that are a part of the group will be added as users in the environment. You create the Security groups back in the Office 365 Admin portal. I will write another article explaining that process in case you don't know how to do that. You can also deploy the environment and add a security group later if you want.
  6. Click Configure.



This process may take a few hours to complete, but once it is done, you will have tiles for operations, sales, customer service, field service, and project service automation. We will take a closer look at this in a later blog.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Create a Cloud Hosted D365 for Operations Environment



OK folks, drum roll please. In the previous blogs in my series to get to the #UltimateDynamics365 environment I have been leading you blindly through a set of very strange activities that will get you prepared to deploy an Operations environment. In this blog, wait for it…I will finally actually show you how to deploy said Operations environment.

Now for a few disclaimers. I am using a CSP deployed environment that will look much like a customer environment that looks just like a Customer/Production LCS account.  I am deploying a cloud hosted environment in this example which is not a production environment (or technically even a sandbox) that is deployed into the Microsoft Cloud that is used for customer production environments (these have all the fancy high availability and disaster record stuff and cost a lot more to deploy). I will be posting another blog soon on that process. But I have to have my "on boarding" call with Microsoft before they will enable the environments to be deployed.

Any customer or partner can do this type of deployment. Depending on your needs, you may choose to make cloud hosted environment and when you do you can make them available in your home.dynamics.com portal and they can work with your CRM components of your environment.



  1. Open lcs.dynamics.com in your web browser.
  2. Log in with your credentials.
  3. Select the LCS project you want to add a Azure subscription to from the list.
  4. Click the Hamburger menu button.
  5. Select Cloud-hosted environments from the list.


  1. On the Cloud-hosted environments page, click Add.
  2. On the Select environment topology page, select Azure.
  3. On the next Select environment topology page, select DEMO. (Now as a side note, you can select DEVTEST - however this requires that you have configured Visual Studio Team Services in your LCS project, which I have not shown yet.) I will post again about the differences between the two environments.)
  4. On the next Select environment topology page, select Dynamics 365 for Operations - Develop (Release 1611, Platform Update 4). (This is the most current release - but obviously you can pick any version of the software you want.)
  5. On the Deploy environment page, type  a unique name in the Environment name field. 
  6. In the grid for the virtual machines, Use the Size drop-down to select D13 v2 for both images. (This is the biggest, fastest server you can choose. This is not required, but you can pick any size you want really. This will change your costs for hosting the environment as well.)
  7. Click Advanced settings.


  1. On the Deployment settings page click the Visual Studio Team Services tab.
  2. In the Specify a name for the Build virtual machine field type a name. 
  3. Click the Dynamics 365 for Operations tab.
  4. Select Enable in the Publish this environment to Dynamics 365 home page. This is quite literally the most important step. If you forget to do this, your image will not be available in the Dynamics Home page. With this type of environment it is also important to note that you cannot change this setting after you deploy it.
  5. Click the Customize virtual network tab.
  6. Type a name in the Virtual network name field. 
  7. Click Done.
  8. Select the "By selecting this check box, you agree to the pricing and licensing terms below." check box.
  9. Click Next, and then click Deploy to confirm that you want to deploy an environment. If you receive an error, wait a few moments and then try again.

Tada! Now you have an environment deploying. This might take anywhere from 3-12 hours to actually deploy. It just depends on how busy Microsoft is deploying environments for other people. I will show you how to check on the status of your environment and see it in the Dynamics Home page in a later post.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Linking an Azure Subscription to an LCS Project

Next up in my journey to the "Ultimate Dynamics 365 Environment" we will need to link an azure subscription to our LCS project. It is important to note that before you can start to deploy new cloud hosted environments in Azure through LCS, you will need to link one or more azure subscriptions to your LCS project. You will also need to authorize the azure subscription to have access to deploy the environment. This part is technically a two part process. Where in the first part you have to go into Azure and give security to the Dynamics Deployment service and in the second part which I will describe in this blog is to click on the Authorize buttons in the projects settings. I reviewed the steps for the Azure portion of this in my last blog.


1. Open
lcs.dynamics.com in your web browser.
2. Log in with your credentials.
3. Select the LCS project you want to add a Azure subscription to from the list.
4. Click the Hamburger menu button.
5. Select Project settings from the list.
6. On the Project settings page, click the Azure connectors tab.
7. Click the Authorize link. 


8. On the Grant admin consent page, verify that the Authorization status is "Authorization complete". If it is not, then  click the Authorize link, and complete the steps. You will be prompted to log in with  your LCS credentials again.
9. Click the Back button on your browser to return to the Project settings page.
10. Click the Azure connector tab.
11. Click Add under the Azure connectors area.
12. In the Name field enter recognizable name for the subscription. For example if the subscription will be used for your Test environment type Test.
13. In the Azure subscription ID field copy and paste the GUID for the azure subscription you configured in the Azure Portal.
14. Select Yes on the Configure to use Azure Resource Manager (ARM) slider.
15. Click Next.
16. On the Microsoft Azure setup page, verify that the configuration is valid and click Next.
17. On the next Microsoft Azure setup page, click Next.
18. On the next Microsoft Azure setup page, select the Azure region, and then click Connect.
19. Verify the Azure subscription is added:


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Creating and Managing LCS Projects


The next step in the process of reaching the "ultimate Dynamics 365 environment" is to create and manage your LCS project. Now, if you are a customer who has purchased Dynamics 365 licenses for Operations then Microsoft will create a project for you. You can still create more projects if you want to but it would be somewhat silly. If you are a partner and trying to set up one of these you will either need to purchase some licenses or deploy one of these through the CSP portal. In which case, you would probably want to create a new project. Either way I will provide you the steps to create a new LCS project.

Create an LCS Project
1. Open lcs.dynamics.com in your web browser.
2. Log in with your credentials. (If you do not have credentials, you will either need to create an account or work with your administrator. If you are a Global admin in Office 365 then you can go to office.portal.com and log in, Click Admin to go to the Admin center, then click Admin > Dynamics 365 for Operations. This will take you over to LCS with your credentials that you logged into Office 365 with.)
3. On the LCS home page click the Add icon in the Recent projects area.

4. On the Create a project pane, type a unique name for your project in the Name field. For example if this project will be used for a Demo environment you might type "Demo". If you are a customer and you want a separate project for Developers, for example, you might type "Development".
5. Type a detail description in the Description field.
6. In the Product name field, select Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations.
7. In the Industry field, select an appropriate industry or if one of the options does not apply to your organization, select Other.
8. Click Create.


Add a Project User to the LCS Project
The next step in the process is to add users to your project. Users are required for anyone that needs access to manage or monitor your environment. If you are using the Business process library or other features, a user would need access to be able to manage and upload documents, modify the methodology and so on. 
 
1. Open lcs.dynamics.com in your web browser.
2. Log in with your credentials.
3. Select the LCS project you want to add a user to from the list.
4. Click the Hamburger menu button. (That really is the real name for that funny little button with three horizontal lines - the more you know!)
5. Select Project users from the list.

6. On the Project user management page, click the Add icon to create a new user.
7. In the Email field you can do one of two things:
      a. If the user you are adding is part of your organization (a user in your Office 365 tenancy or AAD tenancy) then you can use the User lookup field to find the user.
      b. If the user is not part of your organization, or you just want to type an email address, then enter that email address into the Email field.
8. In the Project role field, select the role you want to assign to the user.
9. Click Invite.


Here is a link to the Wiki that has more information about project security and the roles.  You can also read here more about how to create organization users. Microsoft recommends managing all users through Organization users by adding them into your AAD, CustomerSource, or PartnerSource first. The article contains more information about Customer and Partner Source as well.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How to Give an Azure Subscription Security Rights to Deploy ARM Enabled Images in LCS


I will apologize upfront for my disappearance off the face of the earth for the last month or so. Family and health issues had to take the wheel while my blogging activities were literally shoved into a dark trunk and the key was thrown away. But alas! I am back.
 
For my grand re-entry, I have decided to write about my journey of deploying new Dynamics 365 environments with everything inside of them. Yes, that means all the CRM components such as Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation, along with Operations! I know you must be as excited as I am about this.
 
In this blog I will be reviewing the steps that you will need to take inside Azure to ready your Azure subscription to be able to deploy an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) enabled environment in Lifecycle Services (LCS). This will be required for your Dynamics 365 for Operations application to be available in the Dynamics 365 home page.
 
Before you can add ARM enabled, cloud hosted environments to an LCS project, you will need to grant access within Azure to the Dynamics Deployment service. The following procedure shows how to add the security access in the Azure subscription.
1. Go to portal.azure.com
2. Log in with your credentials.
3. In the Azure Portal click More services at the bottom of the Navigation Pane.
4. Click Subscriptions.

5. Click the Subscription in the list that you want to update.
6. Click Access control (IAM) in the Subscription navigation pane.
7. Click Roles on the right pane.
8. On the Roles page, click Contributor in the list.
9. In the Contributor pane, click Add.
10. In the Add users pane, type dynamics in the Select box.
11. Click Dynamics Deployment Services from the list.
12. Click Select.
13. Once the security is added, a message will appear. Close the Roles pane.
 
Now that you have granted the access, the next step is to create your LCS project and link your azure subscription. We will take a look at that process in my next blog. Until then, happy Azure-ing!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

8 Ways to Save Time and Money - Part 8: Security Audit

Last, but surely not least, on my list of 8 ways to save time and money is the pesky security audit. You might chalk it up to that Master Card commercial again. Another way to think of it is that you probably don't want to find out the hard way that you are not compliant with your licensing or that your business is at risk for leaking important or even confidential information.

Every organization needs to balance its users' technology needs — speed, ease of use and convenience — against the critical need to keep information safe and secure against a variety of sophisticated threats and potential liability. This is why every organization needs to perform information technology audits.


One of my coworkers has written an article about how to avoid risks when selected a technology service provider. You can read that article here.

If you are using Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 you can run the Named user license report found in the System administration module. The report contains a list of users and their assigned security roles. You can also use this report to analyze the duties and privileges of each user. You can read a detailed blog article about this here

Be sure to run the periodic job found in the Inquiries area of System administration before running this report. This job populates data in a series of tables, you can query those tables directly to generate more detailed reports about your security in any version of Dynamics AX.

Another great option in AX 2012 is to keep track of what changes are being made to your security role assignments. Here is a great blog that explains how you can do this in Dynamics AX.

Also, if you are running AX 2012 R2, be aware that there are some hot fixes that you may need to apply in order comply with the MS licensing guide. You can read more about this issue and how to apply the hot fix here.

In the current release of Dynamics 365 for Operations the Named user license report no longer exists. Part of this is because the licensing model is still a bit of a moving target. You best bet is to work closely with your Partner to ensure you are compliant. And, be on the look out for a new report coming in the future from Microsoft. 

If you need help completing a security audit you can read more about my companies service offerings here.