Sunday, 10 December 2017

App Designer V9 features including WYSIWYG View Designer

22:33 Posted by Elaiza Benitez , , No comments
I presented the App Designer V9 features in the last Melbourne Dynamics User Group for the year alongside Scott, Andre, Nadeeja and Shane. We all teamed up in presenting the latest and greatest of Dynamics 365 V9. It was the largest attendance we had in 2017 which was awesome!


I'm a huge fan of the App Designer and I've previously vlogged and blogged about it here. This time round I'm showing you some of the old and new features from the V9 Customer Engagement release.

The following is what I covered and you can check this out in my vlog below.
  • Web or Unified Interface
  • Custom welcome page
  • Choose an existing solution and/or sitemap
  • Search Canvas
  • Inline Edit for Site Map
  • Copy and Paste
  • Clone
  • WYSIWYG View Designer

Web or Unified Interface

You can select what type of App you would like to create. Web is the traditional interface you are used to where as Unified Interface is the new look and feel when browsing through a device such as mobile or tablet. This is useful because you can now build dedicated apps for your devices. One current example is I'm working with a client where their employees out and about only need quick and limited information about their customers on their phones, so we built an Unified Interfaced app with reduced information for this purpose.

Custom Welcome Page

This one I did cover previously. You can configure an App to load a Welcome Page that will appear when an end user opens the App.

No more of this lady.


This is great for Dynamics 365 Customers that want to make the experience more personal or display some quick tips outlined to the end user.

The first thing you need to do is create a simple web page. Then you need to upload this file as a Web Resource in a solution.


When creating a new App, you'll be able to select the web resource.


After you're done building your App, you can then test it out.


Choose an existing solution and/or sitemap

You can build an App outside a solution by navigating to Settings >  My Apps > Create New App. In this scenario, you can select the Solution or Sitemap you want to associate the App too. This will still load even though if you create the App in a solution.

Search Canvas

The Search Canvas allows you to search for components within your App Designer which is handy when you have many entities in the App. It allows you to have quick and easy access to the entity.

Inline Edit for Site Map

The Inline Edit allows you to change the label of a component in the Site Map easily without having to use the wizard on the right hand side.

Copy and Paste or Clone

These two are similar in nature from the looks of it. I haven't discovered yet how they differ from each other. They pretty much create the same component you have selected.

Copy and Paste

Clone

WYSIWYG View Designer

This is my personal favourite! I go through this in detail in my vlog so go check it out if you haven't already.

Traditionally you build views through a solution and you add the fields you want to display as columns, adjust the width of the columns and configure sorting. The nitty gritty aspect of this process is having to publish the view, navigating the view and check that it looks alright in terms of position of columns, whether the column width needs to increased etc. It's trial and error.

The WYSIWYG View Designer allows you to review your view in real-time. You can instantly see your information in the view and adjust accordingly. Pretty neat. You can also continue to use AND/OR statements and apply filters.

Limitation I came across

What I did find is that you can't edit views in the WYSIWYG View Designer once you have saved and exited from the view you created. You would need to edit it within the solution. Who knows, it could be made available in a future release.

Summary

Have a play with the App Designer if you haven't done so already. It's really cool and it's changed the user experience as you can now personalize it based on their role and their daily interactions with Dynamics 365. You can create a custom Welcome Page and the new Site Map Designer features of copying and pasting will be handy when replicating the same entities in another Area.

I do like the new WYSIWYG View Designer and I think it's a teaser of what else is coming in terms of making it easier to configure and customize in Dynamics 365.

Till next time, Toodles.

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