You cannot create a solution with Microsoft Dynamics 365 if you don’t understand it. #HoskCodeWisdom
The goal of Dynamics certifications is to broaden your knowledge, learn how new features work and get a certification to prove you know it — and that’s useful to you and employers.
The benefits of Dynamics certifications are discussed in my posts below:
How to prepare
First of all, understand what you will be tested on and read the certification criteria:
These are the main areas:
- Create a Customer Organizational Structure (25% — 30%)
- Administer the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Environment (25% — 30%)
- Integrate Microsoft Dynamics with Other Applications (20% — 25%)
- Manage Microsoft Outlook and Mobile Environments (25% — 30%)
Look at the details under these because they will include parts of the Dynamics 365 you don’t have experience with. This article explains why you might not have experience with certain areas of Dynamics 365.
I have been getting Dynamics certificates since Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 and I use the same proven steps:
· Watch the Dynamics learning portal videos for the certification for the functionality I don’t know (and sometimes watch them for a refresh).
· Whilst watching the videos I will make study notes. I believe in active reading/watching; otherwise I can’t tell if the information is sinking in or bouncing off.
· For functionality I haven’t used before I create a trial in Dynamics 365 and play with the functionality. Using the functionality is the best teacher.
· I make notes on the limitations of functionality and absolutes because these are the things Microsoft likes to test you on. It’s also easy to read these notes and put them into a quiz to enable you to test your knowledge.
Source of information
- Dynamics learning portal self-paced learning — 81071: Deployment in Microsoft Dynamics 365
- Neil Parkhurst MB2–715 revision guide
- Get yourself a Microsoft Dynamics 365 trial
- Read and learn the study notes below and makes some notes of your own
Hosk study notes
Please note these were made in 2017 and some things could have moved on…
- There are two types of Instances: Production Instances and Non- production Instances.
- Sandbox instance can be put in Administration Mode and System Administrator and System Customizer role can sign in to the instance
- While Copying instance, target instance can be a Sandbox or Preview instance; not a Production instance.
- When an instance is copied, target instance will be deleted and replaced with copy Source instances data, customizations.
- Global administrator can copy all available instances. But Dynamics 365 system administrator can copy instance for which they have system administrator role.
- Notifications are sent to administrators or any additional recipients configured when 80 % for storage limit is reached. If storage limit is reached no new records can be created. Here then data needs to be removed and/ or additional storage needs to be purchased
- Full Copy includes all application data, user, customizations from the source instances and is suitable for UAT, upgrade testing, preview in Production (TAP/EA) and training.
- Minimal copy includes users, customizations and is suitable for iterative team deployment, Partner/ ISV Solutions and Proof of Concepts.
- System backups occur daily.
- System backups are retained up to three days. Check your expiration date.
- System backups do not count against your storage limits.
- You can back up Production and Sandbox instances.
- You can only restore to a Sandbox instance. To restore to a Production instance, first switch it to a Sandbox instance.
- Only CRM Online 2016 Update 1 or later versions are supported for backup.
- On-demand backups are retained for up to three days. Check your expiration date
- The instance remains available while being backed up.
- The instance remains unavailable while being restored.
- Copied instances are copied to the same region as the source instance.
- Instances that are reset are reset to the current region.
- Preview Instances do not consume any of the storage quota purchased for Production and Sandbox instances.
- A tenant can include up to 50 Dynamics 365 (online) production instances and up to 75 non-production (Sandbox) instances.
- Each instance within the tenant receives its own SQL database.
- Dynamics 365 data is not shared across instances.
- Storage is shared across the primary instance and any additional instances.
- All instances for a single customer tenant will be set up in the geography where they initially signed up for their account. Storage consumption is totalled and tracked across all the instances attached to a customer tenant.
- You can set up separate security groups for all instances.
- A licensed Dynamics 365 (online) user can potentially access all the Dynamics 365 (online) instances associated with the tenant. Access is controlled by instance security group membership.
- You can purchase additional instances through the Additional Instance Add-On. Additional instances can be added only to “paid” subscriptions — not trials or Internal Use Rights (IUR). If you purchased your Dynamics 365 (online) subscription through Volume Licensing, you must go through your Large Account Reseller (LAR) to purchase the additional instance.
- You can’t merge existing trials or subscriptions onto an additional instance; instead, you will need to move your data and customizations.
- User accounts, identities, security groups, subscriptions, licenses, and storage cannot be shared among tenants. All tenants can have multiple instances associated with each specific tenant. Dynamics 365 data is not shared across instances or tenants.
- Your instance will not be updated unless you approve it. This means your organization will go without the latest features and functionality until you explicitly give approval for the update to happen. Keep in mind, we do have an update policy that will make some updates mandatory, with no approval required.
- At any given point a customer must be on the current version (n) or a version prior (n-1). For example, if you are on CRM Online 2016 Update (n-2) and chose not to take the available CRM Online 2016 Update 1 (n-1), then you would need to take December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 (online) (n) as a mandatory update.
- Twice per Year new features become available through customer-driven updates in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 instance.
- Office 365 admin centre to add/remove users
- Best practise is to make the user change their password when they login
- You add the user in Office 365 admin centre but you then must log into Dynamics 365 and give them a security role
- Authentication is having a licence and office 365 user
- Authorisation is having a security role
- Removing the Dynamics 365 license makes the user disabled
- Role assignment will stay the same for a disabled user.
- Non-interactive users are for service accounts/integration
- You can have 5 non-interactive accounts
- Non- interactive users can be used for programmatic access
- Non-interactive users don’t consume a licence
- Global Administrator — access office 365 admin centre
- Administrative roles don’t use licences
- Administrative roles can’t see any Sales, Marketing or service records
- Administrative role is set to Administrative on user settings
- To reduce administration, it’s recommended you setup federation because you must have an office 365 user. Synchronise your AD with Azure AD
- A global administrator will, by default, also have systems administration privileges in Dynamics 365
- Global administrator can access Dynamics 365 without a license but they cannot view any records without a Dynamics 365 license in read-write mode
- Global Administrators are the only people who can assign other admin roles
- You can assign alternative email addresses
- Customized Administrator roles
· Billing Administrator
· Dynamics 365 service administrator
· Exchange administrator
· Password administrator
· Skype for business administrator
· Power BI service administrator
· Service administrator
· SharePoint administrator
· User management administrator
- Dynamics 365 is available in two editions. Business and Enterprise. — not any more but the exam might not be updated
- Enterprise is aimed at customers with more than 250 users
- Enterprise can include operations and finance
- Enterprise has dual rights which means you get a free on-premise licence with your on-line licence
- Business edition is aimed at companies with 10–250 users
- Dynamics 365 is based on named users — e.g the license is assigned to a Office 365 user
- Enterprise edition application licenses are often $95 each. Whilst the customer engagement plan, giving access to all of the engagement apps is $115 per user per month
- The Dynamics 365 Plan license, giving total access to all of customer engagement and operations is currently $210. Whilst the Unified Operations Plan is $190.
- Business edition, full users are $40 per use per month. And a Business edition team member license is $5 per user per month.
- One sandbox and one production instance are provided with your first purchase of a Dynamics 365 license.
- Additional sandboxes cost $90ish per month
- One portal is included with any Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan subscription, per tenant, shared across all Customer Engagement Application
- Each portal may only be associated with one instance
- Tenant — an account created in Microsoft Online services
- One tenant > many instances
- Each instance is deployed to a separate SQL database
- Different instances can be used for different tasks — test, dev, training, etc
- Security group — what users can access what instances. g. you could have a developers security group, with access to the development instances
- Two Instances types
· Production instances
· Non-production instances — Sandbox
- Production and sandbox instances are purchased as addons for a subscription
- Trials cannot purchase add-ons
- All instances have names and unique url
- Instances are managed in the Dynamics 365 admin centre
- Sandbox instances have actions not available on production instances such as
· Switch (change from production to sandbox or sandbox to production)
- An admin can switch between product to sandbox and sandbox to production.
- You can only switch instances if you have paid for the different types
- Production instances cannot be reset
- When an instance is reset, it’s deleted and created as a new instance
- Sandbox instance can be moved to Administration mode
- Administration mode, limits access to administrators and customizers
- Administration mode stops back group operations such as Async services and workflows
- All the storage is shared between all instances
- A full copy, Copies an instance copies Data, users and customisations
- Minimal copy only copies users and customisations
- When copying consider how much data you have available and cost
- You might not want developer users to see production data — be careful
- You can only copy instances to a sandbox instance
- You can copy from production or a sandbox instance
- A tenant can include 50 production instances and 75 non-production instances
- Each tenant is bound to the same region
- You can ask Microsoft to create instances in different regions
- You can only copy between instances in the same region
- You can have multiple tenants, you cannot share anything between tenants
- Each tenant is linked to a separate Active directory
- You can enable Admin mode (Administrative Access) and only users with Administrator or System customizer security roles can sign in.
- Administrative access will disable Asnc jobs such as Workflows, async plugins, service side sync)
- You can only enable Admin mode on sandbox instances
- You can switch a production instance to a sandbox instance
- You can delete a sandbox instance
- You cannot delete a production instance
- You can reset a sandbox instance
- You cannot reset a production instance
- Resetting an instance wipes it clean, removes customisations, data, users, everything
- You can copy an instance to a Sandbox instance
- You cannot copy sandbox to production or production to production
- The maximum data you can copy is 100 GB
- Full copy copies customisation, data and users
- Minimal copy copies customisations and users but not data
- Reset an instance, deletes it and recreates it. This is useful to set the sandbox to a different version, free up storage space, delete the data
- Storage is shared between all instances
- If storage capacity is reached, new records cannot be created
- Storage is connected to a subscription not an instance
- You get a warning when 80 percent of storage is reached
- You can add more email recipients to the notification list (e.g. partners)
- You cannot reset a production instance
- A new subscription will provide 10Gb of storage, a free sandbox instance, free portal
- an additional 5Gb will be granted for each 20 full licenses purchased
- You can see your Microsoft Dynamics licenses within the licenses option under billing in Office 365 admin
- There is a limit of 30 TB
- Dynamics 365 has a limit of 300 custom entities
- default a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement subscription will provide 10Gb of storage. Then an additional 5Gb of storage is automatically added for every 20 full users. (Team member licenses do not contribute to this increase.)
- The amount of extra “free” storage is capped at 30Gb.
- Additional storage can be purchased in 1Gb chunks. Up to a maximum of 5Tb of extra storage.
- Updates become available twice a year
- CDU — Customer driven update
- You can skip one update but you cannot skip 2 in a row
- The next update will be mandatory if you skip one
- Patches will be released between major releases
- Update emails are sent prior, during and after the update
- Updates need to approved for each instance
- Your instance won’t be updated without your approval. Unless the update is mandatory where it will be updated without approval (e.g. you must take 1 update per year)
- You must be a Dynamics 365 System administrator to approve an update
- When an update is approved, you can reschedule it as long as it hasn’t started
- When an update has started the reschedule option will no longer be available
- Four stages of an update
· Queue (Not Started)
· Database Upgrade
- You get notifications for
· Service outages
· 80% storage limit reached
· Potential upgrades
SharePoint — Document management
- SharePoint can store documents outside of Dynamics 365 and is a way to save space in Dynamics 365
- SharePoint is server to server integration
- All combinations of Dynamics 365 online/on premise and SharePoint online/on premise are supported
- 1TB of cloud space provided
- You can share documents on OneDrive to provide a more private method of sharing, instead of the public SharePoint
- You need SharePoint integration for OneDrive to work
- You must be assigned an Office 365 licence
- Dynamics 365 on Premise or on line
- You must enable OneDrive for business in System settings
- There is a security privileges called OneDrive for Business, found in in core records à miscellaneous privileges
- OneNote is used to capture notes
- OneNote integrates with Dynamics 365 and On premise
- OneNote notebooks are stored in a SharePoint site
- SharePoint integration must be enabled
- You enable OneNote integration at an entity level
- For enabled entities OneNote notebook will appear on the activity wall, after Notes
Microsoft Skype/Skype for business
- You can configure which skype is used
- It can automatically open when you click on a phone number
Office 365 groups
- Shared workspaces for people to collaborate
- It allows collaboration with Dynamics 365 and Office 365 users (who don’t have Dynamics 365 licences)
- You need an Exchange Mailbox for each user that will use Office 365
- SharePoint integration must be enabled for Office 365 Group users to view documents
- Office Delve uses Machine learning to search all data (but not data held in Dynamics 365)
- Delve can be shown in the Dynamics 365 as a dashboard
- Delve dashboard cannot be shown on Dynamics 365 on premise
Dynamics 365 Apps
- Apps allow you to edit the site map to only show certain entities, regardless of security role
- Apps can be enabled/disabled for one or more security roles
- Each App has its own URL
- The apps suffix will work in the url
- Users can navigate to the app from the menu
- Apps only work in the web client
- Apps can modulise the UI and provide a filtered view
- Apps is another solution enabled entity
- Apps can used Dashboards, Forms and views and Charts and Business process functions
- App validation warns users on missing dependencies during app creation
- App has a sitemap designer, which can be used by non-admin users
- App Source allows you to find apps
- Apps can add Site Map, Dashboards, Business process flows, entities (forms, views, charts)
- PowerApps allow you to create no code apps
- PowerApps can be built from templates
- PowerApps can run in a web browser or mobile device (IOS, Android, Windows phones/tablets.)
- To use PowerApps you need Office 365 or Dynamics 365 licence
- You can access PowerApps from the app selector in Office 365
- Powerapps is free of Office 365 and Dynamics 365 users
- 2 Paid plans for PowerApps
- Free PowerApps cannot use the common Data Service
- 1 paid plan can use the common data service
- 2 paid plan can model your data using common data service and enterprise grade admin
- You can connect powerapps with 90 plus different services
- You don’t write code but can use Excel like formulas
- You can link PowerApps with Flow
- Dynamics 365 for outlook is installed on a user’s computer
- You can track emails, appointments, contacts and tasks
- Dynamics 365 for outlook allows you to work offline
- Dynamics 365 for outlook supports 32 and 64 bit
- Dynamics 365 for outlook works with Windows 7, 7 SP1, 8, 8.1, 10
- Dynamics 365 for outlook works with Windows server 2012 and 2012 R2
- Deploying can be done manually, command line, group policy, remote desktop, Microsoft System Center configuration manager
- To track emails, the outlook email address must match the users email address in Dynamics 365
- You can add multiple instances visible in Outlook
- Only one instance can be a syncing instance
- Offline data is stored on a local Microsoft SQL server express database
- The offline data filters controls what data is downloaded to the users computer
- You cannot add new field or custom field to the synchronisation settings
- Dynamics 365 app for outlook
- Dynamics 365 apps works online not on each users machine
- You can track meetings and appointments not just emails
- Dynamics 365 email templates can be used in the Dynamics 365 app for outlook
- Dynamics 365 doesn’t have built in email functionality
- Server side sync, integrates Exchange and Dynamics 365
- Server side sync doesn’t need Outlook to be running
- Server side sync talks direction with exchange and Dynamics 365
- Incoming — None, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Office outlook, Server side sync or email router or forward mailbox
- Outgoing none, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Office outlook, Server side sync
- Folder level tracking will automatically track emails when they are moved to certain folders
- You can link Exchange rules to move emails into folders and linked with Folder Level tracking
- A limit of 25 rules/folders
- You create folder tracking rules
- Dynamics 365 for phones — uses the same forms as web applications
- Dynamics 365 for phones — CRM onlines 2015 updates 1, CRM 2016 on premises
- Dynamics 365 for phones express — CRM 2013 on prem, on line
- Dynamics 365 for tablets — CRM 2013 online and on premise
- Mobile apps are free for licenced users
- Go to a form and click a field to set if a field is visible on the phone
- Forms are used for both web app and mobile
- Entity metadata has a checkbox — enable for mobile
· Read only in mobile
· Enable for mobile offline
- 2 Security privilege restrict access Dynamics 365 for mobile and Dynamics 365 for phones express
- Mobile security privileges are found in the business management section
- All custom entities can be enabled for all mobile apps
- Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets can make entities read only
- Some system entities cannot be enabled
- Tabs, sections and fields can be hidden from Dynamics 365 for phones
- You cannot hide components (fields, sections, tabs) for Dynamics 365 for tablets
- You can hide components for Phones but not tablets
- Multiple dashboards can be enabled for Dynamics 365 for phones and Dynamics 365 for tablets
- System or user dashboards can be enabled for phones and tablets
- There is a dashboard property called Enable for mobile
- You can only enable offline sync in a production instance
- You need 5+ professional licences or 1 enterprise license
- You need to create mobile offline profile, which defines what data is taken offline
- You can define data to be download as My data, Teams data or business units data
- You need to add users to a mobile profile and publish it
- You can choose to set Synchronization conflicts