Why would you store images and files in CDS?
Dec13

Why would you store images and files in CDS?

Binary data is getting better support in Common Data Service, thanks to the new image and file datatypes. How could we leverage these in Power Apps? Here are some use cases for binary data storage in CDS, as well as comparison to the familiar Attachments feature and the built-in SharePoint document management integration. The post Why would you store images and files in CDS? appeared first on

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Life after CRM: farewell to SurvivingCRM.com
Dec09

Life after CRM: farewell to SurvivingCRM.com

Welcome to Thinking Forward – my new blog built on top of the foundation that was laid by Surviving CRM in 2008-2019. As we’re approaching the turn of the decade, it’s a great moment to push myself into more actively exploring the world beyond CRM. The post Life after CRM: farewell to SurvivingCRM.com appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog Life after CRM:...

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End of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Online
Nov02

End of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Online

I always prefer to use precise terminology when talking about the technologies that are part of my trade. Some might consider me a pedantic guy who’s always correcting some insignificant details in documents or presentations that cover Microsoft technologies but aren’t using their correct names. Yeah, the customers reading them probably wouldn’t notice the difference, but if you let go of your… Continue Reading...

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Licensing is NOT a security mechanism
Oct28

Licensing is NOT a security mechanism

Licensing remains a topic that no one claims to like yet everyone keeps on talking about. October 2019 saw what was undoubtedly the biggest number of changes to Microsoft Business Applications SKUs (i.e. items that MS sells), with the end of Dynamics 365 Plan licenses and new models for licensing PowerApps & Flow. Not to mention the new structure that ties licenses closely to API call limits…. Continue Reading Jukka...

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Sharing Apps Is Caring
Oct24

Sharing Apps Is Caring

A while ago there was an announcement made on the PowerApps team blog about “Share canvas apps with guests in your organization”. Launched in public preview, this feature makes it (almost) as simple to share apps with a guest user as it is with internal users from your company. Basically all you need to do is invite them as guests into your tenant, by leveraging the Azure AD B2B… Continue Reading Jukka...

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PowerApps licenses and a Dynamics 365 environment
Sep19

PowerApps licenses and a Dynamics 365 environment

Believe it or not, Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement applications from Microsoft are built on top of Power Platform. No, they didn’t originally start that way, but as the Citizen Application Platform technology from the PowerApps side merged with the former Microsoft Business Solutions product that was originally built to be an extendable CRM system, that is the end result today. As an… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Licensing by consumption: pricing model of Power Platform online services
Sep12

Licensing by consumption: pricing model of Power Platform online services

On the topic of Dynamics 365 and PowerApps licensing changes coming in October 2019, I earlier wrote about the biggest change in how Microsoft is separating the first party applications and the underlying platform in the new Per App pricing model. There’s another aspect in the coming licensing updates that has also caused a lot of concern among partners and customers: the API call limits…. Continue Reading Jukka...

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Canvas Apps for the Model-driven mind: how to make that leap
Aug30

Canvas Apps for the Model-driven mind: how to make that leap

Business applications come in all shapes and sizes. In the Microsoft ecosystem, we now have a broader set of tools to choose from, compared to the past strategies of Build vs. Buy, i.e. writing code to develop a custom application vs. using an application platform to configure the desired functionality. The birth of Power Platform and especially PowerApps as the underlying platform technology… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Application/Platform Separation in New PowerApps Licensing Model
Aug12

Application/Platform Separation in New PowerApps Licensing Model

Ever since Spring 2018 when the XRM and PowerApps platforms merged on a commercial level, I’ve found myself spending an ever increasing number of hours per week involved in licensing discussions and scenario planning. My initial exploration of the platform licensing back then came to the conclusion that many of the crucial details for actually determining what you can & can’t do with PowerApps… Continue Reading...

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4 directions for Power Platform business growth
Jul16

4 directions for Power Platform business growth

It’s now roughly one year since Microsoft launched the concept of Power Platform. It’s been extremely interesting in the past 12 months to watch how this new platform strategy starts to play out in the world outside Redmond, as the pieces of this grand puzzle begin to become visible here and there. Having worked in the MS ecosystem on customer & partner side for 14 years now and coming from… Continue Reading...

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2 become 1 UI: PowerApps Roadmap from MBAS
Jun21

2 become 1 UI: PowerApps Roadmap from MBAS

Have you looked at the MBAS Gallery yet? Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2019 was last week and already the majority of sessions have been published online for also non-attendees to enjoy. Even if you attended the conference in Atlanta, there’s a chance that you may have missed a few sessions, with there being 200+ of them in 2+1 days. Live recordings of sessions are nice – if… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Catching the Wave 2 for 2019 Power Platform Updates
Jun10

Catching the Wave 2 for 2019 Power Platform Updates

Today, June 10th, at Microsoft Business Application Summit 2019 the release plan for the next wave of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform features was announced. It’s of course no surprise that this main event of the year for #MSBizApps would be used as the forum for showing what’s coming next. What kind of did surprise myself was that we actually are already at a point when the focus starts… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Why You Should Become a #PowerAddict
Jun04

Why You Should Become a #PowerAddict

Recently I was tagged to do a “confession” in the #WeArePowerAddicts challenge, started by MVP Vivek Bavishi. There’s been a massive amount of support for this over on Twitter, where many of the finest members of the community are enforcing the message that is bringing all of us together. In this post I’ll cover three aspects that I find so intriguing with this movement that is… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on...

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Building The Platform for Every Developer
May09

Building The Platform for Every Developer

For the first time ever at Microsoft Build conference, the Power Platform was presented right at the start of Satya’s keynote this year! Woo-hoo! Of course this time last year there wasn’t yet the name “Power Platform” to even reference at Build. We had only just seen the merger of XRM and PowerApps into something that was a bit of a puzzle to communicate to partners, let alone… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on...

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PowerApps “Starter” Plans Capabilities Demystified
Apr28

PowerApps “Starter” Plans Capabilities Demystified

There are many ways to get started with PowerApps on the cheap. What I mean by cheap here is the types of licenses that have certain limitations on what you’re allowed to do with the PowerApps platform and apps, in exchange for their lower cost. In other words, “less than PowerApps P2 capabilities.” In this article I’ll try to illustrate what these limitations are, especially when… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article...

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The Real Common Data Service Emerges
Apr08

The Real Common Data Service Emerges

When Microsoft announced one year ago that XRM would become CDS v2.0 (officially Common Data Service for Apps), there wasn’t yet any big system redesign implemented to make this a physical reality. Today we are much further down that road where CDS truly becomes a Service that has less and less to do with the familiar XRM databases that we’ve previously been working with. In this blog… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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New Courses for Learning Power Platform & Dynamics 365
Mar05

New Courses for Learning Power Platform & Dynamics 365

Microsoft announced in December 2018 that they were retiring many of the Dynamics 365 exams that previously were part of the MCSA and MCSE Business Applications certifications. Shortly after that, there was a brand new set of certifications and their associated exams announced. The exams are: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Core (MB-200)Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (

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Demystifying Dynamics 365 & Power Platform Licensing: Part 2
Feb03

Demystifying Dynamics 365 & Power Platform Licensing: Part 2

In the previous post I highlighted some of the recent updates on Dynamics 365 licensing. Now let’s have a look at how the birth of Power Platform has further expanded the licensing options for delivering business applications to customers. Just like before, the content is taken from my session at Dynamics Power 365 Saturday London 2019 and you’ll find the complete slide deck on SlideShare:

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Demystifying Dynamics 365 & Power Platform Licensing: Part 1
Jan31

Demystifying Dynamics 365 & Power Platform Licensing: Part 1

At Dynamics Power 365 Saturday London 2019 I presented on a topic that I had never attempted to cover in any public forum earlier: licensing. In fact, I bet it’s an area most members of the Dynamics 365 community would want to avoid touching at all cost in their sessions. It’s even worse if you’re a technical specialist working for Microsoft, because then you’re under strict guidance on not to… Continue...

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What’s Coming in April 2019? Start from PowerApps & Flow

As promised, Microsoft published the release notes for the April 2019 release wave on January 21st. Instead of just a high level blog post, there’s a huge list of items in 16 top level categories at the docs.microsoft.com site. If you want to consume the content in an offline mode, there’s a PDF version available of the same content, with 315 pages of April 2019 release notes. 315… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article...

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4 Stages of MS Cloud Business Apps Evolution
Jan12

4 Stages of MS Cloud Business Apps Evolution

In the past I’ve written about the History of Microsoft CRM from it’s first 10 years. I’ve also explored how the platform evolution up until Dynamics CRM 2013 had changed the product and how we worked with it. This time I want to focus on specifically the Microsoft Cloud era. I started to think about the different focus areas that we’ve seen on the journey that’s taken us from… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on...

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Top 3 Themes for Dynamics 365 in 2018
Dec30

Top 3 Themes for Dynamics 365 in 2018

This time last year I wrote my Top 3 themes of 2017 article on what were the major events and directions from the year for the Dynamics 365 ecosystem. The start of a brand new year always feels like the logical moment to reflect back on the past 365 days, so this sounds like a worthy tradition to keep going. Here are my Top 3 picks from 2018 and some thoughts on how they might influence the… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Playbooks for Dynamics 365 Activity Templates
Nov06

Playbooks for Dynamics 365 Activity Templates

In my previous post I explored the current Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement solution update practices and used the Playbooks feature as an example. Here’s a quick overview of what the actual Playbooks offer. The official MS documentation, “enforce best practices with playbooks”, gives you a list of what the initial October ’18 release of Playbooks contains. The feature is essentially… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Keeping Dynamics 365 Apps Up to Date

We’re living in the “post-October” era where many of the new Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement features promised in the Oct ’18 Release are materializing into the live environments. Not all of them, though, since that space train carrying the Business Applications release bits has been scheduled to run from October 2018 to March 2019, as you can clearly see:  While some features… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on...

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Ignite 2018 & The Power of Microsoft’s Platform
Oct08

Ignite 2018 & The Power of Microsoft’s Platform

Just like last year, I was fortunate to be able to escape the chilly Finnish autumn weather to sunny and warm Orlando this September, to attend the Microsoft Ignite 2018 conference. This time my visit to Florida did not contain a whole lot of sunlight, though, as my stay in that region was focused strictly on the days of the event, which meant I was mostly wandering back and forth the endless… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Unified Experiences in October 2018 Release
Sep06

Unified Experiences in October 2018 Release

The October ’18 of Microsoft Business Applications is going to bring a whole bunch of exciting features, spread across the huge stack of products and apps that either make up or operate on the Power Platform. Much of them will be specific to an area that only some of the users or developers work with in their specific customer scenarios, but there are also going to be updates that will be… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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The End Is Near for Dynamics 365 (Customer Driven) Updates
Aug22

The End Is Near for Dynamics 365 (Customer Driven) Updates

Have you been administering organizations running on the online version of Dynamics CRM / Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement for a while now? If so, you will be familiar with this screen: That is essentially CDU in flesh. CDU of course stands for Customer Driven Update, the process through which Microsoft has allowed online customers to decide when their instances are updated to the latest… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Winter in July: Release Notes for Next Dynamics 365 Version
Jul25

Winter in July: Release Notes for Next Dynamics 365 Version

While I’m over in Finland enjoying the biggest and longest heatwave ever, some of my fellow MVPs and Dynamics 365 community members were attending the first ever Microsoft Business Applications Summit this week on the other side of the globe in Seattle. As much as I would have enjoyed sitting in cold & dark conference rooms instead of trying to hide from the burning sunlight, this time I had… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Unified Interface Form Design Notes
Jul10

Unified Interface Form Design Notes

It’s been around a year since Microsoft announced that Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement would be moving from the world of separate web, mobile and Outlook clients into a single Unified Interface (or UCI, as in “Unified Client Infrastructure”). At that time I made a prediction that this level of shift in the client technology would be a long road, and to date that still pretty much holds… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Card Forms and List Views in Unified Interface
Jul04

Card Forms and List Views in Unified Interface

Since the beginning of time, meaning early days of MS CRM, we’ve grown accustomed to the fact that record fields in Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement can be presented either via entity forms or entity views. The entity form shows the editable fields of a single record, whereas the entity view gives us a list of many records from the same entity. Views used to be read only, but as Microsoft… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Business Application Platform at Microsoft Build 2018
May12

Business Application Platform at Microsoft Build 2018

Build is the lead event for all things developer related in the Microsoft ecosystem. This year was the first time that the Business Applications side of MS’s stack also had dedicated tracks in the event agenda. While I didn’t attend the event myself (the Elisa Microsoft developer community was of course represented in Seattle), I was quite curious to see what kind of story is being told to… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Exploring CDS for Apps Platform Licensing (PowerApps)
May10

Exploring CDS for Apps Platform Licensing (PowerApps)

When Microsoft originally made the Spring 2018 release announcement for Business Applications products and essentially promoted XRM to be the Common Data Service for Apps, they didn’t yet disclose the finer details about how the CDS for Apps license model would work outside the Dynamics 365 Apps and Plans that we’re familiar with. On May 1st the details were revealed alongside the blog… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Discussing Spring 2018 Highlights at CRM Rocks
Apr17

Discussing Spring 2018 Highlights at CRM Rocks

When Microsoft originally made the Spring 2018 release announcement for Business Applications products and essentially promoted XRM to be the Common Data Service for Apps, they didn’t yet disclose the finer details about how the CDS for Apps license model would work outside the Dynamics 365 Apps and Plans that we’re familiar with. On May […] Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog

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Yes, XRM Is The New Common Data Service
Mar21

Yes, XRM Is The New Common Data Service

In November 2016 I wrote an article on LinkedIn with the title “No, Common Data Service is not the new XRM”. This was my response to the speculation that had emerged from Microsoft’s announcement of a new cloud-native platform to store, model and integrate business data with other (cloud) applications. This platform called CDS was seen as a potential replacement to XRM that had been born… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Microsoft Business Forward 2018 Event and Spring Wave for Dynamics 365
Mar21

Microsoft Business Forward 2018 Event and Spring Wave for Dynamics 365

The public launch of the Dynamics 365 Spring Wave was at the Microsoft Business Forward event in Amsterdam on March 21st, 2018. Here are some highlights from the event, shared over on Twitter with the #MSBusinessFwd and #MSDyn365 hashtags. (If you’re viewing this post on Dynamics Community page then you might want to visit the original post on Surviving CRM site to see the embedded… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Trial & Error: Understanding Dynamics 365 CE Trials
Feb26

Trial & Error: Understanding Dynamics 365 CE Trials

With SaaS products like Dynamics 365, getting the process of running a free trial right is crucial for the commercial success of products. This is why you may have seen Microsoft also perform a lot of changes into the process how you’ve been able to spin up trials of CRM Online instances, nowadays known as Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement. Or “Dynamics 365 for X”, with the “X” being… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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In Praise Of Code and No-Code
Feb12

In Praise Of Code and No-Code

Two weeks ago Neil Benson wrote an excellent article on LinkedIn, as a response to a claim that everyone working as a functional consultant in a Dynamics 365 project team should also know how to write code. This really resonated with me and I shared the article, along with a bit of commentary of my own. My post, in turn, started to gain quite a lot of traction on the LinkedIn feed. It looks… Continue Reading Jukka...

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