Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Unified Interface

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Unified Interface (UI) for Customer Engagement (CE) has been around for a little while. We’re now getting nearer the point when it’s going to become the only interface for running it.

So what is it?

The result of Microsoft’s move to putting its Dynamics 365 Suite onto the Common Data Service is that the traditional browser classic way of accessing programs like CE will move into what is essentially a Power App.

UI1Figure1: The classic experience menu

UI2Figure 2: A classic experience record view

This means the UI will look more like what CE currently looks like in its mobile apps version, hence the term "unified". That will mean the desktop version is the same version as the mobile app, which is good as it brings in useful things like design once, use everywhere and automatic resizing as you change your screen size.

UI3Figure 3: Upcoming April 2019 UI record view with menu
(…notice the tabs on the record)

Why plan to use it?

Microsoft have been saying that the UI will become the default user experience and the classic experience will be removed. Up to now we’ve not been keen to push the UI to our customers as it hasn’t had all the functionality of the classic interface, but the upcoming April 2019 update gets more equality. What is even more interesting is that for the first time it appears that some of the new features coming in the April update may only work in the new UI.

Do I definitely have to use it?

Not yet, and even not necessarily after the April 2019 update. Microsoft’s move to the UI has been first to put new customers onto it since October 2018 and let existing customers have the option to use it if they wanted, but even as a CE administrator you couldn’t force your users into it, and we all know how well change is accepted.

In April we move a step closer by administrators having the option to set the UI as default, we feel that we are probably then only one update away (perhaps October 2019) from even that choice going away when all CE users will be defaulted to the UI.

So what do I need to do?

Users can experience the current version of the UI now by opening either the customer service hub or sales hub as shown below:

UI4Note that formatting and presentation of your fields may be a bit all over the place as it starts with the format that you currently have in the classic interface and this leads to the planning that you need to do.

To get ready for using the UI you need to take a copy of your current CE and load it into a “sandbox” instance, to which you can then control who has access. If you wish to do this before the April release, you need to also upgrade the sandbox to what the April release would look like.

Even though we do not have any definitive statement that the October 2019 update will remove the classic experience altogether, we do recommend you consider moving to the UI sometime before the October release in case it does happen and you end up in a rush. Plus you may want to utilise some of the new features releasing in April 2019.

GCC will be issuing further Blogs updates on some of the new features coming to Dynamics 365 in the next few weeks.

Further Information

If you have any questions about the Unified Interface or need assistance in planning for this change, please contact the GCC Dynamics Team on 0845 260 1161 or at sales@gcc.co.uk