5 Deprecated Features to Replace When You Transition to the Unified Interface
If your organisation hasn't yet enabled the Unified Interface for Dynamics 365 you should be actively planning for this as automatic transition dates are now being scheduled.
To ensure a smooth transition to the new UI, preparations should include identifying if any components in your Dynamics environment are at risk of breaking, or will no longer be available, when users move to the new experience.
This could include reviewing existing plugins and custom scripts but if your organisation has been using Dynamics Online for many years, some deprecated features may still be in active use.
As part of its updates, Microsoft often announces some Dynamics features will be deprecated as these are replaced with newer solutions. Deprecated doesn't immediately mean removed because a deprecation notice may span a year or more, and in some instances a precise removal date hasn't been communicated.
The classic web client is the most impactful deprecated feature for as long as Preact has worked with Dynamics 365 / CRM. Partly, this is because until 2019, it was used by virtually every Online customer. Also, the removal of the legacy UI in 2020 will mean the end for other previously deprecated features as these are not available the Unified Interface.
Based on our experiences in helping clients transition to the new UI, here we've highlighted five of these features, deprecated since 2017, which aren't available in the Unified Interface.
Contact Preact if you have any questions about transitioning to the new UI and mapping deprecated function
Designed for customer service scenarios, this feature pre-dated the release of Dynamics 365 Field Service. It has since been replaced with Universal Resource Scheduling in the new UI to handle resource scheduling for any service activity.
RELATED: Service Scheduling Guide
Another feature designed for customer service, the original Service Level Agreement has been replaced by 'enhanced' SLAs. These use separate entities and offer extended capabilities including the option to pause on-hold cases for a time while awaiting a customer response.
Before the introduction of guided process flows we had Dialogs to standardise processes. As Dialogs are not available in the Unified Interface, a guided flow will often be the best solution to assist users with step by step instructions through any repeatable process. These can be supported with conditional branching logic and other controls to apply bespoke processing rules and methodology. In other scenarios, an embedded Power App may prove a better alternative.
Contracts, Contract Line Items and Contract Templates have been replaced by Entitlements to provide greater control over the type, and the amount of support, a customer is entitled to receive. Capacity can be stated in terms of the number of cases, or available hours.
In addition to tracking the dates that a customer is entitled to receive support, the Entitlements entity will handle contracts that stipulate a maximum number of cases and / or a maximum consumption of support time. Entitlement terms can be defined across multiple channels which can be product specific and restrict support to named contacts only.
In 2016, server-side document generation using Word and Excel templates was introduced enabling standardised documents or customized data tables to be produced. As a result, the earlier mail merging feature has been deprecated which included the mail-merge Word add-in and mail-merge templates.
Please get in touch if you are unsure if these, or any other, deprecated features are being actively used in your Dynamics 365 Online environment. If you need any assistance in mapping your processes to the new functionality, or transitioning to the Unified Interface we'll answer your questions and support this process.