Replacing HTML Pages in Dynamics 365 with Power Apps

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As organisations transition to the Unified Interface, this is an ideal opportunity to review the architecture of Dynamics 365 and improve experiences for end users.

If your organisation has been using Dynamics 365 / CRM for many years, your systems may feature the legacy of custom code that supports various customisations. Often this will be HTML pages, or perhaps Silverlight components, which are embedded within forms or launched as pop-ups that provide extended functionality.

In preparation for Dynamics upgrades, these customisations should be subject to a code check to make sure they remain operational which adds a further layer of administration and maintenance.

Following the fundamental changes in platform Dynamics 365 uses, Power Apps component framework (PCF) is now the modern solution for building connected solutions. Compared with the earlier HTML or Silverlight solutions, Power Apps has an immediate advantage by being on the same Microsoft Power Platform. As a result, this is natively connected to Dynamics 365 enabling robust apps to be deployed that don't require pre-upgrade code checks to be performed.

Also, as a modern build solution, Power Apps offer greater flexibility in designing and deploying small scale responsive apps that adapt to mobile and desktop screens which are intuitive for end users. Crucially, the display of these apps presents a smarter, more stylish interface than would previously have been possible within a custom HTML page.

PowerApps Examples

An HTML page that uses a standard pop-up often references one or more Dynamics records enabling users to launch multiple actions such as sending emails, scheduling activities or checking availability.

By converting this type of functionality into a Power App, an improved interface can be deployed that features the same type of custom controls that are available through the Unified Interface. For example, this can include on / off switches, sliders, dials and other controls that provide better visualisations and enable users to easily make changes on any device. This also extends to success and error messages which can be configured with greater flexibility within Power Apps compared to legacy solutions.

In the example below, a legacy visit appointment HTML page for Dynamics 365 is used to check bookings created for a venue on a selected date and specific duration:

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By converting this process to a PCF, a modern layout is enabled. In this instance, the venue selection drop-down has been converted to a standard lookup type field with date and duration criteria shown within a filter overlay. Once set, these filters can be collapsed enabling users to work within a streamlined interface:

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Replacing Customisations with Power Apps

These are just a few examples to demonstrate the benefits of replacing legacy customisations with new PCF solutions built in Power Apps either in house or by a Power Platform Partner. Contact Preact to find out how your organisation can leverage Power Apps to enable smarter, low maintenance displays that will handle your Dynamics 365 customisations.

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