Last week I kicked of my blog series around FieldOne, from Microsoft. Currently FieldOne Sky solution is available for new trial instances of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online Update 1 and you can expect the solution to be available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Online when it hits the ground.
Today I´m going to cover “Do I need special knowledge about installation?”
A simple answer: No, if you´re the O365 Administrator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, familiar with the new solution management from inside the admin console.
The better answer: Yes, cause installation of such solution needs some background knowledge and as a matter of fact, if you click on further information for FieldOne Sky, you currently will be forwarded here.
Presented with a bunch of options for more details you can get, a major step is to sign up for FieldOne, from Microsoft online learning center to get more background knowledge. You have to create an account – which might be subject to change in future – but honestly, I do encourage you to sign up. Some content might change due to the direction Microsoft will go with this solution.
Maybe you´ve heard of FieldOne, from Microsoft being the next step of appointment scheduling inside Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Maybe you think of an extension of the service calendar build inside Dynamics CRM and requested for many years by the community or you think of a clever way of avoiding conflicts during scheduling an appointment.
FieldOne, from Microsoft is more. And though Microsoft is introducing it as a horizontal solution being extensible and customizable in the future – the current solution will still contain a lot of vertical components specialized to fit specific customer care service scheduling scenarios and mobile field management. So please, don´t think of installing it an evaluating it without deeper knowledge about your requirements or at least a fit/gap analysis done by yourself or supported by an implementation partner. Why? Please continue to read.
Assuming you´re not familiar with Field Service scheduling, optimization or management, my advice would be not to install the solution directly inside your production environment without performing one of the courses available from the online learning center or at least staying in contact with an implementation partner who is familiar and can assist.
Why? You might think FieldOne Sky is a managed solution and you should be able to uninstall it anytime and therefore return to your original system. And in fact, after starting installation process and readiness, all the solution components will be listed inside the solutions area in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
But because of the installation is as easy as 1-2-3:
- You would simply select the solution to be installed,
- accept the license agreement you will be presented with
- and immediately the installation process starts in the background
you better be aware what you´re doing.
In my environment this lead to this unfriendly message, while trying to access Microsoft Dynamics CRM right after. Obviously some “bigger” SQL scripts are running in the background preparing and installing the solution itself. And as you can see from the picture above the solution currently contains three components or packages that will be installed. The system needs some background resources for deployment and though you cannot schedule the installation process to start at a specific date/time, you probably shouldn’t start this during business hours. Otherwise your users will already love the new system because of getting that message window.
Keep in mind that this isn´t a fault of the FieldOne Sky solution itself. It is more about an improvement needed from my point of view within the solution admin console inside O365.
I installed FieldOne, from Microsoft inside my environment with german base language and additional english language pack. The progress run without any further complication, but ended in a scenario I did not expected – the solution hasn´t been translated yet?! So in my environment I ended up having a mixture between english / german.
Not a big issue, but it also ended up in a sitemap containing such navigation items. The good news around that one is – it is a solution component, so you can export your translation files and then start translating it the way you want it to be…
Simply export the translation file from your customization area after FieldOne Sky being installed and the extract the solution components. Inside the XML file (opened with MS Excel), you´ll find the f1_ components and will be able to translate them the way you want them to be.
On the other hand, I guess Microsoft will soon ship the according translation files within the solution as it would lead into a lot of work translating it by your own and not knowing the solution logic itself.
FieldOne, from Microsoft installation progress is simple and easy to handle. Installing it in a vanilla system for evaluation / testing can be done with a couple of mouse clicks and takes less then 15 Minutes. Within my next criteria Do I need to spend hours, before I can use it?, I will continue diving deeper into the solution and the components offered. So stay tuned for my next article.