This important step is needed not only to benefit from the map view features build inside the solution. It is also a required step for the FieldOne Sky service used by the Scheduling Assistance or Auto Route feature.
All addresses such as Start-Location, End-Location, Service Accounts, Billing-Accounts, etc. can be geocoded using the build in function.
Introducing Geocode Dialog
Let´s start by taking a look from an account list view. After selecting a record you get a new custom command offering to geocode the selected address. After confirming the request, you´ll be presented with the following dialog.
Notice that if you´re using sample data like me, the system won´t be able to find the correct Latitude, Longitude information and therefore presents “a pin inside water”. You can manually change the data, for instance providing the correct name of the street and the engine starts to check for a valid address and provides the equivalent Latitude and Longitude information inside the status bar.
A click on “Change” will then update the address information inside the account and also adds the determined Latitude and Longitude information.
What happens, if the information you´ve provided doesn’t´t lead to a single hit? You´ll see another dialog window presenting the addresses found with your provided information and you can then select one of them by clicking on the auto-number icon.
Working with Addresses
Once geocoded, by creating a new Work Order and selecting the Account as Service Account, all the address information will be automatically copied inside the Work Order. You´ll find the information inside the Address section (subordinated you haven´t customized the Work Order form yet). And inside the Location section you´ll be presented with a map providing a closer look at the Latitude-, Longitude-Position once expanded.
Changing Work Order Addresses manually
By clicking “Change” again the address information will be updated.
Inside List Views you can geocode a single selected record. Once you selected more than one address, the dialog starts with the first record you´ve selected and continues with the next. At the end (max. 250 selected records) you’ll be provided with information how many could be found based on provided record data and how many couldn’t be found.
The dialog layout might be subject to change, once the FieldOne Sky solution was reviewed and adapted to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016.
Though the FieldOne Sky solution is provided in english version only (first wave), I was able to geocode a german based address once I provided “Germany” as Country. I was told “DE” should work either. I´m wondering what happens, if customers already work with the Country field inside their CRM and already provide information like “Deutschland” or “D-“, as I´ve seen a couple of systems trying to adapt their systems to postal usage for address fields.
I really missed an option of bulk-geocoding my addresses. Guess this is either a limitation build inside because of the current bing limitation in requesting mass data for free (otherwise you need to have a payed license for requesting more data). Though there’s an auto-geocode setting option inside settings area which works against newly created or changed address information. A bulk “service” might be found in the near future as not every customer will start from scratch not having addresses and wants a single bulk-geocode for all existing records.
Inside my environment I noticed that several Command Bar Options were just named as “CUSTOM” which makes it difficult to get the feature behind it. Though the world icon was quite obvious for Geocoding feature.
Having fun today? If not seen, take a look at my previous article around configuring. And stay tuned for the next round as Configuration Task has not been finished yet.