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MSDialogs Deprecation - Know Where You Stand

If you're using dialogs within Microsoft Dynamics 365 online at the moment, you're probably aware that:

  1. Dialogs are not available in the Unified Interface, and
  2. You will be forced to move to the Unified Interface during 2020

The original messaging from Microsoft was that 1st October 2020 was the final deadline for migrating to Unified Interface, but that has changed recently to be a scheduled time up until that date - check what date you're scheduled to be migrated and what you can do on the Microsoft FAQ page.

So what if you're using dialogs and you're getting pushed to Unified Interface sooner than you thought? The first thing to do is get some real, actionable data. What dialogs are in use, how frequently and by whom?

This sort of data isn't shown within Dynamics, but each dialog session is logged so we can extract the data we need using an XrmToolBox tool such as FetchXML Builder or SQL 4 CDS.

In FetchXML Builder, use the following query to find out how many times each dialog has been run in the past month:

<fetch aggregate="true">

<entity name="processsession">

<link-entity name="workflow" to="processid" from="workflowid" alias="wf" link-type="inner">

<attribute name="name" alias="name" groupby="true" />

</link-entity>

<attribute name="processsessionid" alias="count" aggregate="count" />

<filter>

<condition attribute="startedon" operator="last-x-months" value="1" />

<condition attribute="category" entityname="wf" operator="eq" value="1" />

</filter>

<order alias="count" descending="true" />

</entity>

</fetch>

or in SQL 4 CDS:

SELECT   wf.name,

         count(*) AS count

FROM  processsession AS ps

         INNER JOIN

         workflow AS wf

         ON ps.processid = wf.workflowid

WHERE    ps.startedon = lastxmonths(1)

         AND wf.category = 1

GROUP BY wf.name

ORDER BY count DESC

This should get you started prioritising which dialogs to migrate to a solution such as TKDialogs.

You can also see which users will be most impacted to help target any retraining efforts or to get input on any new solutions you put in place:

<fetch aggregate="true">

<entity name="processsession">

<link-entity name="systemuser" to="startedby" from="systemuserid" alias="u" link-type="inner">

<attribute name="fullname" alias="fullname" groupby="true" />

</link-entity>

<link-entity name="workflow" to="processid" from="workflowid" alias="wf" link-type="inner" />

<attribute name="processsessionid" alias="count" aggregate="count" />

<filter>

<condition attribute="startedon" operator="last-x-months" value="1" />

<condition attribute="category" entityname="wf" operator="eq" value="1" />

</filter>

<order alias="count" descending="true" />

</entity>

</fetch>

or as SQL:

SELECT   u.fullname,

         count(*) AS count

FROM     processsession AS ps

         INNER JOIN

         systemuser AS u

         ON ps.startedby = u.systemuserid

         INNER JOIN

         workflow AS wf

         ON ps.processid = wf.workflowid

WHERE    ps.startedon = lastxmonths(1)

         AND wf.category = 1

GROUP BY u.fullname

ORDER BY count DESC

As with any business change, making it successful is at least as much about the people as the technology, so get the users highlighted by this query involved early! 

If the results of these queries make you think you've got a real challenge on your hands to move away from dialogs in time and keep your users happy, please get in touch as we can help with software, advice or even hands-on help building replacement TKDialogs.

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