Video Tutorial: Using Microsoft Flow with Dynamics 365 & NAV 2017 for Business Process Automation Across Popular Services

In NAV 2016, Microsoft introduced a proper workflow engine and some templates, opening the door for user defined workflows right out of the box (where previously, an ISV solution or customization would be required). That said, with few exceptions, such as e-mails for approval requests, the scope of the workflows was entirely within the NAV application: being triggered by an event in NAV, resulting in one or more actions and responses in NAV. Despite the limited number of pre-built workflow templates, events, and responses, it has definitely been a good selling feature for the solution.

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Now imagine what you could do if NAV workflows could interact with other applications and services that your organization uses every day? Think SharePoint, CRM applications, SQL, cloud based file sharing services, Office apps (traditional and Office 365), BI.. or even social media! Actions driven by events in NAV, or triggering processes in NAV based on events in another application that drives your business.

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Another (quicker) way to add new users to Project “Madeira” Preview, and some thoughts…

01-SignupOn April 18th, I posted instructions for O365 admins to add team members to their Project “Madeira” Preview tenant.

Marko Perisic (@mpnav, Project “Madeira” GM at Microsoft), came across that post / tweet and was kind enough to share a quicker way to do this, with no help needed from admins:

Simply have your team members navigate to the Project “Madeira” Preview website (www.projectmadeira.com), click on “Try the Preview” and use their work Office 365 credentials, and follow the prompts. Within minutes, they will be added to Project “Madeira” as a user, with the SUPER permission set assigned to them.

I tried it, it works as advertised, but….

It’s quick, yes, but I really hope this is a Preview-Only “feature” that will be gone when Project “Madeira” goes live.

Why? The fact that any user in your organization with an O365 account can not only add themselves to your ERP system but also have unrestricted (SUPER) access to all your sensitive data has to be cause for concern.

The admin can disable access for a user afterwards, or replace the SUPER permission set with more restrictive permission set(s), but that’s still a little unnerving…

If this “feature” were to make the final cut, there would another area of concern: The cost of Project “Madeira”, being a SaaS offering, will be a function of the number of users per billing period, and unneeded users adding themselves to Project “Madeira” would also impact subscription costs for an organization.

Reminder to Self: Calm down and repeat, “This is a Preview. This is a Preview. This is a Pr….”

It’s entirely possible that this feature was put in place to help people get easy access to the Preview, and not burden administrators.

One way of improving upon this for the final release:

Ideally, when Project “Madeira” is finished and officially released (with its yet-to-be-known formal name), we would have a way to add users that is both quick and secure.

One thought that comes to mind is a hybrid of what we have now:

  • Allow an O365 user to get the process started by going to the Project “Madeira” site and entering their credentials. This would create the user in Madeira, but in a Disabled state and/or with no permission sets assigned.
  • Have that kick off an Approval Workflow in Project “Madeira” where the administrator is notified, so that the request can be reviewed and a determination can be made as to whether the user should have access to Madeira at all, and if so, to which companies and permission sets.
  • Upon Approval or Rejection, notify the O365 user of the outcome.

Update (response from Marko):

Issues connecting new Project “Madeira” Users to Power BI?

Homepage_metal_large_2If you’ve just added a new O365 user to Project Madeira and the new user is having trouble getting PowerBI.com working with the content pack, just try again the next day or so. It looks like the NAV User name and/or Web Service Access Key need some time to propagate.

I’ve had this happen with a couple users now, and at first I thought I was doing something wrong, only to find it working when I tried again with the same user credentials a day or two later.

You can find detailed instructions on connecting Project Madeira to Power BI on our blog post here.

Adding New Users to Project “Madeira” Preview with O365

If you are not familiar with Project “Madeira” or would like to learn more about the Preview, please take a few minutes to read my post titled: Project “Madeira” Preview has arrived & here’s everything you need to know! 

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If you’ve been around Dynamics NAV, you’ve probably added a new user or two (or hundreds) in the system. It’s so simple, you could probably do it in your sleep.

So why do we need an article for this?! Page hits? Not exactly, but we appreciate the page hits too. 🙂

If you haven’t yet tried to add a new user in Project “Madeira” with Office 365, prepare for a “Who moved my cheese?!” moment.

When you click the “New” action in the ribbon on the Users list page, you will be greeted with the following error message:

You cannot create users manually. You must ask your administrator to create users in the Office portal, and then you can get them for Azure.
“You cannot create users manually. You must ask your administrator to create users in the Office portal, and then you can get them for Azure.”

Not sure what to do next? You’ve come to the right place for help! Keep reading for a step-by-step walkthrough and you’ll be swimming in a sea of new Madeira users in no time at all.

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With Project “Madeira” and Office 365 Outlook, 1+1=3

If you are not familiar with Project “Madeira” or would like to learn more about the Preview, please take a few minutes to read my post titled: Project “Madeira” Preview has arrived & here’s everything you need to know! 

24-Madeira OutlookLike Dynamics NAV, the Project “Madeira” Preview plays well with Microsoft Office, and especially Office 365.

From O365 Single-Sign On, to the ability to export data to Excel and Word, to copying and pasting rows from Excel, to integrating with OneNote, to sending e-mails, synchronizing contacts and getting Inbox / Task overview with Outlook, it’s all been there in Dynamics NAV for some versions now.

So how can Microsoft makes things better with Dynamics NAV and Office? Well, for one, there’s plenty of room for improvement with the Outlook integration. Dynamics CRM has excelled on this front for many years now, with the ability to track e-mails, manage contacts and opportunities, and much more without ever leaving Outlook.

While we didn’t exactly get the Dynamics CRM flavor of Outlook integration, what we are getting is quite significant, and in some ways, even exceeds what Dynamics CRM and other ERP systems are capable of today!

This functionality was initially demonstrated at the NAV Directions conference in Orlando,FL last year.

Right from an e-mail in Outlook for Office 365, you can launch a NAV function or see related information about the customer or vendor and their transactions. This brings a whole new level of integration between the ERP system and Outlook that will, no doubt, help with efficiency.

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