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{Dynamics 365 + Microsoft Apps} In-depth walkthrough on how to build and configure your own app using the App Designer

I have exploring the features of Dynamics 365 for sometime now and was just exploring this. Initially I was not some what reluctant to start getting hands on with this. But with time, as I started exploring, I started liking it more & more & more. And the reason? Well, it’s just configuration. You do not need any technical knowledge to do this and this puts you into a level playing field even if you are not from technical background. And you will be amazed to see how quickly you can configure your entire new app in just a matter of minutes.

So let’s get started. I have gone through some articles in this topic but honestly I did not find one which covers end-end walkthrough of how to enable, configure and publish an app. So I decided to pen this down so that it might help somebody ramping up on this wonderful feature.

The first question that now comes to mind? How to enable the APP Designer for your organization?

The APP Designer is a preview feature and you would need to enable it. Go to Settings –> Administration –> System Settings

Then navigate to Preview tab in the end of the pop-up. And enable “App Modules & App Designer Preview

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Once done, now how to land on your APP Designer Page?

If you go to the ‘View All My Apps’ from the Admin section you would end up viewing all your apps but you won’t be able to edit your app.

Then? Don’t be disappointed. Let me give you a shortcut.

For e.g – My CRM URL is – https://xrmtr30.crm.dynamics.com. So to visit the APP designer for your page very quickly, just append applandingpage.aspx.  So the final URL would be – https://xrmtr30.crm.dynamics.com/applandingpage.aspx

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Let us create a new APP. To do that click on the CREATE APP button.

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Enter the details as required for the APP

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I have used ‘default icon’ here. But you can use any webresource that you have uploaded for your application. Once you are done, you be thrown to the configuration page of the APP.

Let us design our demo APP like this

  • The app’s sitemap will show just the accounts.
  • The account will have only the account form and couple of views – ‘My Active Accounts’ and ‘Active Accounts’

Click on the Sitemap designer.

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I added the ‘Workplace’ area.

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In the Workplace area, I am going to add the ‘Accounts’ entity. Select Type = Entity and in the Entity select “Account”.

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Great. Isn’t it so easy to go ahead and design a stiemap for your app with a wonderful GUI based editor. Believe me, the example I have shown here is very simple. However you can design a complex sitemap as well in matter of minutes. No exporting the solution, editing the sitemap and re-importing.

Click ‘Save & Close” in the Sitemap designer to move out of the designer area.

Now I will add the forms and views of the account entity.

Select “Forms” and then add the desired form.

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Select the forms you want to add.

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Click on Save & Close at the top. Next click on views.

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Select the views you want.

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You can select OOB views or you can create a new view as well for the APP.

Now Save & Close. And then click on publish on the top menu.

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The app will now be visible in your APPS area.

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Now I have created the APP.

But who should be able to view this APP?

Click on the ellipsis at the bottom of the the APP and then click on ‘Manage Roles’.

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Select the roles for which the app should display.

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I have chosen the System Administration & System Customizer role who should be able to view my custom app.

So all set and done! Let me browse my custom app.

And as you can see, there is just the account entity in the whole sitemap.

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Also if you remember, I have selected three views only of the account

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So you can see how easily we have created an APP for ourselves in a matter of minutes.

You can add dashboards, business process flows, charts & what not and that too through a wonderful UI.

 

Hope you have liked this post!

 

Debajit Dutta

(Visit www.xrmforyou.com products page to know more about our offerings)

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About Debajit
I am a Dynamics CRM Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with 10 years of experience in Microsoft .NET Technologies and 7 years of dedicated experience in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. I have worked with companies like Microsoft, SanDisk, PwC, TMF Group and have extensive experience of implementing complex CRM solutions from both offshore and client side. Currently the face of XrmForYou.com with significant experience in delivering corporate training on Dynamics CRM and have already delivered multiple projects to client through XrmForYou.com Author of multiple tools on codeplex including the 'Role Based Views' and 'CRM-Sharepoint Metadata manager & Attachment Extractor' which are available for commercial use under XrmForYou.com For consulting/ training, drop me a note at info@xrmforyou.com or visit our website www.xrmforyou.com

3 Responses to {Dynamics 365 + Microsoft Apps} In-depth walkthrough on how to build and configure your own app using the App Designer

  1. ColinI says:

    I just started a Dynamics 365 for Sales trial. However, I do not see the option to select “Yes” for “App Modules & App Designer Preview” in the “System Settings” dialog box (the first screen shot in your blog). Is there some special setting in my trial that first needs or is there some permissions or access level setting that my account needs to be enabled to see this? As a result, I am unable to see Application-My Apps, and hence unable to see the [+ CREATE APPS] button to open the App Designer. Do you know what I could be doing wrong?

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