Skip to main content

Elaborating Dynamics 365 Requirements

When implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM), one of the early steps in the process is to elaborate requirements so they can be mapped to Dynamics features or to configurations or customizations needed to fulfill the requirements.

Many customer requirements start off as rather vague, and require further investigation before they can be the solid basis of the project.  Let's take a look at some CRM requirements and how to explore them.

Requirement: Ability to identify and assign roles to office staff members
Analysis Questions

  • Who are the users of the system?
  • What user roles will be needed?
  • Should all users of the same user role have the same access to all records? Or does access depend on the organizational hierarchy or record ownership?
  • Who will administer your Dynamics users?
  • What about external users?  Is this covered in another requirement?

Requirement: Track all customers
Analysis Questions
  • Who are customers?  Individuals (Contacts) or organizations (Accounts)?  
  • What information should be tracked for each customer?
  • What about other people and organizations, such as suppliers, competitors, teammates and others?  Should they be tracked in Contacts and Accounts as well?  
  • When are records archived?
  • Is there a data retention policy which must be followed? 

Requirement: Accepts all format work sample uploads
Analysis Questions
  • Which file formats should be accepted?
  • Where are uploaded documents to be stored?  In Dynamics as Notes? SharePoint? Azure BLOB storage?
  • What is meant by "format"? Does this mean file format or something else?
Requirement:  Ability to integrate with financial management systems to ensure reconciliation of payments and accounts.
Analysis Questions
  • Have you enumerated, defined and designed the integrations?  
  • Are the integrations one-way, two-way or multi-directional?
  • Does your organization use an integration product such as Scribe, BizTalk or Kingswaysoft?  If so, will that product be used for these integrations?
  • What is the anticipated transaction volume?  
  • What degree of concurrence is desired?
  • How will errors be handled?  Should rollback occur across more than one system? 

Requirement: The Vendor shall perform configuration and integration that eliminates the creation of manual work due to staff by enforcing both error handling and data validation.
Analysis Questions

  • What are the data validation rules?
  • How is data entered in the system?  Manually or through integrations?
  • Who enters data in the system?  Internal or external users or both? Will users receive training? 
  • What about data to be converted from existing systems?  Has it been cleansed?
Requirement: Must be fully functional on all major smartphone, tablet, and desktop browsers
Analysis Questions
  • Which are the mobile and desktop apps and browsers which will be supported? For instance, is Windows Mobile a target platform? Blackberry? 
  • Which versions will be supported?  Only the latest version?  
  • What will happen for future versions?
Requirement: Provides accessibility to users 24 hours per day, seven days per week
Analysis Questions
  • When is scheduled downtime?
  • How will upgrades be handled? 
  • What do the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for the components of the solution promise?
Based on these examples, you can see that most requirements initially provided by customers will benefit from deeper analysis.  The questions suggested here are just the starting point and the answers to the questions will likely elicit further inquiry. 

Popular posts from this blog

Key Concepts for Microsoft Dynamics 365: Tenant, Instance, App and Solution

To understand Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM), you need to learn some new terms and concepts that may be a bit different from what you know from databases and solutions that are hosted on premises. This post introduces some of the key terms and how these concepts are important for planning your implementation. While Dynamics 365 is available on premises, it is most commonly deployed on the Microsoft cloud.  This blog post discusses only cloud implementations. Microsoft has multiple clouds such as commercial and government community clouds. We start with a Microsoft tenant .  A tenant is the account you create in the Microsoft Online Services environment (such as Office 365) when you sign up for a subscription. A tenant contains uniquely identified domains, users, security groups, and subscriptions.  Your tenant has a domain name of such as  User accounts belong to a tenant, and subscriptions are assigned to user accoun

Replacing Microsoft InfoPath with Power Apps

Source: Microsoft has offered a number of forms automation products over the years, and the most long running was InfoPath which was released as part of Office 2003.  InfoPath is a powerful and flexible product that stores user data in XML while offering form features such as rules, data validation, scripting, and integration with SharePoint.  The popularity of SharePoint resulted in many organizations standardizing on InfoPath for forms, especially internal forms which are hosted on an intranet such as employee reviews, leave and payment requests, and human resources forms. Microsoft has discontinued InfoPath, with mainstream support ending July 13th, 2021, and extended support ending July 14th, 2026. Microsoft has named Power Apps as the successor to InfoPath .  Power Apps has much in common with InfoPath.  Both products include integration with SharePoint.  Both are geared toward the citizen developer and do not require advan

Power Apps Portal: The Successor to Microsoft Dynamics Portal

In case you have been reviewing Microsoft's new pricing for its Dynamics products which was released this month and have been unable to find Dynamics Portal, it has been rebranded as Power Apps Portal and shifted to the Power Apps side of the Microsoft product family. Rebranding the portal product underscores the importance of app scenarios involving external users such as customers and suppliers.  It also provides a simpler interface than Dynamics 365 for occasional users. The new portal pricing is based on the number of unique users who log into the portal each month (for authenticated users) and on the number of page views for anonymous users.  "A login provides an external authenticated user access to a single portal for up to 24 hours. Multiple logins during the 24-hour period count as 1 billable login. Internal users can be licensed either by the PowerApps per app or per users plans, or a qualifying Dynamics 365 subscription." Pricing starts at $200/mo