Skip to main content

Posts

Low Code Solutions Require High Knowledge

Recent posts

InfoStrat Releases New Videos for Grants Manager Plus

Grants Manager Plus is one of InfoStrat's most popular solutions and is geared toward the needs of grantor organizations.  InfoStrat recently released a new version and also new editions.

Last week two new videos were published to help customers understand how Grants Manager Plus works. The first is background information on the concepts and design goals behind Grants Manager Plus, as well as the architecture of the solution:



The second is a demonstration of the grantee portal in action, explaining key functions and features used by grant applicants and grantees.


For more information on Grants Manager Plus, see my blog posts including these:

5 Ways to Ensure Compliance with Your Grant Management System
6 Things to Look for in Grant Management Software
Estimating the Cost of a Microsoft Grants Manager Plus Implementation
Extending Grants Manager Plus
Flexible Grant Management Software: Long Term Considerations
Grant Management for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
Grant Management…

InfoStrat Earns Microsoft Gold DevOps Competency

InfoStrat has earned the new Microsoft Gold Competency for DevOps as part of the Microsoft Partner Program.  DevOps is a key part of cloud computing, and helps organizations close the gap between software development (Dev) and operations (Ops).

The DevOps Gold Competency shows a commitment to mastering cloud tools for DevOps which relate to Microsoft Azure, not only Microsoft products such as Service Fabric, Visual Studio, Teams and GitHub, but products from other vendors such as Slack, Kubernetes, Jenkins, Chef, Terraform and others.

InfoStrat's clients are moving toward DevOps along with the transition to Agile software development methodologies.  Microsoft has not only maintained a position of leadership with its own offerings, but the openness of Microsoft to other vendors is fostering a strong DevOps ecosystem throughout the industry.

Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow Licensing for Beginners

Next month marks two years since Microsoft announced the preview of its Flow workflow automation product.  Since then, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow have been gaining in popularity.

We at InfoStrat are receiving more questions from customers on how PowerApps and Flow are licensed by Microsoft.  This is a brief overview with links to authoritative Microsoft resources with all the details.

What are PowerApps and Flow? Microsoft PowerApps is a framework derived from Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM) that allow you to build apps either with or without a form interface.  PowerApps works with Microsoft Flow.

Microsoft Flow is is a cloud software tool to build automated workflows that connect to many Microsoft and non-Microsoft systems and services.  For instance, you could write a workflow which would create a record in Dynamics 365 whenever a new file is dropped in a SharePoint folder, or create a contact in Salesforce based on an email sent to your sales alias.

Both PowerApps and Flow a…

Don't Fight the User Interface - It Usually Wins

Businesses and government have adopted off-the-shelf software, especially cloud software products, to avoid the cost and technical risk which have often accompanied custom software development.  This means that software vendors control the user experience such as navigation, menus, colors, fonts, and all other aspects of the products. Faced with rapid innovation and competition, cloud software vendors are introducing updates at an increasingly rapid pace, forcing users to relearn on the fly.  Browser-based solutions also embody the behavior of the specific browser each user chooses, such as Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

In some cases, you may not like the most recent version, or an update may be disruptive to your user community. Should you write code to recreate the previous interface? Or circumvent the default behavior of the browser or the app?

My experience is that resistance to the user interface of a commercial product is largely futile. Accepting changes introduced by the vendor i…

Government Budget Management with Dynamics 365

Government budgeting requires more than just accounting.  It also entails complex business processes to prepare and approve budgets.

InfoStrat has been using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for government budgeting solutions for over ten years.  Dynamics 365 includes several features which enable budget tracking:

Business process flows which automate approval processesAbility to store chart of accounts informationIntegration points for financial management systems to pass transactions and look up information from other systemsAbility to store multiple versions of budget itemsData auditing to show who changed what data, and whenRollups of financial information according to the budget hierarchyDashboards for graphical representation of financial information The Grants Manager Plus solution includes a budgeting module for grant managers to establish program budgets.  Grant applicants enter their project budgets using Dynamics Portal, and the budgets can be compared to actual expenditures.
Some go…

Update Policies for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement

Customers of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement have been notified in recent weeks of new policies for updates.  Customer Engagement refers to the traditional core components of what was formerly Dynamics CRM (sales, marketing, and customer service) as well as newer apps for Project Service and Field Service which have been added to the Customer Engagement subscription bundle.

The updates only apply to customers hosted in the Microsoft commercial cloud and not for on premises deployments which are managed by customer organizations. So far, the Microsoft government clouds for the United States and Germany are also operating on their own update schedules in order to maintain compliance with government security and privacy regulations.

I will not restate all the details which you can review at FAQ for Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps Update Policiesas well as Previewing April 2019 release functionalities and updates for Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement.

Here are …