eXtreme365 Lisbon 2017 Highlights

Extreme365, the new ExtremeCRM has just completed in Lisbon, Portugal. What an amazing, beautiful and fun location to hold a great Dynamics conference. Lisbon was great, the food, historic locations, and the landscape were second to none. This event exceeded expectations with the quality of the sessions, the information shared by partners, MVPs and Microsoft themselves. I met so many smart Dynamics professionals and just really fun people to hang out with. It was an honor to be both an attendee to a great conference and a speaker. Big shout out to Nelson Lopes from Microsoft Canada for guiding us on an amazing Portuguese experience over the week.

So what was the hot news coming out of the event? A lot of great sessions from a number of partners as well as the Microsoft product group, here are some of the top things that caught my attention:

  • Virtual entities – allow data in external systems to be represented as CRM entities and can take advantage of Business Process capabilities. These are just models in the Dynamics system but no tables created in the database and no data is replicated. Plug-in to APIs and surface external data to Dynamics within the Dynamics interface. Have an Azure DocumentDB you want to show in Dynamics, or maybe some Salesforce data (😈), as long as it has an API or you can create your own you can surface the data and interact with it within Dynamics like its native Dynamics data. Important to note that there is no security model in Dynamics for virtual entities, security is the responsibility of the source system or API.
  • Flow and Logic Apps are major investment areas for the Dynamics product group. I think we can expect a lot of improvement to existing features and new functionality coming to these components, it is the workflow engine of the future.
  • Read only replicas across regions – if you’re a global organization then this one is for you. No longer will you have to deal with long latency to access to Dynamics data in another region. Coming in a future release will be the ability to replicate your Dynamics data to various regions but only in a read-only state, one region will remain as your primary with full read/write functionality.
  • 3rd party search functionality to allow a pluggable search provider instead of the relevance search that is powered by Azure.
  • Event Management – still coming and with an Event Management Portal! Organize events into sessions and tracks, manage schedules and conflicts, and track registrations.
  • On Premise Dynamics to need an Azure Pack in a future release to support items like a service bus and other functions so that closer parity between online and on premises can be maintained.
  • ALM for Dynamics – the cries for more robust Application Lifecycle Management tooling with Dynamics 365 have been heard and the platform team will be bringing PowerShell and API functions to provide better ALM functions for online. Exact details in terms of functionality are unknown as is the timeframe for this, but great news to hear — personally and from Adoxio’s perspective we really hope to see similar tooling to the ADX AlmToolkit and scripting capability for Configuration Data Manager so that it doesn’t have to be run interactively.
  • Custom controls like the Gantt chart in Project Service will be part of the solution architecture (they actually already are for PSA) in the next release so you as an partner or ISV can build your own controls and easily transport them just like other Dynamics components. Custom controls will be developed using standard web development technologies, JavaScript, CSS and image file assets.

For myself and Adoxio this was also a big event in that we launched both the Adoxio Connect Framework for Dynamics 365 as well as Adoxio Connect365. We were extremely excited to be able to do it at this event so we could share it with the Dynamics community and it has already been a great success. The Adoxio Connect Framework has been released as an open source library under GNU LGPLv3 so other partners are able to utilize the same core connection framework as we do to build our own products. We really want everyone to succeed with Dynamics 365 portals and we think the framework and the concepts we presented are a great way to help fill the functional gaps whatever they maybe for your implementation.

Adoxio Connect365 is our subscription based service built on top of the framework that has a number commonly requested extensions for the portals; modules available: SharePoint, Payment Services, ESRI and soon to come PowerBI. Connect365 can help you immediately add functionality that wasn’t possible before to your portals without having to invest, develop, maintain or even worrying about hosting and be supported by those that know portals the best. To learn more about Adoxio Connect Framework for Dynamics 365 and Adoxio Connect365 check out some of the links below. This is just the beginning, there will be so much more to come.

Thanks to the Extreme365 team for putting on incredible event, myself and the whole Adoxio team can’t wait till the next one!

Note: This post also appears on Adoxio Business Solutions Team Blog.

Speaking at eXtreme365 2017 Lisbon

I am very excited to be speaking at the new eXtreme365 (formerly eXtremeCRM) in Lisbon March 13 – 17, 2017!

I will be delivering two sessions at the partner and customer events on Dynamics 365 portals, and excited to make public a new framework Adoxio has been working on to bring extended customization capabilities to Dynamics 365 portals. As part of this we will be demoing, as well making available our core common template that our solutions and products are built on to eXtreme365 attendees.

The purpose of the eXtreme365 conference is to help the Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM) community more effectively grow their business by selling, deploying and extending the Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution. eXtreme365 is dedicated to providing insight to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 future vision and strategy and encourages sharing of knowledge among the Microsoft Dynamics 365 community. eXtreme supports critical connections with Microsoft, ISVs and partners – all with a goal of helping the community learn, grow and work more productively together.

If you’re in Lisbon and want to learn about Dynamics 365 portals then it would be great to meet you and to have you at the sessions.


Partner Session: Extend Dynamics 365 portals with Custom Code

14/03/2017 16:45 – 18:00

Reached the limitations of configuration with your Dynamics 365 portal and need to extend it with custom functionality? In this session learn how to create your own portal companion web app using Dynamics 365 Server-to-Server authentication and a secure token service (STS) for seamless integration with your Dynamics 365 portal and the ability to write your own custom C# code.

Attendees will see an end to end solution example and gain access to the templates to kick start your own custom portal development. Build custom integration or a complex API or whatever your business requirements demand with the power of the CRM SDK and the .NET Framework for your portal.


Customer Session: Everything you need to know – Dynamics 365 portals Implementations

17/03/2017 15:15 – 16:15

Interested in learning about Microsoft Dynamics 365 portals and what an implementation looks like? Join our session to learn about best practices, methodology, and get a basic understanding of how this solution can be applied to your organization.