There are good days and then there are very good days in the life of consultants. Probably arrival of Self-Service Scheduling Portal (albeit in preview) falls in the later such events. The reasons are many but top of all is the fact: this was among the top of most requested features in Dynamics 365 Field Service. I have seen with many implementations, once customers see, feel and touch the value that Dynamics 365 product in resource scheduling, mobile app, auto-generate work orders and bookings etc., the next thing they look for is to let the customer do the scheduling itself. It is akin to the trend in customer service: from capturing customer cases to self-service. With this quick intro, my today’s article is about my experience of setting the new Field Service portal, enabling the new self-scheduling feature, setting up pre-requisites and unpacking how it works. Let’s get started!
Go to Power Apps Maker Portal (https://make.powerapps.com). Select the correct environment, click on Create, scroll down to find and click on ‘Field Service.
Select Portal name and URL. Click ‘Create’
It may take a few minutes for the portal to be up and running. Time for some Netflix! (Nah just kidding, it won’t take that long 😊).
You’ll see portal appearing in the list of apps shortly.
Click on the portal to see blank page.
Viola! that was good. Go to Field Service app, click on Settings and you will see a new Customer Portal sub-menu option. Click on that to see our new customer portal (very similar to other Power Apps portal configurations).
Click to open the record. You will see options to:
- setup Track My Technician
- setup Self Scheduling
We’ll focus on the later today.
Go to the next tab to see Display Settings. This is where you can configure the UX part of the portal. Color, fonts, specific pages, logo etc. – all is configurable.
You can also click on the ‘Display Configuration’ link to configure text on home page and other elements of the portal.
Click ‘Save’ and refresh the portal a few times (since portal configuration are cached, it may take a little while to see changes happening on the portal).
Go to the new ‘Self Scheduling’ tab and you will see a bunch of settings related to this new function. I particularly liked the fact that ‘asset selection’ and ‘resource radius’ factors are configurable.
At this stage, if you click on ‘Book Service’ button on the portal, you will see an equivalent of BSOD (Blue Screen of Death):
We need to set a couple pre-requisites at this stage. First assign a role to your portal user.
Secondly, configure at least one ‘Incident Type’ with ‘Enable for C2’ selected. I am sure this field label will get changed as this feature rolls out from Preview to GA:
That’s it. Click on Self Scheduling option again on portal and you will see the page will appear with the following:
- Service product: this shows a list of products that are associated with the ‘Account’ that the logged-in user is linked with. In other words, these are the products for which you are booking a service
- Service types: a list of incident types
- Date and time selection
- Additional information: this is a configurable option
Click on Book, it may take a few seconds and then shows a confirmation. A little delay seems to indicate that the booking function happens synchronously.
Let’s go back to Dynamics 365 Field Service to see what happened behind the scenes. First a new Work Order is created. Note incidents and bookings are also created.
The selected product (Customer Asset) is also selected on the Work Order record.
What happened to the text that we put under ‘Additional Comment’? Well those are added as a Note under the booking record.
I think it is a very neat implementation: it uses the same Power Platform capabilities that we all are familiar with and the process to set it up is quick and easy. In the real world, there will be a lot of requirements for specific fields on the portal, or a change in process to schedule (approvals) etc., and may be those features are in pipeline but I also think the fact that this is all built on Power Apps, makes it super easy for us Dynamics 365-addicts to configure and customize it. If you’d like to learn more, I think the best place to refer is the standard documentation and Dian Taylor’s blog.
Thanks for reading!
Feel free to share your feedback, I’d love to hear your thoughts 😊
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