In today’s post, we are going to set up “Connected Field Service” with Azure IoT Hub. A quick recap from the last two posts:
- We started this series by having a look at the raison d’etre of using IoT with Dynamics 365 Field Service
- Next, we took a satellite view of various approaches with respective technology stacks
- In this third post, we are going to get a little more hands-on as we will start working on the first approach with Azure IoT Hub.
- Dynamics 365 CE tenant with Field Service
- Azure subscription
Above could be trial instances and may not necessarily need to be on the same tenant. In other words, this setup will work even if you have Azure and Dynamics 365 on two different tenants.
Side note: this second point is really cool because it takes away the dependency of setting up the two services on the same tenant. For instance, you could use your standard Dynamics 365 instance with a free-tier Azure subscription to explore this feature.
In Dynamics 365, open ‘Connected Field Service’ app and click on Settings. Click on the ‘Link to Deployment App’. It may ask for permissions for an app to access Azure and Dataverse, click ‘Accept’.
This ‘Deployment App’ is an excellent wizard-based tool as it hides underlying technical complexities and simply asks few questions to provision and set up Azure resources and make them ready to talk to Dynamics 365 environment. In the first screen, we need to select Dynamics 365 environment, agree to T&Cs and click Next.
Next, we need to connect to Azure subscription. If it is on the same tenant, it will go and bring up your subscriptions otherwise you can sign in with a different login. Select the correct Azure subscriptions and click Next
In this step, leave everything as it is and click Next. Basically, we are going with default options and since we are setting up these resources in Azure for the first time, we don’t need to ‘use existing resources’. Click Next.
Magic is happening
…may take couple of minutes or more
Oh one last thing, as all the azure resources are deployed – next we need to authorise Azure to talk to Dynamics 365. Click on the button:
It will open up ‘API Connection’ in your Azure portal. Click on ‘Edit API connection’
Click on Authorise
That will basically enable Azure to talk to Dynamics 365 using that authorised connection
..and that’s it. But before we finish today’s adventure let’s quickly see what did ‘Deployment App’ do behind the scenes. While you are in Azure, click on All Resources (from the Home screen). This will show you all the resources that are added.
As you can see, it’s a combination of various Azure products but first and foremost, we have Azure IoT Hub. This is going to be the engine of IoT related capabilities. We then have some Logic Apps to run both way comms between Azure and Dynamics 365. API connections are there to support this data traffic and then we have other resources for storage, analytics etc.
I hope this sound very exciting. In the next post, we will have a look at IoT Hub and see how does comms work between IoT devices and Dynamics 365 (via Azure).
Thanks for reading!