4 TILs about Dynamics 365 Field Service – 2020 Release Wave 2

I was exploring Dynamics 365 Field Service over the weekend and it was very exciting to see all the new features – big and small updates – on both web and mobile. I also checked the mobile app after a couple months but between then and now, a lot of exciting things happened (clues: MS Ignite and stream of new videos on the official channel of Dynamics 365 Field Service) and of course, now Release Wave 2 roll-out is underway). Following are my notes from the review:

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

1. Time Entries

This was one of the major ask from the community and arguably the last must-have for migrating to the new Power Apps based Field Service app. The good news is the feature is out! Using the new app, users can review existing or auto-generated time entries and also manually create new time entries. The functionality is basic at the moment (won’t be surprised to see better UX in future) but serves the purpose very well. Here is my quick play with it:


Read more here.

2. Booking view enhancements

The first impression is lasting – therefore the bookings view is the most significant for resources to start their day. It is pretty awesome, therefore, to see updates on the Bookings view. The Agenda view has got:

  • Better dates navigation control
  • Agenda showing Work Order with details (incident type, address, service account)
  • Agenda also showing time left for the next job
  • Day view with overlapping Work Orders

3. Empty sub-grids with a ‘Create’ action

If sub-grids (think Work Order Products, Service Tasks, Products, or Services) are empty, in the first version of the app used to show empty boring whitespace only. Now a new action has been added to ‘Create +’ a new record. Small enhancement, but certainly looks visually good and helps in reducing clicks too.

4. Introducing brand-new Schedule Board

Last but not the least, the new Schedule Board is GA and only flick of a switch away. The new Schedule Board is fast, developed as PCF and is at feature-parity with the current Schedule Board. There will be further enhancements in future, which are not even supported in the current Schedule Board. This is how the new Schedule Board looks like (only features in the default Field Service app).

Read more here.

Thanks for reading!

I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂


We have discussed Work and Resources before this article, now Scheduling is where the fun begins. Put simply, scheduling lets ‘resources’ to be ‘booked’ against ‘requirements’ of ‘work’.

A keyword in the above sentence is ‘booked’. Traditionally in Power Apps model-driven app, every record has an owner. If you want to change an owner, you ‘assign’ record to a new owner (user).

A ‘booking’ is a bit similar to ‘assignment’ in the sense that it also involves record and a user (read resource) but booking also involves (a) date-time and (b) requirement for the work. In a way, this adds two more dimensions to ‘booking’.

I think date/time is self-explanatory but ‘requirement’ requires a little explanation. When you create a work order for customer work (eg. Installation of a new device), you may want work to happen in two phases:

a) first phase is the installation of the device, and
b) the next phase is to do a follow-up in a week’s time to confirm with the customer there are no complaints or issues.

Turns out, this is a pretty common scenario in field service work planning where the ‘work’ is a singular thing but execution in multiple batches. Now each of this batch requires certain resources to be booked to do the work. Going back to our example, for the work order, we have two set of resource needs: (a) first one to do the installation of device which may take 2 hours and may require 2 engineers, and (b) to go to customer and confirm there are no issues – this may require an hour only and may need a visit of 1 engineer only. Now to do the booking of work, two bookings will have to be created on the calendar for each of these two requirements against a same work order. Therefore from the database design perspective, the relationship between Work Order and Resource Requirement is one-to-many.

The Schedule Board is a screen in Dynamics 365 Field Service that brings all these four components together on one screen. That is why, it is sometimes called a glorious calendar which has dimensions other than date, time and event (record) only.

There are four ways to schedule resource against resource requirements for work order:

  1. Manually – by clicking on Book button on Work Order, which opens Schedule Assistant
  2. Manually – by dragging and dropping a Work Order requirement on the Schedule Board
  3. Manually – by selecting an open requirement and creating a booking through ‘Create Booking’ screen on the Schedule Board
  4. Automatic – through Resource Scheduling Optimisation AI-based engine (this is an add-on and comes with the cost)

Further readings:
* Schedule with travel time and distance | Microsoft Docs