Multi-session, multi-tab user experience in Dynamics 365

Imagine a user experience in Dynamics 365 where:

  • you could open tabs within same browser tab and then easily navigate without losing context,
  • keep a few most frequently used entities, dashboards etc. pinned as tabs,
  • open multiple tabs for a session eg. to process a case, open account profile, contact profile, and knowledge base
  • if interrupted during a session, could come back and resume from where you left

Drum rolls…. introducing “Customer Service workspace”. This is a new app (model-driven) which enables multi-tabs, multi-session experience. Have a look at annotated images below (this is all out of the box, no customisations/configurations 😊)

Under the hood, it is just another app in the environment and there is nothing on the screen to set this multi-tab experience on the app.

It is just another model-driven app
Model-driven app editor

I thought to play a little trick and added Work Order and Booking in the app and in sitemap (using app editor) and viola! it shows an option to add Work Orders and Bookings now 🤓

Options to add new tabs
and this is how it looks.

Pretty amazing, isn’t it! I think this is a promising start as it leads to obvious productivity benefits for certain user types (think Customer Service front desk officer, Customer Service Agent, Work Management supervisor etc.). Looking forward to having an option to selectively enable this experience in other apps too and also to be able to switch this on per specific user type or functional area.

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to share your feedback, I’d love to hear your thoughts 😊

Subgrids ➡ Dialogs on Work Order

Can UX be quantified? I think one way to assess usability is to count the number of clicks required to complete a functional activity in the system. In the context of Dynamics 365 Field Service, for example, this could be creating a Work Order, scheduling, setting up a servicing schedule for assets etc. So then the question is – how good is the usability index (if we shall call it) of these Dynamics 365 Field Service?

Photo by Markus Winkler on

Not much, right? Requires too many clicks!

The user experience of Dynamics 365 is based on the main entity form and then navigating to ‘related entities’ through subgrids in same or different tabs. Owing to the complexity of the service business, the data model of Dynamics 365 Field Service has a lot of relationships between entities which invariably translates into heaps of clicks when you are working on these records: Work Orders, Agreements, Purchase Orders etc. So what is the solution?

Introducing the new ‘subgrids as dialog’ feature…

Arriving in the bandwagon of 2020 Release Wave 2 is this new feature which basically makes related entity forms on a Work Order to open like dialog. Here is my little video of test drive of the features (it is in early release view at the moment). The key outcome of this feature is the ability to complete an entire functional activity (e.g. to create a work order and related products, services etc.) from one screen only.

Note: This is currently supported on below entities only:

  1. Work order product
  2. Work order service
  3. Work order service task
  4. Work order incident
  5. Bookable resource booking
  6. Time entry

End result:

Lesser clicks, shorter data entry time and increased productivity = Happy Customer 👩‍💻

Thanks for reading!

I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂