With version 9.0 of Dynamics 365 (July 2017 release), a lot of new features has been unveiled. One of them is a brand new UI rendering engine, called Unified UI.
According to our impressions from the preview information, you’ll have the choice between the following form types:
- Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition Web Forms – Old desktop forms, Refreshed with new look and feel
- Unified UI forms – For Business edition, mobile devices and Unified Service Desk
The UUI was for many one the key selling point of the long awaited Dynamics 365 Business Edition, based on a much nicer menu system and very nice looking forms. However, now it seams like Business Edition is “dead”, at least in its original form. What does this mean for users who can’t wait to use the new “Business Edition” UI in browser based access to CRM? – It turns out, it is already here…
After playing a bit around with trials on Dynamics 365 V9.0, I have become a bit wiser on the capabilities and consequences of the new UI system. I’ll try to summarise what I have learned here:
- Unified UI is not a Business Edition thing. It is available in Enterprise Edition, but just not the default UI.
- UUI forms are not forms of a new form type. It is just a new form renderer for existing forms.
- Whether to show the existing Enterprise Edition (Refreshed) web UI, or the new Unified UI, is controlled by the Dynamics 365 App system.
- There is no new form editor for UUI forms. You will need to use the old “CRM 2011” form designer, and apply some abstract thinking, to imagine how it will look as a UUI form.
- Mobile forms (MoCa) are now gone, and replaced by the Unified UI. THe only available form types inside a solution is now:
- Main form
- Quick create form
- Quick view form
Q: Why would Microsoft go through the trouble of upgrading the existing forms, when a brand new form system is already available? – A: Unified UI is very significant change to the look and feel of CRM. It is as big a change as when the CRM 2013 forms and menues was released to replace the CRM 2011 UI. I believe the refreshed UI has been introduced to ease users into the UUI. At least while they work on the last missing features in Unified Interface. It looks like a mix of the old forms and the UUI forms anyway!
Limitations of Unified Interface
- I cannot seem to find the Advanced Find!!??
- There does not seem to be possible to apply filters on columns directly from looking at a view.
- Unknown at this point: Microsoft is replacing a lot of the old aspx pages with Custom Control Framework components. I am not aware if all aspx pages have been re-implemented yes. If not, I will imagine that there could be issues with exposing certain entities / settings through the UUI sitemap, for example security roles. Maybe this is why Advanced Find is nowhere to be found?
- I am sure there are other limitations as well, since Microsoft is not officially recommending to use UUI in the Enterprise Edition for web. If we are lucky, Microsoft will fix these before we even notice.
To start using Unified UI, you need to do the following steps:
- Ensure you are updated to Dynamics 365 V9.0. Depending on the availability, you might need to create a new trial.
- Create a custom UUI App under Settings > Application > My Apps
- In the properties tab of the App designer, make sure to set the client type as “Unified Interface” instead of “Web”.
- Add the desired forms and other content, and publish.
- Click in the tile for the new custom App to open it, and you are done! This will add an app id to the URL of your CRM