In our previous blog we explored some of the key new features included in the Dynamics 365 2021 Wave 2 release. Typically, these are large improvements on existing functionality or completely new features altogether, in this blog we’ll explore some of the updates which get less airtime but can offer significant improvements in usability, efficiency, or both!

New Sharing Experience

Regular users of Dynamics will have noticed that, until now, the experience of sharing records hasn’t change much since the old days. In the 2021 Wave 2 release, this has finally been addressed with an all-new sharing flow.

Previously, sharing a record would have presented a dialogue like this (slowly):

 

Now, we get an updated UI with much improved performance and a clearer view of who has access to the record, as well as an easier interface for configuring who its shared with:

 

Adding and Ordering View Columns

The (now not so) new Unified Client Interface has brought many benefits in terms of speed and usability, but one area where it was lacking was the ability for a user to dynamically configure the view they were working on. This has now been improved with an update, allowing users to add, remove and reorder columns in the view they are using.

Clicking the new ‘Column options’ icon, will bring up a side bar allowing you to configure which columns (either from the current entity, or a related entity) are visible and which order they appear in:

 

Customer Service Workspace Session Experience

For users of Dynamics 365 Customer Service, the Customer Service Workspace app has been a welcome update, allowing users to create multiple sessions, enabling them to work on more than one case at a time. This update now includes the ability to automatically create new sessions by simply clicking on a case from the dashboard without the need to hold Shift and click, simple changes such as this can save huge amounts of time when multiplied up over a team all working in the Customer Service Workspace app.

 

App Side Panes

The new side pane feature has the potential to vastly increase productivity and user adoption by introducing the ability to create custom side panes within Dynamics 365. This feature does require some JavaScript to set up (we can help there!), but once configured allows you to surface external data from any web source, or a list of Dynamics 365 records such as in progress cases, open activities, or the list of leads you’re working on.

 

Each pane can have its own icon and badge to draw users’ attention to what matters:

 

By using multiple side panes, additional useful information can be surfaced for users in stacked tabs on the right hand side.

Bulk Edit Records

Another improved feature in this update is the bulk editing experience. Previously, users could select multiple records to edit and click edit, at which point a legacy bulk editing dialogue would (slowly) be displayed, using the main form the given entity.

This experience has been improved with a migration to the new user interface and the performance has been greatly improved.

The previous bulk edit experience looked like this:

 

The new experience now looks like this:

 

Last But Not Least… Grid Lines

Any change to the user interface is always contentious, with most people having a different opinion on what good looks like. A typical example of this was the removal of section borders in Dynamics CRM 2013, a move Microsoft reversed in later versions to improve the usability of the application respond to user feedback on ‘floating’ data fields and controls.

The 2021 Wave 2 release updates the user interface when viewing a list of records to add grid lines to the view, this is the before look:

 

And this is what it looks like now:

 

We’ll let you decide which you prefer!

If you need any help or guidance on enabling the Dynamics 365 2021 Wave 2 release in your sandbox environment (which we recommend you do as soon as possible), enabling any of the optional features, testing functionality, or planning for a production rollout please get in touch today.

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