How to integrate Business Central with Dynamics 365 Talent – part 2 (configure BC & Talent)

If you’ve already read my previous article about introduction in BC and Talent integration, then you probably expect the next part. I cannot put everything in one blogpost as it will be a huge one and it can be confused to track all details, so I decided to write it in parts. Today, I’ll write how to prepare Business Central and Talent and how to locate data/entities you will handle with.

As I’ve already mentioned in previous post, as we don’t need all HR capabilities in Business Central and we will use all of them in Talent, we will enter data directly to Talent and move to BC only data necessary for other areas in BC. We will move data to Employee table as this table will be used in other parts of BC.

As we will create new employees in Talent, we need to configure No. Series to be fit with Talent requirements. If you want automatic numbers, you need to be careful and to make it exactly the same as in Talent, but I’ll recommend to configure Employee number series as Manual Nos.; this will keep the same numbers in Business Central as we have in Talent and you will avoid all potential risks.

As connectors with Business Central, we will use API’s. Employee table, for example already exists as an API, but if you would like to connect something more, you will probably have to create custom API and custom connector.

What we can synchronize? As I said, minimum we need in BC is Employee table. And you need to find entity as a source in CDS (I’ll explain later). You can connect entities as following:

Business CentralTalent / CDSBC API
EmployeeWorker …employee
Alternative AddressWorker Addresscustom
QualificationSkill Typecustom
 

If you want to find all details about Workers data in Talent, the best is to use the following Worker entity relationship model. But the best is to integrate only what is really necessary… only what you will really use in Business Central.

As we need to locate Talent entities, you need to open list of CDS entities in PowerApps platform (you don’t need to do nothing in Talent environment and you can use it only if it will help you to better understand environment; for all integration purpose you will use CDS – PowerApp). When you open PowerApps web page, you need to choose environment created for Talent.

After that, you need to open Data and Find Entities. In Entities, you can easily find Worker entity as this is a place where we can find our information.

Opening this entity, you can address all necessary fields you want to use in integration. And how to do it, you will see in the following post.

How to integrate Business Central with Dynamics 365 Talent – part 1 (Introduction)

When I think about new Business Central features, the first thing in my mind is openness for integrations. As a part of Dynamics 365 family, the main power of this solution is when it can work simultaneously with other. Because of that, I showed these capabilities in a few conferences. As I got lot of requirement to explain it in more details, I’ll write about good example of BC integrations with one other Dynamics 365 solution – with ‘Dynamics 365 Talent’.

‘Dynamics 365 Talent’ is a new Microsoft Dynamics HCM solution (new name ‘Dynamics 365 Human Resources‘). This solution was initially based on AX HRM, but now it is separated solution. As we can use it independently and this solution is really amazing HCM system, I think it can be interesting how we can integrate this solution with Business Central and make them as the powerful tool together… and with no code.

If you are thinking how to make it and how to make it with no code, the answer is using one of the Azure services – Logic Apps. As ‘Dynamics 365 Talent’ has entities on CDS and Logic Apps has connectors for CDS and for ‘Business Central’, only what we need to do is to map entities and fields in both systems and of course, to think abut business logic on the first place. Depends what is the primary reason for integration, we can choose some of the options:

  • integrate HRM core system with HR in Business Central
  • integrate Attract or Onboard apps in Talent with Business Central.

In second option, we will use HR module in Business Central and use only one or two parts from ‘Dynamics 365 Talent’. On the other side, in first option we will use core HR in ‘Dynamics 365 Talent’. In this text, I chose to explain the first option.

In this first text, I’ll just explain some basic concepts and you will find more details in the following texts with this topic.

Basic setup in Business Central

First, as we don’t need all HR capabilities in Business Central (we already have all of them in dedicated HR solution – ‘Dynamics 365 Talent’), we will move only data necessary for other areas in Business Central. In this example I’ll show how to move data to Employee table as this table can be used for example in a Payroll system or you can use this information in Fixed Assets card.

Locate information in Talent

Now when we have the basic configurations, we can continue with integration. First, we need to find where an employee’s data are saved in Talent. To find this we need to open list of CDS entities and we can do it using PowerApps platform.

When we have these basic information, we can continue with technical parts how to do it in a practice.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Updated Roadmap

A few days ago, after the first day and first keynote of Directions NA, I’ve posted Business Central roadmap. But now after this event has finished, we can find updated roadmap for our NAV successor – Dynamics 365 Business Central and it looks very interesting:

D365BC Roadmap

I’ll wait Directions EMEA to collect all information and write more detailed about this, but from my point of few, big changes are coming in two years and this is the last moment to change some old habits and to continue our journey in modern business applications.

Licensing in Dynamics 365 for Talent

In a last period, I’ve got a lot of questions about how to make a proper licensing for Dynamics 365 for Talent. As it is a new solution, it is understandable. As I’ve already wrote a few articles about this product, I think I can help with some answers.

The first and very important, all users in this solution are named users. And if we speak about HR core part, we have two different user types and you can buy them on two separate ways. We have Full Users with total access to all HR core application and we have Team Members with very limited access (mostly, but not only for read tasks).

As I mentioned Full Users (Talent Users) can be bought on the following ways:

  • as a regular Talent User (you must take minimum 5 users) for 40 USD
  • buying Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, i.e. you will get full Talent Users buying Unified Operation (for 190 USD) or full Dynamics 365 Plan (for 210 USD); in both cases you will get much much more than just Talent, but Talent will be part of your completely system.

TalentLicense.PNG

If we are speaking about Team Members, you can buy them for 8 USD, but again you will not get only access to Talent with them, but also to all other Apps in Dynamics 365 package. As I mentioned, Team Member are not limited only with read rights, because you can use them for example as employee for Employee Self Service.

OK, but this is not the end. Recently, Microsoft announce two additional AI Apps for Talent (Attract and Onboard) and that means if you want to use them, you first must be a regular Talent User. Then, you can subscribe them. Price is 8 USD for each of them separately or if you want both, price will be 12 USD in total.

And again, this is not the end. Actually, it doesn’t mean it must be the end. Why? Because if you want to customize something. As you already know (I hope), this App is full SaaS and you cannot just open a code and change it. If you want to change something on forms and similar, you can do it using PowerApps. In this case person who will make these customizations must have PowerApps Plan 2 (40 USD) license, but other users who will use these forms, have to have minimum PowerApps Plan 1 (7 USD) license. That means, not all users, only these who will use these new features. And just to know, if you are buying some Dynamics Plan, you will get PowerApps for free.

PowerAppsLicense.PNG

And again, it is similar situation if you want to use PowerBI for additional reports or Flow for additional workflows.

I hope I covered all models of licensing here. But just keep in mind, it is possible to be some changed, because it is a new App in Dynamics 365 family and with new releases, it is possible to be some changes. And I didn’t mentioned, but just to be sure: all pries are on monthly basis.

My Session(s) on eXtreme 365 Conference

This year I’ll start with my sessions little bit earlier then usually. My first conference where I’ll have a lecture will be eXtreme in Dubrovnik. In a past, this conference was mainly for the Dynamics CRM solutions, but from the 2017., we have not only CRM, but AX, NAV… as well.

So, this year I’ll be there with minimum one session. I’ll speak about Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ (and NAV as well) in a real world of integrations using Flow and CDS. I hope it will be interesting. If I’ll have more lectures, I’ll announce it here as well.

In a mean time, you can go and check more details about eXtreme 365 conference here, and I recommend to register if this is suitable for you.

eXtreme365.PNG

Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Flow

Hi, for all of you who want to learn how to use Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 for Financials with Microsoft Flow in a practice, I’ll provide webinar together with NAVUG.

navug

Today I just want to share this information with you and I’ll keep you in touch. Soon more on NAVUG web site. For now, just to save a date, it will be at Wednesday, February 14, 2018 (9:00AM-10:00AM EST).

All sessions from NAV TechDays 2017

NAV TechDays 2017 has just finished a few days ago and I already wrote about my expressions. Now, all sessions are already published and I want to have all of them on the one place. There are all of them:

Opening Keynote

Deep dive into the new development tools by Stanislaw Stempin, Jesper Schulz-Wedde and Esben Nyhuus Kristoffersen (all from Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen)

Desktop & Mobile Client Enhancements by Horina Serbanescu, Andrea Tino and Tomas Grubliauskas (all from Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen)

Application SaaSification by Henrik Frovst Madsen and Tommaso Pimpo (all from Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen)

Azure Functions Deep Dive by Vjeko Babic (Cloud Ready Software)

C/AL, Coding for Performance by Jasminka Thunes (NxM Business Solutions) and Jörg Stryk (STRYK System Improvement)

Creating great API’s by Anders Larsen and Nikola Kukrika (all from Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen)

Rock ‘n Roll with VSCode by Waldo (iFacto & Cloud Ready Software)

PowerApps, Common Data Services and Common Data Model by Michael Nielsen (ForNAV) and Mark Brummel (NAV Skills)

Easier and DevOps-friendly Dynamics NAV environments using Docker / Windows Containers by Tobias Fenster (Axians Infoma), Jakub Vaňák (Marques Olivia) and Freddy Kristiansen (MDCC)

Best practices to get automated tests running on your solution by Luc van Vugt (fluxxus.nl) and James Crowter (Technology Management)

Office 365 business apps powered by Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” platform by Ievgenii Korovin, Andreas Moth and Monica Ahuja (all from Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen)

Source Code Management with Visual Studio Code Made Easy by Soren Klemmensen (360 Visibility) and Jonas Andersen (Elbek & Vejrup)

Enjoy and see you there the next year…

The future of NAV – a small wrap up

These days we got a lot of messages about the future of our product – Dynamics NAV. Now I’m seating in a plane and traveling to Nashville on NAVUG Summit and finally have found some time to make a small wrap up with all important things. I think now, after two Directions in North America and EMEA, picture is clearer.

Roadmap

The first thing I want to mention is roadmap of Dynamics NAV. I think it is absolutely clear that in this moment we have Dynamics NAV 2017 as ‘on prem’ and ‘on cloud ready’ solution, but as SaaS, we have Dynamics 365 for Financial and Operations Business Edition, generally based on Dynamics NAV. But this is just in this moment, because Marko Perisic announced in Madrid last week that we will have published Dynamics NAV 2018 at December 1st. This announced is mostly based on partners feedback and this is absolutely this what partners wanted. For now, SaaS solution will stay the same, with the same name and in the same countries (US, Canada and UK). But with this new NAV version, partners will get new solution and the most important, with this new NAV version they can start to use Visual Studio Code for Extensions v2. This is important because partners now can start immediately with new model of development and to be ready for the spring and new solution.

NAV##1

At the spring 2018, we will finally get already announced new product – Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”, but only as cloud SaaS solution. As on-prem solution, we will get Dynamics NAV 2018 R2, but with the same code base as Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”. In this moment I don’t know a reason why we will still have the same product with the different names ‘on cloud’ and ‘on prem’. But very soon, we will continue with only one name – currently code name Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’. System will have new modern web interface, sandbox and lot of new features (more about it in another post).

And ant the spring, we will get Dynamics 365 for Sales App with less features (ex Business Edition) and Dynamics 365 for Marketing as preview. Both of these products was presented on Directions and they really look nice and rich.

New Package – New Opportunities

As I said, I don’t want to write about all new features in the future release, but what with the whole package. The main idea is to stop to implement ERP and/or CRM; but to continue to implement full business solution. This is what clients need; they don’t care what part of system it is, the just need to solve their problems and their requirements. And as the new business solution, we will have Dynamics 365 as business solution who cover most of the potential client’s needs. That means we will not sell e.g. ERP, but solution. In this solution we will see what real requirements client has and implement adequate Apps with adequate level of features. Price will depend of this, but we will don’t know prices, because of lot of changes. By my opinion, very important is that now we can combine Apps from ex Business Edition and ex Enterprise Edition. With this we will have more agility in implementation process. And of course, all of this will be integrated with Common Data Service. And even better, we can use CDS for our integrations. We can use not only Dynamics 365 Apps, but also PowerApps, Flow, Office 365, Power BI, 3th party Apps… as the same business environment.

NAV##2

Conclusion

The final message is by my opinion very clear and very positive. For both partners and customers. Don’t afraid, Microsoft will not stop with this amazing product. Rebranding is not canceling. But with new name, we will get still the same powerful product, but with the great new opportunities as well.

I can write probably more, but I think this is more than enough as the first wrap up after two Directions. Future of our product is a clear.

Dynamics 365 for Talent – Integrations

Few days ago, I’ve started with a story about new product (still Technical Preview) – Dynamics 365 for Talent. I want to spend a few words about possible integrations.

When you look at the official announcement, you can find that key integrations will support the overall business and the following integrations will be created, but they will be available at or shortly after general availability:

  • LinkedIn
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise Edition
  • Background screening
  • Global payroll providers
  • ATS providers

As you can see, there are not planed integration with Dynamics 365 for Financials or with Dynamics NAV. But  think it will be necessary because these products don’t have a real HRM solution. But I’ve also found that it will be possible to use Common Data Services platform with built-in extension points for Power Apps, Flow and Power BI.

TalentSys.PNG

But, when I tried to make connection via Flow and Power App, I’ve found that it is still not available as a connection. Of course, it is probably because it is only technical preview and I’m sure it will be available with a general availability. I’m waiting this moment and I want to make some kind of integration. I’ll write about it, I hope soon.

Dynamics ERP and CRM Continue Together

I didn’t write a blog for a while, but these few days I’m on eXtreme 365 conference and I decided to share some observation. For some time, since there is a Dynamics 365 product family, we created a closer collaboration between ERP and CRM products. Generally, it was mostly based on technology.

But now, I see the next steps. First, more and more ERP partners try to learn more about CRM and the same situation is with CRM partners and ERP knowledge. Now, I’m at eXtreme 365 conference that was originally CRM conference, but from this year this is not only CRM conference. We have a lot of sessions about D365 for Financials, D365 for Operations, Common Data Service, PowerApps, Flow… And as I see, there are some NAV partners (and MVP’s as well J). Also, I saw announcement for Directions this year and there is a same situation, this will not be only NAV event and we will have CRM sessions as well.

IMG_1849

This is very important, because all of use started with thinking that we need to continue with both products together. And this is a huge opportunity for partners. This is opportunity for upselling and if they know both products they will be better on a market.

And about a conference. Great conference and great opportunity for networking. This is the first time I’m on some big conference that was not originally NAV conference and this is the great opportunity to see some new people, sometimes with different attitude. I also met some friends from a NAV world here and I can say this is a great mixture. I’m expecting something similar on Directions as well.

OK, in some next posts I’ll write more about some news with these products, but for sure we can expect more and more news in this world in next few months.