With the release of Dynamics 9.0 came Microsoft’s new Unified Interface, bringing a fresh new look and feel to the Customer Engagement product. Before we dive into the new ClickDimensions interface, let’s explore what Unified Interface is and why Microsoft chose to implement this new look.
So, what is Unified Interface? Microsoft wanted the customer experience to look and feel the same across multiple clients while focusing more on a model-driven app style of interaction. By moving in this direction, it will allow users access to the functionality they require for their role, trimming off all the unnecessary entities. For example, if your user is in a sales role, they do not necessarily need all the functionality that the Customer Service or Field Service components of the Customer Engagement platform. By switching to a model-driven apps experience, the user will only have access to the entities that matter to them, making navigation much easier.
Another neat addition to Unified Interface is some cool new controls that allow us to display data in a much more visually appealing way. If you’re not familiar with what custom controls are in Dynamics, basically they allow us to display and edit data in customer-friendly ways. An example of a super useful control is editable grid control, which allows a user to edit data from the view level instead of needing to go directly to the record to edit:
While editable grids aren’t new, Microsoft has introduced some super cool new custom controls exclusive to Unified Interface. One I am currently playing around with is the Calendar Control. Originally only available on phone and tablet, Unified Interface makes it available on the web app! The Calendar Control is handy when you are looking at things like email sends or events and will display these records across a calendar for ease of viewing. I’m still working my way through applying this control so expect a blog post in the near future on how to apply this control to ClickDimensions entities!
So now that we have a better understanding of what Unified Interface actually is, lets dive into the updates to the ClickDimensions solution.
First things first – the updated Unified Interface solution for ClickDimensions was released in April on version 9.13.2 and requires you to be operating on Dynamics 9.1 or higher. You might notice that Unified Interface was released on 9.0 and are wondering why ClickDimensions only has a solution for 9.1+. Microsoft introduced some updates to Unified Interface in 9.1 that were critical to the ClickDimensions update – some of those new features are central to the functionality of ClickDimensions. You can view the release notes for the ClickDimensions Unified Interface solution update here.
As Unified Interface is now a more app-based interface, you will find the ClickDimensions app available under the app navigation tab:
Once this has popped open, look at the navigation pane to the left and at the very bottom you will notice that ClickDimensions has separated out the functionality of the product into two different areas: 1. Email and Messaging and 2. Web Content and Analytics. This new menu navigation makes it easy for the end user to access the entities related to the specific task they are working on:
So, the Email and Messaging section is exactly what the name implies – it groups all the entities required for sending emails, SMS and social posts. Web Content and Analytics is also the same – it contains everything a user needs for building out web content such as forms, subscription management pages, etc. It also contains the records that will allow the user to analyze web content data. This is where you will find your website analytics like page visits and views and posted forms.
In line with the new Unified Interface, you will also notice that sections on the form are now tabs at the top of the screen.
It is important to note that this new Unified Interface for ClickDimensions is currently in Beta mode. Also, it’s important to note that we do of course still support the classic interface, so if you’re not on 9.1 or there is some functionality that doesn’t look quite right in Unified Interface, you always have the option to swap back to or stay with classic.