Add and manage custom data fields without requiring code development in Dynamics 365 for Talent, Finance and Operations

In almost every implementation of business applications (ERP specifically), we often hear customers asking to add new custom data fields across various forms of the application, for them to be able to track additional data for their business needs. Sometimes, these custom data fields may involve certain level of custom business logic too, and sometimes these would just be straightforward data fields, meant for additional data tracking with no additional custom logic.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows you add and manage custom data fields across a wide range of forms and tables, without requiring any coding or development effort. In today’s post we will review this new feature. I am using Dynamics 365 for Talent to demonstrate this, but the same functionality is available in Finance & Operations as well as the Retail Management applications.

NOTE: In Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, this feature is available in Platform Update 13.

How to add a custom data field on a form:

Let us say I as an end user of the system want to add 2 custom data fields on the Employee master.

Data Field 1 “Is Exempt” : I need this to be a checkbox to indicate if an employee in Exempt or non-exempt.

Data Field 2  “Employee group:” I need to group my employee’s in a very custom way, so i need this field. This will be a pick list(Dropdown type field).

Dynamics 365 let’s you add the custom fields using the “Form Personalization” functionality. To add the new custom field, navigate to the form where you want to add the custom field and click OPTIONS > Personalize this form. In my case, I am on the Employees form.

Personalize this form

On the Personalization pane, select Insert > Field.

Insert Fields

Select the area of the form where you want to add the new field and you will see the new Insert fields dialog opening up. This lets you chose any additional existing data fields you want to add to the form. But this also lets you add a new custom data field.

Create new field

Next, you need to select the table where you want to add this new custom field. Note that only forms/tables that are allowed for adding custom fields will be visible here (You can see most common tables available here).

Additionally note that, you will only see the tables which are included as a data source on the Employee master already. The table names here are more easy to read rather than being robotic names, which makes it easy for an end user to deal with this.

I will add my first custom field, which is the “Is exempt checkbox“.

Create Custom Field

Enter a Name prefix for your data field. It might be a best practice to follow a common pattern for all custom fields. System then creates the field name automatically.

Select the field Type, which is Checkbox in my case.

Enter a front end display label, which the user or everyone will see this field as.

Finally enter the Help text, which will tell more information about this data field to an end user.

Now i will go ahead and add my second data field “Employee group”, which is a picklist.

Create Custom Field2

I added the 2 custom field on the employees form just like that. I will now click Save to see my changes. On the next screen, just click the Insert button.

We will now see these 2 new fields in action on the Employee details page and we can start using these. How cool is that!!!

Fields in action

Custom Field help text

Can I share custom fields with others? 

Yes, you can !!! If you or others of your organization creates a custom field on a form, they can share it with other users (All or specific subset of users). There are 2 ways you can do it.

The best way is to have your system administrator manage this. Under System Administration > Personalization menu, they can select specific use(s) by their security role or simply for All users, and then either ‘Select an existing personalization to apply for those users”, or they can also import a personalization file for those user(s).Admin PersonalizationThe other option is for you to simply export your personalization  and share it with specific users and have them import those on to their view.

Export Personalization1

Export Personalization

How a system administrator manage the custom fields centrally at one place:

Yes !! A user with System administrator privileges, can see and manage ALL the custom fields added by everyone in the system , all at one place under System Administration > Setup > Custom fields page. Here , you can Edit the Label, Help text or even the length of text fields. You can also add new values for Picklist type fields at any time.

Note that you cannot change the Fieldname, Field type.

Lets say i want change the label of the “Is Exempt” field to “Is Salaried employee” and i want to add a new value to the Employee group field.

Edit Custom Field 1.

Edit Custom Field 2.

If I now go back to my employee details form, You will see the changes reflected there.

Edit Custom Field applied

Can I delete a custom field if I don’t need it anymore? 

This is highly unlikely, but there  may be instances where you decide not to use a custom data field anymore for some reason. If you decide to do so, you system admin can delete the custom field and all the associated data and the field will be deleted from the database and you cannot recover it. Something you should think before doing 🙂

Delete Custom Field

Custom Field Delete Message

How can I add a custom field to a data entity?

When you introduce custom data fields on tables/forms, it is highly likely that you want to expose those fields and use them in Data uploads, edit in excel etc. The Custom fields feature supports this scenario. After you have added custom fields, your admin can enable those on selected data entities Under System Administration > Setup > Custom fields.

Add Custom fields to data entities

How about multi-language support for custom fields?

Dynamics 365 supports multi-country, multi language requirements. When you add custom fields for your needs, you can enable additional language support for those as well.

Lanuage Support1png

What a neat feature!!! This is something a lot of users and customers have been looking for. Hope this feature will continue to improve.

Regards,

Sandeep

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Dynamics 365 For Talent Management, What does it offer ? How does it help your Organization to attract the best talent !!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 For Talent is a best of breed talent management cloud solution from Microsoft which has been available for a few months now and several customers are already underway adopting this new solution. In one of my posts earlier, I provided a sneak peak into this solution and described the key components/modules. In this post today, let us understand this solution in little bit more depth, discuss some buying options and also we will dive deep into the “Attract” experience of Talent specifically.

Talent Overview

Dynamics 365 For Talent has 3 core modules. They are follows.

  1. Attract (To attract talent, so that you can hire the right people)
  2. Onboard (To onboard employees, so that you can set them up for success)
  3. Core HR Operations (To drive HR operational efficiency and manage day to day HR activities.

What are the buying options for Dynamics 365 For Talent?

Well, Microsoft has made this part really flexible and allows customers to chose what, how and when they need it. Below are some additional details.

The Dynamics 365 Best Value Plan: If you have chosen or implementing Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations – Enterprise edition and you subscribed for the Dynamics 365 Plan(Best value Plan), then you get access to Dynamics 365 for Talent by default, along with other best in class enterprise apps such as sales, marketing, finance & operations, retail and more.

Unified Operations Plan: If you have subscribed to this plan, you have access to Dynamics 365 for Finance & operations(Enterprise edition), Retail and Dynamics 365 for Talent by default.

The above 2 plans are best for customers who are looking for more comprehensive implementation of ERP, CRM and Talent management apps and have chosen Dynamics 365 to be their all in one business application platform.

Dynamics 365 for Talent Best value Plan: Dynamics 365 For Talent offer’s it’s own Best value plan. This plan includes all the 3 components of Talent management which are “Attract”, “Onboard” and “Core HR”. This allows you to start implementing Dynamics 365 for Talent management for all your Talent and HR requirements and then optionally integrate it with your other business apps that you may be using for project, finance and operations management.

Modular Apps Plan: Dynamics 365 for Talent platform is even more flexible and allows you to subscribe only to the specific “Attract” and Onboard” experiences of Talent, so that you can use those for all your talent recruitment needs, and then optionally integrate it with other core HR and Payroll management or finance and operations app that you may have implemented.

These are really great ways to start with what you need first and then grow and adopt more apps for specific operations as the need arises.

Click Here for details on pricing, licensing etc.

In this post today, let us dive deep into some of the functionalities of the “Talent Attract app/experience” of Dynamics 365 for Talent.

Talent Management always begins with having the required Job openings of your organization defined clearly. Below screenshot shows how the landing page of the “Attract” experience of Talent looks. This shows All the Jobs (Active and Closed) of your organization. You can create new jobs and specify if you are a Hiring Manager or Recruiter and you can import jobs from an Excel file just by dragging and dropping the file.

Attract Home Page

Now, lets see what goes underneath a job and what settings does it contain. When you create a job, you can define additional job settings such as a detailed job description, Job location details and also a reference to an external job posting on most popular job posting portals such as  “Linked In“, “Indeed” and “Monster“. See screenshots below.

Job Setting 1

Job Setting 2

You can very easily create your Hiring team, which can include an Hiring manager, one more interviewer, a recruiter etc. You can chose people from your organization (If you have Office 365 it is even easier).

Hiring Team for Job

With job defined and setup now, let us how you would manage applicants on this job. Since each job listing can be linked to an external job posting on LinkedIn/Indeed/Monster, you would imagine that job applications from those portals can be directly converted to applicants of the job in Attract experience of Dynamics 365 for Talent (Not able to test this since I don’t have a subscription for those portals). However, you can add applicants manually or add several applicants at once, by simply dragging and dropping an excel file containing the applicant details.

When adding applicants, you can link their linked in profile directly into the applicant profile and it will pull information from LinkedIn right into Talent app. When Microsoft acquired LinkedIn a few months ago, we all wondered why this ? Well, this is one of the many benefits and outcomes we are going to see in near future.

Let us say John Doe is applying for the Creative Director job at your organization. I have linked my LinkedIn profile to John’s applicant profile, to be able to test it.
Applicant Add

Now that we added John Doe as an applicant, Dynamics 365 automatically sends John an email notification notifying him that his job application has been received by SBS Group, so that John stays in loop in the proceedings of the job application. Additionally, John can simply sign up to Dynamics 365 for Talent using his LinkedIn credentials and stay up to date with the proceedings.

Applicant First EmailThe candidate can simply sign up into Dynamics 365 as a candidate using their LinkedIn credential.

With that said, let us move on to Screening John and take the process through that experience. At the Application level, I can upload Resume/Cover Letter etc. by simply dragging and dropping files and I can see candidates resume right within Talent with the power of Office 365 integration.

Application

John Doe, the applicant for Creative Director job now moves to the Screening stage. You will notice that Dynamics 365 is able to pull John’s LinkedIn profile data right into Talent. The Recruiter/Hiring manager can enter any Notes and then Request the candidate for availability by selecting some date proposals.

Screening1

With the power of Dynamics 365, the Candidate is kept in loop with automatic email notifications and gets to see this availability request on his/her smartphone and he is also able to review the details and respond to the request with his/her preferred date.

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As you can see, John confirmed that November 17th works best for him, the Hiring Manager or the Recruiter can now login to Dynamics 365 and see that date and use that to confirm the interview.

Candidate Confirmed Date

The recruiter can now easily select the interviewers from the Hiring Team or even add other participants and then Invite the team to schedule the interview.

Invite Team

The recruiter can select additional date proposals for the interviewers and also indicate the Candidate’s preferred/confirmed date. They can also chose to include an online meeting, which in turn would include details of a Skype for business meeting details or Microsoft Team meeting info automatically into the meeting request. This leverages the power of integration with Office 365.

Set Interview Details

With the power of Office 365 integration out of the box with Dynamics 365, the Recruiter will also be able to too look into calendar availabilities of the Interview team right within Dynamics 365. The interviewers will get notified automatically via email and the candidate will also be updated.

Office 365 integration

Interviewer Email

 

The hiring team members and individuals can then login to Dynamics 365 to submit their feedback in real time and mention strengths and weaknesses of the candidate.

Feedback

At the end of this process, when the candidate is finalized and ready to be hired, you can go to the Prepare offer experience to create and send offer to the candidate. Note that the “Offer” functionality/experience of Talent is still in Preview and I am not able to reveal much about it at this point. But as you can imagine, you will use this experience to do everything that goes into preparing and communicating with a candidate regarding offer.

Offer

Onboard Start

Let us stop at this for this post.

In the next post, we will use the Onboard experience of Dynamics 365 for Talent to onboard John and evaluate how that experience looks like.

Till then, happy Talent management 🙂

 

 

Dynamics 365 For Talent, game changing cloud app for end to end HCM and Talent Management from Microsoft

The date for the general availability for Dynamics 365 For Talent is nearing !! The Technical Preview is out now and you can get your hands on it to realize the tremendous potential and capabilities this new app brings out of the box, to help manage the end to end Human Capital Management (HCM) and Talent management functions of your organization.

D365 For Talent Tech Previewq

I have been evaluating this upcoming app for sometime now and I did play around the Technical Preview environment also. I would like to share some of my observations and how I think it will benefit for customers who already have subscribed to Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition and customers who are evaluating Dynamics 365 for their organization.

Note: In this post, I don’t intent to go deep into exploring features and functionality. I will do that later in future posts after General availability.

Take a quick look at the video below to get an idea of what Dynamics 365 For Talent can do for you.

Here are some of the key points.

  • First thing first ! Dynamics 365 For Talent is a cloud only, true SaaS offering from Microsoft under the Dynamics 365 platform, and it focuses only on core Human Capital Management and Talent Management aspects of an organization. This app is not customizable(as you would expect in other Dynamics 365 apps such as Operations), but it is certainly extensible, to meet customer’s specific needs.
  • Breaking Free from Core Finance and Operations app was a good idea: Many of us may have the question “Why a separate dedicated cloud app for HCM only, when Dynamics 365 For Operations app natively supported a fully integrated HR Module with a lot of native HCM and some talent management capabilities already?”. Well, from my perspective, it was a very bold and good move from Microsoft to break free the HCM component from within core finance and operations app, but still keep them both integrated. HCM and Talent management is key to every organization of any size and having all core HCM and Talent management functions within the Operations app was kind of limiting the scope of all the enhancements, that one can make in the HCM areas. It was also a lot of crowded core HR related sensitive employee data within the Operations app and it made customers spend time to deal with building stringent security configurations to hide these sensitive data.

People Hub

  • The road is now paved to innovate faster and compete with other industry leaders in cloud HCM apps: The separate app for Talent management under Dynamics 365 platform will enable organizations to subscribe and use just the Talent app and also use it in conjunction Finance and Operations, based on what the needs are. This will also enable Microsoft to make this a full fledged HCM/Talent management app by adding new innovation focused specifically on HCM and be able to compete with other  industry leaders . We are already seeing the innovations with the deep LinkedIn integration for Talent attraction and onboarding.
  • Best in class Talent attraction and hiring experience with LinkedIn integration out of the box: With deep integration to LinkedIn, Dynamics 365 for Talent will set itself apart and ahead of the game, when it comes to HCM and Talent Management. It is certainly poised to provide the best talent hunting and hiring experience for your organization. How many companies do you know today that does not rely on Linked to look and hunt for the best talent? So, with the deep integration with Dynamics 365, it will be your one stop shop for all aspects of attracting and retaining top talent. This will be the game changer.

LinkedIn

  • Key HCM related analytics and dashboards are readily available. Microsoft PowerBI being the backbone, Dynamics 365 For Talent also provides various prebuilt PowerBI content packs for all sort of analytics and dashboards you will expect. All out of the box!

Talent People Metrics

Talent Workplace Demographics

  • Extensions and Integrations:  Having Dynamics 365 For Talent as a standalone app and not providing any integrations out of the box with ERP (Finance and Operations apps) will not make much sense. Come fall release later this year, we should start seeing out of the box integration of Dynamics 365 for Talent with Dynamics 365 for Operations app, where all necessary core workers related data needed for managing operations and finance will flow from Talent to Operations app. Let us stay tuned on this.

Integrations

  • 3rd Party Integrations: Not only integrations within Dynamics platform, but this will also make it easier to integrate with external ATS, Payroll Providers and background check providers.
  • Licensing and Subscriptions: Since this is in Technical Preview now, no licensing details are out yet from Microsoft. But we should be fairly assume that Customers who have subscribed to the Enterprise Plan 2 of Dynamics 365 should get access to Dynamics 365 For Talent by default. Stay tuned for more updates on this.
  • What will happen to Customers who have invested in the Core HCM functionality of HCM module in Dynamics 365 For Operations or AX 2012 R3: While we need to wait to see more details around this, it surely looks like many of the core HCM functionality will move away from Dynamics 365 For Operations to Dynamics 365 For Talent in coming releases. I believe the customers who have used the built in HCM module of Dynamics 365 For Operations should be able to migrate most/all of their data to Talent and take advantage of the integration with Operations when it comes out in the Fall or later release. Customers using the HCM module functionalities of AX 2012 R3, can take advantage of the out of the box integration with Talent,  which will come out in coming months and they can move their HCM functions  to Dynamics 365 For Talent. Alternately, they can continue to use the AX 2012 R3 features until they are ready to move to the Cloud fully.

Exciting times ahead for HCM and Talent Management in Dynamics 365. Customers and prospective customers, stay tuned !!