Ultimate Dynamics 365 Terminology Cheat Sheet

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Ultimate Dynamics 365 Terminology Cheat Sheet

As a trusted Dynamics 365 Partner, we understand that diving into this powerful suite of applications can be overwhelming, especially with all the specific terminology.

To help you navigate, we’ve created a terminology cheat sheet of common terms and concepts you’re likely to encounter. This guide will demystify the jargon and help you get up to speed quickly.

Solution and Product Terminology

1. CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

A strategy and technology used to manage and analyse customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. Dynamics 365 CRM applications help businesses improve customer relationships, enhance customer retention, and drive sales growth.

2. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

A type of software that organisations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, and compliance. Dynamics 365 ERP applications streamline these processes and improve data accuracy and decision-making.

3. Dataverse / Common Data Service (CDS)

The Dataverse (formerly known as the Common Data Service) is a cloud-based storage space that allows you to store and manage data used by business applications securely. It provides a unified and simplified data schema that multiple applications can use.

4. Power Platform

A collective term for Microsoft’s Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents. These tools work together with Dynamics 365 to enhance data analysis, app development, workflow automation, and virtual assistance.

5. Power BI

A business analytics service by Microsoft that provides interactive visualisations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface simple enough for end users to create their own reports and dashboards.

6. Power Apps

A suite of apps, services, and connectors, along with a data platform (Dataverse), provides a rapid development environment to build custom apps for your business needs.

7. Power Automate

A service that helps you create automated workflows between your apps and services to synchronise files, get notifications, collect data, and more.

8. Power Pages

Microsoft Power Pages is a secure, enterprise-grade, low-code software as a service (SaaS) platform for creating, hosting, and administering modern external-facing business websites. With Power Pages, you can build sites by using the same shared business data stored in Microsoft Dataverse that you use for building apps, workflows, intelligent virtual agents, reports, and analytics with other Microsoft Power Platform components in your organization.

9. Model-Driven Apps

These are apps created from data stored in Dataverse and follow a data-first approach. The underlying data model drives the design, and they offer complex business logic, rich forms, and a responsive interface.

10. Canvas Apps

You can design and build apps by dragging and dropping elements onto a canvas, much like creating a slide in PowerPoint. They offer a more flexible and customisable user experience compared to model-driven apps. Canvas Apps are ideal for handling specific tasks, whereas model-driven apps provide end-to-end management of workflows 

11. Dynamics 365 Sales

An application designed to help sales teams manage leads, opportunities, and customer relationships, improve sales performance, and drive revenue growth.

12. Dynamics 365 Customer Insights

A comprehensive marketing automation application that helps manage marketing campaigns, nurture leads, and align marketing and sales.

Customer Insights consists of the Real-Time Journeys (RTJ) application. RTJ enables marketers to create and automate customer journeys in real-time. These journeys involve mapping out a series of touchpoints or interactions that a customer goes through with a business, such as email interactions, website visits, or social media engagements. It can also be used for planned journey experiences used for event invitations or newsletters. 

Customer Insights also comprises the Data application. Data can help you build a deeper understanding of your customers. Connect data from various transactional, behavioural, and observational sources to create a 360-degree customer view. Use these insights to drive customer-centric experiences and processes.

13. Dynamics 365 Customer Service

An application designed to help organisations provide excellent customer service, manage customer issues, and improve customer satisfaction.

14. Dynamics 365 Field Service

An application that helps organisations deliver onsite service to customer locations. It includes tools for work order management, resource scheduling, and asset management.

15. Dynamics 365 Finance

An ERP application focused on managing financial operations, including accounting, financial planning and analysis, and global financial management.

16. Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

An ERP application that helps manage production, inventory, warehouse, and transportation operations to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

17. Dynamics 365 Commerce

An application designed to provide a unified commerce experience across physical and digital channels, including retail store operations, e-commerce, and call centres.

18. Dynamics 365 Human Resources

An application that helps manage employee data, benefits, compensation, and compliance, and supports HR processes and employee development.

19. Dynamics 365 Business Central (ERP for Small Medium Businesses)

An all-in-one business management solution designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). It combines various functionalities such as financials, sales, service, and operations, enabling businesses to streamline their processes, make informed decisions, and accelerate growth.

20. Lifecycle Services (LCS)

A collaborative workspace that helps you manage the application lifecycle of your Dynamics 365 implementations. It includes tools for project management, configuration, and support.

Core Components and Functionalities Terminology

Comprehending the core components and functionalities of Dynamics 365 is vital for efficient business management. From entities to security roles, these elements empower users to customise their experience and drive success.

1. Entity

An entity in Dynamics 365 is a table that stores data about a specific type of record. Entities are equivalent to tables in a database. Examples of entities include Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, and Cases. Each entity can have multiple fields (attributes) that store different data types.

2. Record

A record is an individual instance of an entity. For example, if the entity is “Contact,” a record would be the specific information about one contact person, such as their name, email, and phone number.

3. Field (Attribute)

Fields, also known as attributes, are the individual pieces of data stored in an entity. For example, in a “Contact” entity, fields might include First Name, Last Name, Email, and Phone Number.

4. Form

A form is a user interface element that allows users to interact with entity records. Forms are used to display, create, and edit records. They can be customised to show specific fields and sections.

5. View

A view is a filtered list of records for a specific entity. Views can be customised to display certain fields and can be filtered and sorted according to different criteria. Examples include Active Accounts or Open Opportunities.

6. Solution

A solution is a package that contains customisations and configurations for Dynamics 365. Solutions can include entity customisations, workflows, forms, views, and other components. They are used to move customisations between environments, such as from development to production.

7. Workflow

A workflow is an automated process that performs actions based on certain conditions. Workflows can be used to automate business processes, such as sending an email when a record is created or updating fields when certain criteria are met.

8. Business Process Flow

A business process flow is a guided process that helps users follow a set of steps to complete a task. It visually presents the stages and steps involved in a process, such as qualifying a lead or resolving a customer service issue.

9. Plugin

A plugin is custom code that executes in response to specific events in Dynamics 365. Plugins are used to extend the functionality of the platform by adding custom business logic that runs when certain actions occur, such as creating or updating a record.

10. Custom Workflow Activity

A custom workflow activity is similar to a plugin but is specifically designed to be used within workflows. It allows developers to create custom actions that can be included in workflows to extend their functionality.

11. FetchXML

FetchXML is a proprietary query language used in Dynamics 365 to retrieve data. It is similar to SQL but is tailored for use with Dataverse. FetchXML queries can be used in views, reports, and custom code.

12. Web Resource

A web resource is a component used to extend the user interface in Dynamics 365. Web resources can include HTML, JavaScript, CSS, images, and Silverlight applications. They are typically used to add custom user interface elements or to integrate with external web services.

13. Field Security

Field security is a feature in Dynamics 365 that allows you to control access to specific fields within an entity. It enables you to restrict which users can view or edit sensitive data.

14. Security Role

A security role defines a set of permissions for users in Dynamics 365. Security roles determine what actions users can perform and what data they can access. Each user can be assigned one or more security roles.

15. Option Set (Picklist)

An option set is a field type that provides a predefined list of options for users to select from. For example, a “Status” field might use an option set with values like Active, Inactive, Pending, and Closed.

16. Global Option Set

A global option set is similar to a regular option set but can be reused across multiple entities. This ensures consistency and simplifies maintenance when the same set of options is needed in different places.

17. Queue

A queue is a container that holds records that need to be processed. Queues are commonly used in customer service scenarios to manage and assign cases to agents. They help ensure that work is distributed and handled efficiently.

18. Environment

In Dynamics 365, an environment refers to a defined space where an organization’s data, apps, and customisations reside. Different types of environments include production, sandbox, and development environments.

Navigating Dynamics 365: Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a seasoned consultant or new to CRM exploration, we hope this guide will aid your Dynamics journey. As a trusted Dynamics Partner, we’re happy to help if you need further expertise and guidance to implement a business solution.



May 15, 2024

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Dan Norris - Communications Manager ServerSys

Daniel Norris

Daniel Norris is the communications manager for ServerSys. His role is to bring you the latest updates, tips, news and guides on Dynamics 365.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at hello@serversys.com

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