We were upgraded to the Unified Interface for Dynamics 365. Now What?

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In December, Microsoft began automatically transitioning all model-driven apps, except on-premises customers, to the new Unified Interface. Model-driven apps are custom applications on Microsoft’s Power Platform. These are low-code solutions, meaning that they are created using more of a component assembly style of interface, rather than writing code. They can range in size and functionality and can easily be implemented into environments. With their wide range of potential abilities, model-driven apps can be created and customized for any department or function desired.

What does this mean for your system?

These improvements are great, but what does it mean for current apps and customizations? According to Microsoft, customizations shouldn’t need to be recreated if they’ve been consistently kept up to date with changes in the past. With the new interface however, there may be new opportunities to optimize the customizations. ISVs from third parties on AppSource were notified of these changes prior to the transition. They will likely have taken action to ensure the continuity of service. Luckily, functionality of apps should not have been changed much, if at all. Business won’t need to focus on how the apps function, but rather spend a little time familiarizing themselves with the new interface and navigation.

Getting Comfortable with the UI App

Similar to other updates that have an effect on functionality and navigation, it may require a bit of time for end users to reacclimate to the new Unified Interface. Many people will also have concerns about how this may impact current processes. The Unified Interface aims to provide better productivity through a more modern interface with improved features and accessibility.

Microsoft designed the Unified Interface in order to provide developers with better development tools to ensure that all end-users are able to have the same experience when using model-driven apps. Prior to this hard transition, Microsoft had been slowly moving users towards this new experience.

The Unified Interface provides consistency in app functionality regardless of screen size. It uses a feature referred to as Reflow to move and rescale page elements to best fit into the screen size. When an app uses multiple columns, but the screen isn’t large enough to fit all columns, Reflow will combine them in to one column. Columns will be vertically ordered based on their left-to-right order, assuming a left-to-right language. In instances where a control takes up multiple columns, Reflow arranges vertical list that maintains the same navigation order.

In addition to this more consistent functionality, Unified Interface makes navigating around model-driven apps much easier. Clicking the app name at the tops allows for quick switching between apps.

The navigation pane in apps has a dropdown for viewing recent rows and favorites. There is also a page navigation to quickly jump between entity and dashboard pages within the app. All system and user dashboards can be viewed with Unified Interface with interactive dashboards available for all row types and improved interactive elements. The timeline helps to facilitate team collaboration by keeping track of all customer communications from posts to notes to voice attachments. Unified Interface also provides better compatibility with screen readers and braille printers.

Why should I create custom apps?

The customizability of model-driven apps makes them great addition to business processes. With Unified Interface’s optimizations for variable screen sizes, this versatility is further increased. Take, for example sales team members that travel frequently. They might not always have the ability to open the app on their computers to record data and advance workflows. Custom apps can more easily and reliably be created to function properly on mobile devices to help these team members focus on their sales, rather than technical issues.

Get started

At Syvantis, we’re highly experienced in customizing Dynamics 365 UI Apps to fit our clients' needs. If you are interested in getting assistance with customizing model-driven apps, or the Power Platform in general, schedule a consultation with us here!

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