Microsoft Field Service – Mobile Client Configuration and the Woodford Solution
Posted on: June 26, 2017 | By: Jim Bertler | Microsoft Dynamics CRM
When implementing Microsoft Field Service, a key piece of the process is configuration of the Mobile Client for the Field Service agents. If you have experience with configuration and use of the regular Dynamics 365 Mobile client, you can pretty much throw it out the window. About the only thing Field Service App has in common with the regular CRM app is that you download it from your favorite phone app store for free.
While Microsoft does provide a setup guide for the Field Service Mobile app, they leave several key pieces of information for set-up and using it.
What you will quickly learn is that app you get for free does not get you very far. The Field Service app, beyond the basic default configuration, does not allow build out of forms as the Dynamics 365 app for CRM does. If you want to do any type of customization, (and trust me – you will need to) you need to first download and install the Resco Dynamics 365 Woodford Solution file and install in to Dynamics 365. This can be found here. The good news is that it provides quite a bit of granularity in the customization of the Field Service app-the end result is that you get a very capable app for Field Agents.
There are a couple of requirements to using the Woodford solution you need to know that are not clearly documented:
You need to Use IE11 with Silverlight to install and use the Woodford Tool.
Even though the Woodford screen tells you to publish using the 10.+ version very clearly in red on your screen, it won’t work. You need to publish using version 9.1 so the mobile users can access CRM. Fortunately, this is a dropdown choice in the main menu for versioning.
Once downloaded and installed, you will find what is essentially a “Toolkit” to customize, configure, track, and secure the Mobile Apps being used by your organization for Field Service. The Field Service app, beyond the basic default configuration, does not build out forms as the Dynamics 365 app for CRM does.
After this download is installed, you will need to create a “Project” that contains the customizations for your users that gets published, and pushed out to the phone. Resco’s guide for building a project is relatively straight forward for an experienced CRM consultant/administrator to customize the app.
In many ways, the customizations thru this process are much more granular than anything you can do with the Regular Dynamic 365 CRM app.
So far, so good! Wrong! What you discover very quickly after you publish the first project, is that clock starts ticking on a 30 day “Free Trial”. Here is where the confusion starts. It looks like Microsoft has not quite fully taken control of this app from Resco, even a year after introduction of Field Service.
Nowhere in the Microsoft set-up guide does it mention this. Furthermore, they don’t mention how to remove or extend the Free Trial status. Finally, as you begin to click on the support link that you receive back from Resco when your free trial begins, you are taken to Resco’s website, and you see pricing of $40/month for use of the Mobile Client!
You begin to think – Microsoft never mentioned that the Mobile Client had an additional cost beyond the licensing for the Filed Service module. The good news is that it doesn’t cost anything extra, but the process to turn the Mobile app to live status is now handled thru a support case thru Microsoft. By contacting Microsoft support here, you can open a support ticket to extend the trial or activate the mobile licenses. Plan on at least 24 hours’ turnaround. The good news- the licenses are free of charge for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service E1 & E3 Dynamics licensees.
After navigating thru this somewhat bizarre configuration and licensing process for the Mobile App, the actual experience for the mobile user is very good.
If you are thinking about using Microsoft Field Service or have questions about configuration, feel free to contact us at Logan Consulting!
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