Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Training
Using Activity Feeds
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The Activity Feed in Microsoft Dynamics CRM has seen some improvements with the release of the December 2012 Service Update. The enhancements allow for greater collaboration between coworkers, and provides real-time updates regarding records owned and followed by Users.
In this tutorial video, I will demonstrate how to use filters and compose messages for Activity Feeds, and also demonstrate how to follow records.
The optimal place to start is in my Personal Wall. I can get there by navigating to Workplace > My Work > What’s New. This is where I’ll find any posts related to me or records that I own or follow. I can see how many Users are following me and the number of records I am following. A great way to think of this wall is like a Twitter feed, which will become more apparent in a moment.
It is possible to place my Personal Wall on a Dashboard as seen here in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Social Overview. Learn how to do this by watching “Activity Feeds in a Dashboard”.
The more records and Users I follow, the more information I’ll find in my feed. I’ll demonstrate how to follow a record by navigating to Workplace > Sales > Opportunities. There are two ways to follow a record. One is by selecting it without opening it, and then clicking Follow in the ribbon. The second way is to open the record and click Follow either in the command bar or ribbon depending on which form is open.
Now that I’m following a record, I’ll navigate back to my Personal Wall. Right now, I am viewing all posts, both auto and user, regarding all records I either follow or own for all entity types. I can filter these posts by entity by clicking All records. Only entities that contain records I follow will appear here. If I were to follow, say a Case record, that entity would appear here as a filter option. I’ll select “Opportunities”. I now see posts regarding Opportunity records I am following, including the one I just followed a moment ago.
Now, I’ll examine the difference between Auto posts and User posts. The former are posts generated by Dynamics CRM, like a notification of a qualified Lead record. These can be triggered by Users, say when a Case is closed, or they can be triggered by the system, by say a Workflow.
User posts are like written notes that have been manually generated by Users. Think of them as messages, notes, or if you’re social media savvy, “tweets”. This is where the Twitter similarities start to show.
Take the ampersat, or the “@” symbol for example. Those of you familiar with Twitter might be used to using the ampersat for messages. In a Twitter handle, which is a username, the ampersat is always the first character. For example, my company Twitter handle is “@xrmdotcom”. So if you want to Tweet us, you would include “@xrmdotcom” in your message.
The same logic applies here in the Activity Feed. Let’s say I want to know if someone called Paul Cannon, a Contact of mine, to invite him to a lunch meeting. I could type, “Did anyone call @Paul...” notice that as I type Paul’s name, his record appears inline and I can select it. I’ll finish the post then click the Post button.
Notice that once the message is posted, the ampersat disappears, but there is a link for Paul’s record. This is great because anyone following me will get this message and know exactly whom I am talking about. The ampersat can be used to reference records from a number of entities. If I start to type a record and it doesn’t appear, I can click Look up more records and locate it in the Look Up Record dialog.
There’s one more tip I want to show you before I wrap this up. If I click All records in the feed I can also filter by Posts about. If I click @Me, I’ll see all posts that have been directed at me. I can also edit the order of these filters, as well as show and hide them by clicking the settings icon, which looks like a gear.
The Activity Feed in Dynamics CRM will help users collaborate, and will provide you with real-time updates on your organization.
For more tips, tricks, and tutorials, please refer to the Success Portal and blog.xrm.com.