The Unified Interface has been available for Microsoft Dynamics 365 since version 9.0. The new UI standardizes the user experience for the Dynamics 365 platform for the different devices. Without the Unified Interface, there are sometimes considerable differences in usability between the desktop browser, the mobile app and the retrieval of CRM data records within Outlook. There were quite a few users who were irritated by the differences between the different end devices. In the near future, the Unified Interface will completely replace the classic Dynamics 365 UI. Therefore, we advise our readers to familiarize themselves with it as early as possible.
What is the Unified Interface for Dynamics CRM?
Short and crisp - the new UI is intended to standardize the user experience along the various end devices. With the introduction of the Unified Interface, Microsoft would also like to place the "App" more in the foreground. An app is a self-contained unit within the Dynamics 365 platform for a specific area of activity or task. With increasing connectivity between the different app modules, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing, it is advantageous if the applications only need to be designed once and are immediately available on all platforms.
Advantages of the Unified Interface
The focus is definitely on increasing productivity by extending and improving existing functions. Of course, there are also some completely new features.
The Timeline improves collaboration within teams by presenting the entire communication for a data set, clearly legible and simply structured on one page. All posts, voice messages, emails and notes are immediately visible to the user.
Extension of the Business Process Flows
The BPF was extended by a so-called docking mechanism. The level of a BPF with its associated tasks can be pinned to the screen. Thus the user can fully focus on the tasks in the corresponding level. This is especially helpful for more complex tasks within a stage.
Use the links in applications such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service. The panel is very well suited to retrieve other data sets without having to leave the actual data set, such as a query. This makes it possible to open an article from the knowledge database without leaving the support case.
The improved navigation allows you to quickly switch between (self-created) applications and to quickly access recently used or marked records.
Dashboards and Charts
Interactive dashboards are now available outside the Customer Service Hub. Users can now use these dashboards to analyze leads, opportunities, or account management. These are available on the desktop as well as on mobile devices.
Disadvantages of the Unified Interface
The new Dynamics CRM UI has brought some improvements with it, but also some disadvantages. The Unified Interface was designed for the "simple end user" and therefore some advanced functions are missing.
- No personal views
- Limited functionality for business rules
- No advanced search (!)
- Missing bulk editing of data records
- No manually triggering of workflows
- No sharing of records
Fortunately there is the possibility to make at least some of the functions in the system settings available again:
Conclusion - Unified Interface vs. classic Dynamics 365 CRM Interface
The Unified Interface definitely has some new features that convinced us. But there are some minor problems with the customizing from to time. Whereby these issues have decreased since version 9.1. At the moment we would recommend the classic Dynamics 365 interface to desktop users. Not only because of some missing functions. Whereas for the mobile version progress is clearly visible. Fewer bugs and smoother performance compared to the mobile version of 8.x. At the moment you still have the choice between the two UI's. Microsoft hasn't given any information on how long they will run on two tracks. Nevertheless, we recommend everyone to get familiar with the Unified Interface.