Migration from Resco to Microsoft (Field Service Mobile) in May 2020

Microsoft have announced there new Field Service Mobile application which is soon to replace the old application previous built using the Resco platform – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/mobile-2020-power-platform

This blog post may seem a little pre mature as the application has just been released and Microsoft have advised not to use this new mobile app until some time in 2021, but I thought it would be interesting to evaluate the current state of the app now and how you would most likely to migrate your old Resco project. I will probably be updating this post or creating new posts as time goes on during 2020 to reflect any new changes to the new Field Serivce Mobile application and will most likely create a ‘Migration from Resco to Microsoft (Field Serivce Mobile) in 2021‘ post to see what strides Microsoft have made as time goes on.

If you have the unfortunate job of migrating your previous Resco configuration to the new Microsoft app, then I have provided a rough outline of what needs to be migrated and how most likely to do it (in May 2020).


Migration Steps


Home


Replicating the Home tab on Microsoft Field Service Mobile is pretty straight forward. You need to edit the existing site map which is actually demonstrated in Microsofts documentation Here


Sync Filters


The sync filters at first glance would of seemed quite simple to import, just export and import the XML into the Offline Profile, right? Actually the way Microsoft has implemented offline filters is majorly different to Resco’s sync filter.

Here are some good guides on Offline Profiles

From researching more about offline profiles. Depending on the complexity of your current sync filters I think this could cause the most problems when trying to migrate to the new mobile application. It looks like you will have to configure all the offline profiles from scratch again and will most likely have to change your approach when rebuilding.

But… Microsoft have stated in the Feature comparison that they will introduce ‘Enhanced offline sync filters’ later on in the Field Serivce Mobile road map which sounds quite promising and I think would absolutely be needed before using the new application.


Forms


This is simple. Just manually recreate your forms onto Microsofts Field Serivce Mobile app. I would suggest cloning the main mobile forms created by Microsoft so you can refer to the base form and so Microsoft doesnt overwrite any of your changes in future.


Views


The views would need to be manually created again. The nice thing is that you can export the XML from Woodford and import it into a view designer in XRMToolBox if your previous filter was too complex.

You may also have been using view buttons that Woodford provides. This needs to be replaced with a ribbon button (Look at the command section for more information about ribbon buttons) which would appear when pressing the elipses button on the right of the view.


Offline HTML


If you had any custom JavaScript developed for the old mobile application, you will have to code them from scratch again using the Microsoft Client API Object model – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customerengagement/on-premises/developer/clientapi/client-scripting. This should be very familiar for Dynamics CRM developers already.

This should be relativly straight forward to migrate your JavaScript from using Resco’s JSBridge Library to Microsoft’s Client API as they share a lot of similar functions to each other (although named and constructed differently). The only thing you may stumble on is rebuilding or using some of Resco’s unqiue functions such as:

Please refer to the Form Rules section below as there is some reference to JavaScript rebuild.


Form Rules


Form Rules for the most part can simply be added as Business rules, but I imagine that developers have probably used many of Resco’s fancy form rule functions such as:

  • Variable
    • If you were using the Variable function in the form rules then you will need to add this in JavaScript using the Xrm.WebApi.offline function to retrieve data from another entity. You would also need to include any other form logic if they are using the retrived values from the variable.
  • Say Text / MessageBox
    • The Say Text or MessageBox function was used to display a pop up message with some text. Once again you will have to add this in JavaScript using the openAlertDialog function to show the message. There are also other types of dialogs you can use such as openConfirmDialog and openErrorDialog depending on your requirement.
  • Shared Variables
    • Shared Variables was the ability to write and read to a variable across ‘OnLoad’, ‘OnChange’ and ‘OnSave’. You can’t do this in Business rules so this would have to be added in JavaScript.
  • Scan Image
    • The Scan Image function was used to read barcode numbers and to carry out a specific action after scanning. Microsoft have created a Barcode Scanner control which can replace this.
  • Save/SaveAfter
    • The Save/SaveAfter function was the ability to save a related record without the need for JavaScript. You will need to use the Xrm.WebApi.offline.updateRecord function to replace this.

Microsoft have also stated in the Feature comparison that they will be introducing ‘Enhanced mobile workflows’ which I can only assume will be some sort replacement for Resco’s form rules. We will just have to wait and see if they add similar functions to the ones listed above.


Commands


Resco Commands is just the same as Microsoft Ribbon buttons. The obvious way would be to recreate the command as a ribbon button using the Ribbon WorkBench. However if you were just using out of the box form rules to execute your custom command, then you will have to incoporate it into JavaScript.


Conclusion


Long story short… Currently in the product’s current state you will be moving most of the components into JavaScript. Resco had a lot of cool features which made developing for the platform a pure pleasure which enabled developers to build most requirements using Form Rules with little to no code. From looking at there current road map it looks like Microsoft are going to try and match a lot of the original functionlity given natively in Resco’s platform, to hopefully reduce the pain of migration later down the line.

My thoughts on the Microsoft’s new Field Service application is that it simply does the job. The introduction of Model Driven apps have made it easy to develop for both desktop and mobile platforms and I have no worries that it will be as simple to develop for just like Resco’s Woodford configurator. They just need to nail offline mode and synchronisation, if Microsoft can do that well then everything else can fall into place.

The new Field Service Mobile application is still very new and I will continue to add new blog posts in future as more details are revealed. I fully expect that Microsoft have some stuff up there sleeves regarding this new mobile application (Maybe around documented migration steps?). Microsoft have been suprisingly diligent with updating documentation lately that we will just have to wait and see.

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