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).
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
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.
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.
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.
- Microsoft have also announced in the Feature comparison that they will be adding ‘Reporting’, so this could cover the functionality of generating reports on the mobile.
- Resco functions to manipulate and use Videos, Pictures and Documents within the application. I’m not sure if Microsoft has anything existing or anything planned which can do things similar to Resco’s DocumentService.
- Resco had a feature where users could join chat channels and send direct messages to other users. I don’t think Microsoft will add anything to replace this feature.
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:
- Say Text / MessageBox
- Shared Variables
- 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.
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.
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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