Hello;

Today we're going to continue the in-depth series on Dynamics 365 Apps Part 4 which will go into detail on the functionality of the new Sitemap Designer. 

Series links:

In part 3 we discussed the functionality available in the App Designer. In this post we're going to dive into the Sitemap Designer. Let me start by saying I wished this interface existed several, several, several years ago. There have been several communication built applications; the latest being the one available with the XRMToolbox at http://www.xrmtoolbox.com/. Let's start and go through the different areas of the Sitemap Designer. We'll go through the different component areas and the properties related.

Areas

Areas are the top level navigation available through the ribbon. In the past it's been Sales,Service,Marketing,Settings, etc. This area we're able to specify a title, icon and a proper unique ID. As part of the advanced section we're able to specify different locale texts and descriptions. It's also worth noting that you have the capability to add a ton of different areas although it might not be user friendly. I was able to add well over 100.

Groups

The group sections allows you to group the different links together inside of an area. It has all of the same properties of a Area in terms of locales, etc. 

Subareas

The subareas section is where all of the functionality is truly available. First a subarea can be one of multiple different types: Dashboard, Entity, Web Resource, URL. This means you can very easily build a navigation system that links to what your users need. It could be outside of CRM or a very specific web resource built for them. The great part of this is each type has some unique settings.

The advanced properties section is much more robust and I want to highlight three differnet properties.

  1. Privileges to each specific subarea based on entity. This allows us to create a much more in depth application showing and hiding subareas potentially based on specific access levels to individual entities or multiple entities. Overall this means a very robust security system which will drive a more complex navigation for the applications being built.
  2. The SKUs property setting allows us to specify which SKU the application is available for. The options are All, OnPremise, Live, SPLA. This is a really interesting property that will allow third party partners to build there own native apps to be purchased and control what versions of CRM it's able to be installed on.
  3. The Client setting allows for you to specify which clients are available in this application. The options are All, Outlook, OutlookLaptopClient, OutlookWorkstationClient, and Web. This is important to note as it doesn't contain tablet nor mobile. I think one the Application feature is brought to these clients it will show here.

Review

Overall even though the sitemap designer was brought in with Dynamics 365 it's important to understand it's here to stay. I hope we continue to see investment in these two designers as it's making building user interfaces for our end users much simpler and more achievable by all people using CRM. I do really like this Sitemap Designer and I can't wait to use it more. Thanks for tuning in for part 4 of the series. In part 5 we'll be looking to tie it all together and look at a finished Application and how it will look to the users using it.

Thank you!