The Customer Engagement Assessment and Performance Review are two services under the Performance Category that we wanted to highlight in this post. These Performance-based services are an important Dynamics 365 offering, as they can help you be proactive and gain insight into your deployment's health and performance. Read on to find more information, links to Datasheets, and expert answers from Sr D365 CE PFEs, Jaden Blake, and Jeff Thompson to common questions.  


Megan Lenling: What is a Performance Review and what are some of its key functions?  

Jaden Blake & Jeff Thompson: With the Performance Review, we can identify the current and/or the potential performance impacting issues and provide recommendations for how to improve performance.  


ML: What is a Customer Engagement Assessment and what are some of its key functions?  

JB & JT: The Assessment provides insight into the health of your Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement deployment by proactively diagnosing issues and risks, reviewing your results, and providing guidance to improve the health, performance, and stability of your Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement deployment.   


ML: What's the difference between the two and how do they overlap?  

JB & JT: The Performance Review focuses solely on performance-related issues. Whereas the Assessment provides a more holistic view into the health of your deployment including operational processes, application settings, performance metrics, application usage metrics, application exceptions, and other KPI’s. 


ML: What are some of the most common performance-related issues you run into?   

JB & JT: The top common performance-related issues we run into can be categorized into four main areas.   

  • Search Performance  
    • Quickfind / Global searches 
    • Lookup searches  
  • Form Navigation 
    • Opening Records  
    • Updating Records  
    • Saving Records  
  • Customizations / Custom Code  
    • Plugins 
    • JavaScript  
    • OnLoad / OnSave Events   
  • Form Design  
    • Custom Views 
    • System or Personal Views  
    • Ad Hoc Advanced Find queries 


ML: At what stages of an implementation/project is it most important to focus on performance?  

JB & JT: One thing we’ve noticed over the years is that “customers often wait too long to place a focus on performance-related issues.” In an ideal situation, you want to be focusing on performance... one, after the code for a project is completed, and two, before User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This is the best time to go through your coding and make any updates. This can be accomplished by performing One-Off Tests of each of your key scenarios and performing Load Tests that will mimic user concurrency and workload.  Dynamics PFE does have a service to perform this type of load testing and is recommended prior to Go Live. This service is the Dynamics 365 Benchmark Assessment.    


ML: What benefits can a customer expect to gain from the Performance Review and the Assessment?  

JB & JT: With the Performance Review Service, customers can expect that a PFE will conduct a “targeted review of specific known performance issues or a general review of performance in the system.” Also, an “analysis of collected data” will take place, in addition to “provided remediation/recommendations to improve performance.” For the Assessment, customers can expect to gain an overall better understanding of their system and its processes. They will acquire an “understanding of how different items are performing; plug-ins, form load times, views, slow queries.” Lastly, customers will be able to “gain awareness into issues that are occurring that they may not be privy to.” 


ML: Are there certain things that all cloud-based customers should be doing to improve performance?  

JB & JT: As a cloud-based customer, you really want to be “understanding what your performance is early” before you get too far into other processes. In addition to this, you should try to “understand what your business expects in application performance”, this way you can pinpoint the time it should take your system to do “x” task. Lastly, when looking at service speeds, you need to take into thought “whether the expectations of speeds for operations are realistic and attainable.”  Additionally, testing with a real-life dataset prior to Go Live will give you more representative results.      


I hope you found this information helpful and educational. If you are a customer or prospect customer interested in either of these services, a Premier of Unified Support contract is necessary to purchase these services. If you have a contract already in place, discuss your interest with your Technical Account Manager. If you don't have a Premier or Unified Support contract in place, feel free to reach out to the following group to further discuss your interest: 


Performance Review: 

CE Assessment: 

PFE Dynamics 365 Service Offerings: