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Last couple of weeks ago myself and Elaiza Benitez are collaborating in writing up some posts for the new custom help feature introduced in Dynamics CRM 2015: Help(ing you) in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 with Microsoft Word and Help(ing you) in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 using Office 365 and Microsoft SharePoint online. In the previous posts we mentioned the ways to implement custom help in Dynamics CRM 2015. Custom help is really important aspect in user adoption where the end users (who use the system) can find a guidance on how they will work with the system without the need to contact the trainers or support help desk to solve their lack of knowledge, especially when the organisation just rolled-out a brand new CRM system.
So, in this post I will share my thought on how we could compare the approach and get which one as the best fit to the situation. The first part that drives the decision is whether we would like to implement the custom help globally or per-entity based. Now let’s compare the pros and cons of each implementation and I will give my thought on what would be the typical scenario where the approach will be suitable/applicable.
Global custom help is applied system wide, regardless whether an entity is system entity (out of the box) or custom entity, when this functionality is enabled every time the user clicks on the help icon, they will see the custom help instead of the standard out of the box Dynamics CRM help page. Global custom help option might works the best with the next option (Append parameters to URL) so that the help site can redirect or point to the right resource. One of the sample of the implementation with minimum amount of code is covered by Scott Durow in this post. Now below is the analysis on the implementation:
Typical usage for:
Pros compared to entity-based custom help:
Cons compared to entity-based custom help:
Entity-based custom help is applied on per entity basis. So you could specify on which entity the custom help will be applied. In implementing entity based custom help there are many options available, such as using CRM web resource, external web CMS/SharePoint or any other web pages that available to your users (intranet/public site).
Pros compared to global custom help:
Cons compared to entity-based custom help:
You could mix the usage of global and entity-based custom help. The behaviour is the Entity-Based custom help will win. Example: You provide the global custom to http://www.bing.com/ (so the user know how to use search engine :) ) and specified the custom help for contact entity to your SharePoint page. So, when users click to open the help on other entity for contact, they will see http://www.bing.com/. And when they open the help page on contact, they will see the SharePoint page.
This behaviour is useful when you would like to have a default location for custom help, but for certain entity the help will be given specifically. This is in accordance with ISV mindset that their content will be displayed wherever their solution are deployed.
I hope my thought can help-ing you in deciding the custom help implementation, please feel free to comment and add some ideas/feedback :)
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