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This is going to be a bit long winded, but I'm having a bit of trouble finding clear answers for some of my questions, so I'm going to be as specific as possible
I am currently running CRM 2011 on-premise. We'd like to move to the most current version of the on premise software.
We primarily use only the customer management and sales related entities. So, basically
We make extensive use of plugins and workflows. Some of that functionality will be replaced by business processes and rules from the newer CRM versions, but I anticipate we'll still need plugins for some more advanced business rules. We also have some custom web services that use the XRM assemblies to interface with other systems.
So, now we get to what I need help and/or verification with. It seems like just about everything has changed, but all the old systems are still in place.
1 - Product differentiation and licensing
There are so many more different product and license variations than back in 2011.
I believe we just need Dynamics 356 On-Site, Customer Engagement edition, and to license only Dynamics 365 for Sales.
2 - PowerApps and PowerBI
For the type of customizations we've been doing (plugins/workflows/XRM assemblies), it seems like there's no need to license or use PowerApps or PowerBI. Does that seem correct? My understanding is PowerBI is mostly for providing more advanced users with data access and analytics, which we don't currently need.
I'm a little hazier on how PowerApps would fit into my situation. I find the more declarative style of customization appealing, and the simpler management through VS Code looks great, but am I correct that this is geared more towards fully custom apps that work alongside dynamics? It seems like the extra licensing costs may not be justifiable in that situation.
3 - Old school vs new school and PowerApps
It seems as though Microsoft is letting the type of customizations I've been doing languish to some extent. There's no current version of the Visual Studio plugin, and I'm not seeing any clear direction on how new solutions should be structured. I can handle it all manually, using scripts and the plugin registration tools, but I feel like I'm missing something. Is this where PowerApps comes in? Is that the direction MS is moving for customizations? Even though I'm mainly customizing the existing Sales processes and entities, is that actually where I want to be focused?
Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Yes, the licensing has changed. If you are staying on-premises, then you will need to buy Dynamics 365 Sales licenses (one per user). The only other option for on-premises is Customer Service - which you are not using.
PowerBI is for visualizing data. So it isn't relevant for customizations. You can carry on using plugins/workflows etc.
PoweApps covers model-driven and canvas apps. You will be able to create model-driven apps with the Dynamics 365 sales licenses.
Canvas apps provide a way for non-developers to build apps without learning code. although primarily aimed for the cloud, it can connect to on-premises data via gateways.
For the plugins part.
You will need to compile the plugins using the latest version of the CRM SDK and you will notice that you will need to change some of your code as well.
Also de concept of solutions has change a bit. I would recommend you look for a partner or contact Microsoft to get some clear path for you in order to chose the correct approach according to your current implementation.
You might want to check as well what of your customizations are needed in V9 and which ones don't.
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