One Version(Evergreen Application), Power Platform, AI, Mixed reality, Virtual agent (BOT), Machine learning, IoT. These are buzzwords that are not uncommon to hear these days, when you talk of any business application.
The landscape of ERP and business applications has changed significantly, faster than we all expected. If you really think about it, the core fundamentals of business process requirements are not changing that much, but how you implement and accomplish those business process automation is certainly changing in a big way. No code, Low code app building service like Microsoft PowerApps, business process workflow automation service like Microsoft Flow and data insights building service like Microsoft Power BI are big components of it.
These different services are part of the Microsoft Power Platform and these combined with features like AI builder, Portals and services like Common Data Service, Azure Data Lak etc. makes the overall Microsoft Business Applications platform one of the best business applications platform for companies of any size.
Today in this post, I wanted to pick on one of the newest features in Dynamics 365 for F&O called “Business Events” and explain my experience with it with a very simple business scenario.
So What are business events?
Business Events in D365 F&O is a mechanism which lets external systems receive notifications from D365 F&O. The external systems can then perform additional business actions in response to the business events.
When a business process such as a Purchase Order confirmation, Sales order invoice, payment posting or even a workflow approval is initiated, a business event automatically fires up and generates a data payload. Endpoint such as Microsoft Flow, Azure Service bus can subscribe to these business events and get the payload information to trigger additional automated actions, both within D365 F&O as well as in external systems.
There are several business events that are shipped out of the box with the standard D365 F&O, and you can always customize and create custom business events that are suitable for you. The main objective is to notify service end points and there by external systems when a certain business process is completed within D365 F&O, so that you can carry out further tasks automatically. Screenshot below shows the business event catalog.
To illustrate how this functionality works, I took a very simple requirement. I wanted to notify the requester of a purchase order when the items arrive at the warehouse, so that they can go and collect those.
I built a Microsoft Flow which triggers when a “Purchase order received” business event gets fired up. My flow listens to this business event and gets additional information about the requester and purchase order from D365 F&O and then does the following things automatically.
- Sends the requester an email. I used outlook for this.
- Sends the requester a text message on phone. I used Twillo for this.
- Posts a IM message in Microsoft Teams as a Flow BOT.
Screenshot below shows the Microsoft flow configuration.
I will now go ahead and create a Purchase Request and Purchase Order with me as the Requester and will receive the items on the PO.
Let us now go ahead and receive the goods and post the goods receipt note/product receipt document.
As as soon the Product receipt for posted, the business event was fired up in D365 F&O and Microsoft Flow was able to listen to those and automate the intended actions of notifying the requester via email, text and Teams IM message.
Screenshot below shows my flow was run successfully and also the different notifications i got automatically on my email, cell phone text and IM on Microsoft Teams.
Now, that illustration was a very simple business requirement and scenario. I could take this further and automate complex task automation such as,
- Update a data record in F&O.
- Create new data in F&O.
- Initiate Microsoft Flow approvals for all workflow item approvals of F&O for richer email approval experience.
- Connect to other business apps such as SharePoint, Common Data Service, Dynamics 365 for Sales and more to automate further business tasks.
- Notify customer when their order is shipped with Tracking info
- And more…
I was able to do these without writing a single line of code. That is the Power of the Microsoft Power Platform. The amount of process and task automation you can do with the Power Platform are endless.
That’s it for now and we will take a look at a more complex scenario next time involving a workflow approval. Till next time!!!