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What is the Unified Client Interface in Dynamics 365?

By Skylar Macromallis, Dynamics 365 Consultant, Arbela Technologies

The new Unified Interface is a bridge between web and mobile platforms, providing a consistent experience across devices by utilizing a responsive design for optimal viewing and interaction regardless of the device's size or orientation.  The interface is currently being used in the mobile Dynamics 365 app and in the Outlook mail app as the only interface.  Microsoft’s intent is to make Unified Interface the primary and only client infrastructure while phasing out the legacy web client that we are accustomed to.

Missing features

Before making the switch, be aware that the following features are not yet available--

  • Advanced Find
  • Bulk edit
  • Merge records
  • Record sharing
  • Personal options
  • Creating email template with slugs
  • Creating personal views
  • Run report (SSRS)
  • Personal dashboards and charts
  • Chart drill down
  • Run workflow
  • Charts as visualization for sub-grids on forms
  • Activities roll-up view
  • Filtering on read-only grids
  • Letter, Fax, Recurring Appointments
  • Campaign management
  • Goal management
  • Marketing lists
  • Position entity
  • Creating duplicate detection jobs
  • Admin experiences
  • Editable grids on phones
  • Global notifications
  • Composite address control
  • Learning Path

How are these gaps being addressed?

Some of these missing features will be coming as early as August in the Hybrid Experience:

  • Advanced Find
  • Record sharing
  • Merge records
  • Personal options
  • Bulk edit

In October, the following will be added to the Hybrid Experience:

  • Run report (SSRS)
  • Personal dashboards and charts

What does that mean, and what is the Hybrid Experience? Commands for the above features will surface on the Unified Interface that will launch in the classic experience, while still contained within the Unified Interface.

What Microsoft's roadmap looks like

Starting in August 2018, the classic *.crm.dynamics.com/main.aspx url will redirect to the apps landing page.  From here, "Open in classic mode" will not be available and end users will not see web client app modules.  New customers will default to the Unified Interface.  Admins will be able to control switching between Unified Interface and classic if there are significant gaps in functionality, but there will be no option to create a web app in the legacy interface. 

95% of functionality gaps are projected to be filled by October 2018, at which point Unified Interface will be the only option when creating a new app module and a global switch will be introduced to prevent users from moving between classic and Unified Interface.

Side by Side experience (SxS)

In the current state of 9.0 deployments, users have access to both Unified Interface and classic web experiences.  A global switch will be introduced to allow admins to move between Unified Interface and classic web experience, enabling or disabling SxS.  Come fall, SxS will be turned off by default for new customers and Unified Interface will be the default experience. 

What does this mean for existing customers?
If you are an online customer, you will be able to keep using the classic web experience for the time-being, as the SxS switch can be left on due to customer feedback and global usage telemetry.  Although there is not yet an end-date for classic web experience, by mid-2019 all experiences will be moved to Unified Interface, at which point classic web is likely to be phased out and deprecated.

If you are on-premise, you will have access to the Unified Interface beginning in October.  However, you will not be pushed to make the change as of yet.

How to preview Unified Interface

If you are using the mobile Dynamics 365 app, you are already using the Unified Interface.  On the web, for 9.0 Dynamics 365 instances, from https://home.dynamics.com, you can see all Unified Interface and classic web apps:

Apps ending in the word "Hub" will be on the Unified Interface.  You can also access these apps from in-app navigation:

Or in My Apps under Settings:

Further reading:

Watch Shilpa Sinha's session from the Business Applications summit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/businessapplicationssummit/video/BAS2018-2244

Read About Unified Interface: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/admin/about-unified-interface