Embedded Canvas Apps within Model-Driven Forms

Just this past December, Microsoft announced the ability to enrich model-driven forms with embedded canvas apps – and this is really exciting. Since I first started working with the power platform, the fact that canvas apps and model-driven apps don’t really play together has seemed a notable limitation. This enhancement really helps bring everything closer together because we can get the same pixel-perfect purpose-driven UI that we’ve come to love (and we all know we do) about canvas apps but within a fully functional model-driven application. In case you are wondering, yes this does potentially open the door to embedding canvas apps within UCI for Dynamics 365 as well (since UCI for Dynamics is essentially a model-driven app).

First off, it takes only a few clicks to embed a canvas app on a model-driven form. Canvas apps are easy to develop (hence the somewhat-maligned concept of the citizen developer) and you can craft very nice visual layouts with “no coding” required (in fact it’s the same level of coding that you’d be using with custom excel apps for example). Furthermore, to bring in and display data from external services, you can choose from a long list of connectors that PowerApps offers for popular services such as SharePoint and Office365 or they can create custom connectors. Finally – and this is important – you get the context of the model-driven form passed in to the canvas app – including the current record or list of related records.

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Dynamics 365 Hybrid Interface

Microsoft’s Power platform is the direction to be looking at if you are involved with Dynamics 365 implementations in any sense. Built on the Common Data Model (CDM), Model Driven Apps – including yes, Dynamics 365 moving forward with version 9 – will be using the Unified Common Interface or UCI for short.

Many Articles have been written about the Unified Common Interface, including it’s ease of use and slick user experience. Much fuss has also of course been made about it’s limitations – which are mostly temporary. These limitations include but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Find
  • Bulk Edit
  • Merge Records
  • Record Sharing

There are various tricks that can be used to access the old interface, and these are well documented (one less documented way is to simply add “?forceClassic=1” to the end of the URL in your browser. However, if you like the new interface and wish to fully adopt it, instead of using the old interface for these functionalities a hybrid mode is possible which enables the aforementioned features in the new interface to a degree.

These features are enabled through a setting in System Settings (which you ironically need to access the old interface to get to).

  • Go to Settings > Administration > System Settings
  • Select the “General” tab
  • scroll way down…to the bottom…
  • Set “Enable embedding of certain legacy dialogs in Unified Interface browser client” to “Yes”


After enabling, the hybrid experience will enable a bunch of options that utilize the old interface (and cause the old interface to pop up in a rather glaring fashion) in the Unified Interface command bar.


Pretty nice. Enjoy!

Coming up soon, the next part in my series on Portal Management. View part one here.

Adding Portal Content Faster and Easier with the New Portal Management Centre

There’s been lots of talk about the new portal management capabilities in the latest release of Dynamics 365 and portals. Managing content and adding web pages in portals has up until now been most easily done using the front-side editor when it comes to standard content; meanwhile adding views or forms for other non-portal entities has always been a manual process involving creating entity forms and entity lists on the CRM backend. Indeed, the pain and confusion involved with the process of doing so has been a big blocker in terms of adoption of the Portals as a turn-key solution.

This has changed somewhat with the latest releases, with a new Portal Management Center right in Dynamics 365 Web Application which makes adding content a bit quicker and easier, especially if your goal is surfacing Dynamics entities that don’t belong to the portals site map concept.

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The Journey Begins

Hi Everyone,

Yes if you are reading this, this is the default wordpress blog post that automatically gets set up when I sign up for wordpress! Impressive right? Well, i’m 35 years old and I have been thinking about doing this for 10+years.  Not sure if this is going to be one of those stuffy tech blogs, or if there’s going to be a bit more variety.  I’m leaning towards the latter.

I’m still learning my way around blogging, so i’m keeping my first post pretty minimal, and i’m going to see just how far I take this thing.  Thanks everyone for checking out my blog!

If you are curious about me – I’m an experienced consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the Microsoft sphere and Dynamics in particular. I’m skilled in training, requirements analysis, .NET Framework, C#, product development, and Visual Studio. I work for KPMG Adoxio

I’m also passionate about global geopolitical and environmental issues. I work with a group called Vision of Earth during my spare time. Go check out some of the articles I’ve written there!

I earned a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Computer Science from University of Regina and worked for 7+ years in product development before transitioning to a consultant role. I have a lovely wife and a (currently) 5-year-old son. They are the world to me.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton