Scott Roller

This is my home base to discuss all things Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.

Creating Model Driven Power Apps in Dataverse — February 16, 2023

Creating Model Driven Power Apps in Dataverse


In the world of Microsoft Business Applications many times we are talking about implementing and customizing Dynamics 365 which has many pre-built first party apps.  These Microsoft created first party apps are great as a template when an organization knows that they want to implement one of the classic business processes of Sales, Marketing, Customer Service or Field Service.  Organizations also gain access to restricted record types and business process flows that are valuable when considering and automating these classic business processes. 

Model Driven App Basics

What happens if an organization needs a simple Power App built on the Microsoft Dataverse in the cloud that replaces a legacy application or fills a new business need?  If they have a simplified use case that involves collecting, searching, sharing and relating data.  Without the need or expense of the Dynamics 365 first party apps then they can use the base Microsoft Power Apps functionality to create a Model Driven app on Dataverse to fulfill this need.

Creating the Environment

The process is straight forward, an organization needs a Power Apps tenant ( to create the Dataverse database environment and start building the app. 

Once the Power Apps environment is created with a related database in the Power Platform Admin Center then you are ready to create the Model Driven App in the Power Apps maker portal ( 

With the Model Driven App created you will need to add your first Page to the App so you can then start to create and place fields (columns) on the Page.

When creating the New Page you have 3 choices, we are going to use Dataverse Table for this example.

There are many pre-built Dataverse tables like Account and Contact that we can choose to add to the new page with fields, forms and views already created.  Alternatively, you could choose “Create new table” which will create a new form and view for the table but you will need to create the related fields.  For this example we are going to select the Account table.


Views are filtered lists of records of a certain type that can have different column configurations.  Views allow users to filter records into more defined subsets of data based on different business needs.  To edit an existing View or create a new View go to the Account views area of the page editor.

In the View editor you can create new table column (field) and add new or existing columns to the View.  You can also reorder the columns and change the Sort by or Filter by settings.

Forms display the fields (columns), sections and tabs in an organized way for a single record.  Like Views, to edit an existing Form or create a new Form go to the Account forms area of the page editor.

Forms can be organized by different Tabs along the top of the Form and Sections on the Tabs.  In the Form editor you can create new table columns (fields) and organize them on the form in tabs and sections.

Assuming that you are replacing an existing legacy application with a known database structure or designing a new application with a relational database then creating fields (columns) should be simple.  There are many different column types to choose from depending on your needs; including text, whole number, decimal, date, currency, choice and lookup fields.

Business Process Flow

Business Process Flows are available as a tool to guide Users through a complex business process within the Power App.  The best Business Process Flows simplify the process and only give Users the most important, high level fields for each step.  These are the key fields that may also be required for each step with details added on the main Form.  In the example below we can see an opportunity sales process with stages for qualify, develop, propose and close.  Within each stage you can add the data steps which are fields (columns) that are the most important for each stage.  As you can also see on the right side of the screenshot below you can add conditions (logic steps), workflow, action steps and Power Automate Flow steps to be triggered between each stage.

Here’s the finished product.


There are two ways to automate processes in Model Driven Power Apps.  You can use classic workflow which can access all portions of the Power App and Dataverse instance on the Microsoft cloud.  Classic workflow is great when your process trigger and all data changes are going to happen within the same Power Apps/Dataverse deployment.  You also have access to Power Automate Flows which allows for internal & external trigger events, third party data connectors and changing data on external systems.  I’m going to leave the topic of workflow and Power Automate Flow there, as this could be the topic of one or several articles.


I hope that this helps with the basics of creating a new Power Platform environment and Model Driven App when the Microsoft first party apps are not needed. Once you have a Power Platform environment with a Dataverse database you can start building Model Driven apps with tables, views, forms, fields (columns), business process flows, classic workflow and Power Automate Flows. I will continue to create content on these topics but please let me know if you have any questions or want me to drill down on a topic in more detail.

Filter By Keyword: How Do You Change the Search Columns? — February 9, 2023

Filter By Keyword: How Do You Change the Search Columns?

Hey everyone, I know that this is a topic that new System Admins struggle to figure.  I’m going to address how to add search fields to the Filter by Keyword at the top of entity views.

First let’s discuss the situation and problem.   Most Dynamics 365 deployments have many system and personal Views that are available for end users to use to filter and display the different data types (Accounts, Contacts, Cases, etc.).  These Views, both system and personal, can be quickly filtered using the “Filter by keyword” box in the upper right corner of a View.  The filter by keyword search is limited to a defined list of fields for the record type (Account, Contact, Case, etc.) the user is currently viewing.  In the example above we can only Filter by keyword for Case records by Case Number and Case Title.  If we search for expected values in other fields the search will not find any results.  Luckily there is an easy way to change the fields that are available for search.

So how do we change the search fields for Filter by keyword?  First we need to open a solution in Dynamics that contains the entity that we want to change.  In the example below I am using the Default Solution to access the Case entity.

We will then open the Quick Find view and use the Add Find Columns button.

From here you can add or remove fields that will be available in the Filter by keyword search.

All changes will be reflected in the search box after the solution is saved and published.  After publishing is complete use Control>F5 in the browser to complete a refresh and the changes will be available.

To finish up the topic I will briefly cover the other search and view functionality that is available at the top of each entity view.  As stated previously the Filter by keyword search will only look for data in the chosen fields.  It also assumes that what you are searching for “Begins with” the text that you enter in the search box.  You may have also noticed that there are Edit Columns and Edit Filters buttons at the top of the views.  With Edit Columns users can add or remove Columns (fields) and change the field order of the view results without permanently changing the current view. 

With Edit Filters users can change the underlying filter for the view, once again not permanently.  It will display the default filter for the view when pushed which can then be changed by adding or removing row filters and grouping filters together. 

Lastly users can save these view changes as a Personal view if they know that they will need to access the view change in the same format again.  Simply use the “Save as a new view” choice and give it a descriptive name.  Owners of Personal Views can share their views with other users by using the Manage and share views option.

Dynamics Lead Capture Forms: Cutting Through the Confusion — January 31, 2023

Dynamics Lead Capture Forms: Cutting Through the Confusion

If you are setting up Dynamics Marketing Capture Forms for the first time and find it confusing, you are not alone.  I have been working with Dynamics Marketing Capture Forms for a while now, but distinctly remember the challenges I had to work through when setting it up for the first time. 

Follow the steps I have outlined below for a less confusing and frustrating experience than I had the first time I set up a Lead Capture Form.

First off, Marketing Capture Forms allow organizations to create Leads in Dynamics based on data entered on a landing page on a company website.  Contact data is entered on the web page which then triggers Dynamics to create a new Lead.

To begin with we need a landing page on a website with Lead data collection fields.  Once you have at least one landing page you can start to configure Marketing Lead Capture to gather data and create Leads.  This is an example of a basic set of fields to capture Lead data from a web page.

After you have a landing page on a website for capturing Lead data then you need to configure a Dynamics 365 Marketing Form to create new Leads based on these submitted fields.  In the Dynamics 365 Marketing app go to Outbound Marketing>Internet Marketing>Marketing Forms and create a new Capture Form.

Enter the URL of the landing page where Lead data will be entered.  If you have multiple landing pages for collecting Lead data then you will need a separate Marketing Lead Capture form in Dynamics 365 for each unique landing page URL.

There is an HTML script that needs to be in the Landing Page code, this sends the Lead Data to Dynamics 365.  When creating a new Lead Capture Form you will need to use the “I need a new script” choice to generate a unique “Form capturing script”.  Use the Copy Script button and paste it into the Landing Page HTML.

After the Tracking Script has been applied to the Landing Page HTML then Dynamics 365 Marketing will recognize the script.  You can then move on to choosing a Lead capture form and mapping the fields from the landing page to Dynamics 365 Marketing.

There may be multiple forms on the Landing Page, you want to select the form with the Lead capture data fields.  You can see a preview of the available fields to make sure that you are selecting the correct form.

You will then need to select the correct Dynamics 365 Lead fields that match the fields found on the Landing Page.

After you Save and Close the Lead Capture form you will need to reopen the Marketing Form, double check that the fields are mapped correctly and choose Go Live if everything is good.

You now have a working Dynamics 365 Marketing Lead Capture form that is sending new Leads to the Dynamics 365 dataverse.  There is other functionality that you need to consider to prevent duplicate records and get Insights to how the Capture form is being used.  First off you need to decide if you want to prevent duplicate records when records are being created.  You can set the duplicate detection rules and activate the rules from the Summary tab.

Lastly you can see an Overview, list of Submissions or list of Visits to the Lead Capture form, from the Insights tab.

Those are the main features of Dynamics 365 Marketing Lead Capture form functionality.  I hope that this helps clarify the topic and eliminates the trial and error process that I went through the first time I configured a Marketing form.

Oops Factor E80 – Scott Roller — June 18, 2021
Getting to know Dynamics 365 Customer Insights — March 2, 2021
Top 3 Books I Read During Lockdown — February 4, 2021

Top 3 Books I Read During Lockdown

I am taking the chance to review some of the books that I have been reading during the pandemic lockdown.  All of these books came as suggestions from attending Mark Smith’s “90 Day Mentoring Challenge” last year.  One of the silver lining opportunities of the lockdown has been extra time to read and get ahead on business ideas.  In July of 2020 I started an independent IT consulting business centered around Dynamics 365 and Power Platform; these books have been the foundation of building and directing that business.

  1. Company of One by Paul Jarvis
Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business

Company of One was a real inspiration for me starting as a new sole proprietor in the technology services industry.  The driving viewpoint of the book is that rapid or blind growth for growth’s sake can lead to over extending of resources in a business without a focus.  Many times this blind growth can lead to applying for loans and venture capital money without a strong business plan.  The author sited this unfocused, rapid growth mindset as the leading cause of business failures for startups.  He proposed that staying small with steady growth or even no growth can be the path to business success and happiness in the long run for many industries, including IT services.  If happiness and freedom in life is the ultimate goal, then staying small can be the best business goal.  Keeping business overhead down and little or no employee management responsibilities can lead to greater income and life balance for the business owner.

2. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine

I read Profit First right after Company of One and it was a great transition, these two books complement each other very well.  Profit First focuses on the finances of a business and as the title suggests, the whole point of a business is to provide profit to the owner.  The author’s main argument is that too many businesses get caught up in expensive overhead and driving growth through spending.  The result is that profit is pushed into some distant future which in many cases never happens.  The point of a business is to earn profit and there is no reason why profit can’t happen before everything else, if you have proper business planning.  Profit must be built into the business plan and come out first before expenses.  A business has to learn to spend only after a reasonable profit is taking into account.  A company that consistently has no profit is unsuccessful for the business owners

3. The Gig Economy by Diane Mulcany

The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want

The Gig Economy is all about designing a life around contract work agreements where you are most likely a freelance consultant.  The book is not only about the IT services industry but this example certainly fits the model perfectly.  In the self-directed work/life world of The Gig Economy, freelancers sell their talents to clients on a per project basis.  After the project is over many times the freelancer moves on to another gig with a new contract.  The book is about self-promotion and building a network to keep the contracts coming.  The Gig Economy is also very much about defining your own work/life success, planning for time off between contracts and financing the life you want.  Overall it is about being mindful of the relationship between life and work, and defining the balance for yourself.