Scheduled D365 HTML Reports via Email - A Food Journey About Learning
I realized during this latest project that, unsurprisingly, much of my life centers around food.
My journey into Chatbots and Power Automate began with a natural-language interface for the Eat Like Ed algorithm which finds yummy food while traveling, and many of my analogies involve some form of food-centric imagery.
Most recently, I've been encouraging a different approach to both learning, and teaching, around the Power Automate platform. Traditionally, we would present a specific 'thing' like, "How I turn emails into Support Tickets in Dynamics 365" - but I found that this would only attract people who were looking to learn that exact thing.
Power Automate is different with its modular and more 'open' architecture than traditional platforms, so we should be focusing on the ingredients rather than the final dish. If I were to re-do those presentations, I might focus on the problem-solving process that brought me to a specific solution, or the hurdles of that solution, rather than a how-to 'recipe' of the final state.
Today's food analogy stems from a request to automatically send a formatted report from Dynamics 365 on a daily schedule. This project ended up being much bigger than I thought it would be, so I'll begin the series by showcasing the finished product much like our favorite TV chefs or magazine articles lure us into the recipe by presenting images of that final dish.
I've had to heavily redact this report, but this is really to get a feel for the layout. Below, you can see their legacy report from SalesForce that they wanted to replicate in Dynamics 365.
This was essentially a daily list of new activities, grouped and master-sorted by salesperson, and sub-sorted by created date/time. It was easy enough to replicate a report in Dynamics, but things complicated quickly when I wanted to automatically send and include it in the body of an email. While not an exact duplicate, the final draft result (below) shows what I was able to accomplish without being a classically-trained developer.
Over the next few posts, I'll go through the journey and cover what worked, what didn't, and why...in the hopes that you'll be able to find relevance in these ingredients and use them in your own recipe.