Microsoft has decided to retire the legacy Web Client interface for Dynamics 365, and as of December 2020, all Dynamics 365 customers will be transitioned to the new Unified Interface.
What is the Unified Interface for Dynamics 365?
The new Dynamics 365 Unified Interface is a more responsive web design that improves how Dynamics 365 reflows records, and ensures consistency across all device types, making the experience familiar and seamless.
Why has a new Unified Interface been introduced?
Consistent User Experience
The new modern UI has been developed to ensure consistent experiences using Dynamics 365 across different devices and screens.
Microsoft moved to a new interface to align with the Microsoft Dynamics trend of becoming more app-centric. With increasingly connected and diverse app modules being implemented to handle different work-streams, it is essential that apps only need to be designed once, quickly deployed and shared across clients without the complexity of developing and maintaining multiple forms for each device or screen.
How is the new Unified Interface designed?
To ensure a consistent experience across clients, a fundamental part of the Unified Interface structure is the Power Apps Component Framework. This is a layer that sits on top of Dynamics forms that enables extensible controls to be built. Examples of custom controls include dials, switches and sliders which are designed to provide greater visualisations across forms for entering data. This makes the system easier to use.
Going forward with the Unified Interface, every control such as a text box, calendar, or switches and dials, will be built using the unified Power Apps Component Framework, which is how FIELDBOSS 4.0 was designed and built.
Other features of the new Unified Interface
Embedded interactive dashboards across all devices, including mobile. As a result, embedded Power BI dashboards can be accessed from within Dynamics 365, even using a mobile device.
Included with the navigation changes is the ability to dock or pin guided process flows so that these remain on screen when users navigate to other areas of the record form including form tabs.
The return of form tabs and the addition of related items simplifies navigation to reduce clicks enabling users to quickly find details which can include contextual records.
A new timeline control replaces the activity / notes panel that features new filters and visualizations that help users navigate record notes, posts, emails, and tasks.
Through a new reference panel, users will now be able to access contextual information by switching between sub grids without clicking away from records or launching pop-ups. For example, on a maintenance contract record, the reference panel can be used to toggle between service schedules, invoices, related cases, open opportunities, and entitlements.
Microsoft intends to make the Unified Interface the only client interface across all Dynamics 365 apps. The Unified Interface is now the default interface for the Dynamics App for Outlook, Dynamics mobile app and for all new Dynamics 365 app modules.
Microsoft has published a series of statistics to demonstrate how the Unified Interface improves performance and reliability. These include:
63% improvement in grid load
37% improvement in form load
45% improvement in dashboard load
30% improvement in quick create load