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  • Sebastian Sieber

Unleashing the Potential of the New Quote Form and KPI Control


If you've ever wondered why I decided to start this blog, this article might just be the blueprint behind it.

Microsoft just shipped two new controls with the preview and deployment of Copilot for Dynamics 365 Project Operations. The first is the BudgetGridCustomizer, which has yet to be utilized but is likely intended for the Project Budget feature. The second control is a KPI PCF (Power Apps Component), currently used on a new, unused Main form called Project Quote Information.

I stumbled upon these controls when a new PCF solution appeared in my environment:



Disclaimer: Since this is a preview feature, I do not recommend enabling it in a production environment. It's always safer to review new functionality in a Sandbox environment within the desired tenant.


The Release Planner already hinted at a visual overhaul for the out-of-the-box Quote form, with the planned General Availability set for September 2023.

A first glance reveals a new, "dashboardish" style. The new KPI PCF control serves as a tile, providing visibility into Customer Budget, Profitability, and the time remaining until delivery (a day counter until the Requested Date) for the end user.

This new control bears a striking resemblance to Power BI's numeric tile used to display values and indicators. The modern interface is complemented by additional charts on the form, aiding in cost and revenue analysis, comparing quoted amounts and customer budgets, and visualizing different transaction classes on the quotation lines.


New


Old


By comparison, the old form shows noticeable differences. The previous Quote Analysis tab has been replaced by the new control and chart, eliminating the need to start on the second tab. Overall, the design appears sleeker and more up-to-date with the latest UI and UX changes for Model Driven Apps.


The KPI control summarizes existing data from your Quote Lines as the Customer Budget, represented as a calculated currency field.

While the control displays Gross Margin (%) and the number of days until the Quote should be delivered, it is not limited to currency type fields.

In fact, the control is available for any numeric field in the environment. As an example, I tested it on the Project Effort field, and it worked quite well.




The control allows you to define different types and determine whether a higher value is considered good or bad. So, as the name suggests, it still functions as a KPI control. Project Effort may not be the best example, but it could be used for tracking Risks and Issues, conducting Budget analyses, monitoring Consumption, and comparing estimated values with actual values.


How to enable the new form with the control

As mentioned earlier, this form does not appear to be officially released or enabled by default. Please ensure you first check this on a non-productive environment.

To try it out, you need to activate the form Project Quote Information, place it as the first option for the form order, and include it in your desired Model Driven App.




Once you have successfully published your changes, the new form should be available for both existing and new Quotes.

In my setup, I had to switch the view for the Chart Competitive Analysis to display the data correctly. I chose the System View All Quote Products as the default view wasn't functioning as expected.


The control itself is available in the same version (4.72.0.273) of the environment where you have the Copilot components.


Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, the new design offers a much leaner and simplified approach compared to the current form design. This will undoubtedly improve end-user acceptance and reduce the effort required by customizers, makers, and consultants when implementing form changes.

In customer driven projects we will always have custom information to track, therefore I would definitely recommend always copying the out of the box forms to craft an individual one.

But with this new update, you may don't need to make groundbreaking changes or even start from scratch anymore.

The new KPI control brings a new component of variance to display number values in a wealthy and modern way. I like it a lot and hope for more changes in that direction!


Of course, don't hesitate to reach out in case you have any questions, thank you so much!

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