Extreme 365 – 2017 Day 1 in pictures

Here is the Hosk Extreme 365 adventure in pictures.  I will be writing a blog post on the content as well but I wanted to give a feel of how the day was structured.

If you want to know what Extreme 365 is read this What is Extreme 365 – Lisbon 2017?

pictures of my first few days in Lisbon chillin with the Capgemini Dynamics 365 team – Hosk Extreme 365 – 2017 Adventure in pictures

Found this interesting tweet of the history of Extreme

The conference is in a nice new hotel and you first see the welcome desk

You get a pass

 ClickDimensions Advanced Partner Training.   The training was so popular it had to be moved into a bigger room and more chairs added

Matt doing his Usain Bolt impression whilst showing Freemarker and email templates

Click Dimensions Campaign automation is great but it’s going to be get better with some more investment and improvements  ClickDimensions talks about how to plan for Enterprise Dynamics 365 projects


Here is the Maplytics from Inogic.  I had a demo and it has a surprising amount of functionality

Here a few pictures of the hall and booths, I saw some products I hadn’t seen before, HR in Dynamics 365!





Schedules for Wednesday, Jonas Rapp is a busy boy

Dynamics 365 – Is Adobe Marketing the end of ClickDimensions?

the truth is never pure and never simple – Oscar Wilde

The story is never as dramatic as the headline #HoskWisdom

I wanted a dramatic headline because it’s a common question which gets asked.  What ever marketing moves happen in Microsoft Dynamics 365 people ask how it affects ClickDimensions and what does it say about Microsoft relationship with ClickDimensions.

  • What does Microsoft buying Marketing Pilot mean for ClickDimensions?
  • What does Microsoft partnering with Adobe Marketing mean for ClickDimensions?
  • Microsoft is bringing out some marketing functionality

I attended at the ClickDimensions advanced partner training at Extreme 365 and someone bravely asked what Microsoft’s new partnership with Adobe Marketing. It feels wrong to ask this question, the kind of awkwardness asking someone how their ex-wife is going with their new husband, ermmmmm Awkward.

I liked Matt Wittemann’s response and attitude

ClickDimensions welcome competition because a rising tide lifts all boats and will promote Dynamics 365 as a marketing solution

Competition is a challenge you can rise to and the response of a company who is confident their product will continue to win customers because they are good at what they do and ClickDimensions is going to improve in the future.

The simple answer is Adobe Marketing is suitable for enterprise projects where there is a large  marketing team (10 people plus).  ClickDimensions focuses on small to medium-sized companies.

An Adobe Marketing project will be in the millions/Multi Millions.  It’s not to say ClickDimensions can’t do big projects but it is saying Adobe Marketing would be too expensive and feature rich for smaller companies and isn’t competing with ClickDimensions for those deals.

There is room for both companies to successfully operate with Dynamics 365 and they compliment each other with regards to functionality/price.

Most people who have worked in the Dynamics 365/CRM industry for a few years probably knew the answer but I thought I would share the response I heard.

Hosk Extreme 365 – 2017 Adventure in pictures

Here are some of the pictures from the first 2 days of Extreme 2017 adventure

Day 1 – Travelling

Started reading my new book I got for world book day from my lovely Hosk family

The journey was a bit hectic with a 5am start with Uber ride the airport for my 7.15 flight.

I had to fly to Munich first and then to Lisbon, 6 hours and two small little meals

Ready for liftoff

Just above the clouds

Munich looks nice from up high

Here is the Airport at Lisbon

Sunday 12th – Day 2 – Sightseeing

Some of the guys eat barnacles for a starter, I wasn’t brave enough

This is winter in Portugal!  Very different from winter in England

The Hosk at the beach in his Ipswich Town FC top, Thumbs up indeed

Some of the Capgemini guys getting evidence of beach

Awesome Catherdral in Lisbon 

There is a shop famous for selling custard tarts – Pasteis de Belem, we queued for 30 minutes to buy some, they were delicious


What is Extreme 365 – Lisbon 2017?

Extreme 365 starts tomorrow and you will hear a lots of chatter and social media posts about the event but what is it? and why should you care?

What is it?

Extreme365 is a one of Microsoft’s big conferences for Microsoft Dynamics 365.  This year its held in sunny Lisbon – Portugal.

The first 3 days of the event are for Microsoft Partners (Mon – Wed) and Thursday and Friday are for customers.

It costs to attend, you can find more about pricing and registration here

Microsoft sells/explains the event

Where the Microsoft Dynamics 365 community comes together to forge relationships, gain real-world knowledge and dive deep into current and future technologies.


The agenda shows what is coming for

The best place to learn about Extreme365 is on the website http://www.extremecrm.com

Why should you attend

I’m going to focus on why Partners should attend, here are the key reasons people

  • The Dynamics Road map
  • Talk to Dynamics 365 experts
  • See functionality, solutions and ask questions/discuss
  • See functionality in action
  • Training

Microsoft need to sell the event, so they can persuade Microsoft Partners to buy tickets

Why Partners should attend, below are the highlights

  • Direct access to Microsoft leaders providing insider insight to help shape your future strategies

  • Microsoft’s Roadmap for Dynamics 365 and the Intelligent Business Cloud including Operations (AX),  CRM, and Financials

  • Dynamics 365 Spring Release (Sales, Marketing, Field Service, Marketing, Customer Service, Project Service Automation. Operations & Financials)

  • Building cloud business applications using AX, CRM, Azure, the Common Data Model, Flow, Power BI, Cortana Analytics and other capabilities of the Intelligent Business Cloud

  • Delivering Cloud Business Solutions to the Market leveraging AppSource and CSP

  • Understanding the impact of LinkedIn Acquisition

  • Education on third party add on products to help you solve business problems

  • Training classes offered by Mircrosoft on Power BI, Analytics using Cortana, Azure, IoT, integrating Dynamics 365 with Azure, and Portals

  • Updates on hot Microsoft operational topics such as pricing, incentives, provisioning, listing apps on AppSource and more!

How to follow

Not everyone can attend but you can see highlights from the event by seeing tweets from @eXtreme_365 and following the hashtag #eXtreme365.  I will also try and share some interesting content on twitter @BenHosk

Say Hi to the Hosk

This article The importance of being Social at eXtreme365 highlights a great point of conferences.  We are there to learn, make friends, make contacts and have fun.

So if you are going to the event make sure you make some time to say Hi to the Hosk, I want to  meet real life people who I have interacted with virtually through twitter, LinkedIn, blogs etc. I am going to make these people come to life

I will warn you the Hosk is smaller and hairier in real life, try to hide your disappointment #SayHiToHosk

Other extreme links

Five great leader keynotes speakers at eXtreme365 Lisbon (13-17 March)


Dynamics 365 error messages point you in the right direction

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. ”
Dynamics 365 error messages point you into the right direction but never give you the answer #HoskCodeWisdom

A developer was working on a Dynamics 365 form, it was generating an error saying the contex was null when you deleted a value from a field. The developer was investigating the problem by trying the different routes through the code by changing values on the form, sometimes it errored and other times it worked.

The developer felt frustrated because they had copied the code from another area and it worked there

The error was something like –  Unable to get property “getAttribute” of undefined or null reference 

The error was occurring in a function which passed the context into the function, read about the

The developer had copied, pasted and adjusted the code, he was focusing on comparing both and was so focused on fixing a problem he was ignoring the error message.

Copy, paste and adjust are not a replacement for thinking

When developers copy, paste and adjust code they miss out the learning and experience which comes from creating.  The time you improve as a developer is in the journey of creating code, fixing bugs.  There is no shortcut to putting in the hard work and learning and understanding.

If you bypass the learning part, you end up with something which works or does not work but you don’t understand why.

Dynamics 365 developers need to learn how the Microsoft Dynamics 365 SDK works, the better you understand how the CRM SDK works it is easier to diagnose problems.

I recommend to Always start with the Dynamics 365 SDK

Dynamics 365 errors point you in the right direction

To diagnose an error, you must look at the error with an empty mind #HoskCodeWisdom

Dynamics 365 error messages point you into the right direction but never give you the answer.  Often developers are so busy trying to solve the error they don’t stop to think what the error message is telling them.

In this example the developer forgot to pass the context into the function by ticking the checkbox on the OnChange trigger.

Don’t assume, know

Developers rush to solve bugs, need to slow down, consider what they know and what they are assuming is happen.  One definitive method of investigating a bug is to debug the code, identify and path the code is taking.

An example of bug investigation and how to approach fixing bugs

Sherlock Hosk and the case of the annoying bug

Approach bugs with an empty mind and don’t assume what is happening but prove what is happening.

For example –How to diagnose plugin errors, it has a good section on plugin error messages

Plugin Error Messages

The error messages Microsoft Dynamics CRM throws are a mixture of a confusing statement with a nugget of truth tucked inside.  To developers new to CRM development they are unhelpful messages.

As experience and knowledge of CRM development increases you will find they often point you in the right direction but need to build up a map of the CRM landscape, so you know where to go and check.

Enjoy your bugs

“enjoy your problems” ― Shunryu Suzuki

Developers should enjoy their bugs because their offer a path to increase knowledge and understanding #HoskCodeWisdom

Bugs and errors offer a trigger to learn more Dynamics 365 and programming, allowing you to learn why something isn’t working, you can invert the logic to understand why and how code should work.

The more time you invest in learning Dynamics 365 and development the better prepared you will be to identify the cause of problems and bugs.

Dynamics 365 development is understanding the limitations of the different customisations and services available to Dynamics 365, when and when not to use them.

An example was someone had done 1 months work creating a solution using Click Dimensions only to find the solution didn’t work because Click Dimensions couldnt use optionsets with over 50 options.

Choosing the most right customisation requires the developer to have an in-depth knowledge of Dynamics 365 and there are no shortcuts in becoming a good Dynamics 365 developer.

Other articles on Developer testing and errors

No shortcuts to becoming an awesome Dynamics 365 developer

There are no shortcuts to being a good Dynamics 365 developer #HoskCodeWisdom

“The Road to excellence is difficult.  That facing adversity and challenges is part of the process, and that you should expect to encounter challenges that test you.”  – Nick Saban

A developer asked me how to stop making mistakes and improve.  The is no easy way to get get better as a Dynamics 365 developer or as a developer, there are lots of areas and skills to master and there will be always be more to learn.

You are always a student of Microsoft Dynamics 365 never it‘s master #HoskCodeWisdom

Learning Dynamics 365 is hard, you are challenged to come up with solutions to deliver customer requirements.  You are pushed out of your comfort zone into the uncomfortable place called the Project delivery zone.  Suck it up, breath it in and use it to get better quicker.

Finish work a litter wiser about Microsoft Dynamics 365 than you when you started  – #HoskCodeWisdom

No Shortcuts

Success doesn’t come from pie-in-the-sky thinking. It’s the result of consciously doing something each day that will add to your overall excellence – Nick Saban

Your vision is to be a master Dynamic 365 developer, to make this happen you need to work at improving everyday.  You need discipline to focus on improving your skills despite the many distractions.  You need to create a process of improving and carry out that process day after day, week after week and year after year.

There is no shortcut to developing skills, knowledge and experience the only way is to write code, create customisations, learn, make mistakes.

Experience and skills are created through time spent developing.

Becoming a good developer is hard but that is what makes the skill valuable because only dedicated people can achieve it.  If a goal isn’t hard then it’s not a worth while goal.

you need focus, determination and drive to keep working towards your become a good developer.  It will be difficult, you will work on difficult projects, it will challenging and you will often find yourself out of your comfort zone doing customisations you have never done before.

You should be relentless in the pursuit of your goal, be prepared of to work through adversity and hard times

You will speed up

When you are not practicing then someone else is using that time to get better #HoskWisdom
Becoming a Dynamics 365 developer like rolling a snowball.  It starts small and as you roll it in the snow it grows bigger and bigger.  You are picking up knowledge and skills and this translates into developing faster because you don’t have to stop and learn everything.
Learning to develop is like learning to drive, driving is difficult and exciting.  Everything you do is hard, adjusting the seat/mirrors, changing gears, looking in mirrors, steering, watching out for cars/pedestrians, not crashing.  The more experience you get, the more you practice the more of driving you can do without thinking.
Soon you are changing gears without thinking, instinctively looking your mirror and expecting cars.
Developers go through the same learning curve as they become more experienced with different Dynamics CRM customisations and scenarios.  This is Why .NET developers struggle with CRM Development
You can speed up the process by learning from the experiences of Hosk,

image from here

Dynamics 365 – How to uninstall the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit


The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit gives pain and pleasure in equal amounts.

There will be times when you have had enough of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit or you want to uninstall it because it’s causing you more pain than pleasure.

You can find more information about the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit

I’m uninstalling it because I want to remove all the versions before reinstalling the latest version.  There were some problems with multiple versions causing problems, so I wanted to make sure it was completely uninstalled.

  1.  Make sure you have Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit installed
  2. Go to Tools –> Extensions and Updates
  3. Find Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit

uninstall-developer-toolkit-1 uninstall-developer-toolkit

4. Click uninstall and restart


5.  Repeat steps 2 – 4 because sometimes an older version will be hiding underneath your earlier version