Using the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Case Entity

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Case

The “heart and soul” of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Service module is the Case entity. Whether you choose to call this a “Case,” as it is currently known, or “Service Request,” or simply “Ticket,” the entity is the method by which your customer service department tracks the assistance it provides to whomever it provides it to.

! Pitfall! We would like to respectfully suggest that you not get hung up on syntax. First, remember that the display name of entities like the Case in Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be changed to anything you like.  Also, don’t get hung up on the concept of “Customer” either.  The author has spent a fair number of years designing and deploying very successful Service deployments for organizations that have no “Customers,” per se, but tens of thousands of “Constituents,” “Students”, or generally speaking, recipients of … assistance. We are talking about very large public organizations that support people, as well as other organizations. Just because they don’t consider them their “Customers” doesn’t stop them from configuring Microsoft Dynamics 365 to suite their nomenclature, and their support objectives.

The Case entity has a number of features that have evolved over time to provide a wide range of functionality. Some of these include:

  • A hierarchical “tree” of Subjects
  • A Business Process flow that can be configured to provide steps and stages toward resolution
  • Embedded and distributable Articles to provide knowledge-based support information for customers and staff that are related to Cases automatically.
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA) notification and enforcement

Figure 1 below is a screen shot of the default Case form in Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Case Entity

Figure 1 – the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Case Form

In figure 1 above, we can see that the customer has requested some training specific to a product they have presumably purchased from your organization. We can see that there is a specific Entitlement associated with this Case of “40 Hours Onsite Support,” which implies that when this Case is resolved, and the number of hours logged, the hours will be subtracted from the Entitlement.

Like most forms in Dynamics 365, a wide array of information is presented that is related to the Case, such as the aforementioned Entitlement, but also recent cases, contact details, the origin, and the stage that the case is in.

To create a Case for a customer, it’s often most efficient to navigate to the customer record first and create the Case there. Figure 50 below shows a sub-grid of Cases on the Account form for the customer. The plus-sign provides a quick method as shown below.

Adding a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Case to an Account

Figure 2 – Adding a Case to an Account in Microsoft Dynamics 365

Case “Quick-Create” Form

Like many important entities in Microsoft Dynamics 365, the Case features a “Quick Create” form which appears at the top of the screen when adding cases using the method shown above in figure 2, which is to click the small “plus sign” in the sub-grid on the Account form.  The Quick-Create case is shown below.

Quick-Create Case Form

Figure 3 – the “Quick-Create” Case Form

Only the Case Title is required in this form since the Owner and Customer field are populated automatically.

! Best Practice ! In general, creating records under other records is more efficient than creating records from scratch – that is, clicking “+NEW” at the top of a list of records. This is because of a feature known as “Field Mapping.”  In figure 51 above, we can see that the “mapped” fields between the Case and the Account are “Customer”, and “Owner” (called “Assign to Others” on this form.) A more extreme example of this efficiency are the fields mapped between Contact and Account, so that if you create a Contact from an Account, there are no less than six mapped fields – and many more are possible through simple configuration!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Case Business Process

Like the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Opportunity entity, the Case entity also features a Business Process Flow that appears by default at the top of the Case form as shown below.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Case Business Process Flow

Figure 4 – Business Process Flow for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Case Entity Form

And, like the Opportunity Business Process Flow, this process is designed to assist service staff with stepping through the process of resolving a case. By default, there are few steps, but the process by which they are added is simple:

  1. Create (or use an existing) field to represent what the staff should do.
  2. Add this “Step” to the Business Process Flow in the appropriate Stage.