Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales

Non-Profit Quick Start

An Application for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise Users


In 2020, Microsoft revealed that they would make available to qualified Non-Profit organizations five free licenses to their signature Customer Relationship Management application known as “Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise.” This application retails at between $65.00 and $135.00/user/month, and so the value to a non-profit organization is considerable.  Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales has been available for over fourteen years, and with the recent innovations of a common data set currently known as the “Dataverse,” as well as the Power Platform to include Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Apps, Non-Profit organization now have a powerful toolset available to assist in the running of their operations.

The Application

“Non-Profit Quick Start” is an app contained in a solution that can be easily imported into an instance that is running Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise. The app extends the functionality of Sales Enterprise in a few important areas:

  • Program Management – an organization can create any number of Program records, which then tie into other features below to facilitate powerful reporting and information around program management.
  • Volunteer Management – using the Non-Profit Quick Start app, Dynamics 365 users can track volunteer activities in detail, with start and end times, dates, with the number of hours calculated automatically.  This information rolls upward in a summarized fashion at both the Contact and Program levels for valuable reporting and operational management.
  • Development – by default, Microsoft Dynamics 365 features a powerful workflow for the tracking of development efforts using the Lead and Opportunity entities, which then easily flow into Contacts and Accounts.  The Non-Profit Quick Start app extends this to include the “NP Transaction” entity, which allows for the tracking of donations by Contacts and Organizations (known as Accounts in Dynamics.)\

Operational Functionality

The application can be used with a web browser or a native mobile application, which is available in both the Apple and Google Play stores.  Just look for the app named “Microsoft Dynamics 365” in Apple and “Dynamics 365 for Phones” in Google Play.

Dynamics 365 Errors Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales

The Dreaded “Service-Maintenance Based Records” Issue

If your Microsoft Dynamics 365 environment contains the Field Service solution, even if you don’t use it, you may come across an issue that a customer recently brought to our attention.  It’s the dreaded “Service-Maintenance Based Records” issue. This will manifest itself on the Opportunity entity, and is part of the Field Service module.  If your environment does not contain Field Service, you will most likely not have this issue, but many Microsoft Dynamics 365 instances will have this module, and therefore it would not be rare if you ran into it.

If you do, you will sometimes find yourself faced with an Opportunity record that uses the form “Opportunity: Field Service Information” and is therefore made read-only.

Below is an example of such an error on the Unified Interface:

The slightly maddening thing about this error is that since the record is read-only, you cannot change the form for the record. So if you have customized the Opportunity form, and you are stuck with the default Field Service form, you cannot manage the information that you find important on the Opportunity record.  And when this manifests itself, it appears to happen randomly to certain Opportunity records, and not others.

Steps to Take, and a Workaround

Because a customer raised this issue with Microsoft, we have the benefit of their suggestions.  Even though these suggestions did not solve the problem (we have come up with a workaround shown below), they are not bad things to do.

Upgrade the Field Service Version if it’s out-dated. To check the version, follow these steps:

  1. Login to the Administration Portal. Be sure to log in with Office 365 administrator credentials.
  2.  Click the “Admin” icon.
  3. In “Admin Centers” scroll down to “Dynamics 365” and click that icon.
  4. Choose your Production environment and click “Solutions” to see the list of Solutions installed.
  5. Click on the Field Service solution. If the solution is out of date, you will see “Upgrade Available” under the STATUS column for Field Service. On the right, it will show you what version is available (i.e. “New version:”)
  6. Click the “Upgrade” button.

This is a good idea, but it does not solve existing Opportunity records, which will have the Catch-22 issue mentioned above, where you cannot change the form on the record because it is read-only.

The Issue and the Workaround

The issue is that there is a field from the Field Service Solution on the Opportunity named “Order Type.” This is an option set with the following values:

  • Item Based
  • Word Based
  • Service-Maintenance Based

In version 6.x of the Service Module, there is some business logic that causes the Opportunity record to be read-only if “Order Type” = “Service-Maintenance Based.”  Therefore, changing the Order Type to “Item Based” will “fix” the issue with existing Opportunities.  And for those of you who are not using the Field Service Module, the following workflow can be triggered On Create to prevent the Order Type from being set to Service-Maintenance Record on any new Opportunities.  Here are the steps:

  1. Create an on-demand workflow named “Set Order Type”
    • Entity = Opportunity
    • Scope = Organization
    • Trigger = Create (UNLESS YOU USE FIELD SERVICE – in which case leave off all Triggers and use it as on-demand only*.)
    • Be sure to check “As an on-demand process” (so you can fix existing Opps as described below)
  2. The first and only step is Update record.
    • Description: Setting the record to Item based
    • Set Properties – look on the Opportunity form for a field named “Order Type” – probably will be on the lower right of the page under Additional fields.
    • Set this field to “Item based”
    • Click Save and Close
  3. Save the workflow, then Activate.

*Please note that if you set Create for the Trigger of this workflow, none of your new Opps will be set to Service-Maintenance Record. If this is your objective, then this workflow will work. If you are using Field Service, please leave off this Trigger.

Now fix the existing Opps.  You can do this two ways:

  1. Individual Basis. On the form, for these read-only records, one at a time as you find them, click “Run Workflow” and choose Set Order Type. Run the workflow, then refresh the screen, then change the form to Opportunity – Opportunity.  That should fix the one record.  ALTERNATIVELY …
  2. In Bulk. Create an Advanced Find like “All Opportunities where Status = Open and Order Type <> Item based.  Select all records in the results, and click Run Workflow against all of these records.

The second option will fix all existing open Opps (Qualified opps will be read-only, which is why we choose only the Open ones).

An Alternative Workaround

If you don’t want to create a workflow and you still want to fix all of your Opportunity records in one task, then you can also use the Data Refresh technique to achieve the same objective. This will not prevent future Opportunities from being locked in this manner, but it will change all existing locked records. This has the added advantage of changing Closed Opportunities as well.

  1. Create an Advanced Find of all Opportunities where Order Type = “Service-Maintenance Based”
  2. Add the Order Type to the column set and remove extraneous columns. You can leave the Topic column in addition to the Order Type column so you can at least see what you are changing.
  3. Export the results of this Advanced Find.
  4. Open the result file in Excel
  5. Activate the file (Enable Editing)
  6. Change the entire Order Type column values from “Service-Maintenance Based” to “Item based”
  7. Save the file.
  8. Import the file using the Import Data wizard.

This will unlock all of those records, and will also change the closed records as well.

Hope this helps. By the way, if you are interested in a guide to deploying Microsoft Dynamics 365 please have a look at my book here.