Out with the old, in with the new – the move to Unified Interface

QGate’s MD reflects on an internal move to Unified Interface and the general implications of the new interface for other Dynamics 365 customers. Is it time for everyone to move to Unified Interface?


New information has come from Microsoft that as a result of over 80% of their customers having already enabled Unified Interface, that the legacy web client will be deprecated from 1st October 2020.

As of the April 2019 release, Microsoft set the new Unified Interface, sometimes referred to as the Unified Client Interface (UCI), as default in Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement.

The “legacy” or “classic web” interface, was still supported. However, it is now clear that the days of the classic web interface are numbered. Rumours suggest it will be deprecated in the October 2019 release and removed in 2020.

Move to unified interface - goodbye classic web
Goodbye Classic Web Interface

NOW is the time to start planning your move to Unified Interface!

The move to Unified Interface has many advantages. The built-in technology that produces responsive design, called Reflow by Microsoft, will work out how to best display forms and fields to suit the device you are using. This will mean a ‘build once, use many’ approach.

No more special considerations when using Dynamics 365 on your phone, tablet, etc.

Performance and display of information are also snappier than the old interface.

Tabs – once again

I like the improved navigation. There is both a sensible left-hand side menu layout AND tabs! No more endless scrolling down the page or dealing with clunky expanding and contracting sections – Hurrah!

Move to unified interface - we have tabs
Move to Unified Interface – we have Tabs

PowerApps Integrated

It is also possible to easily embed Canvas PowerApps into your forms.

Canvas PowerApps allow bespoke layouts to be designed and created easily with a what-you-see-is-what-you-get designer. With Canvas apps embedded, you can create rich visual areas on Dynamics 365 forms and draw data from a variety of sources.

Additional enhancements with an improved Timeline, Interactive Dashboards, Business Process flows, and more become available when you move to Unified Interface.

‘Gotchas’ – of course

As with any update, there are things to consider when adopting. The Unified Interface no longer supports some previously announced deprecated functions. As an example, in our own system, we were using Contracts and were quite happy with the functionality. However, Contracts were deprecated a while ago and the Unified Interface does not support this entity anymore. So, we had to rebuild what we needed into Unified Interface as customisation.

You will need to review Javascript currently used on forms. Again, some functions are no longer supported or will need amending to support how the Unified Interface works, i.e. with Tabs rather than a single scrolling form.

A re-think of your form layout will be required – but this is a good opportunity to reconsider whether your current form layout is optimal anyway.

A good chance for a UI spring clean, perhaps?

Third-party Add-ons

Of course, you also need to check that any third-party components/modules/integrations large or small will be compatible.

Start now!

As more features and functions are introduced in October 2019 and beyond, it’s a safe bet that many of these will only be developed for the Unified Interface. The quicker you move to Unified Interface, the quicker you can adopt these new features.

There are lots of resources available to help you understand and plan your implementation, a summary of which is linked below.

Having been through the process ourselves, not only from a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement system perspective but also updating our Paribus Interactive add-on product to be compatible and more effective, we are ready to help in Unified Interface planning and adoption. Feel free to contact us if you have the need.

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