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MS D365 Field Service with IoTHub Architecture

Connected MS D365 Field Service with IoTHub Architecture brings together AzureIoT and Dynamics 365 for Field Service. In this article, you will find an explanation of the architecture and how it all works together.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service helps organizations improve customer satisfaction with reliable service through expected service delivery and inventory management with flexible service schedules that can be recurring if needed.

It also maintains the accuracy of service contracts, warranties and installed products across customers, geographies and locations.

MS D365 Field Service with IoTHub Architecture Prerequisites

To understand what’s covered in this article, you need to know that Connected Field Service (CFS) refers to a set of solutions, processes and entities built on top of MS D365 for Field Service app. As of Field Service v8.3+, CFS is included as part of Field Service.

For this topic, the words data and telemetry refer to information sent from an IoT device to the cloud. The words devices and sensors refer to internet-connected things like thermometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, pressure readers, and more that take specific measurements. An asset is a piece of equipment that can have one or more sensors connected to it.

MS D365 Field Service with IoTHub Architecture Steps

  • IoT Devices and Edge

Internet connected sensors on equipment forward data to IoTHub typically via WiFi or cellular connectivity. A single piece of equipment can have multiple sensors each taking different measurements such as temperature and pressure.

If a building or area has a collection of equipment each with multiple sensors, then an Edge device can be used to organize them and broker telemetry sent to IoTHub.

  • Device Simulator

Administrators can simulate devices and telemetry for testing and development purposes before the hardware is set up. This lets them see how simulated alerts flow to Dynamics 365 for Field Service and create work orders.

  • IoTHub

The gateway to the cloud, capable of ingesting data on a large scale. IoTHub is a group of applications and processes tailored to connected device scenarios that are also customizable. Establishing the IoTHub will place a resource group with this collection of applications and processes.

  • Azure Stream Analytics

Queries device data as it enters IoTHub. Data only passes through and is not stored.

  • Threshold Rules Store

Helps decide if device data is abnormal and beyond acceptable boundaries. Abnormal data is characterized as a Fault.

  • Service Bus

Takes faults and enters them into a queue to systematically keep track of them. The queue is helpful for scenarios where faults fail to get transferred to Dynamics 365 and should be attempted again after some time.

  • Stream Analytics and Azure SQL

Used to store device data for larger time periods to perform data analysis. For example, this would be an option for organizations interested in analyzing large amounts of historical data to predict device failures in the future. This generally incurs a greater Azure cost.

  • Logic App Azure to Dynamics

Connects Azure with MS Dynamics 365. Serves as a way to put more logic, map entities and trigger the appropriate actions in Dynamics 365, such as the creation of an IoT Alert record. Compare this to IoTCentral, which uses Microsoft Flow.

  • IoT Alert

Faults are passed from IoTHub to Dynamics 365 in the form of IoT alerts, which is an entity in Field Service. An Internet of Things alert is the first part of the process inside MS Dynamics 365. An Internet of Things alert is a subset of all device data that requires attention and potentially an action from the field service or customer service department.

  • Connected Field Service Model Driven App

A set of entities and processes built on Dynamics 365 for Field Service. Among other things, Connected D365 Field Service with IoTHub Architecture allows you to connect IoT devices (sensors) with Field Service customer assets. As of Field Service v8.3+, Connected Field Service is built in and shipped with the Field Service app.

  • Field Service Dispatchers and Technicians

The end users of Connected Field Service who interact with IoT alerts, cases, and work orders on their phones, tablets, and computers.

  • Devices and Assets

Entities in Connected Field Service in Dynamics 365 that help you manage the sensors and equipment that your organization manages.

  • Registration, Commands and Properties

Processes used in Connected D365 Field Service with IoTHub Architecture to interact with and send data back to IoTHub and finally to the device, making CFS a bi-directional solution.

For example, registration allows you to create a new device in CFS and register it in IoTHub. Commands permit you to perform the actions on devices such as reboot. Another example is to display a message on the device for someone to view.

  • Logic App Dynamics to Azure

The reverse of the previously explained Logic App, this adds detail to data and actions that are to be sent to the IoTHub from MS Dynamics. IoTHub will then send the data or action to the connected device.

Supported Developer Scenarios

The initial release of Connected Field Service supports the following two primary development scenarios:

  • Extend Connected Field Service for MS D365 so that hardware service organizations and manufacturers can register, monitor and manage including controlling and correcting IoT devices.
  • Provide an IoT Platform that ISVs and partners can build on to IOT-enable their Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement custom entities and managed solutions.

To enable the first scenario, the following capabilities are supported:

  • Abstract device registration in an action, so that devices can be easily registered using the CRM web client or the mobile client
  • Enable any CRM entity to be IOT-enabled, enabling straightforward IoT integration within existing business processes by using Connection entities
  • Receive service alerts and automating their response with a customized workflow
  • Send remote commands to IoT devices, for example after diagnosing a problem to correct a malfunctioning device
  • Analyze incoming device data, and displaying aggregate, trend and other metrics in the custom dashboards.

Connected Field Service for MS Dynamics 365 integrates Internet of Things devices with MS D365 for Customer Engagement to enable their registration, monitoring and management into established business processes. For more information on MS D365 Field Service with IoTHub Architecture, please contact us.

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