My first bot – D365 Notifications

At Data8 we’ve successfully used posts on CRM records for some time to share updates. The problem was that people didn’t know when someone had written a post, so they would resort to email instead.

To avoid this problem I set up a service to automatically email people that might be interested in a record whenever someone posted on it. They could read the new post in their email, and click on a link to take them to the record if they wanted to reply.

Add a post on a record in CRM
An automatic email is sent out with the details to anyone who might be interested

Teams

This works OK, but as we’ve now moved to Teams for most communication it seems sensible to move this over as well. A bot that could automatically send people a notification whenever something interesting happens in D365 (new posts in this case, but I could see it being wider in future) seems ideal.

After a quick bit of searching it seems this should be possible with the Azure Bot Framework and Teams. I’ve never written a bot before, though I’ve attended some great sessions by Artur Zielinski that made me think it shouldn’t be too hard to get started.

I’m still investigating exactly how it all works, but the general picture in my head right now is something like:

My general plan is a plugin in D365, which will trigger when a post is added. That will send a notification to the bot, which will create a message to send on to the bot framework. That in turn sends it on to Teams, so the user can see it. That replicates what we currently have via email, but ideally we’ll also get the opposite direction working too. When the user replies to a Teams message it gets passed all the way back to being saved as a reply to the post in D365.

I’ll be working on this over the next few weeks – check back to see how I’m doing!

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