Connected Field Service - Overview

Applies to Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps version 9.x

Connected Field Service enables organizations to transform the way they provide service from a costly break-fix model to a proactive and predictive service model through the combination of IoT diagnostics, scheduling, asset maintenance, and inventory on the same platform.

Key benefits of Connected Field Service:

  • Reduce downtime by connecting to IoT devices to diagnose problems before customers are aware of an issue
  • Address issues faster by remotely monitoring devices and keeping customers in the loop
  • Device telemetry and service maintenance data helps to make intelligent decisions around dispatching technicians with the right expertise, availability, and proximity to the job

There are two offerings you can use to connect IoT-enabled devices into the Field Service solution:

See below for the differences between the two offerings.

Connected Field Service for Azure IoT Central

Connected Field Service for IoT Central provides a direct integration of Dynamics 365 for Field Service with Microsoft Azure IoT Central, a fully managed IoT software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution.

Microsoft Azure IoT Central enables builders to configure rules and actions. Based on those actions, IoT alerts will be created in Connected Field Service. Also, based on service activities in Connected Field Service, information can be sent back to IoT Central. This is accomplished by using Microsoft Flow, a SaaS offering for automating workflows across applications and services.

Diagram showing the relationships between Azure IoT Central, Microsoft Flow, and Field Service

The below end-to-end integration processes can be easily implemented based on a pure configuration experience:

  • IoT Central can send information about device anomalies to Connected Field Service (as an IoT Alert) for diagnosis
  • Connected Field Service can create cases or work orders triggered from device anomalies
  • Connected Field Service can schedule technicians for inspection to prevent the downtime incidents.
  • IoT Central device dashboard can be updated with relevant service and scheduling information

Azure IoT Central requires no extensive cloud development or coding skills to get an IoT solution up and running.

With Microsoft Flow templates, users can connect their accounts, take advantage of our pre-built templates, and customize their own flows in an easy visual designer without the need for coding experience.

Check out our Connected Field Service for IoT Central tutorial to get started.

Connected Field Service for Azure IoT Hub

Connected Field Service for Azure IoT Hub is an add-on solution that brings Azure IoT platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering into Dynamics365 for Field Service. With this offering, you can run a deployment app to put all the Azure IoT services and Dynamics puzzles together.

All Azure IoT services run in your own Azure cloud subscription. Additionally, we provide an enterprise-ready template that you can customize for each Azure IoT service.

Privacy details for Connected Field Service

By installing Connected Field Service for Dynamics 365, when you provide your Azure subscription information, the required Azure resources (listed below) will be deployed and your Dynamics 365 (online) instance will send data (such as commands and registrations) to Azure to enable IoT–enabled scenarios that register devices and then send and receive commands to the registered devices. An administrator can uninstall Connected Field Service to remove the functionality and then navigate to the Azure portal to manage any related Azure services that are no longer needed.

Azure components and services that are involved with Connected Field Service functionality are detailed in the following sections.

Note: For more information about additional Azure service offerings, see the Microsoft Azure Trust Center.

Service bus queue

This provides a queue for both inbound and outbound messages (commands) flowing between Dynamics 365 and Azure. When an IoT alert is sent to Dynamics 365, or a command is sent from Dynamics 365 to the IoT hub, it will be queued here.

Logic Apps

This provides an orchestration service that uses a Dynamics 365 connector and a Queue connector. Dynamics 365 connectors are used to construct entities that are specific to Dynamics 365and Queue connectors are used for polling the queue.

Stream analytics

This provides a fully managed, real-time event processing engine that helps to unlock deep insights from data. Stream Analytics makes it easy to set up real-time analytic computations on data streaming from devices, sensors, web sites, social media, applications, infrastructure systems, and more. It is functioning as a funnel to send selective IoT alerts to Dynamics 365.

IoT Hub

Connected Field Services uses the IoT Hub to manage the state of registered devices and assets. In addition, the IoT Hub sends commands and notifications to connected devices—and tracks message delivery with acknowledgement receipts. Device messages are sent in a durable way to accommodate intermittently connected devices.

Simulator

This is a test web app to emulate the device that is sending commands or receiving commands from the IoT hub.

Azure SQL Database

Connected Field Service uses SQL Azure to store device heartbeat messages for later use by PowerBI to show the status of devices in Dynamics 365.

Azure Blob Storage

Queries that Stream Analytics will use are stored to Azure Blob storage.

See also

Overview of Dynamics 365 for Field Service
Install Dynamics 365 for Field Service
Configure default settings
View user accounts and security roles
Field Service User Guide