Add inspections to work orders in Dynamics 365 Field Service

Field Service inspections are digital forms that technicians use to quickly and easily answer a list of questions as part of a work order. The list of questions can include safety protocols, pass and fail tests for a customer asset, an interview with a customer, or other audits and assessments performed before, during, or after a work order.

Screenshot of an inspection on a tablet and a phone

With a drag-and-drop interface, inspections are easy to create, and are easier for technicians to fill out compared to paper forms. Inspection answers are stored in Common Data Service, making it easy to report on results and fit inspections into your automated business processes.

Inspections in Field Service also provide:

  1. Offline support: Technicians can view and fill out inspections on their mobile phones or tablets without internet access. Answers are synced when connectivity is restored (cellular or WiFi).
  2. Customer assets: Inspections can be associated with assets, allowing users to see a history of all inspections for a particular piece of equipment.
  3. Version management: Administrators can continuously update and publish inspections to accommodate changing processes and evolving business needs.

Inspections are easy to create and use, involving the following steps:

  1. Administrator creates an inspection template.
  2. Administrator associates the published inspection to a Service Task Type.
  3. Dispatcher adds the Service Task Type to a Work Order.
  4. Technician completes the inspection.
  5. View the inspection results.

In this article, we'll walk through an example of setting up an inspection using a maintenance checklist on a customer asset.

For a guided walkthrough, see the following video: Video symbol Module 8: Inspections

Prerequisites

Create inspection

First, create an inspection that can be reused and added to multiple work orders.

From the Field Service app, go to Settings > Inspections > +New.

Screenshot of active inspections in Dynamics 365 Field Service

Name your inspection and add a description.

Question types

Add a question to the inspection by double-clicking or dragging-and-dropping a question type from the right side.

Screenshot of a new example inspection, showing the toolbox with question types on the right side.

  • Textbox: Allows technicians to enter text from their keyboard for a free form response. There is an option in the advanced panel to make the textbox bigger to allow for multiline responses.

  • Checkbox, radiogroup, dropdown: Allows technicians to choose an answer from predefined options. The question types Checkbox, Radiogroup, and Dropdown are similar, except the Checkbox question type is multi-select, whereas Radiogroup and Dropdown allow for a single answer. The difference between Radiogroup and Dropdown is cosmetic and should be used based on desired user experience.

  • Entity lookup: Allows technicians to choose a Dynamics 365 record. In the inspection designer interface, admins must select an entity and a field to display. For a chosen entity, the Name field and mandatory fields are the entity attributes that can be displayed in the lookup. Entity lookup respects security roles of signed-in user, meaning some entities and records may not be displayed.

  • Number: Restricts input to numeric value or returns an error. Typically represents a measurement or numeric rating value.

  • Date Time: Allows technicians to enter a date and time.

  • File: Allows technicians to upload a file, take picture, or choose picture from their camera roll.

Use the Required toggle to make the inspection question mandatory.

Screenshot of a Field Service inspection, showing additional questions

By selecting the Gear icon, you can add more details for an inspection question.

Pages

Add pages to your inspection in order to:

  1. Group questions together to organize them in a logical way by type, phase, and so on.
  2. Make it easier to add logic to multiple questions at one time. For more information, see the section on branching and conditional logic further into this article.

Screenshot of pages on an inspection.

Select the page dropdown in the top left of the designer to add one or more pages. Then add a page title and a page description, if needed.

Branching and conditional logic

The inspection can be configured to look and act differently based on inspection answers in real time as the technician fills it out.

Go to the Logic section of the designer form to add branching and conditional logic to the inspection.

Screenshot of the logic designer for Field Service inspections.

Based on the response to an inspection question, options include:

  • Make page visible: Make the entire page of questions visible when the condition is true. Otherwise keep it hidden.

  • Show the question: Make the question visible when the condition is true. Otherwise keep it hidden.

  • Change to required: Question becomes required when the condition is true.

  • Skip to question: When the condition is true, then the focus shifts to the selected question.

See the following screenshot for an example.

Screenshot of a filled out logic designer for a Field Service inspection.

Review and publish

Use the Preview section to see the inspection from a technician's perspective.

Note

Once you publish the inspection, you can't edit it in the preview version.

Screenshot of the Field Service inspection, highlighting both the preview tab and the publish option.

When finished creating the inspection, select Publish at the top.

Export as PDF

Export an inspection as a PDF. Exporting as a PDF is helpful for situations where you need to send the inspection questions via email ahead of time.

From an inspection, select Export to PDF in the top ribbon.

Screenshot of the export as PDF option.

A PDF with the blank inspection questions will be downloaded automatically.

Screenshot of the generated inspection PDF.

The PDF will be interactive, where you can enter answers and save them to the PDF; the answers will not be saved to Dynamics 365 Field Service or Common Data Model. In addition, some question types are limited. For example, the entity lookup question type will not reference the Dynamics 365 database records.

Note

The export to PDF function only exports blank inspections without responses.

Associate inspection to service task type

Next, associate the inspection to a Service Task Type. This association is necessary because inspections are not added directly to work orders; they're added as part of Work Order Service Tasks.

In the same Settings section, go to Service Task Types.

Select an existing service task type or create a new one.

Set Has Inspection to Yes.

In the Inspection field, select the inspection you created.

The inspection form will appear below.

Screenshot of a new service task type in Field Service, pointing to the inspection that appears.

It's common to add service task types to incident types in order to bundle work together. However, this isn't required because you can add individual service tasks to work orders as we'll see later on. In the following image, the "Fire extinguisher inspection" service task was associated to the "Fire system maintenance" incident type.

Screenshot of an incident type showing the service tasks tab.

Note

In the April 2020 preview, an inspection can't be added or removed from a service task type that already has work order service tasks or incident type service tasks associated to it. If you try to change Has Inspection and Inspection fields in the service task type, you'll see an error. Also, a published inspection cannot be deleted if it is associated to a service task type or any work order service task.

Add inspection to work order

After creating a work order, go to the Service Tasks section and add the Work Order Service Task you created that has an associated inspection.

Then Save. The inspection cannot be filled out until the Work Order Service Task is saved.

Alternatively, your inspection service task can be added to the work order via a work order incident type.

Screenshot of the service tasks tab on a work order in Field Service.

An inspection completed by a technician will be visible on the bottom of the work order service task form.

Screenshot of a work order service task, showing the inspection form at the bottom.

Perform inspections on mobile

You can view and complete inspections on the Field Service (Dynamics 365) mobile app. This requires no mobile project or any additional setup other than upgrading to Field Service v8.8.22+.

Sign in with your Dynamics 365 URL, username, and password, and go to the assigned work order.

Select the Work Order Service Task that has the related inspection.

Screenshot of Field Service (Dynamics 365) mobile app showing service tasks

Find the inspection form and enter answers.

Screenshot of Field Service (Dynamics 365) mobile app showing a sample inspection.

Technicians can upload files, take pictures, or upload pictures from the phone's camera roll. When uploading a file or image, select the caption icon to add a comment.

Screenshot of Field Service (Dynamics 365) mobile app showing the upload photos option on inspections.

When finished, the technician can select Mark Complete or set Complete % to 100.

Enter a Result to report on the overall inspection:

  • Pass
  • Fail
  • Partial Success
  • NA

Screenshot of Field Service (Dynamics 365) mobile app showing percent complete on an inspection.

Actual Duration: Enter an actual duration the work order service task took to complete that can be compared to estimated duration.

If an inspection question is required, the technician will not be able to mark Complete or set % Completed to 100 until it is answered.

Clear Responses: If needed, a technician can select More > Clear Responses to start over. This will permanently delete all responses for this service task inspection.

Inspections can also be viewed and completed on the Field Service Mobile (Xamarin) app. For more information, see the end of this article.

View responses

Back in Dynamics 365, a dispatcher will see inspection responses.

Screenshot of Field Service on a desktop, showing the work order service task and the completed inspection form at the bottom.

Inspections on Field Service Mobile (Xamarin)

After the work order is scheduled to the appropriate technician, they can see and complete the inspection from the work order on the Field Service Mobile app.

Note

You must download and import a new mobile project template into the mobile configuration tool (Woodford) to use inspections on Field Service Mobile during public preview. Download the mobile project template for inspections. For more information on mobile project templates, see the topic on importing the mobile project template.

Screenshot of the mobile configurator, showing the list of projects.

Sign in with your Dynamics 365 URL, username, and password, and go to the assigned work order.

Select the Work Order Service Task that has the related inspection.

Screenshot of Field Service Mobile app showing service tasks

Find the inspection form and enter answers. Technicians can upload files, take pictures, or upload pictures from the phone's camera roll.

Screenshot of Field Service Mobile app showing a sample inspection.

When finished, the technician can select Mark Complete or set Complete % to 100.

Screenshot of Field Service Mobile app showing the upload photos option on inspections.

Enter a Result to report on the overall inspection:

  • Pass
  • Fail
  • Partial Success
  • NA

Actual Duration: Enter an actual duration the work order service task took to complete that can be compared to estimated duration.

If an inspection question is required, the technician will not be able to mark Complete or set % Completed to 100 until it is answered.

Clear Responses: If needed, a technician can select More > Clear Responses to start over. This will permanently delete all responses for this service task inspection.

Configuration considerations

Note

During the inspections preview period, Microsoft may make schema changes that may render inspections and related records to enter a state where they can no longer be used. As of August 2020 inspections are no longer in preview, and are available as early access before general availability in October 2020.

  • Only single responses are supported and a technician cannot fill out the same inspection twice for a single work order service task. If the responses are cleared or answered again, the original responses are deleted and only the latest responses are saved.

Security roles needed to use inspections

  • Field Service-Administrators can create inspection templates and associate them to service task types.
  • Field Service-Dispatchers can add service tasks with inspections to work orders.
  • Field Service-Resources can view work orders they are assigned to, along with work order service tasks and the related inspections.

Additional notes

  • New inspections cannot be created or designed from small form factors like mobile devices.

  • The ability to add version numbering to inspections is not part of the April 2020 public preview and is planned.

  • Inspections cannot be exported and imported to other environments

  • Parsing of inspection responses out-of-the-box without the need for Power Automate is planned.

Known issues

  • Marking a work order service task as complete from the grid view does not work unless the work order service task is opened at least once.

Screenshot of marking work order service task as complete from work order service task grid view.

  • Dispatcher can't delete individual attachments in an inspection response. The out-of-the-box Field Service-Dispatcher role doesn't have ability to delete inspection attachments; they can, however, Clear responses and Clear files, which will clear all attachments. If a dispatcher wants to be able to delete individual attachments from an inspection, they'll need to be given delete privileges for the Notes entity.

  • If a resource has trouble seeing an inspection on the work order service task form (as seen in the following screenshot), deactivate and reactivate the related bookable resource booking.

Screenshot showing a work order service task in Field Service, with attention to the related section being empty.

  • Inactive inspections and work order service tasks are not available in offline mode.
  • Inspections do not load in Internet Explorer. Edge or Chrome is recommended.
  • The question type "Entity lookup" shows inactive records.

Field Service inspections vs. Power Apps inspections

  • Easier to create and use: Field Service inspections require no additional training to use and are designed to be easy for business users. For example, if you can create a survey with Microsoft Customer Voice, you can create an inspection. This is different from Power Apps inspections, which require extensive knowledge of the Power Apps platform and may require coding.
  • More scalable: If your organization has many different inspections, it's easier to create Field Service inspections with a drag-and-drop interface and with dynamic branching. Power Apps inspections require creating new entities and forms for each inspection, which is more time consuming.
  • Better integrated with Dynamics 365: Field Service inspections are built into the work order and asset servicing capabilities. Version management capabilities help administrators track and manage changes to each inspection.

Field Service inspections vs. work order service tasks

Compared to work order incident types and service tasks, inspections have additional benefits:

  • Easier to create: Administrators can quickly create an inspection with a drag-and-drop interface without needing to create new entities and fields.
  • Easier to fill out: Technicians can quickly enter responses for each inspection question and save all of them at once, rather than having to open and close multiple work order service task records.
  • More flexible and robust: Field Service inspections have many question formats and validation options, such as multi-option select, mandatory fields, images, attachments, and more.