Push notifications in Field Service Mobile
In Field Service Mobile, push notifications allow you to send updates to field technicians through their mobile phones or tablets. Push notifications utilize the Dynamics 365 workflow engine and can be triggered by many scenarios.
Push notifications can be used to:
- notify field technicians they have been assigned a booking
- remind field technicians to enter important business data
In this topic, we'll show you how to create and customize push notifications to notify technicians on their mobile devices.
To use Field Service Mobile push notifications, you'll need:
- Field Service legacy web app v 7.5+ and unified interface framework app v8.3+.
- The mobile configuration tool (Woodford solution) must be downloaded and imported as a solution in your environment (minimum version 11.1).
- Field Service Mobile v11.1+ for Windows, iOS, or Android devices. Visit the app's About section to check which version you have.
- Consent for notifications in your device's settings for the Field Service Mobile app.
- Review the privacy notes for Field Service Mobile push notifications. PLEASE NOTE: Google Cloud Messaging, Apple Push Notification, and Windows Push Notification services are not provisioned in a dedicated data center for exclusive use by you and does not provide data segregation, such as for the Government Community Cloud. Your use of Google Cloud Messaging, Apple Push Notification, and Windows Push Notification services shall not be subject to any product-specific terms and conditions applicable to Dynamics 365 online for Government. If you do not wish to use the Push Notification, then you must ensure that your administrator keeps the feature off.
Notify a user about a booking
In our first example, let's say a field service organization wants to notify field technicians on their mobile devices when they have been booked for a work order.
Verify push notifications are activated
- Go to Settings > Solutions and verify the Field Service Mobile Push Notifications solution is installed. The push notification capability is included with Field Service v8.3 or later. If it is not installed, you'll need to upgrade.
- Activate the Notify user about booking workflow. Its status will be set to Draft initially and no push notifications are enabled out-of-the-box. This indicates that the workflow push notification action will not be enabled and there will be no flow of data to the aforementioned external services. To verify, go to Settings > Customizations > Customize the system > Processes and activate it if it's deactivated.
Schedule a work order and view push notifications
Create a bookable resource to schedule work orders to and receive push notifications by going to Field Service > Resources.
Set the Resource Type for this bookable resource to User.
Verify you can log into the Field Service Mobile app with the user record and credentials related to the bookable resource.
- Schedule a work order to your bookable resource.
Soon, a push notification will display on your device. In the following screenshot, you can see a banner notification on our Windows device. Selecting or tapping the notification will open the booking record.
The push notification will also show up in Windows, iOS, and Android notification centers, as seen in the following Windows device screenshot.
Create a custom push notification
The Field Service Mobile push notification feature also lets you create custom push notifications that display a different message, or that relates to an entity other than bookable resource booking.
Do not edit the out of the box Notify user about booking process. Deactivate it and create a new one using it as a template.
To send these push notifications, the customer data detailed below must flow to the Google Cloud Messaging, Apple Push Notification, and Windows Push Notification services to enable push notifications to be received on devices running the Android, iOS, and Windows operating systems, respectively.
Go to Settings > Customizations > Customize the system > Processes > +New.
Set Category to Workflow.
For Entity, select the entity that will trigger the push notification and should be opened when the push notification is selected.
- To add push notifications into your workflow, select Add Step > Field Service Mobile > Entity Push Notification.
- Select Set Properties.
- The properties dialog details what values (customer data) will be used for sending the push notification and necessarily flow to the aforementioned third-party services.
- Enter the details of the push notification message.
- Message: enter the message displayed in the push notification.
- Category: set to ViewRecord.
- User: enter the user the push notification will be sent to. For example, enter the following for push notifications related to bookable resource bookings: (User(Resource)(Bookable Resource)).
- Team: enter the team the push notification will be sent to.
You can use the out of the box workflow process as a reference. See the following screenshot.
- Sometimes after selecting a push notification and opening the Field Service Mobile app, you may be prompted with the Entity not Found! message seen in the screenshot at the end of this section. This means you're in offline mode and the particular record you're trying to open is not on the device.
- By selecting Go Online, you can connect directly to the server to view the the push notification record.
- By selecting Sync, you can remain offline but pull new updates locally to the device. However, this does not guarantee the record of the push notification will become available; it could be outside the sync filters defined for that entity.
- Field technicians do not need to be in the app or using their device to receive push notifications.
- The title of a push notification is the Name field of the entity. In our previous example, the title of the push notification was 0222, which corresponds to the Name field of the assigned bookable resource booking.
- Any workflow that sends a push notification can be deactivated by going to Settings > Processes and selecting the workflow that you want to deactivate. The status of an active workflow will read Activated. Select a workflow and then select Deactivate from the command bar. This will deactivate the workflow and, in turn, the push notification action, meaning that there will be no flow of data to the aforementioned external services.
- For more information on sync filters see the Woodford guide (PDF).