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Creating D365 Customer Engagement Apps Using the Web (Traditional Interface)

January 16, 2019

The App Designer is a great new feature for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement that allows you to tailor a user experience to a specific set of entities, views, dashboards and other customizations. (For those unfamiliar with the term, Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement refers to the suite of solutions often associated with CRM, including Dynamics 365 for Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Project Service Automation, Marketing, Portals, etc.)

App Designer is great for giving end users a streamlined interface. Unfortunately, one of the recent updates to Dynamics forces you to create any new apps using the "unified interface." This means that if you are currently using the "legacy" form layout, you can't maintain that look and feel with new apps.

Fortunately, there is a workaround! Just keep in mind that it is most likely not supported by Microsoft, and eventually you will be forced to move over all your forms to the new unified interface. But for now, the workaround works as follows:

  1. Create the app in the App Designer using the unified interface. You can make your customizations now or after we modify it to utilize the legacy interface.
  2. Create a new solution, bring your app into the solution (Model-driven App) and then export the solution. Model Apps
  3. Extract the solution from the zip file and open up the "customizations.xml" in notepad or a text editor. I personally recommend notepad++.
  4. Once open, search for "<appmodules>" and locate the "<AppModule>" you want to adjust. Look for "<clienttype>" and change the number located between the tags from 4 to 2. It should look like the picture below. Client Type
  5. Save a copy of the original solution zip file. Then save the modified "customizations.xml" file and copy it back into the copy solution zip file, overwriting the original.
  6. Warning: Before proceeding, it is recommended that you make a backup of your system. The next step is to delete the existing "unified" app from the system. If you upload the modified solution file without deleting the existing one, it will still be using the unified interface.
  7. Once everything is ready, upload the modified solution file. Your app should now be the legacy web-based interface and not the new unified interface.

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