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New Releases of Portal Capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics 365

I hadn’t gotten the chance to post about the v8.4.1 release of the Portal Capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics 365, and another new one is already out! So I’ll take this opportunity to talk about v8.4.1, which was released in mid-April and includes a couple of major enhancements: accessibility for the out-of-the-box portals, and the ability to search within web file and knowledge base article attachments. I’ll also talk about v8.4.2, which was released in May and includes some bug fixes.

Accessibility

Microsoft is now touting the fact that the out-of-the-box portals (Community, Partner, Employee Self-Service and Customer Self-Service) are accessible. However, I’m not seeing any details on specifically what that means. Does this mean they officially meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0? If so, to what level of conformance? Obviously it’s great that the portals are being made accessible, but it would be even better to get some specifics.

Searching Web File and Knowledge Article Attachments

I am super excited about this feature; it’s something that pretty much everyone has been asking for forever: the ability to include the actual documents attached to web files and knowledge articles in search results. So, if your web files are PDFs or Word Documents, they will be returned in search results based on the text in those documents.

Unfortunately, my experience with it has been a bit of a struggle. When I tried to set it up with a v8.4.1 instance, I was able to get it configured so that attachments related to Knowledge Articles would be indexed, but I never could get web files indexed. I had opened a support ticket with Microsoft and, after a bit of investigation, they indicated there was a bug that caused web file attachments to not be indexed.

I’ve just tried with a new v8.4.2 Portal (hoping that the bug has been fixed), but I am still not having any luck with web files.

For those of your interested in setting it up, the documentation, covers the basic steps:

  • Set the Search/IndexNotesAttachments and KnowledgeManagement/DisplayNotes Site Settings to True
  • Enable Relevant Search
  • Ensure that web files are not marked as Exclude from Search
  • Ensure that notes related to Knowledge Articles contain *WEB*, or whatever value is set in the KnowledgeManagement/NotesFilter Site Setting

Note that it can take a while (hours) for the attachment search results to start showing up.

v8.4.2

Version 8.4.2 is a maintenance release that includes a number of bug fixes, including plugging at least one potential security hole. You can checkout the release note here.

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Engineered Code is a web application development firm and Microsoft Partner specializing in web portals backed by Dynamics 365 & Power Platform. Led by a professional engineer, our team of technology experts are based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.