When using USD in a CRM implementation there is a lot we can accomplish using configuration and out-of-the-box hosted controls, but in implementations that are more complex, we often find ourselves utilizing custom hosted controls to get the job done.

Often these custom hosted controls are comprised simply of “.dll” libraries but sometimes we may need other files or dependencies. In the past, we would have to deploy these files using some distributed installer or script to copy the dependencies into each user’s USD install folder, but no longer!

customization files
There’s gotta be an easier way!

Now with Customization File records we can easily distribute and update custom controls and functionality to our agent’s machines.

To create one, let’s navigate to Settings > Unified Service Desk > Customization Files and create a new record.

customization files

Customization Files, like any other USD configuration, are records in Dynamics 365 and should be associated with a USD Configuration record. We can track the version number using the version field, as we increment this number, the cached controls will be overwritten on the user’s machine.

Next, let’s prepare the attachment which will contain our files to distribute. This is a zip file consisting of the files we want to distribute and a “Content Types” file describing what file types should be extracted from the zip.

So, gather your files and create a new file with them named “[Content_Types].xml” which should contain XML like the following:

[Code snippet]

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>

<Types xmlns=”http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/package/2006/content-types”>

<Default Extension=”dll” ContentType=”application/octet-stream” />

<Default Extension=”config” ContentType=”application/octet-stream” />

<Default Extension=”css” ContentType=”application/octet-stream” />

</Types>

[Code snippet]

Each child of the “Types” element will describe a file type which should be extracted. The above Content Types XML will cause any files ending in .dll, .config, or .css to be extracted. After creating this file, place it in the same folder as the files that you wish to distribute and then zip them up with your favorite archive tool.

customization files

Finally, attach this zip file to the previously created Customization File.

customization files

Now when our users start USD, it will pull down, extract, and cache these files in their Local AppData folder at the following location: C:/Users/<UserName>/AppData/Local/Microsoft/UnifiedServiceDes/<OrgUniqueName>/<GUID>/

customization files

That’s all there is to it!

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Joe D365

Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.