Like Fez’s, Collaboration Sites are cool. They give you a way to share information about Campaigns, Projects, and Opportunities through SharePoint sites, and as a result, non-Dynamics AX users can contribute to the sites without having to use the Dynamics AX clients. There is an added benefit with Collaboration Sites since this is built upon SharePoint, then you can also allow external users to access the data – i.e. Customers, Vendors, Project Participants etc. But this is easier said than done if you are hosting the SharePoint site internally, because you need to grant the external users rights to access the site, and then give them credentials for the sites as well.
Don’t despair though – built into Dynamics AX is the option to host all of your Collaboration Workspaces within Office 365. Not only does this give you a better way to manage your SharePoint sites, but also it has inbuilt sharing features with both internal and external users without the headache of internal security configuration, and also opening up your system to the outside world.
Now you can post to the cloud and collaborate with your friends.
How To Do It…
- To start off, you need to have an Office365 subscription and an Office365 SharePoint site that you can integrate with.
- Now we want to link our Collaboration Workspaces with Office365. To do this, click on the Collaboration Workspace Settings menu item within the Enterprise Portal folder of the Setup group within the System Administration area page.
When the Collaboration Workspace Settings maintenance form is displayed, you will probably notice that by default it will be configured to use an On-Premise SharePoint Server.
- To link a business area to Office365, click on the New button
in the menu bar to create a new record.
- Then select the Business Area that you want to point to Office365 – in this case it will be Campaigns.
- Then change the SharePoint Implementation Type to SharePoint Online.
- Then type in the URL for your SharePoint Online site into the Workspace Home Page field.
- Depending on your security profile, you may or may not be asked for a Username and Password to verify that you have access to the site.
- If you have access then you will also be able to select a Template by clicking on the combo box.
- Again – you may or may not have to verify your credentials here as well.
- When the Template list is displayed, select the Template that you want to use.
Tip: If you are going to be storing Project details on the site then you may want to select a Project Site template.
- After you have done that then just click the Close button to exit from the form.
- Now, create your new record that you want to associate a Collaboration Workspace with (in this case a Campaign).
- And then tell the system that you want to create a Collaboration Workspace for it.
- Again we may need to Authenticate.
- When the record is created, you will notice that the Collaboration Workspace has been created and it is hosted on SharePoint Online.
- If you click on the link to open up the site then you will be taken to Office365 and the new SharePoint site that Dynamics AX created for you.
- If you want external users to have access to this site then you can just click on the Share button in the banner of the page.
- When the Share With dialog is displayed, then just type in the e-mail address for the external user.
- When the e-mail address is resolved, just click on the Share button.
- Now you just have to wait for the user to accept the invitation.
- The user will get an e-mail notification that they have been invited to the site. All they need to do is click on the link.
- SharePoint Online will ask them to which type of LiveID they are going to use to access the site…
- And then ask them to log in.
- If everything is OK with their account then they will be able to log in and contribute to the site.
- You will also be able to see everyone who has access and revoke access at any time you like.
Now that is a useful feature.
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