Microsoft Debuts Beefier Dynamics 365 Search Capabilities

The Dynamics 365 Portal now includes new entity filters that allow users to refine their searches to obtain the most relevant information.

Dynamics Portal Search

Dynamic 365 kicks off 2017 with an enhanced search experience that removes a lot of the guesswork in tracking down the right information.

Microsoft has upgraded the Dynamics 365 portal, a homepage that greets users of the company's modular, cloud-enabled customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) business application platform. Now, users can fine-tune the portal's search functionality, enabling them to narrow down the information they're seeking and find answers faster.

The software maker added new entity filters to the portal's global search box. The "default All" dropdown selector is now joined by a handful of new options, including Cases, Blogs and Knowledge Articles. Organizations can customize the list of entity filters to suit their needs.

Continuing the theme, Microsoft added a faceted navigation feature to results pages. Appearing as a new pane on the left side of the screen, it allows users to further modify their search results using a variety of filters. For example, users can limit their searches to knowledgebase items with a four-star rating (out of a possible five stars) and above or pick times that were last modified in the past week or month.

By default, the Dynamics 365 search feature sorts results by relevance. Users can instead opt to organize results based on the number of views that pages have collected or the average user ratings assigned to those pages.

"With Portal capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics 365, we are enhancing your customers search experience with the global search filters and faceted search experience," wrote Microsoft product manager Shiva Kavindpadi in a blog post. "Your customers will be able to drill down into the results seamlessly and find what they are looking for in an intuitive way."

Separately, Microsoft also announced it had expanded its roster of languages supported by the Dynamics 365 portal to 43, allowing multinational organizations to reach more of their employees. Using Microsoft's localization services, customers with a repository of web content in multiple languages can now provide all of their users access to their company's information, regardless of the languages they speak.

Administrators can enable a new language and use the company's translation technologies to create copies of their content in a desired language. The capability enables organizations to deliver business information across several languages while only having to maintain a single content hierarchy, added Kavindpadi.

Users can modify newly-localized web pages with the platform's content management system. An overview on configuring and managing multi-language Dynamics 365 portals is available in this blog post.

Although it has only been two months since the official launch of Dynamics 365, Microsoft has been busily adding new functionality.

Last month, the company extended the Relevance Search, a Bing-inspired global search experience, to mobile clients and enabled users to search the contents of Microsoft Office documents and other files (PDFs, HTML/XML, ZIP and more) stored in Dynamics 365. Also in December, the company released a preview of the new Relationship Insights feature set, which uses the platform's artificial intelligence and analytics capabilities to deliver timely and actionable CRM alerts.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...