One common feedback we get when implementing Dynamics 365 is the ability to handle appointments and booking. There are many very good 3’rd party solutions, but did you know that Microsoft have an easy to use booking system that works online and integrated with Outlook. It’s called Microsoft Bookings, and is worth taking a small look at especially if you have the need of booking your customers for appointments and simple services. Microsoft Bookings provides online and mobile apps that make appointment scheduling simple and efficient for small businesses and their customers. Any small business that provides service on an appointment basis, such as auto repair shops, hair salons, and law firms, can benefit from having their bookings managed so as to free up time for the more important task to grow their business. Microsoft Bookings is available to businesses that have an Office 365 Business Premium subscription.
Here is a small live demo for you my friends: https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/DXCCommerce1@dxccommerce.onmicrosoft.com/bookings/
The first page an online customer arrives at is the following screen, that can be published on Facebook or any social media sites. Here I choose to order my haircut from my favorite hairdresser. (Full manual is available here)
When booking I will get a confirmation email, and the booking coordinator will also get an email. The booking is also available on my phone:
On the back-office side, Microsoft have created a simplified view of managing and setting up your bookings:
Here you manage the calendar, customers and staff.
Here is the calendar for a specific day showing all appointments and bookings for today. Drag and drop of appointments between staff and dates is of course possible.
You can also manage you staff.
And the services you offer and map them towards your staff.
If you are a functional person, then just stop reading here, because here comes the good part: There is a complete API interface your you to integrate towards booking. (See also this link) Connecting this towards Dynamics 365 or commerce apps can be done by a developer, and makes it possible to expose booking services to POS, call-center and with tight integration to your Dynamics 365 solution.
Here are some sample pictures on how to access the Booking system using Microsoft Graph. First, here I list all the booking sites listed in my tenant:
Pay attention to the fact that it returns and “id”, that identifies my booking on a specific store. If I now queries for bookings at the ID like this:
https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/bookingBusinesses/DXCCommerce1@dxccommerce.onmicrosoft.com/appointments (You will not get access to this link, but you are welcome to click it )
I get the following, where the service is listing up all bookings posted into Microsoft Bookings. A consent through the azure portal must be setup. And the great thing is that is actually is a two-way service. I can post bookings in.
BOOM! Take that! We now have a complete interface towards all services that Microsoft Graph can expose and can let us integrate on a completely new level.
If I wanted, I can now connect my bookings to any planning engine that would add more value to the service. Like picking me up in a golden limo-cab when I book my hairdressing hour. The possibilities are endless. Also remember that this is not restricted to bookings, but all services that azure may provide. We in the Dynamics partner community have just scratched the surface of the possibilities that Microsoft now provide.
Happy DAX’ing friends.