Summarizing a well-written post by Temmy Rahyu Raharjo on using Dataverse to send WhatsApp messages employing Azure Communication Service. The post piqued my interest due to the many potentials this concept presents, particularly in implementing business applications. The crux of this idea is to employ the features within Dataverse using its Custom API, which is explicitly designed for optimum reusability and efficiency.
Temmy explains, in a user-friendly and comprehensive manner, about how to prepare the Azure Communication Service alongside WhatsApp for business. The process involves visiting portal.azure.com, creating new communication service and setting up the WhatsApp channel. Temmy has shared his personal experience, mentioning that he needed to purchase a new number during testing and emphasizes on correctly noting the Channel ID for future use.
The more advanced features of this service are accessed through "Advanced Messaging (Preview)" on the Communication Service Dashboard, with several code samples provided to help users accurately send their chats.
To integrate all this with Dataverse, Temmy walks us through setting up a Custom API in Dataverse by preparing the Plugin Project. Here, it is crucial to have certain dependent assemblies installed to ensure smooth functionality. Further, Temmy provides extensive guidance on how to use the nuget package 'Azure.Communication.Messages' to establish these dependencies via the plugin project.
The following step involves code implementation. The NuGet package, once installed, prepares and supplies the code. As per the given template, the custom API needs two specific variables, referred to as 'To' and 'Message'. Simply put, these create an interaction channel through which messages can be sent via WhatsApp when an established connection links the NotificationMessagesClient.
Another crucial result of this code implementation is the output, which is supplied by the 'Receipts' object. After building the plugin through the Plugin Registration Tool, a custom API is achieved through the Custom API Manager. Finally, the API is put through a test run.
Some limitations Temmy discovered during his testing where that, although any number can be targeted without error using the Custom API Tester, the chats will not be sent if the recipient does not initiate the conversation first.
The combination of WhatsApp, Azure Communication Service, and Dataverse provides a robust and reliable way for businesses to automate and enhance their communication processes. This unique amalgamation allows for features such as scheduling messages, personalized messaging, and automation of communication workflows. As communication and connection become increasingly crucial in modern business operations, harnessing these features can significantly streamline processes, create efficiencies, and positively impact customer relations, not to mention the cost-saving potentials.
Delving into the intricate processes of Microsoft Dataverse and Azure Communication Services, we unlock the potential of sending WhatsApp messages conveniently through business applications. This article casts light onto how this feature can be adeptly utilized within Dataverse using Custom API - a tool devised for repetitive usage.
To start the process, we need to prepare the Azure Communication Service and WhatsApp Business. This can be initiated by logging into portal.azure.com and navigating to Communication Services. Follow the steps to register for a new WhatsApp business, which would guide you systematically. During the test run, don't forget to copy the Channel ID as it is essential for subsequent steps.
Moving forward, you will encounter an 'Advanced Messaging' option under Communication Service which leads to a real-time messaging platform. Here, there will be a code that is utilized for sending the chat. The next step is to establish a Custom API in Dataverse, a pivotal step in the process.
Once you have installed the NuGet package, code that needs to be worked upon is available now. The Custom API requires two parameters, 'To' and 'Message'. The code takes care of the rest, such as instating the NotificationMessagesClient with the connection string and calling the SendMessage method. For results, the output will provide the Receipts object.
After successfully building the plugin and registering it in the Plugin Registration Tool, the next step involves creating the Custom API. This includes the Input Parameters and also the Output Parameter. The final step of this intelligent feature of Dataverse is testing it. The Custom API Manager has a 'Open Custom API Tester' button which opens the Custom API Tester by Jonas Rapp. The results can be seen on your WhatsApp.
From personal testing, a noteworthy point to consider is that messages can be sent to any number without encountering an error. However, recipients need to initiate the chat first; otherwise, messages are not sent. Although this is currently the case, there is hope for Microsoft or Meta to rectify this, ensuring seamless chat. Happy CRM-ing!
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