First, what is Copilot?
According to Microsoft, “Copilot for model-driven apps in Power Apps is a next-generation AI assistant for app users to get insights about the data in their apps through conversation in natural language. Copilot helps app users boost their productivity through AI-powered insights and intuitive app navigation.”
What does this mean for RapidStart CRM?
Copilot provides the ability to ask questions of your data. Like, “How many cases did we close last month?”, or “What is the total value of all open opportunities?”. You can also ask questions about any custom tables you may create. We’ll start by showing you what it looks like and then show you how to enable it.
Let’s take a peek.
When enabled, Copilot can be accessed through the Copilot icon in the right navigation bar when use RapidStart CRM apps. The Copilot pane can be opened or minimized as desired. Copilot in model-driven apps answers questions about the configured Microsoft Dataverse table data in the app. Copilot can also help you navigate the app. For example, when a user enters take me to project tasks.
So that’s what it looks like today, and it’s still in Preview so we can expect much more to come.
Let’s Enable it!
First, you will need to be on RapidStart CRM Plus or RapidStart Project for Dataverse or RapidStart Field Service for Dataverse. Copilot cannot be enabled for RapidStart CRM Free. You will also need to be a Power Platform Administrator.
We’ll start by going to the Power Platform Admin Center and selecting our environment.
With your target environment selected, click on “Settings” in the top bar.
Click on “Behavior”.
Set the Release Channel to “Monthly channel”. Then click “Save” at the bottom of the page and go back to “Settings”.
This time select “Features”.
Turn on the Switch indicated above. Then “Save” at the bottom of the page.
Ok, in all fairness, that was the easy part. Now we have to configure the tables that we want Copilot to use.
We’ll start this part by going to the Maker Portal.
Select the target environments, and click “Tables” in the left sidebar.
What we will be doing is adding columns from tables to the index that Copilot will use to assist us. Be aware that there is a limit of 1,000 columns that can be used across all of your tables in the environment.
Click on any table name that you want to start with, for example “Accounts”
On the screen that appears, select “Properties”, then in the side dialog, click to open “Advanced options”. Make sure that both “Track Changes” and “Appear in search results” are checked, then save.
After that, click on “Views” under the Data Experiences tab.
Locate the “Quick Find” view and click the three dots, then select “Edit”.
Notice the columns currently in the view . (note that your view may look different). All of these existing columns are already being indexed, meaning they are already included in the 1,000. Each table has a quick find view and each of the columns in those views is also already being counted, so bear that in mind.
To add relevant data to your index which Copilot will have access to, select “Edit find table columns”.
In the dropdown list, select any columns that you think would be useful to Copilot. We suggest you do this sparingly, you can always come back and add more later. After selecting, click “Apply”.
We have one last step to make these usable by Copilot.
Drag any columns that you added to the index onto the view. When finished click “Save and publish”
Repeat these steps for each table that has data you want Copilot to have access to.
Be aware that it could take some time to build the index after you complete these steps so Copilot can answer.
What about custom columns?
Let’s say you have installed RapidStart Project for Dataverse (or any managed solution), and you want to add Projects to the index for Copilot. You may have noticed that these tables do not appear in the tables list. This is because they are “managed”. Here’s how we do that.
Start by going back to the Maker Portal.
Confirm you are in the target environment, select “Solutions” in the Sidebar, then “New Solution” in the top navigation. Give it a name and select a publisher then click “Create”.
On the page that opens, select “Add existing” from the top navigation and the select “Tables”.
Scroll and select the table(s) you want to add and click “Next”. Note: If you don’t see a table you are looking for, it has been marked as “not customizable” by its creator, and you cannot add it.
On the panel that opens, click on “Select objects”.
Select the “Views” tab, then locate and select the “Quick Find” View, then click “Add”. Repeat this for each table you added. When complete with all tables, click “Add” again.
You can see we have added the managed table to our unmanaged solution. Now we will repeat the steps from above to update the Properties of this table(s) to enable the “Track changes” and “Appear in search results” options.
Then we can access the Quick Find view and make the changes to it like we did above.
So, this can actually take quite a bit of time to do. Again this is a “Preview Feature” and we expect this will be made easier before GA. Be prepared to be amazed by the future potential, but underwhelmed by the current state.
You should also be aware that increasing the size of your index could increase your capacity usage.