Dynamics 365 and Bing Maps
Blog|20 July 2020
Maplytics is a geo-analytical app Certified for Microsoft Dynamics (CfMD) that seamlessly integrates Bing Maps with Microsoft Dynamics 365 to visualise Dynamics CRM/365 data on a map helping improve business processes. Built by Inogic, an ISV with a portfolio of productivity apps, Maplytics uses Bing Maps services to mine, plot, plan and analyse geographical insights from Dynamics 365 CRM and PowerApps data, powering features from proximity search and route planning to complex territory management and alignment.
Maplytics with Truck Routing
The April release includes a new feature using the Bing Maps Truck Routing API, which defines routes for trucks by taking heavy vehicle attributes such as size, weight and type of cargo into consideration.
Route planning in most apps usually takes into consideration routes available for cars and other vehicles with 4 wheels or fewer. Trucks, on the other hand, usually follow a distinct route because of their structure and the kind of materials they carry. With the recent demand for truck routing for planning routes in organisations that deal with logistics and delivery of heavy or hazardous items transferred through trucks and similar vehicles, Inogic started looking for API solutions to power this capability as part of Maplytics.
“Bing Maps services offer us a great platform to come up with distinct mapping features for our Dynamics 365 CRM audience and deliver them optimised services day in, day out. The Bing Maps APIs, including Truck Routing API, enables our team to develop features that significantly improve the productivity and efficiency of our customers. We have been able to keep an unwavering trail of clients thanks to the flexible development model offered by Bing Maps Services,” said Roohi Shaikh, CEO of Inogic.
A customer use case utilising the Truck Routing feature
In this example, Contoso Ltd is a firm that transports hazardous materials regularly to its customers across the region. It is important that the delivery truck cover as many delivery points as possible on its route to optimise delivery schedules while reducing delivery costs.
The delivery manager can quickly pull up Maplytics on their D365 CRM/CE environment and fill in the details requested for the truck and quickly get optimised routes to be shared with the truck drivers.
In the screenshot above, under “Current Location”, the delivery manager enters the truck’s starting point. To cover as many delivery points in a single route, they perform a quick radius search.
Next the delivery manager provides truck details by choosing the appropriate Asset to get an optimised route specifically for the truck. The asset stores information about the vehicle dimensions like the following:
- Number of axles = 5
- Dimension Unit = Feet
- Weight Unit = lbs
- Weight = 40000
- Height = 8
- Width = 8
- Vehicle Length = 44
- Hazardous Material = Flammable
This information is critical to generate a route that is appropriate to the vehicle size and kind of material being transported. The delivery manager hits “Search” to get all the locations plotted based on the search conditions provided above. The Travel distance, when enabled, will display the travel distance for the given vehicle.
Next, they add the required visit locations to the route. With all the information now provided, they hit “Go” to get the optimised truck route for the specified vehicle properties.
Bing Maps Truck Routing API
Now let’s have a quick look behind the scenes to understand the Truck Routing API that helped us design the route with little effort. The Bing Maps Truck Routing API considers the following factors for calculating routes for trucks:
- Vehicle’s height, width, length and weight
- Number of axles
- Number of trailers
- A Boolean value to indicate if the truck is a semi
- Maximum gradient
- Turn radius
- Avoid tolls, highways, crosswinds and grounding risk
- Transportation of hazardous materials (explosives, gas, flammable, combustible, flammable solid, organic, poison, radioactive, corrosive, poisonous inhalation and goods harmful to water) or Hazardous permits (if required along the route).
Note: Truck routing is currently available in 80 countries and growing. The list of countries can be found here. The synchronous GET request would be in the following format:
For an asynchronous request, you could send a POST request with the vehicle parameters as a JSON object in the body of the request. More information about the URL parameters can be found in the documentation. Also, the Direction Module of Bing Maps now supports routemode of Truck to request and display Truck Routes.
What our clients say:
- Truck Routing is a robust addition to the list of features Maplytics offers. We have been able to make commitments and deliver them consistently by following optimized routes for trucks.
- Most solutions that we looked at that integrate with Dynamics 365 CRM only offer routing for cars, we were looking for an app that would help us draw up routes to be followed by our delivery agents carrying hazardous materials in a 12 axle truck. With this we are now able to keep working in a single application and get our routes sorted.
- With quick delivery options by Truck Routing we have been able to deliver orders more readily and have experienced a huge boost in the ROI. Our customer feedback has also improved significantly and we are inching amongst the best in industry.
Apart from truck routing, Maplytics has been able to develop notable features using Bing Maps services like radius search, optimised routing with turn-by-turn navigation and search along the route, Geo-fencing with Check-In/ Check-out capabilities, Appointment Planning, defining and aligning Sales territories with Territory Management, performance analysis of complex data with Heat Maps, Census Data and shape file overlays amongst others.
To learn more about Truck Routing API, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/maps/truck-routing
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