Category Archives: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015

CRM 2015 – Nested Quick Create Forms

The introduction of Quick Create Forms in Dynamics CRM 2013 provided a simpler way for users to create records for core entities from anywhere within the system. However, there is one disadvantage in that it does not launch subsequent Quick Create forms to populate lookup fields. Thankfully, Dynamics CRM 2015 supports what are called “nested” Quick Create Forms.

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Let’s say you are given a business card and you want to enter the details of a person into your CRM system. You could use the Contact Quick Create form to enter the basic details of the person, but what happens when you need to create an Account record for that person at the same time? In CRM 2013, you would have to click on the Company Name lookup, then Lookup More Records followed by the New button which would pop open an empty Account form in a new window.

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Now let’s compare this with CRM 2015 and its ability to launch multiple Quick Create forms when populating lookups. Again you would enter the basic details of the person, but now when you click on the Company Name lookup, you will see that the New button is available without having to open the Lookup dialog.

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When we click on the New button, an empty Account form will not be displayed in a separate window. Instead, a nested Quick Create form is displayed.

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This makes it super easy to create records from the Quick Create forms! Now the question is, how many nested Quick Create forms can we launch in one go? I added the Parent Account lookup to the Account Quick Create form and managed to launch 10 Quick Create forms at one time. Once you reach the limit, the New button is no longer displayed.

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This new feature will definitely save you time in creating core records in your CRM implementation.

Dynamics CRM 2015 – The Under Operator

Advanced Find now includes two new operators which work in conjunction with the new hierarchies feature in Dynamics CRM 2015. These operators are called “Under” and “Not Under” and can be used when querying lookup fields in Advanced Find.

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I have currently set up the Users in our CRM system such that the Manager for each user has been specified. This builds a user hierarchy in the system so we can easily see who reports to who. Let’s assume we have an organisational structure where there are multiple managers at different levels.

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It would be a tricky in previous versions of CRM if I wanted to build a query to show everyone who sat below Bob Jones. In CRM 2015, I can simply use the “Under” operator to find these people.

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Running this query gives me everyone who sits below Bob Jones, whether they are a direct relationship with that record or not.

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Dynamics CRM 2015 for Outlook Configuration Wizard

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 introduces a new Configuration Wizard for the Outlook Client. The process is pretty much the same as previous versions of Dynamics CRM, however the screens have been simplified and the process has been made much easier when choosing to download the client from the CRM web application.

When you login to CRM, you will notice a yellow bar across the top of the screen which asks you if you wish to download CRM for Outlook.

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Clicking on this button now displays some useful information which makes it a lot easier for general users to configure the client. Previously it was difficult to remember the correct URL to use when configuring the client, but we can now use the Discovery Service URL, Organization URL, or simply the URL of the deployment. Notice how the URL is provided for us, and we can simply click on the Copy button so we can use the URL during the configuration stage.

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Another new feature is that we are immediately prompted to start the download from within CRM and we are no longer redirected to the Microsoft Download Center.

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When you run the Configuration Wizard, the first screen you will see will give you the option to enter the URL for your CRM deployment. For example, if CRM is installed on a server called “CRMSVR”, you would simply type http://CRMSVR into the address box, or paste the link that you copied earlier. Alternatively, you can pick CRM Online from the drop-down list for the online offering.

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After entering the address for an on-premise deployment, you are then asked to select an organization to connect to. The organizations are displayed in a drop-down-list.

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Choose an organization and then click on Select.

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If you selected CRM Online, you are asked to enter your credentials.

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That’s all there is to it. There are a few things to note about the installation and configuration stage. You now have to restart your computer after installing Dynamics CRM for Outlook. Also, you cannot launch the Configuration Wizard until you have set up an e-mail account inside Outlook.

New Condition Operators in Dynamics CRM 2015

With the introduction of the new hierarchies feature in Dynamics CRM 2015 comes new condition operators that can be used with the ConditionOperator enumeration in the C# SDK as well as FetchXML queries. These new operators are intended to support records that are related via the new Hierarchies feature of CRM 2015. Some operators include recursion limits to mitigate performance issues when running queries.

Above

Returns all records above the referenced record in the hierarchy. The FetchXML equivalent is above. This query has a recursion limit of 100.

AboveOrEqual

Returns the referenced record and all records above it in the hierarchy. The FetchXML equivalent is eq-or-above. This query has a recursion limit of 100.

Under

Returns all records under the referenced record in the hierarchy. The FetchXML equivalent is under. This operator has a recursion limit of 10.

UnderOrEqual

Returns the referenced record and all records below it in the hierarchy. The FetchXML equivalent is eq-or-under. This operator has a recursion limit of 10.

NotUnder

Returns all records not below the referenced record in the hierarchy. The FetchXML equivalent is not-under. This operator has a recursion limit of 10.

Important: Please note that this blog was written during the Dynamics CRM 2015 Preview Release Program. At the time of writing, only the Under and Not Under operators were available inside Advanced Find, so this may change with the final release. Also note that the OData endpoint has not been updated to support querying of hierarchical data.

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Dynamics CRM 2015 – Global Search

Another highly anticipated feature of Dynamics CRM is Multi-Entity Quick Find, which allows users to search across multiple entities. Many ISVs have built their own implementations and it is nice to finally see this part of the base product. In this post, I will refer to Multi-Entity Quick Find as global search for simplicity.

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Global Search is available on the navigation bar, next to the Advanced Find button. Simply enter a search term and click on the search item (or press ENTER) to execute the search. The searchable fields for an entity are defined by the Find Columns of the Quick Find View for that entity. Global Search also supports wildcard searches.

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This displays a dedicated search results page which I really like the look of. It provides the ability to enter additional search queries without having to navigate back to the navigation bar for subsequent searches. The results are grouped by entity and are displayed vertically with tiles and key information about the record. If you have uploaded images for certain records (e.g. Contacts and Accounts), the image will be displayed instead of the entity icon.

A user can simply click on a search result to open the record, or they can click on the + (plus) icon next to the entity name to create a new record. Doing so will either display an empty form, or the quick-create form.

The Filter with drop-down list displays the entities that are configured for global search. A user can select any item in the list to only show results for that entity.

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We’re not restricted to only these entities. Additional entities can be configured for Global Search on the General tab in System Settings.

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Clicking on the Select… button lets you select the entities to be configured for Global Search. This list also includes any custom entities that you create.

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I tried specifying every single entity and received an error message stating that you can only specify a maximum of 10 entities for global search.

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With this restriction in place, it is important to have a good think about the core entities in your system that need to be configured for global search.

Dynamics CRM 2015 – Global Advanced Find

You asked for it and Microsoft has listened! Dynamics CRM now provides the ability to launch the Advanced Find window from anywhere within the application.

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Previously, the Advanced Find button was only available on the command bar (or in the overflow menu) on forms and views which was a bit of a nuisance and required a few clicks just to launch it.

An important thing to note is that when you launch Advanced Find from a form, it opens in a separate window with no minimise or restore buttons. You also cannot click back onto the main window to navigate back to the form.

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Launching Advanced Find from within a view yields a different result. The window that opens allows the user to minimise and restore.

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Having Advanced Find globally available is one of my personal favourite features of the new release. Stay tuned for more new features in Dynamics CRM.