Get Personal with Custom Email Signatures in Dynamics CRM 2016

An exciting new feature in Dynamics CRM 2016 is the ability to use custom email signatures when sending an email from CRM. This can be very helpful for organizations that rely heavily on email communications sent from their Dynamics CRM system.

You can utilize your own email signatures and easily add them to either new emails or email replies. The feature also allows you to set a default email signature for ease of use. In today's blog, we'll show you how to set up your own email signature in CRM.

1. In Personal Options, navigate to the Email Signatures tab.

Custom Email Signatures

2. Click New to create your Email Signature.

3. After saving the new Email Signature, you can also choose the default signature by clicking Set as Default.

Custom Email Signatures

Note: If you do not see an option for email signature, you may need to request the email signature privilege with your CRM Administrator.

Custom Email Signatures

Once a you have setup at least one signature, you will be able to insert it into an email.

4. When sending or replying to an email, click on Email signature.

Custom Email Signatures

5. Choose a signature from the list and click Select. This will insert the signature into the email.

Custom Email Signatures

6. If you are sending or replying to an email and do not see your name listed in the 'From' field in the email, your default signature will automatically load.

That's all for the blog today, but don't stop there with emailing with CRM! Learn how PowerEmail tracks opens and clicks and then check out eleven email marketing metrics you can measure to win!

Happy CRM'ing!

The CRM Minute: Five Favorite Features in Dynamics CRM 2016 - "TAD Talk" Edition [VIDEO]

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is finally here! Featuring productivity tools; predictive analytics with machine learning intelligence; offline capability and simplified data collection with field control types for mobile users; and enhancements to the Service user experience, CRM 2016 is the best version of Dynamics CRM to date. With so many awesome and amazing features in CRM 2016 we could talk about it for days, and for Tad Thompson, one of our amazing Education team members, there is a lot to be excited about!

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Hi, I'm Tad. I'm here to talk about some of the new features in CRM 2016. I get so excited about new features in CRM because each time they're new things that we can do directly in the UI rather than having to do them through some sort of customization. There's a lot of great new features in CRM 2016. I'm going to talk about five of them. Read More

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is Coming - Get a First Look at What's New!

The release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is fast approaching, and over here at PowerObjects, we are kind of geeking out a bit. Microsoft released the preview guide for the new release this month, so we thought we would give our readers a taste of some of the upcoming features that we are most excited about!

First off, let's break down some of the basics. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Online is set to be released in December of this year. The name of the game with CRM 2016 is customer service. Microsoft is really focusing on helping companies "deliver customer experiences that are personalized, proactive and predictive." The 2016 update will include Dynamics CRM; Parature, from Microsoft; Dynamics Marketing; and Microsoft Social Engagement.

Microsoft is striving to drive home four major themes: Productivity, Intelligence, Mobility and Unified Service. They are also investing heavily in Dynamics Marketing and Microsoft Social Engagement, which bodes well for all areas. Let's dive into some of the features we are the most excited about overall!

Sales: Cortana Integration

If you're in sales and are not using Cortana yet, now would be the time to start! The Cortana integration will now let you embed sales activities, accounts and opportunities directly into Cortana. See what matters most to you right off the bat. No digging required!


Customer Service: Unified Service Desk

The Unified Service Desk is crucial for a successful customer experience, and this release makes USD even more powerful. The most exciting part for us, however, is that some of the new features for USD are a solid win for current customers because Microsoft took direct customer feedback and answered with improvements such as displaying a progress bar during page loads and an improved developer experience. Thanks for listening, Microsoft!

Social: Social Listening and Social Analytics

It's already easy to search boards and forums on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc. But get excited Yammer-heads, because you will now be able to search boards, forums and custom sources via RSS, including internal non-public sources, like Yammer.


Mobile: Mobile Offline Support

There are so many changes coming to Mobile that we can't list them all here. However, we are most looking forward to getting the full offline experience with mobile apps (CRM Online only). Users will be able to keep working even if they lose their internet connection which is AWESOME! Users can modify records while offline and then those changes will be automatically synchronized with Dynamics CRM Online.

Online: Guided User Experience

If you are frustrated with having to figure out the new features that come with each release on your own, relax! Help is on its way! CRM Online 2016 includes an in-product and context-based learning layer. The learning layer is designed to speed up the learning curve that comes with every new release so that users can get back to their normal work-day routines seamlessly. Each learning layer will be role-specific, so you can get the specific content that fits you and your needs.


Keep your eye on the blog in the upcoming months to stay up to date on all things 2016! As always, PowerObjects will be at the forefront of any and all updates. You can check out some insider insight on the new release from Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. And if you can't wait to learn more about CRM 2016, check out the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Release Preview Guide for yourself!

Happy CRM'ing, readers!

Images and content credit: Microsoft

New Feature for PowerGrid: In-line Editing Directly in a Sub-grid

PowerObjects' time-saving add-on, PowerGrid, gives you the ability to search within a CRM view and then edit the records in-line, view details and create activities on-the-fly for records populated by the PowerGrid search. PowerGrid for CRM 2013 and 2015 has been enhanced to allow for the same handy in-line editing of records on sub-grids!

A sub-grid is a view that displays related child records on the form of a specific record. The sub-grid lives directly in the record so that you don't have to navigate away from it to edit the child record in-line. In today's blog, we'll show you exactly how to use the new web-resource based in-line editing functionality for Sub-grids. So let's get started!

Imagine the Following Scenario

You have a COURSE entity and a related STUDENT entity. The relationship is a 1:N (which is the only type of relationship the PowerGrid add-on works with at this time). We have one COURSE that has many STUDENTS enrolled. Using this example, we'll show the capabilities of PowerGrid.

Without the add-on, the COURSE form would look like the image below, with the Enrolled Students listed in the sub-grid.


If you wanted to update the Exam Score fields for each student, you would need to open each record individually and change the field values accordingly. For a few records, this isn't a problem, but if you need to update 300 student records, the task quickly becomes overwhelming. This is where in-line editing within a sub-grid comes in handy!

Adding the New PowerGrid Web-Resource

1. If you don't already have it, you can download a free 30-day trial from the PowerObjects website.

2. To set up both entities on PowerGrid, simply follow the instructions found in the PowerGrid User Guide. Here's an example of PowerGrid setup for the STUDENT entity in our scenario:


The new in-line editing web resource requires that you set the entity as a base entity or a related entity. In this case, we left both checked for STUDENTS. As with the original PowerGrid, you specify the fields on the reading pane. In our scenario we specified the DOB field as read-only for the purpose of in-line editing.

3. To add the in-line editing capability to the form, you add a web resource (rather than a sub-grid object.) It's a few more steps, but the payoff is immense. For the step by step directions, see the PowerGrid User Guide. Here's what the basic configuration for the web resource looks like:


4. The web resource will look like this to your users on the published form:


The PowerGrid web resource is embedded into the COURSE form and you are able to edit the Exam 1 Score field for Mark Mitchell's STUDENT record in-line. Don't forget to save your changes!

Other Great benefits

You'll also notice the drop-down menus that affect the behavior of the sub-grid web resource:


The first drop-down displays the various relationships that the COURSE entity may have. For example, if the COURSE entity had an INSTRUCTOR relationship (1:N – one course has many INSTRUCTORS) then the web resource would display those records. Pretty cool, huh?

The second drop-down box has the same functionality as the original PowerGrid– it allows you to select the view for the web resource. These are the views for the STUDENT entity – another feature that makes this add-on extremely versatile

Lastly, you can use the + Insert button to create a new record directly in the sub-grid:


Don't forget! If you designated a field as read-only (as we did for the DOB field in our scenario) you'll need to add the values of that field from the form.

We hope you enjoy this new time-saving new feature of PowerGrid! Until next time, happy CRM'ing!

CRM 2013: Will You Miss Screen Pop-ups and Refreshing on the Sub-grid?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 has introduced an entirely new user experience that allows users to see everything in a single screen with no pop-ups and no flipping from one screen to another.

While this user experience will bring a paradigm shift in the way you work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there is a chance that you will miss screen pop-ups from previous versions. At the same time, if you are used to using the refresh button on sub-grids, you won't find it in the new user interface. See below how it worked in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

Screen Pop-ups and Refreshing

But no worries—in the new version, you still have the option to open forms in a new window. You can also refresh sub-grids. The options are pretty much the same—there are just different ways to achieve these functions you miss in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. See below how it is in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

Screen Pop-ups and Refreshing

If you right click on a sub-grid, you will have the option to open the record in a new window as well as refresh the list!

Hope these tips about screen pop-ups and refreshing help you drive user adoption whenever Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 is introduced in your organization. Stay tuned and we will bring to you more tips and tricks from Dynamics CRM 2013 world.

Happy CRM'ing!

Top 10 New Features of CRM 2013

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 is sensational! It's exciting because there are many new enhancements and advancements that will improve user experience and clarify business processes. CRM 2013 also improves usability across multiple browsers and devices. Here are the top 10 features new features of CRM 2013 that will surely profit your organization for years to come!

1. Command Bar

The left navigation used in previous versions is gone, replaced by the touch-friendly, yet mouse-friendly Command Bar. Each command features a down arrow to the right indicating there is a menu below it. The commands are layered, so selecting a command reveals additional options.

In the screenshot below, you can see that when you select Sales from the main navigation, you are presented with the sales functions. Selecting the arrow next to Accounts displays the recently viewed Accounts.

New Features of CRM 2013

The Command Bar drops down from the top when you run your mouse over it or touch it with a touch screen.

2. Simplified Navigation

Rather than using a ribbon displaying every option to the user, the navigation is streamlined to a few commands. The user can select the ellipses called the MORE COMMANDS button to find relevant commands for the records in context.

top 10 New Features of CRM 2013

In addition, small icons such as the pin icon above replace buttons on the ribbon in previous versions. The screen capture below shows how commands relevant to the chart appear as icons on the chart rather than buttons on the ribbon.

New Features of CRM 2013

The filter on the view is also shown as a small icon to the top right of the view.

3. Flat User Interface

While navigating CRM 2013, you will notice the absence of pop-up windows. Similar to a website, clicking an item in the navigation replaces your current view with the new page. You can use the back button to take you to your previous page.

Therefore, as show in the Account image below, a record opens up right within the same window—NOT a new window or tab. To navigate out of the record, you do not *close* the record, but rather you just select where you want to go on the top navigation.

New Features of CRM 2013

You may like to use pop-out windows periodically to compare two records or to multitask. In that case you may click an icon in the top right corner to pop the window out.

4. Auto-Save

As you might imagine with the flat navigation, it's easy to exit records in CRM 2013 without giving it much thought. That is why Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 now has the ability to auto-save records as you edit them. While editing a record, CRM saves the record every 30 seconds. And when you leave the record, it is auto-saved. While this feature can be disabled in the Settings, having an auto-save will significantly reduce clicks for power users who had to save and close ever record in previous versions.

New Features of CRM 2013

5. Business Process Flow

The concept of Business Processes was introduced in the December 2012 Update of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, but it was limited to the Lead, Opportunity, and Case entities. With the release of CRM 2013, organizations can now create processes for any entity, as well as processes that go across entities. (Think Opportunity that turns into an Order or a Project). In addition, multiple processes can be created for the same record type and made available to users through security roles.

New Features of CRM 2013

The method of creating Processes in CRM is just like creating workflows or dialogs. For the intermediate level technical person who has mastered the toolset, modifying and adding processes will be fairly straight forward.


6. Social Pane

Referred to as the "Record Wall" in previous versions, the social pane appeared first in the December 2012 release of CRM Online on the Lead, Opportunity, and Case. It allows you to view and create social posts right on the record. You can see posts automatically generated, such as when the record is created. The social pane also allows the users to create notes and activities in a simplified form—making it much easier for users to see and record what is going on with this record.


In CRM 2013, the social pane has now been extended to most other types of records. Also included is the ability to add all types of activities in addition to the Task and Phone Call.


Using the buttons in the top right of the newly created activity, the user can expand the activity to see all the notes or open the activity to view, edit, or complete it.

7. Quick Create Forms

Whenever the user clicks create on the top right of the screen, the form that is displayed is called the Quick Create form. This allows users to fill out a subset of fields needed to create the record. What's neat about this is that it does not disturb the record you are on. The Quick Create allows you to multitask should you get a phone call or want to make a note while you are working on something else.


Administrators can modify the Quick Create forms through the customizations area in CRM 2013.

8. Portable Business Logic

OKAY, it's techie time!! Completely new to CRM 2013, portable business logic is a wizard that allows you to create logical functions on the form including hiding and showing fields, enabling or disabling fields, showing a message, or setting the requirement level on fields.


While this feature will replace some of the JavaScript needed in previous versions—what the tool is really doing is creating JavaScript in the background. What's so portable about it? Well, once a rule is created, it can be used on multiple forms, such as in the case of role-based forms.

9. Quick View Forms

For a long time, organizations using Microsoft Dynamics CRM have wanted the ability to show fields from another record on a form. Well, it's finally here! With Quick View forms, you create a form on one entity, and then add it to another entity. The fields are read-only, but phone number and Email fields are active.

In the example below, a Quick View form has been added to the Opportunity showing the contact information for the primary contact. Therefore, the user can quickly call or email the contact without leaving the opportunity.


Administrators can create multiple Quick View forms, as well as modify the layout for these read-only forms through the customizations area.

10. Real-Time Workflows

What will they think of next!? The ability to run workflows right on the screen? Yes! Real-time workflows in CRM 2013 have an amazing potential to streamline processes. Not only can you automate processes, but you can do it right in front of the users without slowing them down. This might mean creating records, creating activities, or updating fields on the screen.

In the example below, when an opportunity is over $25,000, the Size of the opportunity is set to strategic.


This feature replaces much of what is done with JavaScript and/or plugins in previous versions.

As you can see from the list above, the CHANGE in user experience is greater than in past releases. There are MANY more features to discover with CRM 2013 beyond this post. One thing is sure—it will be critical for organizations moving from previous versions to provide hands-on instructions and training materials for end-users.

For more information, read out our blog on Preparing for the CRM 2013 Upgrade. You can also check our Dynamics CRM 2013 page, where we'll be posting the latest news, info and events regarding the new release!

Happy CRM'ing!