Default Views in CRM 2013

In today's blog, we'll discuss Default Views—a simple but necessary feature in CRM 2013.

To learn more about default views, follow these steps:

  1. First, navigate to an account record, as shown below.
  2. Click Account and you'll see a list of accounts. Active Accounts will be displayed on top of that list. Next to Active Accounts, notice the thumbtack icon.
  3. If you hover your mouse over the thumbtack, you'll see some helpful text.The text explains that Active Account is currently the default view for this entity.
  4. Now you can choose a different view via the drop-down arrow next to the current view. Notice the thumbtack positioned next to the current default view in the drop-down. This indicates that this is the current default view for this entity.
  5. Select My Active Accounts. Notice the change in the thumbtack's position. When hovering over the thumb-tack, help-text is displayed, indicating that this view is not currently the default view.
  6. If you click on the thumbtack, My Active Accounts becomes the default view for the account entity.

7. Now navigate back to the Active Account view and observe the change in the thumbtack's position, indicating that Active Accounts is no longer the default view for the account entity.

default views in CRM 2013

That's all there is to default views in CRM 2013. Hopefully this was helpful in explaining a simple but useful feature in CRM 2013!

If you're looking for more information towards how you can upgrade, check out our blog on preparing for CRM 2013.

Happy CRM'ing!

Making a View of Past-Due Opportunities in Dynamics CRM

In order to maintain an accurate pipeline, it is critical for sales teams is to be vigilant updating opportunity close dates. Luckily, you can easily create a view of past-due opportunities in Dynamics CRM. The diagrams and instructions below will walk you through how to create a view of opportunities to be updated so you have visibility of these important items.

Here we go!

Past-Due Opportunities in Dynamics CRM

  1. Click on Sales in the left navigation of CRM.
  2. Click on Opportunities.
  3. At the top of the screen, select the views dropdown.
  4. At the bottom of the list, select Create Personal View. CRM pops up the Advanced Find window.

  1. Click the Select hyperlink to drop down a list of fields and choose Status
  2. Click on the next drop down and choose Equals
  3. Click on the Look up button and select Open
  4. Click the Select hyperlink to drop down a list of fields and choose Est. Close Date.
  5. Click on the next drop down and choose Last X Years.
  6. Choose the number of years you would like the query to go back. Most businesses will only need to put a 1 or 2 here.
  7. Click Save As and name the view and click OK. You can put in a description if you so desire.

To use the view you just created go back to step 3 and select the view from the My Views section of the drop down. If you feel that your view would bring value to others you can share your view or make this into a system view.

Happy CRM'ing!

How to Get Even Better Activity Views in Dynamics CRM

Let's say I'm looking up an Account record in Dynamics CRM and want to see all of the associated Activities to plan out my next course of action. I click on Activities from within the Account record and see that they are sorted by Open Activities scheduled in the next 30 days.  That's dandy! But what if I want to see activities from the past as well? Normally I'd need to select "All" from the dropdown to navigate to this view, since out-of-the-box views are broken up by open and closed activities.

As you might have guessed, there's a way I can customize these views to display what I want! All I need to do is install PowerOneView, (which just happens to be free to try for 30 days).

Let's do a quick comparison so you can see the awesomeness of PowerOneView.

Here's a snapshot of the out-of-the-box solution, with "Next 30 days" as the default view. It doesn't display any custom records:

Better Activity Views in Dynamics CRM

PowerOneView shows everything created in the last 6 months, as well as everything modified in the last 6 months. That meeting I attended 2 months ago will be here, and so will the meeting I booked for next month:

PowerOneView consolidates all related activities and records (including custom entities) in one view, so I can quickly scroll through and get an idea of everyone's interactions with this account, person, opportunity, case, and so on.


Users can also sort related records by when they were created, modified, the Type or Status of the record, and decide whether or not to include child records in the view:

But wait! There's more! I can look into the related records without opening them with the configurable Reading Pane on the right of the screen:


PowerOneView is added to Contact, Lead, Account, Opportunity and Case entities upon import, but can easily be added to any CRM entity.

You can take PowerOneView one step further by customizing how your organization uses this tool. Consider removing the Activities, Closed Activities, and other tabs on the Left Navigation Bar altogether. This will help users get used to a centralized location for all record data in PowerOneView. No more going to different screens to find information you need – it's all in PowerOneView.

Keep checking back for more tips and tricks on Dynamics customizations, or let us know how we can help.

Happy CRM'ing!

Displaying a Filtered View in the Site Map in CRM 2011

Most organizations use Dynamics CRM to track their Accounts and Contacts, but they also track other companies with whom they work. It's common to use the Relationship Type field on the Account to indicate that a company is a Partner, Consultant, Investor or Vendor. That way it is easy to create a View that filters the data based on the type of Account. But wouldn't it be great to have its own menu item on the left navigation in CRM? By modifying the site map and adding some parameters from a View, we can accomplish this task!

In this example, we are going to use the Account entity and the out-of-the-box relationship type field.

1. Create a new View that will have filter of relationship type = Vendor. This can be a System View (recommended) or a Personal View. If you do use a Personal View, make sure you share the View with the appropriate user who will need to have access to this menu.

Display a filtered view in the site map | CRM 2011

2. Once the view has been created and published, we need to grab a couple of pieces of information. Go to the Accounts entity and pull up the view that we created in step 1. Select the Copy a Link and select the Current View option.

Displaying a Filtered View in the Site Map in CRM 2011

3. Now copy that link to a notepad, as we will need some information from that link. Below is an example of what it would look like.

Active Vendors <https://crm.yourdomainhere.com /xyz.aspx?etc=1&extraqs=%3fpagemode%3diframe%26sitemappath%3dWorkplace%257cCustomers%257cnav_accts&pagetype=entitylist&viewid=%7bDFBDFC4E-1781-E211-BC15-000C298A36A7%7d&viewtype=4230>

4. The next step is that we need to export the existing site map. Go to Settings, Customizations and Solutions. From here, you can create a new solution. Provide a display name, publisher and a version. Then click Save.

Displaying a Filtered View in the Site Map in CRM 2011

5. After the screen refreshes, we can select the "Add Existing" and then select the site map. Once the site map has been added, we can select "Export Solution" from the top menu. That will walk you through a wizard and allow you to save that solution to your local PC.

Displaying a Filtered View in the Site Map in CRM 2011

6. Locate the solution file we exported in the above step, and extract files that are included in the zip file.

7. Find the Customizations.xml file and open this file in Notepad, Notepad ++ or Visual Studio. (If possible, Visual Studio or Notepad ++ are the best program to make these changes.) This will give you the ability to make sure there are no errors in your XML file before uploading it back to CRM.

Displaying a Filtered View in the Site Map in CRM 2011

8. In this example, we want the new menu item to be displayed under My Work and under the sub-section of Customers. In the customizations.xml file, find a Group ID of "Customer".

Displaying a Filtered View in the Site Map in CRM 2011

9. Copy the information below to the XML right below the SubArea for Contacts.

<SubArea Id="new_vendor" Url="/_root/homepage.aspx?etn=account&amp; viewid=%7bDFBDFC4E-1781-E211-BC15-000C298A36A7%7d&amp;viewtype=1039">
<Titles>
<Title LCID="1033" Title="Vendors" />
</Titles>
</SubArea>

10. Let's now look at what needs to be updated in the string above to look at your specific information from CRM.

  1. Etn = account
    1. Here we specify the entity that we are pulling the view from. Since we are using the account entity in this example, we can leave this as is.
  2. Viewid= the GUID of the view
  3. Viewtype = this will be one of two options.
    1. For system views enter in 1039
    2. For Personal views enter in 4230
  4. Title="Vendors"
    This will be the name that appears in the Site Map. This can be changed to display whatever value you would like to have displayed.

<SubArea Id="new_vendor" Url="/_root/homepage.aspx?etn=account&amp; viewid=%7bDFBDFC4E-1781-E211-BC15-000C298A36A7%7d&amp;viewtype=1039"><Titles>
<Title LCID="1033" Title="Vendors" />
</Titles>
</SubArea>

11. Save your customizations.xml file and create a zip file that includes all three files that were extracted in Step 6.

Displaying a Filtered View in the Site Map in CRM 2011

12. Now it is time to upload the solution to CRM. Go to Settings, Solutions and select Import.

Solutions

13. Browse to the zip file we created in step 11 and walk through the Solution Wizard. Once the import finishes, select the Publish All Customizations. When that has finished, refresh your browser by clicking the refresh button or F5.

14. Once your screen refreshes you will now see a new menu item called Vendors.

Displaying a Filtered View in the Site Map in CRM 2011
A filtered view like this is just one of many examples of modifying the Site Map to make your Dynamics CRM more user friendly. If you are not familiar with XML code or need assistance in modifying your Site Map, contact PowerObjects and they will be than happy to assist you.

Happy CRM'ing!

Filter Your CRM 2011 System Views Dynamically

Is your view list overflowing? Is it difficult to find the views that are meaningful for you? Do you wish you could filter your CRM 2011 system views dynamically?

First of all, let's go through the out of the box configuration options in CRM 2011 that will help most of the cases:

If the above hints are not enough—for example, if you need to hide certain views dynamically based on business rules or security roles—you will need a custom plugin.

For example, your Opportunity view list might look like following:

Too many CRM 2011 System Views

But if you have a clear separation between the department handling New Opportunities and the department handling Renewals, the other department's views are nothing but distraction. We really want to check for the membership in a security role, team or business unit and dynamically show/hide views that are meaningful.

We can achieve this by using the RetrieveMultiple plugin against savedquery, registered on the pre-operation step. The idea of the plugin is that we attach additional criteria to the existing query. The easiest way to filter the views is by referencing something in the description. For example, our plugin filters to views that have 'Renewal' in the description:

Viola! CRM 2011 System Views for Renewals Only!

Additionally, we could have a similar plugin in RetrieveMultiple for savedquery in the post-operation step, to dynamically set the default view. However, we do not recommend this as it would override the functionality from out of the box user level default views and pinned views.

Note that the idea spans from our CRM 4.0 blog Dynamic System Views in Microsoft CRM 4.0.

However, the plugin did need several changes in order to work and be optimized for CRM 2011.

Hope you have fun things planned for the holidays, and happy CRM'ing!

How to Customize Sorting Priority in System Views and Personal Views in CRM 2011

You can do a lot with views in Dynamics CRM, and we've got several posts on these features already. You can create and hide shared views, deactivate and remove system views, or quickly sort your view with filtering. But what if you're tired of looking at a view and finding the list sorted by "Date" instead of by "Company Name" or "Revenue" or any other column that you would prefer instead? Good news! Any user of CRM can customize how their personal views appear.

There are two ways to change personal views: Option one is simply clicking on the column heading you would like to sort by, thereby sorting the column in ascending or descending order. This needs to be done every time you enter the view. Who has the time or patience for that? Every single time?! Not this guy. There's got to be a better way.

The most effective way to do this is to customize the view. This can be accomplished with a few easy steps:

  1. Find the view you would like to customize.
  2. Click the Customize tab, then select View at the top of the screen: customize sorting priority for views in CRM 2011

    (It is important to note that a user with System Administrator rights can make changes to the company-wide System View. To do this, instead of selecting "View," select "System Views" in the top ribbon, and then select which system view to make changes to on the popup that follows. The following steps remain the same from there.)

  3. This will open a popup giving you customization options for the view.
  4. Select "Configure Sorting":

  5. Another popup will appear, giving you sort options based on the columns in the view.
    1. The first selection is your first sorting priority – in this case revenue.
    2. The second selection determines how to sort the view in the event of duplicate values, customer, user, etc.
    3. Click OK after making your selections.

  6. After clicking OK, click "Save and Close" on the popup, then click "Publish Entity" on the ribbon at the top:

  7. Refresh your browser window, find the view again, and you are all set – no more annoying sort results, and a much more efficient way of viewing your data – the way you want it!

It is small customizations like this one that make use of Dynamics CRM even more valuable, and why Dynamics CRM continues to be the best CRM system on the market. Keep checking back for more tips and tricks on Dynamics customizations, or let us know how we can help!

Happy CRM'ing!

How to Customize Dynamics CRM Column Width for Form Views

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is endlessly customizable (see our post on customizing the ribbon bar for just one example). Did you know you can change the column width in your CRM? This post will walk you through an example on how to customize Dynamics CRM column width when the out-of-the-box widths for a CRM form view just aren't good enough.

The available out-of-the-box column widths are 25px, 50px, 75px, 100px, 125px, 150px, 200px and 300px. The max column width is 300px:

customize Dynamics CRM column width for form views - 1

"But I want my columns larger than 300 px!" you say. Perhaps the max column width is not wide enough to show the full information of your account names:

Whatever your reason for wanting something beyond the available settings, the following steps will walk you through how to configure your own column width.

1. Create a new solution:

Dynamics CRM column width - create a new solution

2. Add the entity you are configuring for. Here we pick Account for the example.

3. Export the solution

4. Extract the solution .zip file:

5. Open the customizations.xml with Visual Studio or any xml editor:

6.. Update the width value:

Change the width to 400px from 300px:

7. Save the file and Import the solution back:

8. Publish the Solution:

9. Check the Result:

Now your Dynamics CRM column width is customized as you configured. Bam!

By following step 1 to 9, you can easily edit any column width for any view. You can delete the solution anytime and go back to out-of-the-box configurations, or you can reconfigure the width as you like to and re-import the solution again.

Be noted, republishing the out-of-the-box configuration will overwrite customization configuration. The rule is last one wins!

Here are some other good blog posts on Dynamics CRM customizations you might want to check out:

Happy CRM'ing!

Using Advanced Find to View Appointments and Recurring Appointments in CRM 2011

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 has introduced the functionality to create recurring appointments within the application. One common business requirement that we have come across at PowerObjects is the ability to view Appointments and Recurring Appointments through Advanced Find or Views. Most business users want to see two views—one that displays Appointments and another that displays Recurring Appointments.

How do we separate those views in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011?

You may think that creating two views could by done by adding the filter criteria of Activity Type equals Appointment or Recurring Appointment. However, that won’t fetch the desired results.

This is how you view all Appointments in CRM 2011

When we run the Advanced Find on “Appointments,” Recurring Appointments also appears in the list. The results will display all Appointments and Recurring Appointments in a single view.

But when we run Advance Find on “Recurring Appointments,” it will only show the first one that was created.  This means that the Appointments created in the recurrence series do not get flagged as a recurring appointment.

In order to fulfill this requirement, we can leverage the picklist “Appointment Type” on the Appointment entity. This picklist holds the following values:

  1. Not Recurring
  2. Recurring Exception
  3. Recurring Future Exception
  4. Recurring Instance
  5. Recurring Master

The logical name of this picklist is instancetypecode and the option values are 0 to 4 in the above order.

We can use these values to to filter out Recurring Appointment, hence there is no need need to do a filter on the Recurring Appointment activity type.

For example, if you select Appointment Type as Recurring Instance in Advanced Find, the results will fetch all instances of a Recurring Appointment Instance and this can be saved as a View.

Fetch all insances of recurring appointments in CRM 2011

How to view all CRM 2011 recurring appointments

So there you go! That's how you can view either appointments or recurring appointments separately in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

Happy CRM'ing!

The Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings for End Users That Increase Efficiency

What do you do for the user who says, “It takes too many clicks to…?” The following is a checklist of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 tools and settings for that increase efficiency for end users, including things each user can do to decrease clicks with minimal effort and no administrative privileges.

Set Personal Options

The user can access this in either the Outlook Client or IE. Changes made in one will carry through to the other.

Accessing Personal Options

  1. Change the user’s CRM home page to a page that frequently use. This dictates the first thing the user sees when they open CRM.
  2. Increase the number of records shown per page in any list of records to 250. This decreases the number of paging they need to do to see all the records in a view.
  3. Change the default mode in Advanced Find to Detailed. This auto selects the Details button when they open Advanced Find.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 1

Set as Default (Web Client)

In the web client each user can set the default view that displays when they click on a record type or an area of CRM. This is awesome because some of the out of the box default views are not relevant to all users. For example, the out of the box default view for Accounts is “My Active Accounts.” What if they don’t own any Accounts? They have to change the view every time they navigate there.

  1. Navigate to the record type or area you want to change (i.e. Accounts, Opportunities or Dashboards)
  2. Change to the view you want to see when you click on the area.
  3. Click on View in the Ribbon (you can skip this step for Dashboards)
  4. Click on Set as Default

Pin Views (Outlook Client)

The Outlook Client doesn’t have the Set as Default button, but you can change your default view for each record type by selecting the view and clicking on the pin.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 2

Copy / Email Link of a record (Outlook and Web clients)

Each record in CRM boasts the Copy a Link and Email a Link button in the ribbon. The user to whom you provide this link will navigate directly to the record.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 3

Copy / Email Link of view or selected items in the view (Outlook and Web clients)

Same concept as what’s in the record except the user will have multiple links or one link that navigates directly to a view.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 4

Jump Tabs (Web Client)

Each record contains a jump tab. Clicking on the arrow closes the current record and opens the next record in the view.  This is especially handy if you have to update a number of records, and have a view that contains all the records containing what you have to update.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 5

Create Relevant Dashboards

Dashboards are a mix of charts and grid views.  With a mix of the right elements, a dashboard can be a one stop shop for any click adverse user. Think about how the work it takes to create a dashboard can reduce the amount of clicks a user or team has to do to see and open relevant records.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Tools and Settings image 6

These little details play a huge role in increasing user acceptance which ultimately results in better data for your company. Brought to you by your friendly CRM Experts at PowerObjects.

Happy CRM’ing!

Fun with Jill and Tim and PowerOneView for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

What's PowerOneView?

PowerOneView saves the day

OK – so now and then we like to have a little fun when we talk about our solutions! If you want to give this a try in you system you can download PowerOneView from our website. If you have questions or just need a CRM Expert to talk, please contact us at PowerObjects.

Happy CRM'ing!

Rapid View Forms in CRM 2011 R8

A short, slick yet very powerful functionality comes in the Avatar of Rapid View Forms. So what exactly is this Rapid View Form in CRM 2011, what is its business utility and how does it work? Let us delve a bit into it…

The rapid view forms are read-only forms that can be configured like any other form in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to display any record in the system. There is no default ribbon that appears with read-only forms. The biggest benefit of these forms is that information loads up super quickly in a read only format and there is no processing delay in the background. Try it out to believe this!

We see a lot of business utility being derived out of this feature. Think of a Call Center serving millions of customers. In this industry every second counts as that enables you to serve an additional customer. This feature can be a great utility as call center agents may primarily be focused on reading, interpreting and communicating information with customers. Of course, if they need to update information they can always switch back to the update mode to edit a record. But in bulk of the cases, they will save those additional seconds without the need of a small wait time for page to download. Think of retail kiosks or bank tellers where the users are more involved in carrying out transactions for customers by referring to their information stored in the system. Think of all the managers in different organizations whose primary responsibility may be reviewing information and providing feedback. Well, the list goes on. This utility can be a super nice tool to return back those additional seconds to business and like they say every second counts!

Okay, so now let us look at how this functionality works and few scenarios around it.

Firstly, an administrator can navigate to Settings - Administration - System Settings and then click on Customizations Tab, as shown below. You will notice that an additional option called Form Mode is available. By default the form mode will be pre-selected as Edit. This is basically the normal mode in which CRM exists for you.

rapid view forms in CRM 2011

Now, let us select the option Read-Optimized, as shown below and click ok:

Once you take the above action, open any existing record in CRM. I am going to show you an example of Accounts Entity, as shown below. You will notice a read-only record that loads superfast in front of you. Now if you have the requisite access, you can click on the Edit button, highlighted in yellow, to toggle to the original record and update information on it.

Well, the fun doesn't stop here. There is also an option available for users under their personal options to control the implementation of Rapid View Forms if the Administrator chooses to allow the same. All you need to do is navigate to File à Options and then check the General Tab, as shown below. By default the option will be Organizational default which would have been defined by an administrator as discussed above. Now the user has the option to flip it to a Read Form or an Edit Form depending on his business need. The change incorporated by the user will override the organizational setting and reflect only for this particular user.

The other small thing to mention is that Administrators can choose to disable the access of Individual users to edit the settings for rapid view forms as shown below. They just need to uncheck the box highlighted below in yellow and click ok:

The implication of the above action from administrator will be, in personal options an end user will no longer see the option to set read only forms, as shown below:

We are super excited with this small new functionality. To learn more reach out to the CRM Experts at PowerObjects.

Happy CRM'ing!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM as Vendor Management Software

Did you know that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is flexible enough to be used as vendor management software? It can help with the following areas:

When managing vendor relationships in CRM, it is best practices to use the out-of-the-box Account record to store vendors rather than creating a separate vendors entity. The primary reason for this is Microsoft Dynamics CRM recognizes the Account as a company, and therefore has some inherent features including:

Even if these features are not planned as part of your use today, they may be needed in the future AND you never know what new features Microsoft will develop around that central and unique Account record. So, use the best practices!

Using the out of the box Account entity you can easily segment vendor records from other accounts by defining the Relationship type.

Vendor Management

System and Personal views can be used to provide quick snap shots to all Vendor Records

MSCRM Vendor Management

And depending on who is managing the vendors, role-based forms may also be used to display vendor fields and other vendor information. If the same users are managing vendors as well as customers and prospects in CRM, then JavaScript may be used to hide/display sections or specific fields depending on the relationship type.

Use JavaScript or tabs allow you to hide/display specific vendor related information

Now you see it!

CRM Vendor Management

Now you don't!

These are just some of the features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 you can use to effectively manage the relationship and specific processes with your vendors.

For more information on Role Based Forms:

https://powerobjects.com/blog/2010/12/07/microsoft-dynamics-crm-2011-role-based-forms/

For more information on JavaScript in Microsoft Dynamics CRM:

https://powerobjects.com/blog/2011/01/14/crm-2011-useful-javascript-tidbits/