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What to Do with Unwanted Activity Types in Dynamics CRM

Post Author: Joe D365 |

Microsoft Dynamics CRM defines an Activity as an action to be performed such as email, phone call, and so on. Out-of-the-box Dynamics CRM provides various activity types such as Phone Calls, Tasks, Appointments, and more. and you can also create your own custom activity types as required by the business need.

There are many business scenarios where users don't use some of the activity types such as Fax or Letter. This may not be because they don't want to use them, or these activity types are not relevant in their business processes. There is also a good chance that curious end users may log activities against these types which might skew reporting.

Unwanted Activity Types in Dynamics CRM

In out-of-the-box Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there is no ability to hide or remove or disable these unwanted activities. You can't restrict access by security roles as those only applicable to the Activity master entity—you have access to all or none.

This blog provided various options (not step-by-step directions) to you as a system administrator or system customizer to hide or remove or disable these unwanted activity types. Even if you choose to not do anything on the front end because you think you will have to rollback those changes, the list below also covers some options if business users would want to use these activities in the future.

Use your judgment in terms of which option will best meet your end user expectations without impacting their day-to-day usage of CRM.

Option 1: Edit the Site Map and Ribbon Bar

You can edit the site map and ribbon bar for each activity-enabled entity. In this way, these options don't appear in the navigation views. You can customize RibbonDiffXml or use the Ribbon Workbench tool to hide or remove unwanted activity type buttons. This may be a lot of work, and this still will not prevent the user from creating those activities in some areas of the application.

Option 2: JavaScript

You can develop an onload JavaScript web resource to selectively hide or remove unwanted activity types. In this case, whenever a user navigates to the list of activity types, the selected types don't display at all.

Option 3: Rename Unwanted Activity Types

You can rename unwanted activity types to something else. For example, you can rename Fax to Do not use. This may not look pretty from a user experience perspective, but should give users enough hint to not use it.

Option 4: Plug-in

You can develop a plug-in with built-in logic so that when triggered (for example on create of a new activity record of specific type), it will delete the unwanted activity type record right away. This may take away some admin overhead of cleaning up unwanted records. However, users who are unaware about the plug-in may keep wondering what happened to their activities.

Option 5: Workflow

You can develop a workflow to email users on create saying "don't do use this activity type". In this case, whenever an unwanted activity record is created, this workflow will trigger and send an email to the user creating it and will mention not to use this activity type and other details. As a system admin, you can then run a bulk delete job to delete these records on a regular basis (nightly, weekly etc.).

Option 6: Alert Message

You can develop a JavaScript alert message which will be displayed whenever users try to create any of the unwanted activity types. The message can be as simple as stating "Please use other activity type".

Option 7: Another form

You can create a custom form that lacks required fields. In this way, the record cannot ever be saved. Also, users won't be able to modify the existing ones to hide most of the fields. This may not great user experience but it servers the purpose.

Option 8: HTML web resource

You can develop a simple html web resource that says "This isn't used". You can then place it on the form of the unwanted activity type. Whenever users navigate to this form, this information should be good enough for them to not use this activity type.

Hope you like this post and that it helps you to drive Microsoft Dynamics CRM user adoption. Stay tuned and we will bring to you more tips and tricks from Microsoft Dynamics CRM world.

Happy CRM'ing!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

3 comments on “What to Do with Unwanted Activity Types in Dynamics CRM”

  1. Great post.

    In CRM 2013 you could create an on-demand workflow that is executed when a fax is created.
    Stop the workflow with status of canceled and a status message “Fax cannot be
    used”. The creation of the fax record will be blocked.

  2. Great post, even if I try any of these they will be displayed in the Activity view, Is there a way through which I can hide them as well?

  3. It's astounding to me that this was not handled in the requirements of Activities. This should be a basic requirement of ANY system that utilizes codes.

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