Enabling Quick Create forms for Sub-grids – reduce key clicks

Problem Statement

I have an entity that has an associated sub-grid, the user always has to create a new record in the sub-grid each time, how can I utilise the quick create form? In my example lets say I have a projects entity and a milestone entity. New milestones are created for each project and existing milestones should not be selected.

Overview of problem

Have you ever noticed that when you click the ‘+’ symbol on a sub-grid, the inline editor is enabled for a lookup, you can then search by typing a value in or by clicking the “magnifying glass”, now if you want to create a new record you have to first search and then click the new button that opens a new window. So to create my new milestone it would take at least 3 clicks.


What I want to happen is that I select the ‘+’ and the quick create form is displayed immediately. So how do I enable this?


Steps to enforce the quick create form to be displayed:

  1. Enable Quick Create on the selected entity, in this case MilestoneSUBGRIDCREATE2
  2. Create a new Quick Create Form from the Forms, new menuSUBGRIDCREATE3
  3. Ensure to add the Projects Lookup in this case on to the form
  4. Now for the trick to ensure that on selecting of the ‘+’ the quick create form is displayed, make the Projects entity requiredSUBGRIDCREATE4
  5. Publish the change
  6. Now when I select the ‘+’ button the quick create form is displayed.SUBGRIDCREATE5
  7. Note 1: If had not had a quick create form then the selection of the ‘+’ would open a new window for my new milestone.
  8. Note 2: If I did not have a quick create form and I had not made the field required then the selection of the ‘new’ button in the lookup would of opened the quick create form – so 3 clicks to get to the same place

I hope this has saved you some clicks!

CRM 2013 Vertical Templates released

Great new templates for CRM2013 released, see this great post by Scott Kostojohn, Madrona Solutions Group for details.


Using workflows to validate records to prevent creates, updates, assign and deletes

Business Scenario – I want to prevent a user creating an opportunity if the credit on hold status is set to yes of the potential customer.

I have many ways of doing this for example:

  • I could use a plugin
  • I could use some JavaScript
  • I could use a real-time workflow in CRM2013

The significance of using a workflow is that I now no longer need a developer to perform this development and if I want to the business rule later I can again without a developer. So how do I do this?

  1. Create a new process via Settings -> Processes
  2. Assign the process a name, associate to the entity the user will be creating that the validation will apply, in this case an opportunity
  3. Set the “Run this workflow in the background” to No
  4. ValidateProcess1
  5. Click Ok
  6. Now specify when the workflow should fire i.e. On create, change, assign, delete, in my scenario on Create
  7. NOTE: Not applicable to on create but is to the other options is when the workflow runs before or after the save event. For validation rules you always want to execute before the change is applied
  8. ValidateProcess2
  9. Now all you need to create is a simple condition in my case to check the related customer to the opportunity to see if the credit status is on hold and if it is prevent the save and display a message
  10. The key to a validation rule is Stopping the workflow as “Cancelled” this method prevents the save or action occurring on the record
  11. ValidateProcess3
  12. You will notice a new feature of real time workflows is the ability to define the status message of the reason for cancellation or success. In here we can specify how we inform the user on what to do next and is key to a validation rule.
  13. ValidateProcess4
  14. Now activate the workflow and test

Seeing the validation in action

So I now navigate to my account record and you can see that the credit on hold status is set to Yes.



I click on the plus icon on the Opportunity grid and get presented with the quick create form. 


I complete the details and save, I get presented with my nice status message, and the user can not create an opportunity.



In summary …

Simple or complex validation rules can not be applied using workflows by non developers that enable the business to own the validation of the system. Very cool new feature and again shows you can do a lot before you need to customise!

Creating Event Labels from Dynamics CRM with a QR code, for quick attendance recording

So you run events and at the event you want to quickly update who has attended. You use Dynamics CRM to capture the event details and you record who has RSVP’d via campaign responses. You use mail merge to print out labels for the event.

Have you ever considered using QR codes on your labels to register people in? Did you know you can do this through standard Microsoft Word features (Word 2013 only) using mail merge? Well if you didn’t here is what you need to do:

  1. First you need to record the URL of the Campaign response record as a field on the campaign response. To do this you will need to do some minor config as follows:
    1. Create a new field on the Campaign Response record called “Record URL”
    2. Create a workflow that fires on Create of a new record to update the Campaign response Record URL using the field “Record URL (Dynamic)”
    3. Campaignresponse
  2. Next on to the mail merge, campaign responses do not support mail merge, to get around this simply export out the campaign responses using the standard export feature but ensure you include your new Record URL field.
  3. Now open Word 2013 and start a mail merge, select the exported out records to form the list to use.
  4. To add a QR code to your label you simply click “Insert Barcode Field” in the mailing ribbon, Select QR Code and select the Record URL field.
    1. qrcode
  5. You now have generated a unique QR code for each record.
  6. Print your labels and you are done.

Now at the event you can scan the QR code as they arrive and update the status reason of the record to Attended.

Mobile Express gets a face lift on CRM2013

So I have provisioned myself my first CRM2013 online APAC org as a trial and I have to say it is running very nicely! Connected the mobile Win 8 App and all works, but I thought what about Mobile express?

Well you would be pleased to know it has had a facelift not a redesign of any of the configuration side, but it just looks nice!

Here are some images:


CRM 2013 – Synchronous workflows – Real time workflows

Great new feature of CRM 2013 is the ability to trigger a workflow synchronously, meaning I update a field, it triggers a workflow, that updates a field on the form in real time with no refreshing? Say goodbye to some plugins!

To make a workflow real time, click the actions menu and select real time option:


Once you have enabled this then you have a few more settings to work with to define how the workflow is triggered.


So depending on how the workflow is triggered will determine whether you can start the workflow process before the record has been created or after if trigger on create, otherwise if trigger any on change then again before or after and likewise on delete.

Another important point is how you execute the workflow. You now have the option to execute as the owner of the workflow thus the owner may have greater security permissions or run as the owner of the record that may have limited rights. Things to think about when designing workflows.

To note:

Like any workflow consider the impact of real time on performance and likely trigger ratio. In addition think about the impact that it may have on imports, we found real time workflows severely impacted the time to import records as real time workflows were triggered regardless of resource availability

CRM 2013 – Merging Forms and content

So I have upgraded and I want to add my additional fields to the new look and feel CRM 2013 forms, how can I do this efficiently without having to one by one drag them in to the form?

Simple use the Bring in Another Form option to append the fields from the old form on to the new form. You can then just simple drag and drop the fields on the new layout.


CRM 2013 – Description Tool Tips

So how do I provide help for my users on what they should be filling in on a particular field?

Its easy with CRM 2013, use the description on the field. In CRM 2013 the description on a field is displayed when you hover over the field, in essence a tool tip or help option.



Things to note:

If you are upgrading you may want to review what your descriptions include as they could be developer guides and not user friendly.

CRM 2013 – Quick View Cards

A great new feature of CRM 2013 is the quick view feature.

Quick Views – The ability to display a read only view of a associated record within an existing form.

What this means is that I am looking at the Account screen and I can quick view the details of the primary contact or even the details of the primary account.

So how do I create a quick view?

Its simple in CRM 2013, you simply navigate to the entity form area and create a new quick view form. You can then add fields, subgrids and sections to the view. See image below:


Once you ave created the form you save it and publish it. You can create many quick view forms for any entity.

To display the quick view on the form

Again so simple, open up an existing form, select the area you want to add the quick view form and click the insert quick view see below:


Then you select the lookup on the form for which you want to display the quick view form of and you are done:


Once you have added it, you save and publish the form and your quick view card will be displayed. If no record exists in the lookup associated to the quick view then the quick view will not be displayed.

See screen shot below of Parent Account quick view.


Possible uses:

Display details of a contact or product associated to a Case on the case form.

Display product details on a quote product

Display competitor details on an opportunity

As you can see many uses of this very cool feature!

Sneak peek at my top 10 features of CRM2013

As you may or may not be aware Dynamics CRM will be having a facelift in October with the new release CRM 2013 being launched.

In short, CRM 2013 is the next release of Dynamics CRM. Dynamics CRM 2011 was released in 2010 and as such in line with the rest of Microsoft products has had a facelift to enable it to continue to be a market leader. With the range of new laptops, tablets and phones available to users, the Dynamics CRM user interface had to be re-imaged to support these devices more natively.

With a lot of information already out on what CRM2013 will deliver to users, I thought I would submit my “Top 10 feature” changes that you will experience with the new release. Keep an eye on this page for new postings about the upcoming release http://rc.crm.dynamics.com/rc/2011/en-us/Dynamics-CRM-Upcoming-Release-Information.aspx and Intergen’s blog www.intergen.co.nz/blog.

1. Ribbon goes, say hello to the navigation bar. The navigation bar is a replica of the navigation pane and represents the site map that you are used to and the ribbon buttons are replaced with simple worded command bar options. The reason for this change, speed up the UI, simplify the visuals and easy to touch.

2. No left hand navigation, expand the navigation bar

3. Process enabled forms, you can create processes to support users navigating through the system. A record type can have many different processes that can be started. A process drives a user through the information and related entities to complete the process. A user can change the process during a process if required. Example processes, Simple Opportunity Process, Complex Opportunity process, New Member, Renew Member etc.

4. Mobile for free, the new release includes an always online with cached offline mode for Windows 8 and IPad devices. The mobile user interface is dynamically created based on the same forms non mobile users utilise. This will provide a great tool for the mobile workforce to engage in CRM wherever they are.

5. Business Rules – remove the need for code. Business rules will enable some of the more simple business logic that we would have created in the past as plugins or JavaScripts to no longer be needed, simplifying your CRM system and enabling you to create and manage your own business rules.

6. Dynamics CRM and Server side e-mail and appointment processing. This is a great new feature, take this an example CRM 2011 process. A customer service agent creates an appointment for a user to visit a customer. The user will not see this appointment in their Outlook calendar until they sync Dynamics CRM with Outlook. If they are mobile using a smart phone or tablet then again they would not see this appointment until they sync their outlook, delaying the visibility of this appointment. With CRM 2013 the appointment will be pushed by CRM direct to the mail server and then it will immediately appear on your device. Great new feature.

7. Synchronous Processes. Basically processes in CRM 2011 have always ran in the background requiring a user to reload or refresh the screen to see the impact. CRM 2013 will now introduce processes that run immediately and update the form in real time, resulting in less code, less plugins and simplified management of business logic.

8. What is this Hero thing all about? The hero area of CRM is where you see all the recent activity of a record in one glance. If implemented well this will save all users an immense amount of time. Some of you may already be using this in CRM 2011 – activity feeds or in CRM online via the Polaris forms. Basically in CRM 2013 it takes this area to the next level with full capability to create all activity types, integrate with Yammer and view all notes. In some ways this is my number 1, as it provides the bare essentials to all users about the what is going on with the record with minimal clicks.

9. Global search within the Mobile Client.

10. Quick Create forms are back! You can now quickly create a record without capturing all viewing the complete form, great if you are on the move and just want to get something in quick.