Tip #272: How to shoot yourself in a foot with the Edit button

Our next tip for CRM 2015 comes from Jim “Sourdough Master” Steger and continues nice tradition of warnings against premature actions in Dynamics CRM.

When creating a Rollup or Calculated Field, be sure to have all of the information for the field out to your satisfaction BEFORE you click the Edit button to configure the rollup or calculated field. Once you click Edit, Dynamics CRM will auto-save the form, and will lock your schema name, data type and field type and cannot be changed.

Tipp Jarr’s Double Dipp

Doh!

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Tip #271: Edit FetchXML In Style

Have you ever been frustrated trying to work with FetchXML queries? Sure, you can create an advanced find and export the query, but working with Fetch can sometimes be tedious if you want to edit the query.

Back in the CRM 3 and 4 days, there was a great FetchXML editor from Stunnware. However, that tool has not been updated for years.

CRM wunderkind Paul Way has recently released a beta version of his FetchXML editor, Fetch Tester 3000. This tool will remove many of the headaches of working with Fetch. It includes Intellisence-like auto complete (including 1:N relationships), schema validation, and the ability to test the results in a tabular format that supports Export to Excel.

This is a great start, and definitely something you should check out if you do FetchXML surgery.

Read more at http://paul-way.com/

Auto-complete of CRM attributes

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Tip #270: Close Appointments from Outlook

We recently posted a tip about how non completed tasks are deleted from CRM if the owner deletes the task in Outlook. The same applies to non “closed” appointments. The problem is, for Outlook users, there is no “close appointment” button in Outlook. The user must open the Appointment in CRM to close the appointment (and therefore, many appointments never get closed).

One recipe for closing tasks, suggested by Gustaf Westerlund, the Swedish Chef of CRM, is to create a workflow that runs on update of the description field and closes the appointment when the description contains a unique phrase like “CLOSE ME” That way, users can close appointments directly from Outlook by simply writing “CLOSE ME” at the end of the description field.

Got any tips? Want to be as awesome as Gustaf? Send them to jar@crmtipoftheday.com.

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Tip #269: Server Sync and View in CRM

Users have reported that after moving to Server Sync, CRM for Outlook no longer enables the View in CRM and Convert buttons for tracked activities.

track

This is a known issue. The good news is Microsoft has recently published the KB article for Update Rollup 2 for CRM SP1, and this issue is slated to be resolved with the update.

“When using Server Side sync and setting the option to track all email within personal options, received emails do not change the Track button, this causes the View in CRM buttons to not get enabled within the command bar.”

Thanks to Adam “Sherlock” Vero for finding this tip.

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Tip # 268: Beware of the implications of “non searchable” fields

One of my favorite ways to improve usability of Dynamics CRM Advanced Find is to set the fields that are not being used to be “non searchable.” You can do this by either selecting the fields in customization and clicking “edit” or by using the excellent field property editor in the XRM Toolbox (thanks again Tanguy).

But before you do this, it is important to understand the wide-reaching effects of setting a field to be non searchable. It is not just about views and Advanced Find. If you make a field non searchable, you may:

  • Prevent users from selecting the field for goal metrics.
  • Prevent users from selecting the field from the chart designer
  • Preclude the use of the field for workflows.

NOTE–thanks to Adam Vero for pointing out that we were wrong on some of the above list. That’s good news if you want to hide a field but still use it as a background field for workflow or charting purposes. However, it underscores the inconsistency of the unsearchable setting–don’t assume that just because a field is “non searchable” that it is not available to users. Users can still add the field as a column to a view, they just can’t select it as part of the filter. As Adam mentioned in his comment, there are several suggestions on Microsoft Connect to make this feature work more consistently.

So go ahead, make the field non-searchable. Just be really really REALLY sure that you won’t ever need that field for anything anywhere.

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Tip #267: If form load is slow, take this pill

Gayan “Not Daddy” Perera is a man of few words when it comes to squeezing the last bit of performance out of on-premise installations. Succulent and straight to the point:

If you’re running CRM 2013 on-premise using IIS 8, make sure to go into the IIS Manager > Configuration Editor then select system.web\caching\outputCaching, set omitVaryStar to True and click Apply.
IIS 8 performance settings
This will ensure that the CRM web resources are cached correctly. When this setting is set to False you’ll notice slow form loads.

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Tip #266: Finding CRM for Tablets log files in iTunes 12

As we mentioned way back in tip #5, if you use CRM for tablets on an iPad, if you have a problem and need to capture an app trace log, you must connect your iPad to a computer running iTunes to view the log files. Apple has recently updated iTunes to version 12, and with that change, many users have reported that it is difficult to find the file sharing area to retrieve the files. The good news is, it is still there, just less obvious.

 

Screenshot 2014-11-13 09.42.19

When you connect your device to your computer and click the small icon on the left to see your device properties, when you go to the Apps section, this is all you will see. But that’s not all there is.

While it is not obvious because there is no scroll bar (thanks Apple), if you scroll down, you will see the file sharing area. You can click on “Dynamics CRM” on the left and download your flog files from the pane on the right.

Screenshot 2014-11-13 10.16.28

 

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Tip #265: Administrator updates of read-only fields

If you have fields on your CRM form that are read only, it can make administration difficult. For example, if you have read only fields, you cannot bulk update the fields, and you can’t edit the field from the workflow designer.

Sure you can customize the form, make the fields editable, and then bulk update the fields, then customize and re-hide, then republish, but who wants to do that?

If you want to make fields read-only but still be able to change these fields for administrative purposes:

  • Save a copy of your form and make all read only fields editable.
  • Set security so only System Administrators have access to the form.,
  • Make the form last in form order.
  • Publish

Now users will see the field as read-only on the form, but System Administrators will be able to bulk edit the fields or update them in the workflow manager.

Bulk edit and workflow editor will use the last form used so to “engage” the form, switch to it using any record prior to performing bulk editing or workflow design.

Thanks to Guy “Drop Bear” Riddle for this tip!

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Tip #264: Find CRM documentation for other versions

When you look at the online documentation for Dynamics CRM, such as the Implementation Guide on TechNet or the SDK on MSDN, sometimes you will find a helpful article or code sample, but it will be for a version of the software that is different than what you use. For example, you might want to know the system requirements for Dynamics CRM 2015, but get the page for 2013.

If this happens, all you need to do is click the link at the top of the page for other versions. This will allow you to choose between CRM 2011, 2013, and 2015.

other versions

Thanks to Blake “Windy City” Scarlavai for this tip!

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