Tip 1006: “Remove the stuff you don’t need. Doing tickets for internal helpdesk and don’t need entitlements? Turn it off and remove it from the form.”. Easy for Joel to say.
Dynamics 365 has a lot of baggage, both good and bad – let’s see what happens when I create a new Case form. We immediately receive a bunch of fields that are declared to be super important and therefore are locked. Let’s say I don’t case about First Response By but I cannot remove it.
Lead has a Topic but I cannot remove it because it’s mandatory. Who said that the Last Name is a must have? That’s not quite how it works in some Eastern cultures. You get the picture. Someone over-analyzed the demand, and decided that 80% of customers would like to describe lead using something called topic and what kind of person has no last name?! And that smug decision from years ago made the life of the remaining 20% incredibly miserable.
There are few ways of dealing with mandatory or locked fields:
- Change the requirement level, publish, then remove
- Sometimes it is possible to unlock (for sections), then remove. Careful here, it is possible to break some of the system scripts that way.
- Group those pesky fields on a single section/tab and hide the container. This is probably the safest technique as it won’t break any scripts if they exist and rely on any of the fields.
- Switch to header or footer and add the field there, Dynamics 365 will now allow you to remove it from the body. Headers will allow piling up the fields with the warning after 4 that the rest is useless.
- If form to be used in portals, why not to start with Quick Create. Those start as empty shell allowing some neat scenarios. For example, I like to omit Topic from the lead/contact us web form as it does not mean anything to a site visitor. Dynamics 365 will allow record creation without mandatory fields filled in – it’s a UI restriction only. But when Dynamics user opens the full form later on, they will be forced to specify the topic, i.e. to classify the lead, before saving the record. Win-win.
I’d say, whatever were the reasons for making the field mandatory, most likely they do not apply in all or even majority of scenarios. Let me decide where I want to force data entry upon the user. That’d be my ask for Dynamics 365 version 17.