Tip #23: Swap Customer Addresses

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the contact and account entity form display the first two addresses for the customer, and by default, addresses 3 and greater are displayed in the address link on the navigation bar (AKA more addresses).

Consider this scenario: you are a wealth management company, and some of your clients are retired “snowbirds” that spend the winter in Florida and the spring and summer in the north. How can you make it easy to swap addresses so another address appears as address 1 part of the year?

  1.  Edit the Address entity “Associated” view. Remove the filter that makes this view only show addresses greater than Address 2. This will now make the navbar link for addresses display all addresses, including the addresses on the form.filter
  2. Add the Address Number field the Address form.
  3. Now you can go to a customer record, click on the address NavBar link, open the addresses, and manually update the address numbers. I recommend updating 1 to a higher number, then updating the address you wish to be address 1 to address number 1.

Address swaps can also be automated using workflow or other processes.

Tip #22: Install Dynamics CRM with precreated database

In some enterprises, database administrators wish to have greater control over the database creation process for CRM installations. This can be for security reasons, naming databases a certain structure, or controlling how the database files are structured. The CRM implementation guide does not include a pre-created database option, but it is possible to do in a supported way.

  1. In a development or non-production environment, create a new CRM organization.  It does not matter what you name it.
  2. Back up the organization (*_MSCRM) database
  3. Restore to your production SQL server with the desired name (be sure it ends in “_MSCRM”)
  4. Install Microsoft Dynamics CRM server. When you reach the screen that asks what roles to install, instead of installing full server, uncheck one of the roles (like a minor one, like help server). If you don’t install all the roles, the organization will not be created during the installation. You can come back and install this role when you are finished.
  5. When the installation is complete, launch the deployment manager and import the organization from the backup you restored in step 3.

Tip #21: Don’t work too hard

Happy Thanksgiving

To all our American friends, acquaintances, regular listeners and accidental visitors we wish Happy Thanksgiving.

Don’t work too hard and remember to spend time with your loved ones.

Our professional harvest this year includes formidable CRM 2013, let the next year see this game changer thriving and taking over the world.

CRM Tipsters

Tip #20: Use alertDialog and confirmDialog to display messages to users

If your javascript code is peppered with alerts and confirms, it’s time to stock up on the invigorating drink of your choice and rewrite. The reason is very simple – CRM for tablets does not like anything that blocks execution. New stablemates are alertDialog and confirmDialog – use them to display messages to users and set code to execute based on their response. Because of the asynchronous nature, the signature of the functions is different and involves callbacks:

    Xrm.Utility.alertDialog(message, onCloseCallback)

    Xrm.Utility.confirmDialog(message, yesCloseCallback, noCloseCallback)

Read about pitfalls and see the code sample

Tip #19: How to hide a form

The only way to hide a form in CRM 2011 is to remove all security roles from the form. CRM 2013 adds ability to deactivate the form making it unavailable to all users. As expected, form list command bar now has Activate/Deactivate buttons to toggle the status. The buttons are “dumb”, they recognize neither the current form status nor the fact that only forms of type Main can be deactivated, and opt for the error message instead.

Tip #18: How to disable export from the reports

Sometimes there is a requirement to stop users from being able to export CRM reports. Take away Export to Excel privilege and reports will be displayed without the export button. Dependency on Excel export privilege is, perhaps, a bit unintuitive, and the privilege covers not only Excel but other export formats as well. Privilege is located on the Business Management tab of the security role dialog. If you’ve been following our tips then privilege needs to be taken off the base role only. Otherwise, all roles assigned to the user, as well as all roles assigned to the teams the user is a member of, need to have this privilege taken off.

Tip #17: Search SDK like a pro

One good thing about local copy of the Dynamics CRM SDK documentation is that it restricts the search to the SDK itself. Local copy can be searched without usual distractions of online search like advertisements or third-party posts about SDK. Either 2011 or 2013 version of SDK can be downloaded, then installed and searched locally. Turns out, online search can also be restricted to SDK. Simply open www.crmdevelopercenter.com, click Search SDK and fire away. One thing that you probably noticed is that the search box refers to “Search the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 SDK” – that is correct, online copy of 2013 SDK is coming soon.

While we are at it, in addition to www.crmdevelopercenter.com, there are two other new CRM “centers” online: www.crmitprocenter.com and www.crmcustomercenter.com

Tip #16: Add OnChange events to the Dynamics CRM 2013 Address Control

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 adds a new control for addresses that displays the address inside of a single field. This is fantastic, because it saves a lot of space on the form (compared with separate address fields), and it is consistent with how other applications, like Outlook, handle addresses.

Address control

So what if you have form logic, such as OnChange javascript running on change of your address fields? At first glance, it seems like you can’t add OnChange events to address fields.

Turns out you can add OnChange events to the address fields, by adding all of the address events to the address control. The script will still run on change of the fields, just like it did when you had individual address fields on the form.

Thanks to guest tipster Carsten Groth

Tip #15: Auto refresh CRM dashboard

Some implementations manage fast-paced processes that bring fresh data to CRM every minute (for example, busy call center). Dashboards in these scenarios can be very useful, however they will age very quickly and potentially display obsolete information. While it is probably not an issue for the most end-users who drive CRM interface as part of their jobs, some users, like managers, may find that they need to refresh the display on a regular basis to get up-to-date information. If this is the case, add a small html resource to your dashboard that refreshes the parent dashboard every few minutes. More instructions and the code to do just that

Tip #14: CRM Gustronomy – apply security roles to dashboards

System dashboards in CRM 2011 are visible to all users regardless of their roles and permissions. The only supported way to expose dashboard to a selective group of users is to create a personal dashboard and then share it. CRM 2013 added ability to apply security roles to the dashboards making it much easier to tailor user interface to a specific user role.

Open any solution containing dashboards (Default Solution will do), select Dashboards under Components then select individual dashboard. Click Enable Security Roles button and you’ll be presented with the form security dialog (wording “select the security roles for which this form will be displayed” is a dead giveaway) where you can restrict dashboard to specific user roles.

This tip is from our guest contributor