Archive for September, 2013

In Dynamics CRM 2013, all the main entities have had full form redesigns. They’ve done this by deactivating the old ‘Information’ form, and replacing it with a new form, named after the entity.

When you’re upgrading your CRM 2011 solutions to 2013, any form customizations to the old ‘Information’ forms will need to be transitioned onto the forms.

To merge your existing customizations into the new forms, there is now a new feature available when customizing forms that allows us to ‘Bring in another form’. Quite simply, this lets us merge all the customizations from one form with another.

Since the 2 forms could potentially be quite different, the forms are not so much ‘merged’ but instead all the tabs from the second form are simply appended to the first form. This means you will need to manually merge the 2 forms in terms of layout, this feature simply allows you to get all the components together on one form.

Let’s take a closer look.

The button is only active on Main forms, and only on the new CRM 2013 forms. That means you can’t bring in another form onto a ‘classic’ form, for example the old Information form, or any other forms created in CRM 2011.

You can only ‘bring in’ classic forms. The new CRM 2013 forms do not display in the list of available forms when selecting which form to ‘bring in’. The status of the forms also do not seem to matter, as you can select forms that are active or inactive.

If you have any fields in the ‘header’ of the classic form, these fields will be brought into a new tab called ‘Information Header’, and set as read-only as seen below. These would need to be manually moved into the actual form header if required.

Similarly, if you have any fields in the footer, they will be placed at the bottom of the form in a tab called ‘Information Footer’.

All JavaScript libraries and events will be pulled in from the old form. This includes OnLoad, OnSave, and OnChange events.

The left-navigation (or whatever we call it now) does not get merged, so this will need to be manually updated.

Custom query string parameters defined in the Form Properties will be pulled through to the new form.

Non-Event Dependencies defined in the From Properties will NOT be pulled through.

Once the forms have been brought together, we can manually rearrange the components to our liking, and then save and publish the changes. Overall this will save us a lot of time with merging our CRM 2011 forms with CRM 2013 forms.

Previously in Dynamics CRM 2011, the only way to ‘deactivate’ a form was to remove all security roles from the form, effectively meaning no one can see it anymore. This of course is not a desirable approach, as it means we lose the history of which security roles were assigned to the form, and it also means the form still shows up in our list of forms for the entity.

In Dynamics CRM 2013 we now have the ability to deactivate an entity form. This means we can easily deactivate a form without changing the security role assignment, and it will be removed from our list of active forms.

We can change the status of the forms by simply clicking the ‘Activate’ or ‘Deactivate’ buttons on the toolbar.

The first thing I noticed was that the old CRM 2011 ‘Information’ main form was not in the list of active forms. If we change the view to ‘Inactive Forms’ we can see this form is now inactive.

Currently, only ‘Main’ forms can be deactivated.

You must have at least one active Main form. If you try to deactivate the last main form you will receive an error.


Unlike views in CRM 2011 (and unfortunately, still in 2013 as well), form status is solution aware, meaning if you deactivate a form in your development environment and then deploy the entity to another system, the form status will be updated.

In Dynamics CRM 2013, phone number fields now appear as a clickable hyperlink which calls out to Skype or Lync depending on your settings. All out of the box phone number fields, on Contact, Account, and Lead for example, have this formatting applied to them.

This formatting is also available on new custom fields. When creating a field, under the ‘Single Line of Text’ type, there is now a new ‘Format’ for Phone. When we select this format, our custom field will display with the same click-to-call functionality as the out of the box phone fields.

Phone Format

Click to Call

Unfortunately, if you’ve upgraded from CRM 2011, you won’t be able to change existing phone fields, as the format is unchangeable once created. If this is a must, you could consider recreating the fields and migrating data into the new fields.

Any new phone number fields we create however, we can now select this format.