Archive for March, 2014

One of the small annoyances with CRM 2011 was the fact that when you are selecting a Primary Contact for an Account, you can click to create a new contact, however the Parent Customer lookup is not set on the new contact, and so it won’t show up under related contacts for the account.

In Dynamics CRM 2013 I’m happy to see that they’ve addressed this, so that when you create a new contact from the Primary Contact on an account, the account reference is pulled through to the Company Name lookup, and also any other mappings defined on the Account to Contact relationship are pulled through by default.

You can see here I’ve searched for a primary contact, and then clicked ‘+ New’ to create a new contact.

Once the form opens, you can see the account has been set in the Company Name field, and the Business Phone, Address, and Mobile Phone have been pulled through by default as well (Mobile Phone was a custom mapping).

In Dynamics CRM 2013 one of the new subtle features introduced is that when you click the ‘+ New’ button on a lookup field, the text you had entered is automatically pulled into the new record. This is particularly useful when searching for a contact for example, and electing to create them as a new record when realising they don’t exist.

Let’s take a look at how it works. Here we have a Contact record, and we’re trying to enter “Frosty’s Ice Cream Store” as the Company Name. After entering the name to perform a search, it has returned no results.

I can now click on ‘+ New’ to pop open a new account form, with the name already filled in. Note that if you’re doing this with a contact lookup, the entire search term will be put into the ‘Last Name’ field.

You can now enter some basic information about the account, or just click ‘Save’ to quickly create and close the account form, and associate it with the contact.

This saves a lot of effort, and works with any lookups in the system.

I’ve started to use quick create forms on sub-grids when associating new records, particularly with manual N:N relationships. The reason for this is that if you simply use the default forms when adding records, you lose the ‘Save and New’ functionality which we had in CRM 2011. Users now only have the option to ‘Save’ and leave the record open, which is not ideal for intercept entities, or ‘New’ which creates a new record outside the context of the original record, and therefore breaking the N:N relationship leaving you with orphan records.

In this scenario the only option for adding multiple concurrent records is to create the intercept record, hit save, close the form manually, go back to the original entity, and add another. Since this process is quite tedious, I’m going to show how to use quick create forms instead of the main forms when creating/associating records from a sub-grid, to save a couple of clicks.

To do this you first need to enable ‘Allow quick create’ at the entity level.

Then you need to create a ‘Quick Create Form’ for the entity.

Once that’s done, you will now use the quick create form when creating/associating records in your sub-grid instead of the main form.

This means we can now simply click ‘Save’ and then click the ‘+’ on the sub-grid again to associate another record. This saves at least one click, and keeps the user on the same form without confusing them into thinking they need to click ‘New’ to add another record.

The quick create form will also be used on any lookups when you click ‘+ New’ now as well. And whether you want it or not, your intercept entity will display in the Global Quick Create menu at the top of every page, although this is a small price to pay to make the N:N relationships usable.